Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton denied an explosive Monday Politico report that both she and former President Bill Clinton are dissatisfied with her campaign and are considering a staff shake-up following Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary.
“I have no idea what they’re talking about or who they are talking to,” she told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow in an interview set to air later Tuesday. “We’re going to take stock but it’s going to be the campaign that I’ve got. I’m very confident in the people that I have.”
“I’m very committed to them. They’re committed to doing the best we can,” she continued. “We’re going to take stock, what works, what doesn’t work. We’re moving into a different phase of the campaign. We’re moving into a more diverse electorate. We’re moving into different geographic areas. So, of course it would be malpractice not to say, “OK, what worked? What can we do better? What do we have to do new and different that we have to pull out?”
Politico’s report cited a half-dozen people close to the campaign who said that the Clintons aren’t pleased with their campaign’s messaging and digital operations. Expecting a loss to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) in New Hampshire’s Tuesday primary, they are reportedly considering making changes at the campaign’s Brooklyn headquarters sooner rather than later.
“The Clintons are not happy, and have been letting all of us know that,” a source close to both Clintons told Politico. “The idea is that we need a more forward-looking message, for the primary — but also for the general election too. … There’s no sense of panic, but there is an urgency to fix these problems right now.”
According to the report, the Clintons were planning to reassess the campaign staff after the South Carolina primary — the fourth of the caucus/primary season for the Democrats. But a source told Politico that the Clintons — who have been much more critical of aides in recent days — demanded that reassessment of the staff much sooner.
The publication noted the similarity to Clinton’s 2008 campaign — when she nearly canned several top officials, including her campaign manager, before she unexpectedly beat then-Sen. Barack Obama and won the New Hampshire primary.
Joining Clinton in denying the Politico report was John Podesta, her campaign chair.
There is zero truth to what you may be reading. It’s wrong. Hillary stands behind her team, period.
— John Podesta (@johnpodesta) February 8, 2016
But David Axelrod, the chief strategist for Obama’s presidential campaigns, tweeted a seemingly scathing assessment of the Clinton campaign.
When the exact same problems crop up in separate campaigns, with different staff, at what point do the principals say, “Hey, maybe it’s US?”
— David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod) February 8, 2016
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