Huffpost Politics
Sam Stein Headshot

Clinton Camp Won't Say How Hillary Disagrees With MoveOn

Posted: Updated:

There was a significant dose of stonewalling on Monday's conference call with aides to Sen. Hillary Clinton.

Asked to explain what areas of disagreement the senator had with the Democratic activist group Moveon.org -- which Clinton said she had clashed with -- Howard Wolfson, the senator's chief spokesperson, declined to even broach the question.

"I appreciate your effort to extend your exclusive story but we've said all we are going to say about that, and I say that as a proud member as Moveon.org," he told The Huffington Post.

But when it comes to answering questions about Clinton's comments, they haven't really said anything at all. Indeed, when asked about the story on Sunday, the campaign's new top strategist, Geoff Garin declined to specify areas of disagreement between the group and the senator. And when pressed to discuss when, as Clinton claimed, MoveOn had "flooded" caucuses and "intimidated" voters into supporting Obama, he cited his short time with the campaign in sidestepping the query.

Over the weekend, moreover, Wolfson did not respond to a Huffington Post email request for comment.

The entire issue arose late last Friday, when The Huffington Post reported that in a private fundraiser, Clinton blamed her caucus contest losses on an energized activist base with whom she disagreed.

"Moveon.org endorsed [Sen. Barack Obama] -- which is like a gusher of money that never seems to slow down," Clinton said at the meeting of donors. "We have been less successful in caucuses because it brings out the activist base of the Democratic Party. MoveOn didn't even want us to go into Afghanistan. I mean, that's what we're dealing with. And you know they turn out in great numbers. And they are very driven by their view of our positions, and it's primarily national security and foreign policy that drives them. I don't agree with them. They know I don't agree with them."

There were two issues with the statement. For starters, Moveon, according to their director Eli Pariser, never opposed the invasion of Afghanistan. The other, of course, is that, at least in public, Clinton has advocated many of the same policies as MoveOn. As Markos Moulitsas of the Daily Kos queried: "I'm curious though, what part of our foreign policy approach doesn't she agree with? The ending the war in Iraq part?"

Wolfson would not engage: "We've said all we are going to say about your story."

This, however, was not the only duck and dive of the conference call. An earlier question came from Mother Jones' David Corn who, for the second time in less than a week, wanted to know what Sen. Clinton thought about her husband's pardoning of two members of the Weather Underground. Noting that Wolfson's first response - "she thinks it's a pardon from the president" - was "close to a non sequitur," Corn asked for a more detailed response.

"I'm not aware that she had an opinion," said Wolfson. "I don't have any more for you than what I've given you."

Register To Vote