Hillary Opponents Beware: Oppo Research Underway
Having hit Chris Matthews hard here in recent weeks, let's give him credit for flashing some real reporter's instincts in going after Hillary aide Howard Wolfson on this afternoon's Hardball on the issue of whether the campaign is conducting opposition research on its Dem rivals.And while Wolfson wouldn't flatly admit it, by the end of the interview there was little doubt that Hillary's campaign is actively digging for dirt on its Dem opponents.
View video here.Matthews: "Let me ask you about opposition research. Is that part of your campaign: checking out other candidates's possible flaws in their resumes? Are you guys going to engage in that kind of politics to win the nomination?"
When Wolfson gave an evasive answer to the effect he and Hillary believe she can win by focusing on her record, Matthews persisted:
"Is anyone in the campaign tasked with opposition research? Right now, right now as we speak, has anyone been given the job of digging up information about the other Democratic candidates? Do you have people on your team who are looking at the other candidates for their records, for their past practices, possible weaknesses in their resume? Are you doing that kind of work in your campaign or not? - it's a simple question."
Wolfson again dodged the question, saying they're "not going to get Swift-Boated," they would respond aggressively to any attacks by other candidates, and that they would have the means to do that.
Matthews: "So you have begun the effort to of digging up information."
Wolfson: "I didn't say that."
Matthews: "I'm asking you: have you or have you not?"
Wolfson ultimately chose to stone-wall: "I'm not going to get into the campaign tactics."
Matthews was relentless: "You won't answer the question as to whether you have an opposition research capability at this point. You won't answer the question."
Wolfson: "I'm telling you the kind of campaign we're going to run."
One parting shot from Chris: "OK, but you haven't answered that question."
By the way, that's a very wry smile on Chris' face: at the end of the interview he collapsed in laughter at Wolfson's intransigence.Early Christmas Gift Idea for Chris: The Blue Book of Grammar. At the end of the segment, Chris invited viewers to "join Keith Olbermann and me" for a preview of the State of the Union. Chris then "corrected" himself, saying he knows it should be "Keith Olbermann and I." You had it right the first time, Chris.
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