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. peter

    any other woman for president but hilary. this lady is a practical joke on the american people

    April 17, 2008 01:59 am at 1:59 am |
  2. MarciB

    Georgie wormed his way into the comments by interrupting Obama too many times. Clearly he leans to Hillary-he let her talk too much. I didn't appreciate Charlie's He said/She said questions. Enough already! I wanted to hear the gears of the brains click, unfortunately, not enough time was alloted towards issues. I thought the commentators lost the debate in the first segment. When the public says "we don't want to see them beat on each other", can't the commentator take control and avoid those devisive 'clear-it-up' questions? Maybe those guys like to keep the public dizzy stirring the pot.

    April 17, 2008 01:59 am at 1:59 am |
  3. Johnny Flint

    well Obama will bank Pen then the election in november

    April 17, 2008 02:00 am at 2:00 am |
  4. CE, Wisconsin, USA

    The first 46 minutes were littered with questions that would insult a six year old. Flag pins were disscussed because the internet is buzzing about them? Give me a break? Are you more patriotic than someone else? The Weatherman?? I hear the second half was better but, I lost my concentration before that point. ABC owes an apology to the viewers.

    April 17, 2008 02:00 am at 2:00 am |
  5. Bob

    What so great about Hillary ? I cannot get it. If she is finding fault with every word of her opponent then she is not a good candidate. It look like she does not have time to discuss real issues of the people. I am from a small town. If I loose amy job I feel bitter instead of happiness. That is reality.She does not get it. I hope people will understand how scruplously she wants to win the nomination. I think people are more intelligent than her.

    April 17, 2008 02:02 am at 2:02 am |
  6. Bob

    What so great about Hillary ? I cannot get it. If she is finding fault with every word of her opponent then she is not a good candidate. It look like she does not have time to discuss real issues of the people. I am from a small town. If I loose amy job I feel bitter instead of happiness. That is reality.She does not get it. I hope people will understand how scruplously she wants to win the nomination. I think people are more intelligent than her.

    April 17, 2008 02:04 am at 2:04 am |
  7. John Smith,TX

    hillary proved again that she is better equipe to lead this country. Obama ain't just ready yet. it is to obvious.
    go HRC 08

    April 17, 2008 02:05 am at 2:05 am |
  8. Richard Rodriguez Rivera

    Sanator Clinton, prior to this debate, when asked about Senator Obama, been electable she portrayed him as not electable. Tonight , at the same question, as opposed to Peter, she said three times, yes, yes, yes, to Obama, been electable. Wow, what a turn of events!!

    April 17, 2008 02:06 am at 2:06 am |
  9. Jyoti Bhattacharya

    This debate was won by Hillary.At last the media are asking probing questions of Obama and he was totally lacking.Media for too long allowed Obama the benefit of doubt and atlast it has ended.As the democratic frontrunner he needs to answer the questions posed to him.The people will ultimately decide who the democratic nominee is based on thier perceptions aided by an unfair but inquisitive media.If Obama supporters feel that asking such questions is hitting below the belt then they are reacting unfairly.They also must objectively give thier candidate a second look over.

    April 17, 2008 02:07 am at 2:07 am |
  10. Franklin, FL

    I listened to Sean Hanity's radio show on Tuesday where Stephanopoulos was a guest and was directed as to questions and tone of the debate. Stephanopoulos– a former Clinton employee and a current Clinton supporter clearly had an agenda going into this tabloid so-called debate. I don't have health care– I am also a full time student with loans hanging off my tail; the purpose of this "debate" was…?
    What a hit job!
    I will for ever avoid this website if my comments are not posted. I have posted at least a hundred comments on these blogs, but not one has ever been published.

    April 17, 2008 02:10 am at 2:10 am |
  11. John Adkisson

    Just finished watching this "debate" on the delayed West Coast, and I'm reeling with shock at the performance of the moderators.

    I counted five rounds of questions focusing on Clinton's talking points on so-called Obama "issues" : (1) the flag pin; (2) Rev. Wright; (3) some has-been weather underground guy in Obama's neighborhood; (4) the "bitter" gaffe; and (5) [of course addressed to the African-American] affirmative action.

    These completely screwy distractions literally took up half the debate. The moderators let Hillary spend her time trashing Obama on these fake issueswhich were raised initially by these so-called journalists while Obama was required to explain himself over and over while objecting to the fact that the questions were distractions.

    Of course, Clinton being Clinton, attacked and attacked, and Obama pointedly remained respectful at one point even saying "Senator Clinton is entitled to make an error or two" (referring to her Bosnia hallucination).

    It is hard to know who got the advantage out of this circus. But ABC got a big black eye.

    April 17, 2008 02:11 am at 2:11 am |
  12. James

    Did you guys miss the entire point – that the debate was complete tabloid crap?

    April 17, 2008 02:11 am at 2:11 am |
  13. mark from PA

    this debate was a plot to take obama down. i was watching closely that the modertator ask obama more questions that clinton. when obama is answering them, that silly keeps forcing the guy to answer the question. tonight, shame on reporters. if clinton wins pennsylvania, it because those reporters on abc have been paid. therefore we, americans wiil clung to our guns and religions.

    April 17, 2008 02:12 am at 2:12 am |
  14. Yusef

    Personally I though this debate was the worst debate of All 21 debates. They did not talk about any important issues for the first 45min. Hillary clinton is just so unbelieveable in the way she attacks barak obama. I respect him by showing restrain in there argument when he could ripped her apart on the bosnia issue. I believe she is trying mest him up as much as possible so he can lose the general election so she can run again in 4years. I honestly believe thats her strategy.

    April 17, 2008 02:13 am at 2:13 am |
  15. its got to be Hillary

    Venus- I guess you failed to notice that Obama actually said he did'nt comment on the issue, and he was then corrected and thats when he accepted (Lying Again) and he then decided to move on from the subject, its funny how everytime Obama seem not to please with his response he would quickly try to change his policy and not only that he is always saying that he has to look into that??? If you are ready to bring change at least have a plan to start with.

    he uses the frase Hope and change but never really specifies exactly what his plans are, this strategy seems to be working for him because people hear these words and they project the hopes onto him. but soon we will all see the Emperor has NO Clothes, and he is nothing more that the Typical politian that he claims not to be.

    Hillary or Mc Cain

    April 17, 2008 02:15 am at 2:15 am |
  16. GoPSU

    Anyone who doesn't vote McCain after watching that debate is just not very smart. And I'm no McCain fan. Also any who posts otherwise, is simply wrong.

    Also the moderators of that debate were awful.

    April 17, 2008 02:15 am at 2:15 am |
  17. CG

    Hillary looked and sounded much more presidential tonight.

    April 17, 2008 02:16 am at 2:16 am |
  18. lynette

    I see why we are losing the battle in the world, we just focus on nonissues, yikes we can't discuss anything that really matters to voters.

    April 17, 2008 02:16 am at 2:16 am |
  19. Richard Rodriguez Rivera

    Actually, she just took her mask off and showed the true power hungry lady she is, and her hobby does not help her any, he helps her to dig deeper in the hole she is in and cannot nor will not be able to dig herself out. She is just pushing him in trying to have him say the wrong thing at the wrong time. Like she told him, and he responded back, Shame on you Annie Oakley, go packing your six shooters elsewhere, this not tombstone nor the OK Corral.

    April 17, 2008 02:16 am at 2:16 am |
  20. Nina Bathy

    It's a very sad day in America when the media tries to sway voters to vote for a candidate. This debate was a disgrace to American's intelligence. It was so obvious that ABC was on Hillary Clinton's side. The questions were unfair and focused on Obama's small gaffes as opposed to Clintons many recurring gaffes, including lying shamelessly to the American people. It is sickening! Gibson and Stephanapolous are on Clintons' payroll! Is that what they learned in journalism school? SPECIAL INTERESTS GALORE!!!!

    April 17, 2008 02:18 am at 2:18 am |
  21. Michael Hindman

    Only 2 comments thus far , check out ABC's site 10,000 negative comments on this debate.

    April 17, 2008 02:19 am at 2:19 am |
  22. maya

    Hello CNN!!! The reviews are in and they are ALL saying that HILLARY WON THE DEBATE!!! Google it people- everyone -even his supporters- is saying that he was super weak and uncomfortable tonight.

    Obama "did not have a good night" answers "simply weak" (NBC Chuck Todd)

    The Atlantic’s Marc Ambinder –" [T]here's no way Obama could fared worse"
    She even won the PA focus group- 50% vs 23%
    Hillary 2008!!!!!

    April 17, 2008 02:21 am at 2:21 am |
  23. SLone08

    That was the worst debate I have ever seen. ABC should be ashamed of themselves. Disgusting.

    April 17, 2008 02:21 am at 2:21 am |
  24. Allen In NC

    The ABC news debate was a farce.... It shouldn't have been called a debate, It should have been called the defending. The two that were doing the interrogation, I mean moderating, Did nothing to help the two canidates get across the real issues to the people/america. They did nothing but instigate the two senators into more political bickering. It was a shame that they didn't ask more questions from both senators on the issues that most concern the people and thier future.

    And I must give hillary a tiny bit of credit... She didn't release all the clinton fury on barack. If you noticed he tried his best to speak on the problems surronding us daily. And hillary Me Me Me and more of ME.... Touting her husbands past presidency/Touting NAFTA as if it were her own.... I thought for a few she was stumping for bill... Plesae PA.... Help put hillary out of our misery....

    April 17, 2008 02:22 am at 2:22 am |
  25. Wade

    Obama does not use those silly tactics for his campaign. He cannot attack Hillary for the Bosnia story or her tax return or her lies. It is left for the American people to see it for themselves.

    April 17, 2008 02:24 am at 2:24 am |
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