April 16th, 2008
10:00 PM ET
10 years ago

Clinton, Obama face off in Pennsylvania

(CNN) - Neither Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama would commit Wednesday when asked in a debate if they would take the other as their running mate should they win the nomination.

Both candidates responded to the first question of the debate with smiles, prompting laughter from the audience. After a moment, Obama said he was happy to respond.

"I think it's premature at this point for us to talk about who vice presidential candidates will be, because we're still trying to determine who the nominee will be." he said.

Clinton echoed those comments. "I'm going to do everything I possibly can to make sure that one of us takes the oath of office next January," she said. "I think that has to be the overriding goal, whatever we have to do."

Each candidate said they thought the other was capable of winning the presidency.

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soundoff (481 Responses)
  1. Wendy

    I was very disappointed that Mr. Gibson and Mr. Stephanopoulos spent 50 minutes rehashing the drama and media mill of the personal attack items instead of getting down to what the voters care about...the issues. Hillary did hoever sho once more that she will do anything to win and is incapable of behaving at a higher level.

    April 17, 2008 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  2. elana

    ABC should be ashamed of themselves. That was the worst debate ever due to the fact that the moderators were intent on tabloid fodder and beating dead horses. It should have been called the "Let's bring up every awful thing ever said about Obama and watch him squirm" I am disgusted

    April 17, 2008 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  3. John in PA

    I was going to vote for Hillary – until tonight. Her non-stop vicious attacks were sickening, and Obama took the high ground by refusing to launch attacks against Hillary, instead sticking to the issues.

    Obama offers hope and honesty. It was clearly a win for Obama.

    April 17, 2008 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  4. mel

    Venus said:"It's funny that when Hillary was asked about the sniper lies – Obama tried to help by saying let's not get sucked on that issues. And – then Hillary just had to go into her attack mode on him!"
    You are either lying or gravely mistaken.Obama did not try to help her. He said that he did not comment on the Bosnia gaffe and the moderator said "no you didn't ,but your campaign has." He obviously wanted the topic changed because he was in hot water, and who can blame him. He was caught with his pants down.CNN and MSNBC have not done him any favors by fawning over him and neglecting to ask him some tough questions.ABC did and we saw the results. He was angry,bitter(pun intended) and unable to keep his cool.

    April 17, 2008 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  5. Anthony - Dallas Texas

    It was obvious that this debate was more about attacking Obama on various issues, more than actually being about the issues.

    The moderators were doing more interviewing that moderating. I find it funny that one of Bill Clinton's former aids was one of the moderators.

    April 17, 2008 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  6. Lamin minnesota

    I am very disappointed in hillary attacking Obama after barack tries to save her in her bosnia lies. Go home hilbill you are finish because people can see through you and your tricks.

    Obama 08

    April 17, 2008 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  7. Zion

    Does anyone In the great USA thinks Hillary has a Remote chance of winning the nomination ? She can't even convince her husband !

    April 17, 2008 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  8. carolyn LeBeauf

    HRC just could not help her self. She continued with her carl rove
    tactic. The same old washington ways. Even when MR.OBAMA was
    ask about her Bosina lie, he refused to stoop to her level. More power
    to him. He is the person I want running our country. Brilliant and
    a man oc character.
    HRC need to go back to being a republican. When you sleep with
    dogs, you get fleas.

    April 17, 2008 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  9. Ron

    I am a democrat and I'm not for either one of them, but i will say that
    as for a some of are talking about Hillary and her lies, i think you should think twice before you really stay with that portion of your stance
    because for what i have been hearing from obama is not much of
    a difference between either one on them on that part of the argument.
    it seems to me that they are both good at putting out lies as you all
    call them. As for obama he is what i would call a silver tongued devil
    that says a lot, but really says nothing worth listening too. Just a bunch
    of promises he can not fulfil.

    April 17, 2008 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  10. Michael,Ms

    burt, you forgot who your talking about, its the Clinton's. Hell with the Democratic party the name of the game is win at all cost.

    April 17, 2008 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  11. Angela

    I don't think they need each other. Hillary can pick a better VP than Obama. If he isn't the President he sure doesn't need to be the VP!!!!

    April 17, 2008 12:22 am at 12:22 am |
  12. eric_stay

    It's decided now..
    HILLARY '08....

    April 17, 2008 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
  13. kurt, NM

    Obama flip-floped again on Rev. Wright issue!!!

    April 17, 2008 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
  14. Cathy in Walnut, California

    Hillary is so negative. It just makes her look bad. She wants to keep the negatives going instead of talking about what America cares about- the issues. Obama kept trying to take it back to the issues while she wanted to keep up the dirt.
    It is also hillarious how she likes to pick and choose what she wants to take credit for from her husbands presidency.
    I am also suspect how the commentators asked Obama about all of the controversal issues surrounding his compaign. I can understand the current issue of the "bitter" issue, but how many times does he have to state the same answer about Rev. Wright or the flag pin issue? He speaks excellent English, so what is the problem? Give me a break ! It almost seemed as if the debate was a set-up to attack Obama.

    April 17, 2008 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
  15. Robert Knobler

    ABC and their moderators should never be allowed to conduct a debate again. I thought I was watching something out of the National Enquirer, not a supposedly reputable news organisation. They are a disgrace to the profession. With people dying in Iraq, with people losing their homes, jobs and financial security, they chose to devote half the debate on obscure trivia. Does the family that just got kicked out of their home really care if Barack Obama wears a flag pin on his lapel or not? Hillary is a desperate, losing candidate of the old school of politics, so I can somewhat understand her tactics, as reprehensible as they are. But it is not the duty of ABC news to aide and abet her wallowing in the politcal gutter.

    April 17, 2008 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  16. Martha wanja

    I agree with Burt,he is aggressive and looking forward to do better and not to tear each other apart.

    April 17, 2008 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  17. audra

    I personally think both democrats are ridiculous and absolutely don't know what they are talking about! They seriously need to listen to thmeselves. I can't even believe what they said about the Iraq situation.....serioulsy isn't General Petreus who we should be listening to. He specializes in this. He wouldn't be in his position if he didn't know what he was talking about. Pull ou the troops in 60 days.....hello are we dumb here or what! I have two familiy members that are in the military and been to Iraq and no one likes war but can people seriously sleep at night knowing what we would do to those people if we left them.........I vote John McCain he seems to be the only one who makes any sense of anything.

    April 17, 2008 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
  18. Martha wanja

    I agree with Burt,he is aggressive and looking forward to do better and not to tear each other apart.

    April 17, 2008 12:27 am at 12:27 am |
  19. Naomi in Texas

    Hillary needs to consider the high road, she makes herself look worse, pitiful, desperate with every punch she throws at Obama.

    If she were fighting for the people, her campaign would not resort to beating up on its fellow opponent, its clear to me that she is fighting for herself.

    After the Texas primaries I said that I would vote for Hillary if Obama lost, but now I trust Mcain more than I do Clinton and would vote for him.

    April 17, 2008 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  20. Anti-Media


    April 17, 2008 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  21. April in Texas

    This wasnt a debate it was a tabloid debacle and ABC should be discursted in themselves. Charles and George spent 50 minutes asking about nothing. It was a one way mudslinging fest which if thats what they were after the questions should have been fair for both. Clinton was never asked many questions I want answered such as why Mark Penn is still with her campaign. What about the Peter Paul trial which is scheduled in Nov. What about the contradictions of NAFTA and CAFTA. What about the 800,000 her husband recieved and the conflict there. What about the missing transcripts from the whitehouse. What about the donors to the Clinton Foundation. I could go on and on.

    The DNC needs to end this now as if I was unsure before I am certain now that Hillary Clinton will NEVER get my vote.
    Obama or nothing... If I wasnt BITTER before I am now... Tabloid reporting at its finest c/o ABC which I will now boycott. A written apology for not addressing real issues such as more on the housing issues healthcare the economy ect. anything would have been better than what the american people received..

    Obama 08

    April 17, 2008 12:30 am at 12:30 am |
  22. Seth

    This story is so short because the debate questions were vacuous and predominantly irrelevant. Go read the 7000+ comments and counting on the ABC News site to see the backlash.

    April 17, 2008 12:30 am at 12:30 am |
  23. Paul

    What a night for the Democrats! If I were to declare a winner (and I personally think both are GREAT), I would say it was Hillary. I mean, Barack was on the ropes for a good 40 minutes to start. And, with the inclusion of Obama's ties to the radical group Weather Underground, I have a feeling the mainstream press will start digging up more on the topic, adding it to his growing Rezko concern. As for Hillary, I found her to be the confident and focused candidate that I recall in the earlier days of the primary.

    April 17, 2008 12:31 am at 12:31 am |
  24. Deb, IN

    If Hillary wins the nomination I wouldn't want Obama as my VP either.
    He is not ELECTABLE!!!!!!!!!

    And if Obama wins GOD HELP US ALL!!!!!!!

    Oh no wait, I will vote for MCCain in Novemeber......

    April 17, 2008 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  25. Mary, a grandmother

    Watched the debate tonight and I would say that Clinton won 85 to 15%. Senator Obama looked angry a lot of the trime and simply danced around the issues. Hillary explained her policies more thoroughly and had only one negative topic: a trip that took place 12 years ago. Some of Obama's dirty laundry was exposed and his excuses were weak and shallow. He judgement is lacking and make him a poor choice for any elected office.
    When one makes speeches to one group of elite people about small town and country citizens that is insulting at best and then says it is not what I said that was important; it was what I meant to say. Obama is not to be believed on any issue.

    April 17, 2008 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
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