Report: Clinton Aides Told Spitzer to Dump Licenses for Illegals

Captain Renault would be shocked: Hillary Clinton's campaign put pressure on Eliot Spitzer to drop his disastrous licenses-for-illegals plan.

The word came from crack NY Post Albany reporter Fred Dicker [pictured here], appearing on this afternoon's Hardball.

View video here.

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Do you know if Hillary Clinton had anything to do with Governor Spitzer's decision to do his 180?

FRED DICKER: Yeah, we believe she did. We were told -- I was told -- at a very high level in New York politics that Mrs. Clinton's campaign or some of her top people signalled to Governor Spitzer's people that he had damaged her. They were wondering what the heck he was up to, why did he bring it to the floor now, and made it clear that the governor was hurting her and he ought to back down if he wanted to help her, which he says he wants to do.

MATTHEWS: Is anybody in his office saying that, or are you getting that from a third party? Is anybody in Spitzer's office saying that the governor got the word from Hillary to cut it?

DICKER: In his camp, but not his office. But at the highest levels.

MATTHEWS: Well how does it work? Did she send word through New York politicians that it was hurting her?

DICKER: Well first of all Spitzer's a very smart guy and he's aware of what happened. Secondly, they travel in similar circles. High-level consultants talk with one another. The governor's political consultants and advisors were advised as to the damage that was done here. That's how it was related.

And the rest is history. Spitzer dumped his proposal, and Hillary immediately announced that as president she would not support licenses-for-illegals.

So much for the proposal that a scant two weeks ago she declared was a "good idea."

Aside: Dicker says that Hillary's people asked aides to Spitzer "what the heck he was up to?" Think the actual language might have been a tad more colorful?

Note: Allahpundit is reserving judgment on the story on the theory that Spitzer might be looking for a scapegoat. But wouldn't the NY gov be committing political suicide in levelling a false accusation against Hillary?

Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.