Clinton communications director explains roping off the press

Jennifer Palmieri explained why Hillary Clinton's campaign kept members of the media behind a rope at a parade on Saturday.

Jennifer Palmieri, communications director for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, addressed her team’s use of a rope to separate the media from the Democratic frontrunner while she was marching in a New Hampshire parade on Saturday.

Appearing on MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Monday, Palmieri said the campaign understands it’ll be criticized in the media for limiting access.

"The press is important, they are not as important as voters, but they are an important part of the process," she said. "I understand, because I do watch what happens around this table, that we pay a price with the press when we don’t do interviews and when we do smaller events that don’t have the access that a larger event may allow. But this is part of our calculus about how we’re building a campaign that’s built to last."

The incident has drawn more attention to Clinton’s strained relationship with the media, who have complained that she has rarely been made available for interviews since kicking off her campaign.

Last month, Palmieri and campaign manager Robby Mook said the former Secretary of State plans to become more open to the media in coming months. Over the weekend, Palmieri said Clinton will start doing interviews with members of the national media this week.  

On Morning Joe on Monday, Palmieri added that the campaign is trying to balance Clinton’s interaction with members of the public and the media.

"We try to allow as much access as possible, but my view is that it can’t get in the way of her being able to campaign," she said. "I saw some press reports describe it as chaotic, and so they put the rope up so the parade could continue and she could talk to voters."

Palmieri was ranked number 15 on the 2015 edition of PRWeek's Power List, which was released earlier this month.

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