November 16th, 2007
08:55 AM ET
2 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. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    It will be nice to say "President Clinton" again.

    November 16, 2007 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  2. Matt Escondido, Ca

    Ron Paul for President, the only candidate that advocates the TRUTH!

    November 16, 2007 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  3. Scott, Royal Oak, MI

    THIS JUST IN

    LAS VEGAS, Nevada –
    To get back at Bill for his years of infidelity, Hillary is having an affair of her own. Sources will not reveal his name, but state that it rhymes with "Mulf Shmitzer".

    November 16, 2007 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  4. Jason, Fairbanks, AK

    I used to be undecided, but after last night I'm definitely voting for Obama.

    (OK, fine. I've been for Obama since before he even announced. But if a bunch of Hillary supporters can jump in the comments with the "oh, I was undecided before" lie, then I can too!)

    November 16, 2007 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  5. Jim, Washington DC

    Sen. Biden was the only bright spot among a field of unaccomplished "all about me" politicians. The debate was a sham – Blitzer and crew brought the discussion to new lows and avoided any serious discussion of important issues.

    November 16, 2007 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  6. Greg, Phoenix, AZ

    Well, the jury has spoken and nearly everyone agrees that last night's debate was an utter farce perpetrated by CNN.

    The fact that ANYONE would watch that debate and suggest that ANY of the candidates did a good job is beyond reproach.

    The fact that some are coming out and proclaiming Hillary back on track based on that performance reeks of corruption.

    November 16, 2007 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  7. Dan, TX

    Hillary looked pretty, but on the actual issues, she got crushed.

    November 16, 2007 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  8. jim,boston,ma

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

    Posted By Kent, VIctoria, BC : November 16, 2007 11:58 am
    lol can not put it any better...

    November 16, 2007 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  9. Amanda, Davenport, IA

    Hillary Clinton is a wolf in sheeps clothing. CNN has lost my respect as a news station by so obviously packing in Hillary supporters and not attempting to cut her off like the others. CNN is bias for Hillary and it shows. I watched the debate on the internet and the woman caster clearly stated her favorable opinion of Clinton and continued to show and gush about all of Clinton's highlights leaving the others by the wayside. Shameful job CNN!

    November 16, 2007 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  10. john, NY,NY

    Clinton will do anything to win. Plant supporters in the audience with one purpose to boo when she is under attack. That is sick.

    Posted By Joe Ossai, Bedford, NH : November 16, 2007 10:23 am

    I guess you must be very fond of constant obama and edward barking

    November 16, 2007 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  11. Rhiannon, Sugarland, Texas

    A recovery? What did she actually say last night? Really not much. I didn't hear one real new idea. Just accusations that Edwards was slinging mud when, in reality, all he did was point out her waffling and wavering. And she didn't even respond to that. She just tried to get the crowd all revved up to dodge the point that she can't take a stand on an issue. That's a recovery?

    November 16, 2007 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  12. therealist

    A test administered by GMAC Insurance indicates that one in six people driving today - roughly 36 million licensed drivers - would flunk their driver's test if they had to take it today. Not only that, but the state with the most road-going dummies is none other than...., New York.

    So much for Hillary's idea of illegals holding driver licenses making our roads safer..

    November 16, 2007 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  13. Robert, Shelton, CT

    To the people who love Edwards attacking Clinton and not introducing any ideas of his own; I wonder where your brain is; he is an ultra-liberal "sue the crap outta anyone" lawyer...how is he better than Clinton.

    But the award for the worst performance of the night goes to Obama; who seems to have lost momentum and is losing track of why he supposedly got into the race to begin with.

    Clinton and Biden both did well.

    November 16, 2007 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  14. Marie, Ojai

    That last question from the young girl at the end in her sheepish little girl voice "do you prefer diamonds or pearls?" is your typical Hilary supporter, and the producers of this debate obviously "hand picked" their audience with this type of voter...the uninformed college voter indoctrinated by liberal professors. It was so transparent.

    November 16, 2007 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  15. Ed NC

    Hillary talks like she is running against George Bush. Will someone tell her that Bush is not in the race.

    November 16, 2007 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  16. Michael Spencer

    The winner last night? Hillary Clinton. She continues to impress me.

    The loser? Wolf Blitzer. Way too much of Mr Blitzer on CNN these days. He's such a panderer. Maybe they should let Jack Cafferty moderate one of these things.

    November 16, 2007 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  17. Joelene Reno, Nevada

    Wit, personality and character, that was Senator Clinton at last nights debate.

    While Obama and Edwards tried, they failed miserably in convincing the viewing public that they were anything close to Presidential.

    And talk about flip flopping, watch the reruns of Obama and Edwards when they're put on the spot about positions they've made about faces on.
    They looked like two fish out of water.

    Hillary on the other hand was outstanding in her demeanor, wit and yes, her responses.

    And Wolf, I think you did a fine job. It's about time we saw some fireworks at one of these events. Too bad though it was in the beginning and lasted only minutes.

    I think this more unscripted, loose format allows for more of the candidates personalities to show.

    As for the boos and hissing, well, politics here in Nevada is (almost) a contact sport. Like the saying goes, you gotta be tough to live in the west.

    So, you Obama and Edwards fans, quit whinning.

    Hillary Clinton is smart enough and tough enough to be a Nevadan!

    November 16, 2007 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  18. Mbot565, La Jolla, CA

    Clinton makes recovery in Vegas? What A JOKE!! Yes, recovery by tilting everything on her side. It's great that Wolf let her answer everything in its entirety and then cut everybody else's off in the middle of their answers. He let audiences booed while they're were answering questions! It's not a presidential debate? It's Jerry Springer short of actual punch & vulgarity.

    CLINTON RECOVERED in LAS VEGAS on A PRESIDENTIAL 7 RING CIRCUS conducted by CLINTON NEWS NETWORK!! How appropriate... You can take that win.

    November 16, 2007 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  19. Sophia, Oakland

    If you unapologetically support the Iraq War then vote for Hilary.

    To me its very simple, she voted for it and won't apologize. Very trustworthy alright. What is wrong with Americans?? A vote for Clinton is uninformed and frankly lazy, show some civic responsibilty and do your homework on all the canidates

    November 16, 2007 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  20. Mike, Youngstown, OH

    MUDSLINGING? Isn't that what Hillary's close friend, James Carville, did when he said about that Paula (can't remember last name), "that's what you get when you drag a hundred dollar bill through a trailer park" relevant to one of slick Willy's many extraterrestrial escapades. Wolf, you have no shame either! You come across as just another donkey.

    November 16, 2007 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  21. AJ, IL

    Like I have said before and will continue to say, CNN is pro-Hillary news agency. During the presidential campaign year, we should all just call it the CNN = Clinton News Network. I must say of all the debates I have seen this year that one was the poorest managed and moderated. The whole debate event seemed more like a World Wide Wrestling event than a presidential debate. It was clear Wolf was going on the attack of Obama and Edwards. The audience was either clapping or booing too much during the time some of the candidates spoke that you couldn't hear their entire responses, especially if a criticism of Hillary was coming out of the mouths of Obama or Edwards.

    The premise of this debate was to get Hillary back on track after her poor performance at the last debate in Philadelphia. Hillary performed about the same as Philly with the exception being more confrontational with Obama and answering "NO!" when Wolf asked the candidates do they support giving driver licenses to illegal immigrants.

    I was surprised that no other candidates challenged her on this issue. She muddled and fuddled her answer to this question on Oct. 30th. She came out 4 days later and supported the NY Governor's proposal for illegal immigrants to get driver licenses. Then two days before the Las Vegas debate she supported the NY governor's decision not to propose that illegal immigrants get NY driver licenses. She has flip-flopped on this issue and she will be called on it by the Republicans if she becomes the Democratic nominee.

    November 16, 2007 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  22. aj huntington, ny

    Scott from Michigan --– if you made that joke up yourself, that is too funny and made my week !! LOL !!!

    November 16, 2007 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  23. Ken Garing, Modesto,CA

    Hillary was awful!

    November 16, 2007 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  24. Dan Minneapolis, MN

    I am amused by the critics. I hope your resumes are of equal caliber, if not better than Senator Clinton's. The cutesie remarks only disguises vapid, inane, and naive sensibilities. It is all to easy to be an armchair critic from safe suburban middle class settings!

    November 16, 2007 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  25. Claude, Mesa AZ

    JOEL HORN IN SEATTLE: SPARE ME YOUR RHETORIC! THIS DEBATE WAS RIGGED FROM THE START. OPEN YOUR EYES. HILLARY CLINTON WOULD BE A DISASTER FOR THIS COUNTRY.

    November 16, 2007 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
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