February 5th, 2008
04:18 PM ET
10 years ago

Clinton camp calls for one debate a week

Clinton is calling for one debate a week.

Clinton is calling for one debate a week.

NEW YORK (CNN) - Hillary Clinton’s campaign said Tuesday it was calling for a debate a week between the New York senator Barack Obama between now and the March 4 primaries.

In a conference call with reporters, Clinton communications director Howard Wolfson said the campaign had already accepted four invitations for faceoffs throughout this month, including forums on CNN and FOX.

Earlier this cycle, a Democratic debate co-sponsored by FOX and the CBC was canceled after the major candidates refused to participate.

The Obama campaign said it has yet to make a decision on any of the proposed one-on-one debates.

soundoff (475 Responses)
  1. Red Democrat

    You know, it's interesting to see how many people on Obama's side are AGAINST the idea of more debates. Why is that? How on EARTH is discourse and debate a bad idea in a political contest? All the comments seem to reflect that more debates are favorable to Hillary. I agree – but don't we want the chance to choose the BEST player to represent our team? Why should we (as the democratic party) SHIELD Obama from these contests just so he doesn't get hurt? Isn't that the same as admitting that he's a weaker candidate? I like Obama. I think he'd be a SHOE-IN in 2016, and I bet he'd be great. But right now, Clinton is the Democratic party's biggest gun. Shouldn't we use our biggest gun in the upcoming gunfight? Shouldn't we PAVE THE WAY for an Obama presidency before sending the fresh-faced newcomer into battle? Isn't the possibility of 16 years democratic control of the white house better than the possibility of 8? He's young. He can run again.

    Obama stutters in debates. He blinks a lot. He's not GREAT at them. I think that means he needs a few years practice. We're not picking a president, we're picking a CANDIDATE to run in a RACE. Why go with our second best? Is is just because liberals like to root for the underdog? Seriously, Obama supporters, EXPLAIN it to me. I like him too, but is he ready for the big leagues if he can't hold his own in a debate?

    "Hillary has better name-recognition."
    "Hillary has more money."
    "Hillary is better in debates."
    "Hillary has Bill."
    "Hillary wants to win."

    Personally I find that last item a refreshing change from '04 and '00, but I keep hearing Obama supporters mention these points like they're BAD things.
    Obama supporters please respond: Don't say it's not FAIR that she's a stronger cadidate... Explain why we don't want those strengths on our side come November. Why throw all that over the rail?
    And don't forget, I like Obama too, so don't accuse me of bashing.
    Why does the democratic party CHOOSE to remain divided on this? Seriously, I'd love some Obama supporters to respond.

    February 5, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  2. Emanuel

    Obama should have responded yes. Is he afraid that voters will start realizing that he is just alot of hype? That he lacks substance on specific issues? Maybe he's afraid that voters will start asking: WHERE'S THE BEEF?

    February 5, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  3. BarronLV

    Red Democrat........DITTOS..............Well Said and Bravo!

    February 5, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  4. J. G.

    She is weak at campaigning and good at debating.
    Since she is better at debating than campaigning, why not request more debates.
    Everywhere Obama goes to campaign, he does remarkably well so there is an added benefit in keeping him off the campaign trail and restricting his movements to be at the debate locations.

    February 5, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  5. irma

    Yes, Yes, Yes! The ratings would be high! I rarely watch T.V. because it is so "Reality" driven about "Reality" that I am not interested in. However, Hillary and Barack hammering out the issues, I am there! Please do it!

    February 5, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  6. irma

    Uh hello Dave; Yes, Obama has refused to do debates. He claimed they were pointless. Haven't been on the Obama train long have you?

    February 5, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  7. Daniel Walker

    The lady who would be king should be careful what she wishes for.

    February 5, 2008 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  8. irma

    Oh that's right; Obama and his supporters only want him to do scripted speeches since he doesn't do well on the spot. Doesn't like to answer questions about detail, only likes to talk in generalizations about change.

    February 5, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  9. Mike

    It is not in his favor for two primary reasons. One, she gets free use of air time. Two she has her husband campaigning while Obama himself is stalled debating.

    It is not only not in his best interest, but it gives Hillary an unfair advantage.

    February 5, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  10. TrueBlueMajority

    Calling for lots of debates is not the kind of move a frontrunner makes.

    February 5, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  11. viveka

    I would love to see hillary Clinton in the white house and hope she wins. Obama is a good orator but that seems to be the limit to his credentials......This country needs to have a strong leader come in which I truly believe Clinton is. I do hope everyone realises that with voting for Obama they might just be voting for a very good actor / performer versus a seasoned and capable leader.

    Cheers to Hillary – we really do need a clinton back in the white house to clean up after the Bush reign !!!!!

    February 5, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  12. Ms. Rene Freeman

    I totally agree that if she was leading with a high percentage, she would not be asking for debates. She is stunned! She thought she was a shoe in for the position.
    Something to think about. I constantly hear how Bill Clinton was the first 'black' president and that they both totally understand the trials and tribulations that African-Americans are still faced with. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME he was stopped because he was driving an expensive car? Think about.
    They have both played the gender card and the race card and are showing their true colors.

    February 5, 2008 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  13. Karry Ling

    Red Democrat,

    "Hillary has better name-recognition."
    In times of change i wouldn't call it advantage, we're not talking about DVD-Players here. Name recognition might work for ignorants or uneducated people, but in this case it is rather the opposite. "Clinton" has some worn out aftertaste. 20th century. I guess it's a perspective thing, though.

    "Hillary has more money."
    "Some people say" she's a bit short on campaign money. Hence the Fox deal? What's all the money worth if the person appears totally artificial? You can't buy all the people, you're really poor if you have to. Wealth shouldn't play any role in elections, but unfortunately it does.

    "Hillary is better in debates."
    Technically maybe. Shrill parrot talk might impress naive folks but puts them to sleep shortly after. I rather listen to authentic HUMAN stutter. Nobody is perfect, but Hillary wants to be. Also, the more Barack talks, the more popular he gets, his appearance is really calm and presidential.

    "Hillary has Bill."
    ..because without him she wouldn't be where she is. This is about Hillary not Billary. Yet she seems to need his support.

    "Hillary wants to win."
    They all want to win but i think Barack has more fun doing his thing, which is healthy for the back. Hillary is doing it for herself, not for the people. I dislike this "at all costs" approach, it smells bad and will lead to misery. Hillary has some skills but she's a maniac (just look at her pics over the net with her eyeballs almost popping out) and the personification of crave and fall. History will decide. 🙂

    February 5, 2008 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  14. BigBob

    Obama won mostly red states. That doesn't bode well in the general election when those states are likely to go Republican anyways.

    February 6, 2008 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  15. Clifford Wilson

    I beleive it would be better if each canidate gave us a 15 minute speach and Then a debate all in one day because I want to see who can go toe to toe with McCaine! also do we really want to chance further embarresment from Former President Clinton? As........First Man?

    February 6, 2008 04:18 am at 4:18 am |
  16. Clifford Wilson

    Vote Obama!!!

    I am a born again Holy Spirit filled man speaking my heart... I am 47 years old and white and non partizen.
    I believe it is time for positive change and it is high time we the people took responsibility for our selves. Universal Healthcare is a good idea but we must as a majority, live healthier so that folks who really need health care have it.

    February 6, 2008 04:38 am at 4:38 am |
  17. MarylandJD

    Obama does not want to debate. Half the people that support him does not know what he really stands for.

    February 6, 2008 07:05 am at 7:05 am |
  18. Susan

    Obama is the man for change. He has integrity and is superior in bringing all people together to get the job done. His message is about uniting and changing the white house mentality as well as working for the common good of the American people. I'M FOR THAT! YES WE CAN!

    February 6, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  19. Susan

    Obama is the only one that I have ever seen besides John Kennedy that could and would get the job done! I sincerely believe that. He is fresh and comes with new ideas on change for the better for the American people. We have to move on America. Lets put someone in there who can get the job done. He needs are help. Lets do everything we can to support him. Those of you who are only in word, must also display deed so we can help Obrack get where he has to go, THE WHITEHOUSE..

    February 6, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  20. Susan

    All of you people out there who criticise and down Barack or anyone else who presents fresh ideas to make things work for the American people are just like some of them that are now working in the whitehouse. This is what Barack is trying to change, the mentality of people. He is a man who wants to work together with all people for the common cause. This is why we don't get anything done in the White House. Always a power struggle. This is why the United States is in the shape it is in right now. EGO! Thinking about there ownselves instead of the American people. It's time for something new and fresh who can get the job done and can work with people. We cannot afford again to choose someone who is incompetent and who is not working in the best interest of the American people.
    There is nothing fresh and new about Hillary. Hillary is not forerunner yet, so lets all be meek and humble in our thoughts.

    February 6, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  21. Susan-Ohio

    Hillary is running out of money, this is why she wants the Debates. They said that on Television today. Barack FOR SURE is not afraid of a debate. He is a fighter! YOU GO BARACK!

    February 6, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  22. MP Flinn

    Senator Obama's strength comes from getting "with" the people on the ground. Senator Clinton's 8 years in the WH gave her many such opportunities. Once-a-week debates (like using TIVO) are intended to prevent us from seeing his crowds at rallies, hearing him speak and answer questions in person, unfiltered by the so-called pundits of the media. This is a Clinton tactic from a weakening campaign; don't fall for it.

    64-year-old woman and I'm for Obama and real change

    February 6, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  23. Jose Zepeda

    Obama will continue to lead and distribute purity and honesty, nevertheless Clinton can't seem to be honest and 100% with all of her answers. We need a president who will make change to this country, and that is OBAMA 08

    February 6, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  24. Nicholas Holman

    This is to prevent Obama from being where he needs to be - out on the trail.

    February 6, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  25. Maureen Poorman

    Obama, you gotta push it!!!!! Do we really want another Clinton in office?

    Didn't we see enough of Hillary already? Standing by her 35 plus years of political experience really isn't the best background...hasn't anyone told her we US citizens are sick to death of the same old politics? Is she going to win the office and then go through some kind of dramatic change?

    And her age IS a factor – no one's afraid to tell John McCain – obviously no one wants to mention this to Hillary. She's just too old. She looks really rough just from the time she's spent on the campaign trail. She'll never survive the rigors of President of the US. And I'm a female that would love to vote for the first female president.

    And really Bill....stay at home!

    February 6, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
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