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Tue Dec 1, 2015, 10:24 PM

O'Malley challenges Clinton over 2012 email.

'Democrat Martin O'Malley's presidential campaign is challenging rival Hillary Clinton over a 2012 email in which she referred to caucuses as "creatures of the parties' extremes."

The email, reported Monday by BuzzFeed, was sent to Sidney Blumenthal, a friend of the former secretary of state, and speculated on the 2012 Republican presidential contest.

In the email, Clinton said, if Mitt Romney couldn't beat Newt Gingrich in Florida, "there will be pressure on state Republican parties to open or liberalize ballot access especially in the caucuses, which as we know are creatures of the parties’ extremes." Clinton referred to Romney as "Mittens" and Gingrich as "Grinch."

Iowa's precinct caucuses launch the presidential nominating calendar, and in the 2008 caucuses Clinton finished third. Other states also have caucuses.

This year, Clinton is leading in Iowa and campaigning frequently in the state.

O'Malley, the former governor of Maryland, is in third place. His campaign criticized Clinton for the email Tuesday. Jake Oeth, the campaign's director in Iowa, noted that O'Malley was an organizer in Iowa for the 1984 caucuses. "So while Secretary Clinton bashes the good people who join their neighbors to show their presidential preference on caucus night, Governor O’Malley will continue to thank Iowans for the role they play in our democratic process," Oeth said.

The Clinton campaign responded by saying Clinton has campaigned hard in Iowa and is continuing to do so.

"From day one of this campaign, Hillary Clinton has been committed to earning the support of every Iowan in February's caucus — any suggestion otherwise is just flat out wrong," said Lily Adams, a spokeswoman. "That's why she made her first stop of this campaign in the Hawkeye State and why she continues to meet with Iowans in town halls, coffee shops, and living rooms to discuss her plan to build an America where everyone can get ahead."'


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