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Biden, Dodd & Richardson to Iowans: Make your own decision
[Exclusive] — Contrary to news reports from state and national media, three of Iowa’s Democratic campaigns want their supporters to know that no blanket campaign directive has been issued, instructing supporters to throw support behind a different candidate during tonight’s caucus.
“If Iowans are independent enough to have chosen me from the field of candidates, I’m quite sure they have the ability to make an independent second choice as well,” said Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd.
The campaign for Delaware Sen. Joe Biden, offered similar sentiments.
“The rumor mill is hard at work,” said Olivia Alair, a campaign spokeswoman. “We are encouraging our supporters to stand tall and stand tough and have every reason to expect that they will.”
Robert Becker, Iowa director of the Bill Richardson for President campaign, took particular offense with reports circulated this morning that his campaign was encouraging non-viable supporters to switch to Illinois Sen. Barack Obama.
“Here we are the day of caucus and there are all these rumors about deals being made,” he said. “I’m just sick of it. We have not directed our supporters to caucus for anyone other than Bill Richardson.”
All the campaigns agree that in these final days, there have been internal discussions as to strategy. All are equally adamant that they have not and will not issue a blanket statement to their supporters to move to an opposing campaign.
“All the campaigns know where they have their strongest support,” Becker said. “It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure these things out.”
Danny O’Brien, state director for Biden for President, said the campaign is confident going into tonight’s caucus.
“There has been no discussion — there will be no deals,” O’Brien said. “We feel we have momentum going into tonight’s caucus.”
Dodd said the most important things campaigns can do now, at this late hour, is trust Iowans to make the best choice.
“Of course, I think the best choice is me,” he said. “I want Iowans to caucus for me and to support my candidacy. But we’ve all been in the state and we’ve all had opportunity to bring our message to the people of Iowa. Now it is up to Iowans — and I trust them.”