From NBC/NJ's Athena Jones
NEW HAMPTON, Iowa -- At a campaign
stop here, Hillary Clinton sparred verbally for several minutes with a
man who pressed her on her recent vote to call Iran's army a terrorist
Randall Rolph, from nearby Nashua, asked why he should support
Clinton's candidacy when she did not appear to have learned any lessons
from having voted to authorize force in Iraq.
Clinton thanked him for the question and explained her Iran vote would
lay the groundwork for using diplomacy and sanctions to pressure that
Clinton accused the man of being a plant who had been sent to ask the
question, to which he took exception, saying the question was a result
of his own research.
"I apologize," Clinton said, explaining that she had been asked the very same question in three other places.
The crowd applauded when the senator ended the back and forth by saying the two had a disagreement and offering to put Rolph in touch with her staff, who could provide him with the text of the legislation, which she suggested he had misunderstood.
After taking several more questions, Clinton ended by saying she valued these kinds of conversations and urging Iowans to support her in the caucuses.
"I'm taking nothing for granted," she said. "I hope I'll be able to earn your support."
Rolph said after the event that he was a registered Democrat who had come with an open mind but that he would not be supporting Clinton after the way she responded.
"Who in this room believes we aren't going to attack Iran before Bush leaves office?" Rolph said.