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. Z girl, Louisville

    Hold on a second. We live in a country where our current prez has a daily dependence of going off half-cocked and speaking before he thinks. (Every single one of us has our examples; so that step isn't necessary.)

    But now people think that Hillary has ruined her chances by not being at 100%?!?! One one evening?!?

    Someone needs to get ALL journalists to step away from the kool-aid, get off the pipe, straighten up and fly right, whatever.

    The rest of you strange people that want to rip on her at any opportunity, please try to stay on topic.

    November 7, 2007 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  2. Robin

    I hope they knock her pandering, parsing ass out of the park before the corporate media shills for money and power steamroll us with Clinton uber alles.

    November 7, 2007 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  3. Joe, Deadcenter, Ohio

    Hillary is the smartest candidate and runs the tightest ship. If its any indication of running an administration, she'd be a good president. Much better than that what we have. We need competence over pandering to the left OR right wings.

    November 7, 2007 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  4. kelly

    I cannot believe how this woman has been so successful at pulling the wool over so many people's eyes.
    Between the gender card, the billy card, the i do/i don't card, thankfully she is running out of cards...
    Nominating HRC, would be a HUGE mistake.

    November 7, 2007 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  5. Linda - Albany, NY

    Please Hillary, don't start playing the victim and crying "oh, woest me" crap! You have never been strong standing on any issue, swaying like the wind at a moments notice. Furthermore, you certainly know what to expect at a debate, having been in the situation as long as you have. Don't be surprised by people's reaction to your performance – you had it coming.

    November 7, 2007 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  6. JJ, Jacksonville, FL

    Monte Brown, i don't think Hillary is all that perfect...if she's as strong as you say she is, why is she playing the 'they piled on me cause' I'm a girl' card? And wait...did you say something about experience? Besides her few years as Senator of New York, she was only the first lady. That is not a position you have to get elected to or even have to 'qualify' for. What experience does having a title( notice that I said 'title' instead of 'job')of First Lady provide? Her approx. 80 sanitized visits to foreign nations, where she was expected to parrot the views of her husband?( Hey if that is the case, Laura Bush should place her name on the ballot, seeing as she's made more) Or of course the 'vital' role she played in all of Bill's accomplishments?( also note that she conveniently distances herself from all of his failures) She's playing the same game Bush played with the GOP-ers: 'vote for me cuz' my daddy was president', hmmm, sounds a lot like 'vote for me cuz' my husband was president'. She is very intelligent, I'll give her that, but she is NOT what we need for the presidency. Those who blindly follow her are deluded. This isn't some high-school homecoming election, where popularity and name recognition should take precedence over substance and merit. This election will decide the leader of the free world...our next president's decisions will not only affect the present generations but the generations to, please, I implore you to look into her( or ANY candidate's for that mattter) views and what she stands for. Instead of hearing the word 'Clinton' and turning into a 'zombie voter'.

    November 7, 2007 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  7. Cathy M in Tn

    Why would any one want to elect Hill.
    Just because she the wife of Bill.
    I remind you that you elected Bush due in part to the fact he is the son of Bush.
    Look deep folks and see why you really pick a candidate.

    November 7, 2007 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  8. dg, houston tx

    gee, i wonder why we have some still wanting HITLERY in office, maybe i can sell them my flying pet pigs.

    November 7, 2007 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  9. Les, Boston, MA

    CLINTON FATIQUE!!!!!!! Let's move on America.

    November 7, 2007 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  10. laurinda , ny, ny

    And I see your truuuuue colors shinin' thru

    And I see your truuuure colors, and I won't vote for you..

    So don't be surprised to not get my vote

    Cause I see your true colors, true colors, true colors , and they're not beautiful

    November 7, 2007 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  11. theconspirator

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

    OK...., but do you understand why the vast majority of American's do not want to give driver's licenses, or anything else, to ILLEGALS?? Another conspiracy theory in your mind perhaps??

    November 7, 2007 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  12. Mark Columbus, Ohio

    I wasn't at my best. No, you were your normal self Ms. I Wanna Be President No Matter What.

    November 7, 2007 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  13. therealist

    Clinton on debate: 'I wasn't at my best'
    Posted 11/6/2007 07:15:40 PM | Permalink

    CNN's Clinton protectionism is disgusting..

    November 7, 2007 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  14. mike, IL

    You all, either you like it or not.. she is still the best for this round on both Democratic and Republican sides.

    Even asking the question on illegal immigrants at the debate by forcing a yes/no answer was a proof of imaturity for the debate team and the other candidates.

    November 7, 2007 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  15. josh

    Clinton was also quoted as saying "And in those 5000 questions, I can't remember who I was talking to and what they wanted me to say. So it's not that I'm 'flip-flopping', I just that now I can't remember when to cover my ass."

    November 7, 2007 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  16. Les, Boston, MA

    "You all, either you like it or not.. she is still the best for this round on both Democratic and Republican sides."

    Obviously, some people's standards for ethics and honestly are quite low.

    November 7, 2007 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  17. Tom Dedham, Mass

    Sorry Hillarity, many regular folks and some in the MSM have been complaining about you and BILL doing this for years, never answer a question directly and when you somewhat do so, there is a string attached.

    Your apologists call it nuance, the rest of us call it bull-bleeping.

    All of the debates you have done this, but FINALLY the DEMOCRATS had enough.

    Your "strong and smart" response, "they are piling on wittle ol' me", Geraldine Ferraro says "that sexism is involved", Billyboy blamed the "vast right-wing conspiracy" and now you get even MORE time on CNN to explain you were "off your game".

    Actually Ms. Clinton, we are "onto your game" and we don't want to play with you anymore.

    After you lose next year, Bill can finally divorce you like he wanted to do long ago.

    November 7, 2007 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  18. ano to

    Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha wow!her cackle just does not sound the same when you type it! But you know she is flustered/ thinking of something to say, when you hear the cackle coming from her mouth

    November 7, 2007 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  19. Ca Native

    I think after the last couple weeks of Hillary sticking her foot, ankle, and leg up to her knee into her mouth... the only supporters left are the fanatical Clinton apologists like Wynter, Maurice ~ DC, Ken ~ SD, etc.

    I guess even Kucinich and Paul have their blind followers.

    Obama is the train that's picking up steam! Hillary peaked too soon and tried to play defense. We need a LEADERSHIP not arrogance.

    November 7, 2007 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  20. Danny G. Boca Raton, FL

    Black and White that is the problem with some of us in America, it is the sound-bites that people want, they want a black or white answer to every issue, well there isn't one! and for all of you who say Sen. Clinton double-talks and is not straight, you cannot in good faith say that you have a straight approach to everything... it is just not honest to think you and you alone have all the answers, NO ONE DOES, this country is not going to stand or fall by ONE person. The president is only one person and a symbol of a nation. I cannot see anyone better suited at this time for that position as Sen. Clinton. VOTE for whomever you choose, I personally will vote and support this woman as the nominee and hopefully the next president of this great country of ours...

    November 7, 2007 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  21. Ron supporter

    It is in black and white, read the constitution!
    Ron Paul every word he speaks is backed by the constitution.
    He is for the people and our rights.
    With him in office you can even speak the words God Bless America!
    He is against socialist and the (cfr)North American Union.
    RON PAUL 2008

    November 7, 2007 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  22. a.thomas, ny ny

    In my book, Hillary's worst in her last debate is still better than the best of any dems candidate.

    Any fools can criticise, and that includes the 6 other dems candidates. These people are full of hate and running a negative campaign.

    Many of these other candidates have not taken a postion on various issues, or vague on their issues. Their position can be easily criticised by Hillary who, as the nicest of all dems candidate, has running a POSITIVE campaign not to say bad things about them.

    Hillary 08. Go Hillary Go.

    November 7, 2007 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  23. Collea-Devi

    Doing a little spinning in your comments section too, eh???????

    November 8, 2007 08:01 am at 8:01 am |
  24. Anonymous, Washington DC

    "...Hillary who, as the nicest of all dems candidate,..."

    If you only knew the truth about her. This is NOT a "nice" woman.

    November 8, 2007 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  25. gabriela guarguagli, la mesa, california

    Much has been said about the latest debate, when the "Boys only" club, ganged up against Hillary.
    There's a saying on Don Quixote that applies perfectly for the situation: "If the dogs are barking, Sancho, it's because we are riding."
    Hillary is an inspiration for millions of women not only in america, but around the world, and we are with her all the way.
    Unfortunately even some feminists have fallen in the trap and critized her for "playing" the gender card. What I don't see is anybody attacking the guys (both parties) for playing the "Who is more macho?" card, and thence "will save the country."

    So, Go Hillary!!!

    November 8, 2007 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
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