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. sargan

    i think the most revealing part of the debate was when clinton was asked about bosnia, she acknowledged that she had lied to the public which under any circumstances is unacceptable! but obama who could have attacked her hard on the credibility issue, chose to defended her! after all the misleading attacks against him from her and her campaign, he simply said we all make mistakes. she on the other hand attacked him even more after that without any regard to the fact that he is a fellow democrat or that he just defended her... to say the least, it left me in awe

    April 17, 2008 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
  2. Glenn

    These two bums had nothing to say about solving America's problems. BO said his mother took care of him, but fails to mention that his wonderful Dad abandoned the family. Both pander to the lowest common denominator, the average Democrat.

    April 17, 2008 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
  3. CNN SUCKS 08

    Hillary only cares about herself and she will do anything to get what she thinks she deserves. She is a pathological liar and there is no difference between her and Bush.

    April 17, 2008 12:35 am at 12:35 am |
  4. LMani

    As an Obama supporter do I believe he could have done a better job tonight? Sure. Why didnt he? Because he is at fault for trusting journalists for acting like jouralists. Whether you support Obama, Clinton or McCain there is no way in the world you can tell me that the ABC debate was one of the worst moderated debates we have seen.

    In addition, while fair game to ask Obama hard questions, did you notice the lack of hard questions to Clinton (Mark Penn, Columbia?) Also no questiosn on health care??? No questiosn on trade or NAFTA????

    This was a lynching job. Id be worried for for Obama if this was a fair debate. But this was so obvious a hit job that people are gonna be pissed off and I see the backlash coming against ABC and Clinton for just being there.

    Even if Obama did well, I thought he would narrowly lose PA. Now im convinced people will be pissed off and he will win because of this.

    April 17, 2008 12:35 am at 12:35 am |
  5. Oh-Bama!

    Hillary's campain is seriously the worst managed campaign I have ever seen. This is really getting pathetic to watch - she uses uglier and uglier tactics which cause her numbers to go further and further down - so she uses uglier and uglier tactics... I think she has Leaonardo Dicaprio and Kate Winslet riding her!! It's just not nearly as entertaining watching her sink.

    April 17, 2008 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
  6. spyturtle

    Since Hillary is already eyeing the New York Govenor's spot.......who knows?

    April 17, 2008 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
  7. jerral

    go obama, you nailed it
    our next president. hillary did not know she had been secertly recorded out side her campaigh speach
    go bama

    April 17, 2008 12:40 am at 12:40 am |
  8. Ross in MD

    That was the worst waste of 2 hours I have ever experienced.

    After an hour of stupid questions about non-issues like the adjective 'bitter', we got a half hour of more stupid questions on actual issues, interrupted with a half hour of commercials. The question about whether Obama would take Clinton as a running mate was stupid.

    George S. had no business there as a former Clinton employee. With the exception of the Bosnia snipers, the stupid remarks were directed at Obama.

    Hillary was pathetic. I think the moderators and Hillary are the only three people in the world who didn't think the questions were stupid.

    Dumbest – Debate – Ever

    April 17, 2008 12:40 am at 12:40 am |
  9. kendall

    Just when I thought it couldn't any worse, I witnessed what had to be the WORST debate all year. ABC did a discraceful job of seemongly biased attacks on Obama.
    Stephanopolos and Gibson, shame on you.

    April 17, 2008 12:41 am at 12:41 am |
  10. Anee

    Clinton is the next president of the united states of america.

    Obama snobama looked weak and limp. He should just go away back to his mentor who tonight says he disowns, oops I mean disowns his words... make up your mind get your lies straight snobama.

    April 17, 2008 12:41 am at 12:41 am |
  11. Chuck

    I wonder what kind of enjoyment Hillary gets from repeating her lies about Bosnia trip. I think she's still under the influence of "Crown Royal"....Surely, she has generated enough dislike within her own supporters that she'll easily lose her NY seat as well.

    April 17, 2008 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  12. tom haris

    Hillary needs to quit. If she wins the Democratic party, then Barack is right: Politics as Usual. How many more lies are we going to get from her? She fought in World War II? Landed on the moon? Stopped a gang fight in Compton? Won the annual Nathan's hotdog eating contest? Captured Saddam Hussein? Stopped a Hurricane? Fed the hungry–under gunfire–in Somalia? Hung out with Ghandi? Learned war tactics from Napoleon Bonaparte? Please, my friends, keep the lie threads going...

    April 17, 2008 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  13. bernj

    Hillary has loser written all over her face. In contrast, Barack Obama seemed presidential and measured. Seriously, is there really a choice here? I hope the Clinton supporters come back to reality next Wednesday morning. Obama will be the next president. Not Hillary and not George Bush No. 3 aka John McCain.

    April 17, 2008 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  14. Mike

    Worst debate ever. At minute 54 of a 90 minute debate we finally got a question on a real issue. Thought I was watching FOX.

    April 17, 2008 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  15. Independent

    I watched the entire ABC debate...sure the debate was one-sided but I thought Obama did JUST fine...it was just another opportunity for him to restate his positions on the past controversies around him....what amazed me though is that the ABC narrators did not ask Sen. Clinton about her top advisor, Penn lobbying for the Columbian trade agreement....that was/is a considerable question to have asked???

    p.s. Sen.Obama continue to stay strong for a few more months...June 3 is just around the corner....your coalition is still and will continue to be behind u!!

    April 17, 2008 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
  16. Ed

    I think a lot of people are sick of hearing Hillary and the same negative campaign. The sad thing is I think this is all she knows. The media allows the the campaign to be as good or as bad as their coverage.

    April 17, 2008 12:45 am at 12:45 am |
  17. KE

    Obviously ABC asked hard questions to Obama. And Obama supporters are upset at ABC now. That's how Clinton supporters felt like for a long time. I can't wait to see the whole debate.

    April 17, 2008 12:45 am at 12:45 am |
  18. Typodi

    Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't a debate a forum where impartial moderators question candidates about the issues, important issues? I found this horse and pony show to be insulting to the American voting public. We are bitter and we want answers – not a rehash or pummeling over non-issues that have been distorted or brought to life from a single cell sound bite.

    My vote has not changed. Nor my opinion of these candidates.
    I am still an Obama suppporter. That being said, if HRC should weasel her way into the nomination, I will vote for her in November. I, like Obama, have been against the war from the beginning. No son or daughter of America will die in Iraq because of a pissy non-vote or McCain crossover from me.

    April 17, 2008 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  19. lt

    I am glad and hopefull that if Obama will be nominated, Clinton will bring her voters in to support him.

    April 17, 2008 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  20. Bola Muyis

    Wow did you all see that? George Stephanopoulos, Charles Gibson and Hillary Clinton won the debate. ABC news for president?

    By the way CNN why won't you post any of my comments?

    April 17, 2008 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  21. nikki

    is anyone else bother that george stephanopoulos was the person asking the questions at the debates?!? he was a former advisor for the clintons? seems like there is some sort of ethical violations of journalist integrity. it also seems like if an former obama advisor were asking clinton questions- she'd throw a fit. This behavior by journalists has become standard on ABC and I feel like it is a dis service to this country and democracy.

    April 17, 2008 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  22. rw

    Love Hillary or hate her, Barrack and Michelle can not beat John and Cindy. Republicans didn't like Teresa Heinz Kerry, they will pulverize Michelle Obama. She is mean.
    You don't have to like Hillary, to know she has helped working people and women of all backgrounds her entire life and can do the job. Most people of diversity that are doing well now got their bump during Bill Clinton's adminstration.

    Obama can dish it out but can't take it, Republicans will destroy him.
    He calls Hillary names every day on the stump, she attacks his speeches.

    There is nothing wrong with Obama, he is a politician, however, the supporters who believe he can change America without congress and senate, are in for a world of hurt.

    Go Democratic Party!

    April 17, 2008 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  23. NYC

    Hillary won the debate by a landslide! She's such an inspiring woman! Smart, ambitious, and tough as nails! keep it up and win Pennsylvania!

    April 17, 2008 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  24. j gannon

    Worst "debate" I have ever seen. What a waste of what could have been a very informative two hours.

    April 17, 2008 12:50 am at 12:50 am |
  25. Henry

    This debate was a "Fairly Tale", why didn't they ask Clinton about her lies on NAFTA ? Why didn't they talk about Mark Penn and the Columbian issue ? The moderators have consistently pressed Obama and been kind with Clinton, why ? Because she's a woman ?
    We all know all the controversies about Mark Penn and Columbia, the lies about NAFTA and the girl in Ohio, why they didn't talk about that ?
    This debate was unfair Obama, but he'll still be fine on tuesday.

    April 17, 2008 12:51 am at 12:51 am |
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