One of the newly-released emails Hillary Clinton sent four years ago when she was secretary of state carries Clinton’s assessment that caucuses “are creatures of the party’s extremes.” Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, one of Clinton’s competitors in Iowa’s 2016 Caucuses, today said he doesn’t share that view.
“I know it sounds self-serving talking to Iowa, but I’m a strong believer, a passionate believer in democracy and I love to see large voter turn-outs,” Sanders told Radio Iowa. “I love to see people who understand the issues, who are prepared to debate the issues regardless of their political point of view.”
Sanders said other states “have something to learn” from Iowa’s Caucuses.
“I have been deeply impressed at how the people of Iowa take their responsibilities very, very seriously, ask important questions and spend a lot of time understanding where candidates are coming from,” Sanders said during a telephone interview.
Martin O’Malley is the other candidate competing for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination.
“The people of Iowa who go to their Caucuses are people that care very passionately about our country,” O’Malley told Radio Iowa. “They have a lot of different opinions and perhaps if Secretary Clinton were out, going county-to-county, she’d see that herself.”
O’Malley was a 20-year-old volunteer for Gary Hart’s 1984 campaign. As a 2016 candidate himself, O’Malley has made 45 trips to Iowa, appearing at 124 different events.
“Secretary Clinton’s had a long-strained relationship with Iowa,” O’Malley said during a mid-day telephone interview. “I think she’s been disappointed in the past by not prevailing in the Caucuses and perhaps that’s why she still feels the way she does.”
An Iowa-based spokeswoman for Clinton’s campaign said Clinton “has been committed to earning the support of every Iowan in February’s caucus” and “any suggestion otherwise is just flat out wrong.” Lily Adams, the Iowa communications director for Clinton’s campaign, said that’s why Clinton made her first stop of the campaign in Iowa “and why she continues to meet with Iowans in town halls, coffee shops and living rooms.”
Clinton will return to Iowa Friday for events in Sioux City and Fort Dodge.
Republicans are weighing in on Clinton’s email as well. During this morning’s taping of the “Iowa Press” program which airs Friday night on Iowa Public Television, Jeb Bush noted the nicknames Clinton used for 2012 candidates “Mittens” Romney and “The Grinch” Gingrich.
“A lot of spare time, apparently, when you’re secretary of state to be able to focus on politics,” Bush said. “And meanwhile, back at the ranch we had big, pressing problems.”
Last night, Bush told The Des Moines Register he’d suggest Clinton use the nickname “45” for him. Bush’s father was the 41st president. Hillary Clinton’s husband, Bill Clinton, was 42nd. Jeb Bush’s brother, George W. Bush, was the 43rd and Barack Obama is number 44.