November 6th, 2007
07:15 PM ET
10 years ago

Clinton on debate: 'I wasn't at my best'

Watch Sen. Clinton's entire interview with Candy Crowley from CNN's Election Express Tuesday.

NEWTON, Iowa (CNN) - Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton told CNN Tuesday her performance may have been lacking at last week's presidential debate, but brushed aside criticisms she has not been clear on where she stands on the issues.

"I wasn't at my best the other night - we've had a bunch of debates and I wouldn’t rank that up in my very top list," Clinton told CNN's Senior Political Correspondent Candy Crowley during an exclusive interview on board the Election Express in Newton, Iowa. “But I’ve answered probably, I don’t know, more than 5,000 questions over the last 10 months and I have been very clear about where I stand and where I want to do for’the country."

Clinton came under intense criticism from her Democratic opponents during and following a debate last Tuesday in Philadelphia when she appeared to evade a question about New York Governor Eliot Spitzer’s policy of offering driver's licenses to illegal immigrants.

"I understand the necessity for criticism, Clinton continued, "we're getting toward the end of a very long presidential primary process."

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Filed under: Hillary Clinton
soundoff (230 Responses)
  1. Daniel ~ Longview, WA.

    BUSH – 4 years as Reagan VP.
    BUSH – 4 years as El presidente'.
    CLINTON- 8 years as The Prez.
    BUSH – 8 years as the decider.
    CLINTON- No More, we've had enough, thank you!

    Vote Vote Vote! Get out the vote!

    Secure our borders, regain our soverignty!

    November 6, 2007 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  2. Lee, Ann Arbor, MI

    No Hillary, you WERE AT YOUR BEST.

    You're the best at being non-commital, evasive, pandering, talking down to people, being elitist, etc. You are the best at all of these.

    The truth is, people are now looking at you and wondering where you REALLY stand on issues and that is your weak do not want to take a firm stand on ANYTHING.

    You're waiting to be "crowned" President because you think you earned it from being First Lady under your husband. That is your "experience."

    Hopefully people will see through your smoke screen...although, I don't know, there's enough brain dead voters out there to give you a chance.

    November 6, 2007 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  3. Mary, chemsford mass

    Who cares Mrs... We want presidents who can do their best all the time....You failed drastically! Your polls are still dragging and reality sinking in...Are you getting desperate? Looks like it!

    November 6, 2007 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  4. Tony, Alexandria, VA

    Hillary is by far the best candidate in either party. As far as Democrats go, she is the best and only chance in 2008. That's why the Repubs are hoping the attacks by "Desperate" and "Zero Credibility" John Edwards and "Laughable" Obama work, they know Hillary will be too tough too handle for their sorry list of candidates.

    As far as this dumb comment "She is strong ,but not strong enough to stand out on something she believes in. she is too phoney for my vote.." you are not voting for a pastor you are voting for a PRESIDENT. Aren't we in the midst of a Presidency with strong beliefs? Hillary has the right approach and the right message. She understands that the left nor right control this country, but the MIDDLE...

    November 6, 2007 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |

    Is she ever at her best? I don't think there is any better to come from her from what I've seen so far, sorry, but that's the way I see it.

    November 6, 2007 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  6. Ron, TX

    Oh my god! First, she's AGAINST criticism because it's negative. Then, she's FOR criticism because it's necessary!

    Flip-flops are no longer just inanimate footware! She really is a walking and talking flip-flop...

    November 6, 2007 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  7. Mike, New Braunfels, TX

    She is the biggest fraud of all the candidates..Dem or Rep

    November 6, 2007 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  8. Don R., Seattle, WA

    So she had one not-so-good night in an otherwise flawless campaign. Big deal. Hillary bashers have tried for many years to bring her down. They have failed in the past, and they will fail in the future. I look forward to a Hillary presidency.

    November 6, 2007 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  9. TexMex, NYC, NY

    Talking about a being a Cameleon!

    First, she blamed the media, then the other male presidential candidates, after her standing as the leader in the race, and finally her form of the day.

    Hilary should apologize for the dirty tricks she tried to pull using her gender as an excuse for her pathetic debate performance.

    Leadership is about taking responsibility for one's actions. America needs a leader, not a cry baby, in the oval office. Anybody but Hilary!

    November 6, 2007 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  10. Peter,Newton,IOWA

    Picture flashing, headline changing to help your desperation? You really own this network...
    I am a republican who have changed to a democrat to vote for Obama...
    Obama all the way no matter what this Clinton news network says about him!
    Obama 08!

    November 6, 2007 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  11. Dave, Chicago, IL

    Up til now, I've been supporting Barack. But after wathcing all of the Democratic debates, Joe Biden appears to be the one which all of the other candidates AGREE with. How many times have we heard Hillary, or Barack, or Bill R. say "I agree with what Joe said"? Joe seems to be the one "in the know" and the others are all following his lead.

    November 6, 2007 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  12. Theresa LV NV

    No Senator Clinton, you were did very well that night at ducking, evading, and flip-flopping.

    She can't even give one answer as to the quality of her performance that night. The boys' network was piling on a poor defenseless woman; they were piling on because I'm winning; now I was having an off night.

    Wake up Clinton camp, how can this candidate possibly lead the country and make life and death decisions that don't take days and weeks to formulate after she tries out various scenarios on the press for reaction.

    November 6, 2007 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  13. Lee, Miami, Florida

    I cannot, and will not vote for hillary. I have lost all trust in her. I will not waste my vote on her. She is a liar.

    November 6, 2007 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  14. Renee, San Francisco, CA

    Biden has dominated every debate. Give him fair time instead of giving all the questions to Obama and Clinton!!! He's a much more qualified leader.

    November 6, 2007 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  15. Lance in Monrovia CA

    She wasnt at her best? Hillary Clinton doesn't take credit for any mistake and that's her entire problem. It wasn't her fault healthcare failed. It wasn't her fault the right attacks her. It wasn't her fault she voted to attack Iraq in 2002 and Iran in 2007.

    Hillary Clinton plays the victim quite well but I don't want a "victim in chief."

    I want Barack Obama. When he talks, I believe it, and his record backs up his words.

    November 6, 2007 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  16. Franky, NY, NY

    I love her! Take a real woman to be OK with the idea she may not have been at her best. I thought she was just fine. Hang in there Mrs. Clinton!

    November 6, 2007 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  17. Ger, Portland, Me

    Hillary is the best candidate we have. Most of these comments are probably from people that voted for George Bush and still believe he is a good president. Go back into hiding please.

    November 6, 2007 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  18. Roger, Raleigh NC

    I guess Bush wasn't at his best either when he decided to invade Iraq. Come on Hillary – at least be truthful or just shut up. You're acting no better than Bush does!

    November 6, 2007 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  19. albert vink new york

    like her husband the wind of opinion determins her opinion. the mask came off.

    November 6, 2007 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  20. Len, Fallbrook, CA

    What? She did not blame Bush for not being at her best?

    Maybe she mispoke.......

    Clarification in four days.

    The circus continues.

    November 6, 2007 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  21. Bobb, Portsmouth, NH

    And the dream becomes a nightmare at the last hour!!!
    I am confident enough you will never recover the last debate distruction you created for yourself!

    November 6, 2007 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  22. CK, Arlington, VA

    Baloney! She was on her game, but finally got called on it.

    November 6, 2007 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  23. Lianette, Arlington, Texas

    All I saw in that debate was these guys were so desperate to get her down being the top. What I can say, she did what she needed to do when she answered those questions. But we know pretty well what she stands for and that is all it matters. It helps her though in anyway for those criticizms. She can add them on to her platforms when she willbe the next President of the United States. These guys knew it in their heart, she is not easy to beat but they want to look at it that they can. We voters know better. We will prove to you that we want the best for this country.

    Ms. Hillary Clinton, you are very intelligent and I know you can run this country for the better that what we have now.

    November 6, 2007 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  24. Paul, Rochester NY

    I live in NY and she's done nothing but talk. Talks cheap. The one thing I can say is if you only talk you can't get caught lying.

    November 6, 2007 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  25. Craig Kalthoff, Laguna Niguel, CA

    Thanks you Hilary for being honest. Even you as a Presidental candidate are allowed times where you are not at your best. It shows your human side, it shows your strength. Most of all it tells us why you are going to be the next President!!

    November 6, 2007 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
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