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. Jed in Texas

    Her old man got us the big sell outs...Nafta and Commie China trade deals for WalSmart{Slave and child labor}.Wonder how she plans to sell us down the pike next time???Well I guess she plans on getting us all a great paying jobs at Walsmart.How mush are they financing for this time around?....Bentonville, ARK...Ring a bell???

    November 6, 2007 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  2. Lynn Ensley McCaysville Ga.

    Hey sweet lady, It's hard to soar like an eagle wedged between and speaking of BUZZARDS. You did just fine, you will win and then you can fix the mess. You will have to perform a few miracles though. No gun control, no new taxes, no amnesty, and be careful. That bunch will do anything.

    November 6, 2007 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  3. KD North Wales Pa

    I talked with a young woman who said she was going to vote for Hillary..."she stands up for the everyday person, she'll get us all health care, it's about time we had a woman president" I agree with the last point...but Hillary doesn't seem to me to be the person this young woman thinks she is ..please people don't vote for talking your research.

    November 6, 2007 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  4. Derek, Phoenix, AZ

    "I wasn't at my best last debate... I wasn't expecting them to ask any real questions! I mean, I'm not used to having real questions asked of me... I didn't have time to prepare the spin machine."


    November 6, 2007 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  5. David, Los Angeles

    What President since George Washington hasn't been a divider? Abraham Lincoln was the best President this country ever had, and half the country hated him and wanted him dead.

    The true mark of strength of character is willingness to stand up and be counted, even if it means being criticized. It's easy to make lofty, empty speeches about "hope" and "unity." It's way more difficult to give complex answers that the public does not want to hear, fight, and be firm. This is a Presidential race, not a popularity contest.

    Give 'em the what-for, Hillary. She's got more strength, experience, and smarts than anybody in the field.

    November 6, 2007 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  6. Ray Fisher, Albuquerque, NM

    Hillary clearly showed her unprofessional self as she would as chief executive. When holding the role of keeper of the nuclear arsenal a moment of indecision as she exemplified during the debate could result in nuclear annihilation of the world. No politics, no Hillary!!!

    November 6, 2007 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  7. NP, Dayton OH

    Anyone promising to vote for a Clinton must be a relative. No one in their right mind could possibly want to repeat a disgrace. That couple is an enbarrassment.

    November 6, 2007 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  8. Chris, Pensacola FL

    You never are, you never are.

    November 6, 2007 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  9. Vicki Wyo.

    She is the smarest of them all.She did alright fine in the debate still voting for you.

    November 6, 2007 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  10. Lorenz, Queens, NY

    Hillary – you play the same game – people are catching on. Hillary, it's all over, you're done.

    November 6, 2007 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  11. john williams san diego, ca.

    facts of life...every person over 60 knows that ted kennedy is a murderer...over 50 knows that jimmy carter hates America...over 40 knows that hillary and bubba are pathological liars..

    November 6, 2007 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  12. Richard, NC

    Hillary is not a divider, politics is a divider. Show me one person who has been in public life in as prominent a position for as long as Hillary who is not considered a divisive figure. Hillary will be an effective president because she stands for doing what is best for the American people rather than for pushing a particular ideological agenda at any costs. I am voting for Hillary because I believe she shares my values, one of which is that our leaders are supposed to be representatives of the people, not simply representatives of their own personal opinions on all matters. Unlike our current president and many of her opponents in this primary, Hillary wants to govern. She doesn't want to rule. This will require compromising on certain issues, changing course when necessary, and a willingness to see issues for all their complexity. We don't need another president intent on reshaping the world in his own image, even if we like his vision of the world more than we like the current president's.

    November 6, 2007 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  13. Mark - Atlanta, GA


    So – we want to go nuclear – then bomb all countries before they bomb us! How about that! This solves all of our problems!!!!

    Come on folks – wake up!

    Posted By Mark – Atlanta, GA : November 6, 2007 8:33 pm


    ALOS – WHERE IS EVERY ONE SAYING 'TAP THE RESERVES!!!" MY GOD _where are the reporters, people, and congressional folks saying tap the reserves! NO ONE HAS SAID ANYTHING AND WE SIT BACK AND $200 for a barrel of oil – sounds good to me! GIVE ME A BREAK! WE ARE DONE AS A COUNTRY! SORRY

    November 6, 2007 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  14. Coach Haughton NH

    Hillary is a divider. If you don't believe it, just read all of these comments.

    Posted By Ed NC : November 6, 2007 7:38 pm

    Absolutely right ed. Even if she were elected half the country would hate where we were going for the duration of her presidency. It would be followed by another neoconservative powerhouse. Remember what the last 8 years of clinton scandals and lawsuits got us. Bush. The worst rightwing regime in history.


    November 6, 2007 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  15. scott, manchester NH

    isnt it bizarre how anyone can point to the mere notion of confusion from someone like Hillary...when we're coming to the end of 8 solid years of out-and-out idiocy and stunning incompetence...
    the news media wants to talk about a candidate "confesssing to not being at their best?"..what a joke.
    america hit BOTTOM quite awhile ago in the leadership dept...the ONLY way to go from here is up,IF we can avoid putting even one more pathetic republican in charge.

    November 6, 2007 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  16. Mark Columbus, Ohio

    Why isn't the press reporting the $2 million dollars she took from a convict (Peter Paul) and not report it to the FEC??? And what is going on with all these Chinese donating money to her campaign? I thought it was illegal for people from a foreign government to give money to a candidate's campaign. The FEC has got to be corrupted as Hillary herself.

    November 6, 2007 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  17. VoiceForTheUniter


    So that guy running for president with the weird name?

    Oh yea that guy Barack?

    Yea. He graduated Harvard Law and had his pick of six figure jobs to walk into.

    Oh yea and that guy Barack?

    He turned down all those jobs to organize voters at the grassroots for 14k a year.

    Oh yea and that guy Barack?

    He's served elected office for longer than hillary clinton and John Edwards.

    Oh yea and that guy Barack?

    Says ethics reform is the cause of his career.

    Oh yea and that guy Barack?

    Authored a ground breaking ethics reform bill last year AND it passed the house and senate AND the president signed it into law.

    Oh yea and that guy Barack?

    Doesn't take money from lobbyists

    Oh yea and that guy Barack?

    Isn't afraid of big corporations and doesn't need their money.

    Oh yea and that guy Barack?

    Held a meeting for the Big Wigs on wallstreet and told them he thought it was wrong that 1 percent of the population controlled 90 percent of the wealth in America.

    Met with the Automotive industry in Detroit and ripped them on fuel efficiency and emissions standards.

    Oh yea and that guy Barack?

    Turned out 10,000 people to come see him speak when it was 40 below zero outside.

    Oh yea and that guy Barack?

    Turned out 24,000 people in New York even though the media mysteriously overlooked the event.

    Oh yea and that guy Barack?

    Reportedly has the largest grassroots network in history in place in South Carolina.

    Oh yea and that guy Barack?

    Is the most popular candidate for president in America because all polls are conducted by landline and who is home to answer the housephone except 75 year olds who don't know his name yet. Until conversations at the bingo game begin to start with,

    Oh yea and that Guy Barack?

    November 6, 2007 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  18. Richard, St. Paul, MN

    I liked her husband; he did a good job working for our country depite his 'personal' problems. But I really can't stand her. I'd vote for Obama or Edwards, but not Hillary.

    November 6, 2007 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  19. Elaine Michel, San Diego, CA

    I love Hillary!! She has my vote and I'm a republican!! In the primary I'm going to write in her name.

    November 6, 2007 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  20. al, San Francisco, CA

    Hillary sounds humble and human to me. She is not a monster as the republicans have said her to be.

    Have you heard Obama and Edwards so humble? NO, they are full of themselves and legend in their own mind.

    She did OK under the circumstances in the debate, as the 6 other candidates and the 2 questioners were jealous of her lead in polls. There is no doubt she will do better next time. She is strong and hardworking....

    Hillary 08! Go Hillary Go.

    November 6, 2007 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  21. Monte Brown,New York.NY

    Hillary is such an old person. One would think that she would be upset by the lack of professionalism noticed by the other candidates, mainly Brooklyn Bridge, Hope selling Obama, Edwards and experienced Benedict Arnold Chris Dodd. These guys are willing to go a milestone and show the true beliefs of the Progressives for our country gain. These guys Democrats? It is wouldn't be bewildering why these guys would attack Hillary on Immigration for some cheap sound bites. If the other Democratic candidates hadn't any integrity they would have joined the Hillary team a long time ago. But noooo, they would rather join the lovers, the truthful and the nice progressive people. Obama and Edwards know darn well that Hillary Clinton has the no vision for America than they do.

    And to the people who continue to attempt to distract people from Obama by constantly saying that he is unelectable, I would like to challenge you. I foresee that the only people who will not vote for Obama are those few haters who try to influence people’s minds with the absurd notion that Obama is unelectable and unexperienced. These people listen to the reactionaries too much. They will need a big fork to eat their words at Obamas inaugural ball. We, the people of the United States, will take our country back from the reactionaries, and be, as Steve Winwood sang, “Back in the High Life Again”.

    Hillary Clinton is the most UNexperienced candidate, the most UNqualified candidate and she’s NOT READY TO LEAD.

    November 6, 2007 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  22. Bowie, NV

    say what you willl ...she still is the best.

    November 6, 2007 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  23. Natasha, New York City, NY

    I'm only 17 years old and have watched many of the democratic debates and I can say confidently that although Mrs. Clinton did sound like "a flip-flopper" on this issue she still is the best Democratic candidate running.

    November 6, 2007 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  24. lucky, CA

    Obama / edwards....look at these guys....they don'yt have aclue how formidsable Hillary is. watch her at the next debate....she will coming out firing so hard that sitting in front of my Tv at home, i am sure i will hear the Obama's and The edwards's wince like beat up puppies

    November 6, 2007 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  25. Maria, Mystery, Alaska

    Hillary Clinton, a woman running for President. Is she running as a woman or a Democrat-most say the answer is a resounding -YES-
    To which, we don't know.
    The problem is, Hillary can run for president, she can use her feminine side to gain the vote of the extra 5-10% of women who do not normally vote, she may even use the fact that she is the only woman as a ply to get the underdog vote; however, she cannot separate the fact that she is a woman. Go ahead America and vote for this woman; but don't expect her to change that claim "I am a woman thus..." when she becomes president. I am excited to see where the woman angle goes next.

    November 6, 2007 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
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