Jen Palmieri, spokeswoman for the Hillary Clinton campaign, said Monday that the reason news media were corralled like cattle during a recent campaign event was in order to avoid a potentially "chaotic" atmosphere.
On MSNBC's "Morning Joe," Palmieri responded to critics of the Clinton campaign, which partitioned reporters behind a moving rope line during a parade in New Hampshire on Saturday.
"What do you think? Is that the future of presidential press?" asked host Joe Scarborough, to laughter from the other panelists.
Palmieri said the rope was used because in past events where press was allowed to roam free, it was too disorganized.
"So, we try to allow as much access as possible, but my view is it can't get in the way of her being able to campaign," said Palmieri. "So, what we tried here was — you could do a thing where you preset press along the way and we say, let's let it just be open. That's how we did in other parades. And see, what happens, and I wasn't there but I saw some press reports that described it as chaotic. And so, they put the rope up so that the parade can continue and so she can talk to voters. But it's like a give and take."
The Clinton campaign has been criticized, mostly by journalists, for restricting access of reporters.
Palmieri acknowledged that the campaign has limited Clinton's interaction with news media but that it was a deliberate decision.
"The press is important but they're not as important as voters," she said. "And I also understand that we pay a price with the press when we don't do interviews and 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."