November 16th, 2007
08:55 AM ET
6 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. Derin Scottsdale, AZ

    Funny, how the media can taint the thoughts of voters with it's headlines. I watched the debate and thought this showed nearly as much as the last debate how weak Hillary is on many issues. It also showed the flip-flopping on issues like Drivers Licenses for Illegal Immigrants, and how childish to acll her opponents mud slinging Republicans when they got to close to the truth!!

    November 16, 2007 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  2. Todd / Northeast USA

    I saw the debate and when I listen to her speak I really don't understand why some people dislike her so much. At times she seems calculated but she also seems intelligent. I believe she understands how to navigate the halls of power in Washington, mend our many damaged relationships with the international community and focus on the domestic issues that actually matter to Americans. I've watched both parties debates and candidates from both sides have admirable platforms. And some candidates from both parties are clearly out of their league. The main beef with Hillary seems to be that she's not 'perfect' and the main tactic to discredit her seems to be: be scared of Hillary. There just seems to be a blind fear among those who oppose Hillary that I really think causes plenty of reasonable people to fail to listen to what she's actually saying. There is a very good chance that Hillary will be our next President. Besides being a historical moment for the US that I'd be proud to witness, it really could end up being a good thing for the country. Again I like some of the other people running too. I'd just hope that the reasonable folks out there would keep an open mind to Hillary. Of course some of you view politics like the Yankee/Red Sox rivalry so there is no way you'll ever be open to her. Loyalty like that is terrific when you pick a sports team to support but it's dangerous when you're committed to a political party in the same manner. We've got a lot of candidates to pick from in '08 so let's not settle this time around for someone who wants to keep us scared and at odds with one another.

    November 16, 2007 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  3. Aaron, Saint Paul MN

    The headline should be "Hillary Clinton Doesn't Completely Screw Up Again!"

    Of course, CNN calls this a recovery...


    November 16, 2007 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  4. E.D.

    I try to take time everyday to watch the Situation room. I must say that after last night I am really very disappointed with Wolf Blitzer. I had the idea that he was a real neutral moderator but I had an opportunity such as the rest of America to hear him word questions in such a distorted way that it made me think that he was more interested in labeling the candidated than anything else. The issues have been made so complex by the current administration that is very simplisticic of Mr. Blitzer to ask YES and No questions. I for one would like to know from the candidates how and why they have arrived at a particular conclusion.I TOOK OFFENSE TO SOME OF THE QUESTIONS.
    Maybe it is of no importance to you, Mr Blitzer, but I can assure you that I will no longer be one of your viewers.

    November 16, 2007 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  5. Kent, VIctoria, BC

    She appears as an angel of light, except I can see mud on her royal robe. Wolf will clean it off.

    November 16, 2007 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  6. Jed in Texas

    Joe Biden is the guy I see able to look Putin, and the up and coming Red Chinese in the Eye and tell them to back off.Honest,smart and respected here and abroad.This is not the time in America for warm milk and cookies!

    November 16, 2007 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  7. Jessica O'brien, Lexington, KY

    Hillary is not perfect. But, she is the best amongst all. Her answers can't satisfy everyone in this country which is so divided by Bush's partisan politics. But, her replies this time were to the point and convincing. If she had said that she would impose the SS taxes on those making 97k or more, she would have been labelled as "Tax Hiker" by GOP. Her answer to appoint a bipartisan commission (as Regan did with Tip O'neal) was perfect. Clinton haters however find faults anyway as nothing good is expected out of them. Biden was very polished and won this debate by any standard. Wish he could be nominated. But, Hillary/Biden is the best choice so far.

    November 16, 2007 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  8. Tom, New York, NY

    Gotta love those who actually think that the audience and debate was "planted" or "rigged"... if that is true, how do you explain that Obama got the most applause (or at least equal to Clinton) when he was introduced? could it be that people just booed when they were hearing things they don't want candidates to waste our time on? instead focus on issues/policy? did you hear booing of anyone when they candidates talked about the issues instead of trying to critique another candidate? and for those who don't think MSNBC debates are less orchestrated or favored towards one candidate or another.... pleeze....

    November 16, 2007 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  9. Neill C., Montgomery, Al

    She should know about slinging mud. She's an expert at it.

    November 16, 2007 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  10. Kathryn Irby - Metairie, LA

    Hillary Rodham Clinton is destined to become the next President of the United States, whether the die-hard Republicans like it or not. She is qualified to become President. She is an intellectual, and can "hold her own" any old time, against anyone who is placed before her. I would just love to see a debate between Hillary and George W. Bush; that would be a no-brainer, since Bush is a terminal dumb-ass for life anyway! Go Hillary in 2008!

    November 16, 2007 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  11. Val Davydov, Agawam, MA

    Yeah, Tom, ALBUQUERQUE, NM, you are right – she will be the Dems nominee, but she will NOT be our next president. Just wait and watch.

    November 16, 2007 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  12. Anonymous, Newport News, VA

    CLASSIC CLINTON...if someone challenges you, accuse them of deploying dirty tactics. But keep slinging the mud yourself, Hillary... you are so predictable. I don't trust you as far as I can throw you. I find it curious there aren't many, or any, former Clinton Staff or Cabinet members speaking on her behalf. After hearing characterizations like "scary woman" from Dee Dee Myers, and simiar remarks form George Stephanopoulos, you have to wonder what people see in her.

    November 16, 2007 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  13. Chris, Palm Bay, FL

    If you can’t comment on a Democratic debate, consisting of Democratic candidates, hosted by a liberal moderator WITHOUT attacking Bush and/or Republicans, that means there’s very little in your camp to celebrate.

    November 16, 2007 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  14. Fred, lexington, KY

    Give us a break Jessica from Lexington, KY. You are exactly right Clinton is trying to be calculating by not stating the change of tax cap. Why is Obama not afraid to say it, coz he does not depend on internal polls and is not afraid of what the GOP will say, he is ready to defend it unlike Hillary who will go in circles to avoid being questioned by giving vague answers and being non-commital. Cmon

    November 16, 2007 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  15. Kevin, Chesapeake City Maryland

    In a debate between all of the democratic contenders, who should you guys get to narrate the post debate wrap up. Hmmmm. How about two former Clinton advisors and one republican. That is a way to balance it out right? That way you can have one Clinton supporter say that Hillary won the debate, and the other can say that her opponents did poorly. CNN has been doing a great job this past year of undoing all of its credibility in the news arena to attempt to compete with Fox news ratings.

    November 16, 2007 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  16. Kevin, Seattle, WA

    Richardson pretty much put the nail in the coffin last night. He said he would put "human rights" before "national security." I have never heard a more un-American comment from any of these candidates. Buh-Bye!

    November 16, 2007 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  17. Rodney Dallas TX

    Hillary Clinton was amazing. What will all you democrats do when she wins the democratic nomination. Are you suddenly going to be on her side or become a traiter and join the republicans. There's an old saying that you all should take into consideration. "Don't step on toes today as they may belong to the ass you have to kiss tomorrow!".

    November 16, 2007 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  18. Oscar, Rio Vista, CA 94571

    Hilary couldn't plant the questions so she planted the "boo-birds". I agree with all the people here that said that this debate was a farce. Joe Biden, Chris Dodd, Barack Obama and John Edwards were all better than Hilary. She continued to be wishy-washy and told me nothing new. And the analysis afterwards was another farce. CNN is going along the same path as Fox No News.

    November 16, 2007 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  19. Greg, Oceanside CA

    How can anyone possibly like Hillary Clinton?

    November 16, 2007 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  20. Dan S., Studio City, CA

    Hillary Clinton is the brightest, most articulate and inspirational candidate our country has seen since JFK. Watching her last night gave me hope that America could actually restore its place of respect in the world with a leader who is able to actually talk intelligently with adversaries instead of just shooting at them. Our country honestly needs Hillary Clinton.

    I'm sick of hearing from all the right-wing whiners playing back the same hateful messages about Hillary they've been brainwashed with for 15 years. That song is tired and no one is listening anymore...just look at the polls and then go cry in private if you need to.


    November 16, 2007 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  21. Maryland

    How could anyone say Hillary can lead this country when she can't even control her campaign people.I didn't hear her answer any question last night,all I heard was her babbling to avoid the questions asked.At least Biden knows how to answer questions even though he'll probably not get the nomination.As for fiscal spending,does that mean that America should finance the Hippy Mueseum,because that's the only Bill I have heard her bring forth.If she has the answer to health care reform,why hasn't she brought a Bill to the floor of the Senate.It's pretty obvious she hasn't a clue and will leave it up to those in Congress who have the answer.As usual she will follow not lead.

    November 16, 2007 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  22. fair,washington,dc

    I'm a Hillary supporter..but Biden was the candidate that distinguished himself last night. Democrats are sitting pretty this go around..we have very good candidates to choose from..I am voting for Hillary, but I will have no problem voting for most of the other candidates if one of them should win.

    November 16, 2007 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  23. Andrew, OK

    Hildabeast is not BACK. It was such a softball, Clinton-ran, phony debate. Blitzer caved to the Clinton threat and the Clinton 'Media' announces she is back or she is turning the tide; simply not true. The 'debate' was ran by the Clinton camp. I love my children and my country, this is why she cannot be elected president, it just scares me.

    November 16, 2007 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  24. Bob, San Francisco, CA

    Hillary gets 51% in Nevada polls. Why wouldn't the crowd be favorable to her? Neither Hillary nor CNN gets to choose where the debate is held.

    November 16, 2007 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  25. Bob, San Francisco, CA

    Hillary gets 51% in Nevada polls. Why wouldn't the crowd be favorable to her? Neither Hillary nor CNN gets to choose where the debate is held.

    November 16, 2007 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
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