November 6th, 2007
07:15 PM ET
11 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. ronnie knoxville, tn.

    even if you're not having a good day, the honesty should be there, hill. if you're an upright, credible person, you don't have to be at your best, you just have to speak the truth.

    anyone but hillary

    November 6, 2007 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  2. bosco, new orleans, la

    Social lib loser, bye bye!!

    November 6, 2007 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  3. DefendTheConstitution

    Why would anyone vote for this scandalous woman? This woman should be banned from public office after Chinagate and the pile of other skeletons in her and Bill's closets.

    Can anybody tell me exactly why they want Hillary as president? Because she's a woman? Because she's supposedly popular in the polls? What does this woman stand for?

    Personally, I don't care if a president is male, female, black, white, asian, old, young or charismatic.

    What should matter more than anything is that person's integrity, their public record and their commitment to the US Constitution. Look at the disaster we have in Washington today because the American people and the media did not do their due diligence when selecting their elected officials.

    November 6, 2007 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  4. Mati, Seattle, WA

    Hillary you did very well considering the style of questioning. There was no Yes/No answer to expect on the illegal immigrant issues, only dumb people would imagine that.

    November 6, 2007 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  5. Mike, New Braunfels, TX


    This comment that it was simply an off night is yet another carefully crafted excuse of an attempt to negate the gaping hole in her political armor. They had to come up with a way to spin this in the media to minimize the political damage...that is all this is. She is all name and no real substance. And she definitely isn't a victim.

    November 6, 2007 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  6. Brian, Atlanta, GA

    "She is either going to sink the democratic party as their nominee or get elected as President and totally destroy the country." As if this current disaster in office is doing such a great job. This country is already headed for disaster, it will take someone like Hillary to turn it around. As far as destroying the Democratic Party...the left wing of the party is doing a good job of that all by themselves.

    November 6, 2007 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  7. Juan, Fort Lauderdale, FL

    It was obvious that the media failed to prep her on what she would be asked this time. Everyone can see right through you, Hillary!

    November 6, 2007 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  8. Dave Diamond, Mont Vernon, NH

    Toward the end?? Are you kidding me? We're just getting started! Most people - even likely primary voters - have no idea who they're going to vote for.

    And I still don't know a single New Hampshire voter - not one - who is supporting Sen. Clinton for President.

    November 6, 2007 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  9. Ed,Ellenville,New York

    Hillary stood up to the worst they could throw at her. She's doing just fine. The Clinton haters shouldn't and probably didn't watch the debate and really have nothing new to say.

    November 6, 2007 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  10. John Q. Public, USA, Earth

    This was just another attempt to discredit her carried on by the vast right-wing conspiracy...!

    November 6, 2007 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  11. John,Detroit,Michigan

    Hillary, you silly lady, you did just fine at the debate. It's just those republicrats Obama and Edwards trying to twist everything you said as if to make you seem like you're trying to lie to the american people, when you wouldn't even answer the questions being asked. Just keep on trucking and getting those polls down. We don't need the hype of your network. You are just doing fine with your bill lying and changing positions and American people are just nothing but a bunch of fools....

    November 6, 2007 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  12. Juan, Fort Lauderdale, FL

    Hillary was at her best – the media failed to prep her on what she would be asked. Everyone sees right through you Hillary... and right through you, too, CNN..!

    Now let's see if the Clinton News Network leaves my comment up this time...!

    November 6, 2007 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  13. Steve, Sumter SC

    JC in Ohio,

    Sure she acknowledged an "off night". One week late and AFTER she was called out on it. It is almost like she was forced to. Honest about her humanity? Only when backed into a corner! She had no choice but to admit what everyone else knows

    November 6, 2007 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  14. James Louisville KY

    "I wasn't at my best" means she wasn't lying well enough. If you support Hillary's presidency, you support Bush policy, because it's almost identical. As a matter of fact, they are similiar except for Kucinich and Ron Paul, who I intend to vote for. Wake up people!!!

    November 6, 2007 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  15. Doug, New Jersey

    "We are going to take things from you for the common good"-Hillary Clinton

    How can anyone claim that such a statement is not inspired by Marx's Communist Manifesto?

    So basically these libs here are saying that Marxism is what is best for this country?

    Hey, rather than spending so much time trying to rob people like me, take that time to educate yourself and get some skills. Then you can make your own money and not need to support some Marxist to steal mine. If only these libs could channel their anger and hate into a more positive direction, then maybe America could remain a Democracy after Jan. 2009.

    November 6, 2007 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  16. Karen,ny

    Hillary will lose because she can't even stand up for herself.

    November 6, 2007 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  17. Jason, Charlotte, NC

    "Scandolous woman"? And did you throw a link from WIKIPEDIA? Looks like you are drunk on the Hillary hater's Kool-Aid. Person's integrity? Well we have the problem we have in Washington now because the same right-wing Hillary haters destroyed the integrity of a good man named John Kerry. So Defend the Constitution...go back to your cave with your "Scandalous Woman" comment. Like you would ever vote for Woman....sure.

    November 6, 2007 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  18. Cecil Jones Las Vegas

    Is Hillary unbeatable? How many people asked Ali if George Foreman was unbeatable in Zaire? I call this poem "Going Back." Going back to any Clinton is not a change, it's a switch. Divided, the Democrats will surely fall, but I'm not voting for the...Rich! For 30 years it's been one way. The Clintons are corrupt and Republican-Lite. I'm not against any Woman or Black man, I'm voting for what I know "IS" right. Hiring Sandy Burgular isn't right!

    November 6, 2007 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  19. Olivia - San Antonio - Texas

    I disagree w/Clinton. I think she was awesome on the debate. Being attacked the way she was. The dust settling and then her still standing there. She is one strong and remarkable woman. I have never been behind a candidate as I am for her. She has my vote. She strong and experienced. So you bullies keep showing your true colors. It all boils down to you guys being sore losers. Shes got what it takes. Give it up Obama and Edwards. You just don't got what it takes.

    November 6, 2007 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  20. Andy Roberts, Indianapolis, IN

    Good point – George of Denver, Colorado. Hillary is not the perfect candidate amongst all democrats and republicans. But, when america can elect Bush in 2004 again knowing that the biggest blunder in Iraq has made on lies, why not Hillary? As far other democrats are concerned, all are qualified. But, they should get nominated by their own policies and not by attacking their own party candidate. From republican side except Ron Paul, no one is even worth considering. But, Ron has to be nominated first by these bunch of Bush followers.

    November 6, 2007 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  21. Fred, Clearwater, FL

    Hey Monte Brown in New York, must work for Hillary and need the job pretty bad.

    I feel sorry that you are so delusional.

    The Clinton's are just pathetic.

    November 6, 2007 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  22. A. Thomas, New York, NY

    Well, people should not expect their supporting candidate to be best all the time in debates, especially when suddenly all the 6 other male candidates plus the two male questioners ganged up on her. Any fools can criticize and condemn, and these men were.

    Hillary is still the best of all candidates in my book.

    Go Hillary Go!

    November 6, 2007 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  23. dave, Cheverly, MD

    IF the excuse "I wasn't at my best the other night" was the real reason for not answering those questions in the debate. Then Hillary would have said so the very next day. NOT on her 3rd attempt at an excuse, a FULL week later. After each excuse offered kept falling by the waste side.
    WHAT would she do as President when confronted with a serious issue that needs her to be at her best at that time? Such as a Cubin Missile Crisis type of moment. As President YOU have to be able to make tough decisions and stick with what you feel is correct. You may not have time to do a POLL or ask Bill.

    November 6, 2007 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  24. North Carolina

    Hillary done well during the debate. She will do well as our next President as well. GO HILLARY 2008

    November 6, 2007 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  25. Rick, Phila., PA

    Ron Paul is the only candidate that doesn't make me nervous. Neither does the Constitution.

    Hillary makes me downright squirm and scared.

    Time for the big change in my book.

    November 6, 2007 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
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