November 16th, 2007
08:55 AM ET
3 years ago

Analysis: Clinton makes a recovery in Las Vegas debate

Sen. Hillary Clinton

LAS VEGAS, Nevada (CNN) – Sen. Hillary Clinton stepped into the ring Thursday in this city known for prize fights, successfully beating back an onslaught of punches thrown from the left and right as her opponents sought to rattle the front-runner seven weeks before the Iowa caucuses.

Clinton, who entered this Democratic debate vulnerable following a lackluster performance two weeks ago, came out fighting in the first round.

For the New York Democrat, a good defense was a strong offense, and she sought to silence her critics who stood just feet away.

"I don't mind taking hits on my record, on issues," she said. "But when somebody starts throwing mud, at least we can hope that it's both accurate and not right out of the Republican playbook."

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soundoff (194 Responses)
  1. Lou, Miami Florida

    Whether you like it of not Obama, Hillary and Richardson are playing in a good all white boy game. Only white men have been elected to the highest office of the land. They are shaking things up and America is doing a lot of growing up very fast. After the last 6+ years of the most mediocre administration in the history of our country I once again feel proud to be an American. The chance of having a woman president looks more and more a possibility and that it’s a great thing for America. It’s going to take a lot to reverse the damage done by the moron in the Whitehouse and his cronies. Hillary as well as the rest of the men in the Democrat field make me proud to be an American and are bringing hope no only to me but to millions of Americans. Last night was a great demonstration of real democracy. We will continue to see history in the making and hopefully we can say MADAM PRESIDENT!!!!

    November 16, 2007 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  2. John, LA, CA

    Yesterday's debate was a sham.
    Anyone with a brain can see it.

    The room was filled with Hillary supporters who Wolf Blitzer chose not to control. It's the worst crowd control in the debates I've seen, but I think CNN and the Hillary camp wanted it that way.

    Also, issues weren't allowed to be fleshed out.

    Just terrible. CNN should be ashamed of itself.

    And then the four "analysts" after the debate!!

    Gergen: Worked for Clinton, Carville: Worked for Clinton, JC Watts: A republican (we know who they are rooting for), and Gloria...

    Are you kidding me????

    November 16, 2007 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  3. Dan, TX

    Pretty clear that on the issues it was Biden and Obama that won this debate. Clinton held her own, so that's a win since people expected a bad performance from her.

    Her bizarre statement that raising the cap on the income limit for social security was a $1 trillion tax increase hurt her a lot. Remember when it was limited to $51,000, now it is $97,000, next year it will be $102,000, so really, what difference does it make whether you remove the cap or not, it's already so high that most people are maximally taxed anyway.

    November 16, 2007 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  4. Brian, Cleveland, Ohio

    CNN = CLINTON NEWS NETWORK -I'm changing to CBS News and MSNBC. LV Debate = CNN's way to try to get Hillary ahead in Iowa. Iowa caucus goers – don't fall for this.

    November 16, 2007 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  5. Jessica, Waco, Texas

    She performed very well. In the past, she has ignored the snide personal comments, what makes them personal is that they attack her personally!!! Attacks saying she is for a politically corrupt Bush administration is a personal attack where as a comment that her plan may not end the war is not! that is not hard to understand.
    Further, she does have concrete plans that she proposes all the time. You can not watch a debate and expect it to do your homework for you. Each person needs to dig into the documents and records of each candidate and discover the plans they have proposed. Hillary's and Obama's and Edwards' plans on Iraq, health care, social security etc cannot be summarized credibly or with any justice in a 2 hour debate that covers a host of issues with a host of candidates. The debate is recognize who is the leader. Who will represent the people, stand by their word, and in small doses give a glance at their plan. Each voter must do the rest. Get a grip and quit trying to find a short cut. The most important things in life come with no short cuts.

    November 16, 2007 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  6. Vitrino

    It seems as if the Hillary haters have selective amnesia. During the MSNBC debate (MSNBC has for all intense and purposes become the OBAMA NETWORK), Hillaru was pillaried by Tim Russert and the haters loved it. In IOWA OBAMA's campaign bussed in people to the JJ dinner event and the haters loved it. When she stumbled during the MSNBC debate, the media spent a whole 14 days critisicing her perfomance and wrote her abituaries. Now that she is showing how strong she is, people are getting upset. As for the self rigthteous Edwards , he must go and hide behind his wife's skirts.

    November 16, 2007 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  7. RightyTighty

    Yeah baby, you democrats did great lastnight. Lots of topics and little substance in a biased setting as usual. Thanks again.., you guys make it so easy to elect Republican presidents..

    November 16, 2007 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  8. Tim, Concord, NH

    I thought she did extremely well last night. As an Obama supporter, I have been slowly moving more into the Clinton camp, as I research more on her and watch her in the debates. She is the type of leader this country needs.

    November 16, 2007 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  9. Jaime, Plantation FL

    Wow, and just like Guliani on the republican side, we see a strange tilt towards Clinton. These are the two most pro war candidates and they are being shoved down our throats. One has to ask themselves why this is?

    Frankly in a Guliani Clinton election, the only loser is the American people.

    Ron Paul, Barak Hussein Obama, Romney, Dodd, hell even Gravel would make better Presidents than Clintiani.

    We need to take back our nation.

    November 16, 2007 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  10. Sean, Detroit, MI

    overall a pretty good debate. I am an Obama supporter, but I think Hillary made a decent showing last night. Although, something about that debate was a little fishy – namely the disproportionate amount of LOUD Hillary supporters who, as someone previously stated, screamed with delight at her every word and audibly booed Obama. Why was the audience so much more restrained in the MSNBC debate? Maybe I'm becoming a ridiculous consipiracy theorist, but I have this feeling that the Clinton Political Machine pulled some of their typical, sneaky, behind the scenes shady business to MAKE SURE that Hillary didnt look bad again this time.

    November 16, 2007 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  11. Cody Harding, Kinsley, KS

    It was more of a brawl than a debate. More of the people attacking Ms. Clinton, more of her parry and riposte, and more of the same that we have seen on the trail.

    Maybe our candidates should get back to asking real questions instead of being sore losers and attacking the lead. Maybe they would be farther in the polls of they did something about it instead of griping.

    November 16, 2007 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  12. Dennis Gray, Spring Valley, New York

    All Concerned about our country,

    I do not believe Senator Clinton made a comeback at all. I am stationed in the military overseas in England, so I stayed up till 3 a.m. to finally focus in on things a little closer. My ranking of who did the best would be: 1) Kucinich, 2) Obama, 3) Richardson/Edwards. I do not believe Clinton stated anything new. She keeps talking about her reputation, but that is not enough and like Kucinich stated, her voting record along with other senators and reprsentatives are not that great. Kucinich was awesome in my opinion, but unfortunately he will not get a fair chance. He has my vote though for New York. I just hope I don't drain votes away from Obama if it comes down to him versus Clinton. She is too conservative of a democrat who is old school thinking plus safe same old Washington politics.

    November 16, 2007 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  13. Joe Ossai, Bedford, NH

    This ploy of Hilary of encouraging her supporters to boo his opponents will backfire. Somebody will expose this sick trick in the next few days.

    Bet on it.

    November 16, 2007 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  14. Royce Toledo, OH

    Why is the CNN Debate analysis team aligned to the political right of Hillary Clinton? In order to paint every other candidate as "extreme" or "out-of-touch"? At least Diane Rehm's Washington Roundtable manages to range the political spectrum. Why can't CNN do the same?

    November 16, 2007 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  15. R.L. California

    I disagree. I think Clinton complained about slinging mud but then distorted Obama's position and got caught twice. When she turns up the heat, she does it in a way that turns people off. She won't unite this country. She will tear this country apart, just like Bush.

    November 16, 2007 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  16. Monte Brown, New York, NY

    Now that Hillary has proven, once again, that she is the most qualified candidate the haters are coming out in droves to attack her on the blog. They will say stupid stuff like “the debate was rigged” or “she wasn’t that great” and more hate, hate, hate. When are they going to STOP HATING? Every time I hear the hate, lies and demagoguery a song by one of my favorite Hip Hop artists, Lil’ Kim, plays in my head. The lyrics are, “You wanna be this queen b, but you can’t be, and that’s why you mad at me.”

    The haters should just give up and vote for Hillary. That’s it. It’s a done deal. The other Democrats can’t beat her, and the way she handle them, I am not worried about how she will spar with the reactionaries. She will knock the Republicans out in 1 round. It’s time for the haters to stop hating and let America choose their leader. Don’t hate, congratulate. Don’t be mad. You’ll get old fast.

    November 16, 2007 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  17. roger, conway sc

    Hillary 08 after last nights debate more than ever...she shows leadership, leadership, leadership, she held her own with the negative remarks of Obama & Edwards by fighting back...My only wish is that Biden would agree to be her running mate...what a team...Hillary 08...

    November 16, 2007 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  18. la Kitgum

    She slapped the two loud-mouthed boys so hard at the beginning they never recovered ... and never will they. Obama was zombied numb, and the two boys were additionall hit hard by boundless boos

    Go Hill. Whitehouse here she comes....!

    November 16, 2007 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  19. maryann,nashua,nh

    I wonder why we had to go back and recover her...I don't think any other candidate have been allowed to recover from previous mistakes...However, The debate was good and all twisted to suit the moment...What else to say with Wolf blocking other candidates from expressing themselves...

    November 16, 2007 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  20. Micah, Canon City, CO

    It seems to me last night could be titled "Evening of the Underdogs" as both Biden and Dodd gave exceptional answers to complex questions with a level of honesty that none of the other candidates could match.

    It continues to puzzle me why Joe Biden has gained so little attention. I'm quite undecided about the whole thing, but last night's debate suggests that Biden, more than any other candidate, has the experience and applomb necessary for a president. Even Clinton repeatedly complimented "Joe," perhaps because she feels he simply isn't a threat.

    And he had by far the most humour. That's important. Really.

    November 16, 2007 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  21. sally,charlestown,s.c

    Wasn't this planted debate or what Sen. Obama calls text book debate?
    Someone out there help me becauce I am not voting for Hillary!

    November 16, 2007 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  22. Eric, Meryn, LA

    The candidates except Obama claim that Security trumps consitutional rights.
    Obama said it's intertwined.

    He won the debate for me.

    The rest I can't trust. They are Bush Lite, especially Hillary.

    November 16, 2007 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  23. John Karsten, VA Beach, VA

    I can say this, if the Dems put her up for the job, well, I think the job will go to the GOP(God forbid!) I think her record stands for itself. She dose not want the job to better America, she wants it so she can be the first female president. I truly think everyone on that stage is a criminal, which is why I am not voting this election. Nothing ever changes. Plus, let's face it. Only a few states decide who it is going to be, so why bother. The minute an Independent runs he will get my vote.
    Only because our two party system is not working.

    November 16, 2007 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  24. Peter,Mel,Australia

    This Debate was all Clinton recovery with the help of
    CNN...I am in austrialia and I can not tell my disappointment and shame I had infront of my friends...There were kids on stage at first and the debate was so much skewed to suit Clinton..I wonder when Americans will realize it is not about power it is about us and our country..This is not time to make History as a woman,African Ameriacan or latino.....I have so much facing the country right now than that....I want a leader. If it is Hillary then I shouldn't see her Bragging about women. I would have loved to see her stand on her feet and tell us about her goal....Obama did pretty good despite unlimited time that he was offered..I think if he can be a president he can change some of the weaknesses that he has.
    I love them all but I think there was alot of favour in that debate.

    November 16, 2007 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  25. Clintonblows

    I was a Hillary supporter until last night. She couldnt choose between Diamonds or Pearls? What a joke! I'm for Gravel now!

    November 16, 2007 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
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