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. NAtive American Woman

    its pretty obvious they have alot of animosity toward each other so why would either one pick the other as a running mate?

    April 16, 2008 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  2. dian

    ABC needs to fire both George and Charles Gibson. I hated their questioning. Very unfair and unnecessary. I have now lost a lot of respect for Clinton for playing along.

    April 16, 2008 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  3. FNJ in Pa


    Pennsylvania - this encrusted, change-averse commonwealth where a state liquor monopoly holds on against all reason and where municipal fiefdoms shrink from sensible consolidation - needs to take a strong look at the new face and the new hope in this race. Because political business-as-usual is more likely to bring the usual disappointment for the Democrats this fall, the Post-Gazette endorses the nomination of Barack Obama, who has brought an excitement and an electricity to American politics not seen since the days of John F. Kennedy.


    Gotta love it! OBAMA 08'

    April 16, 2008 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  4. Voter from VA

    Obama resisted the temptation to launch personal attacks despite being under attack by Clinton. Good job.

    The ABC team did a really poor job. They did not ask questions about the economy until 9:03, an hour after the start of the debate. They were argumentative and disrupted Obama a few times before he had a chance to finish his sentence. For example, he did say that he would exempt people who make less than 200-250K from the raised SS tax but Gibson still disrupted him to point out incorrectly that he would be raising taxes on middle income families.

    Anyways... no ground breaking development... Clinton is still behind and will not be able to catch up no matter what...

    April 16, 2008 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  5. change1

    ABCNEWS, I have lost respect for you. You should have allowed the candidates more opportunity to discuss important matters than recalling matters before IOWA etc. THIS IS THE WORST DEBATE EVER! Take more training from CNN and others. You scored a D in this and wasted my time.

    April 16, 2008 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  6. chris

    Neither candidate can commit because there is too much time left in this election. Senator Clinton will win PA by 15-20 points and then win the majority of the remaining states. This will take this race to the end. She will likely win the popular vote and then the super delegates will realize that she has the best chance to win the general election. Senator Obama should consider the role of VP.

    I believe it would be in the best interest of the party for the two to run together. We will hold the white house for the next 16 years.

    April 16, 2008 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  7. kriss g

    I cannot imagine Obama ever choosing Hillary as a running mate. The way that she has managed her campaign, her inconsistent messaging, poor leadership choice, and inability to rally funding from the people is completely off shot from his successes.

    April 16, 2008 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  8. Chris

    Really boring debate. One of the worst debates in the last year and a half. This debate is not going to change anything. Some of the questions were really irrelevant. Miss CNN's debates.

    Anyway. Obama looks like he is secured the nomination. HIllary should start considering her only exit strategy. To Exit gracefully and support Obama like she pledges.

    April 16, 2008 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  9. D.W.; Miami, FL

    This was the worst debate I have ever watched.


    No economy questions until over an hour!
    Glossy over Iraq
    Ayers who?

    What about

    Afghanistan and Pakistan???
    The housing crisis?
    Bush administration crimes

    The fact that George asked an affirmative action question in this election cycle just shocks the conscience.

    April 16, 2008 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  10. bill

    This was the worse case of tabloid ratings hawking I have ever seen. This was not a debate.

    April 16, 2008 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  11. patricia

    As a Democrat I have many doubts concerning Obama. First and
    foremost concerns about how he really feels about White people.
    Listening to his wife Michele speak, she speaks with such anger
    in her voice. At least we know what we are getting with Hillary.
    I have never voted Republican before,this may be the first if
    Obama is nominated.

    April 16, 2008 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  12. Jay Shah

    I thought this debate was horrible. ABC made the entire focus topics that the american ppl have grown tired off. However, i must say, i'm surprised there was nothing about the Mark Penn-Colombia scandal.

    I thought the anchors made it a point to to try to trap Obama and it seemed like they were overpushing some of the screwed up notions that the republicans and clintons have been pushing the last week

    April 16, 2008 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  13. Phyllis

    Anyone who watched to debate witnessed first hand a Obama Slamfest. Charlie and George wasted so much time on non issues. They never asked about NAFTA, Penn or anything that would slam Hillary. What a joke the debate turned out to be..............

    April 16, 2008 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  14. Chris Banner

    The winner should nominate the Vice-President,
    And the VP should be as competent as the President
    And I believe Obama will make the right choice once in the oval office

    April 16, 2008 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  15. J. Forbes, Texas Independent

    They're either lying or they're blind.

    April 16, 2008 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  16. Willy

    Did I miss it? I was watching American Idol.

    April 16, 2008 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  17. No Republicans in Whitehouse

    The debate was a total joke. National Enquirer stuff.

    I agree with them both – I like them both.

    ABC ran a silly and shallow debate and it was clear they came out with guns blazing against Obama. It was lop-sided from the start.

    April 16, 2008 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  18. Phil from Guadalupe, Ca.

    Well it's nice to know that there is a sense that there is a sense of urgency to end the primaries even if in June.
    Because the real opponent will be John McCain and he must be loving all of this infighting. Until today when both candidates were united.

    April 16, 2008 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |


    April 16, 2008 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  20. Sue

    This was the worst tabloid debate I have ever seen. This was a mugging in disguise by the moderaters. Geroge And Charlie should be ashamed of how this was handled. Hannity handed off a stupid question to George and he asked it! When did Hannity become a member of ABC..I was truly wanting to see a debate on the issues, not tablod questions. I have now crossed ABC evening New and Geroge Stephanopolis off my watch list. It wa almost as though Hillary had knowledge of the questions she was asked. To hammer someone on a pin, or a remote intangible relationship is ludicrous. All of these questions were asked and answered. Why doesn't ABC just come out and say Hillary is the next POTUS..Disgusting!! Barack still has my vote!!

    April 16, 2008 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  21. Madana

    Barack had so many opportunities to KO Hillary – he was being too nice. It was clear that he was able to raise the dignity of the debate and even got Hillary to be nicer than she naturally is. She would be great in a cat fight.
    On the telling the truth bit – what about Bill getting the $800,000 on the Columbia deal.
    Madana, Fl

    April 16, 2008 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  22. Twinkle

    Hillary has devided the the party why would he consider her? She did not look Presidential. Do we really want a President who does not care about the American people. Hillary and her husband is worth a hundred million. how can she elae to being a single parent ,or humble beginings she"s no me.

    April 16, 2008 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  23. God Bless America

    Which is it Hillary can he win or not?
    In OBAMA's face you say he can win,behind his back you say he can't win and you want the Superdelagates to vote against the PEOPLE and vote for you!!!!!!! Why should they vote for a two-faced , backbiting democratic violater? OH, I'm sorry.................THEY'RE NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    You should Start Practicing now: "HELLO MR. PRESIDENT."

    April 16, 2008 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  24. Nathan

    I hope Obama keeps trashing the economic legacy from the Bill Clinton years. I hope this Harvard Academic keeps telling bitter Americans about how he understands foreign policy more than anyone else and how he is the change that he has been waiting for. I used to think Obama was eloquent, but his stuttering changed that for me. I used to think he was relevant, but then his trashing of the Clinton's in deference to the voodoo economist Reagan showed he was a chameleon. I used to think he was a leader, but now I know that if Obama is elected President, the US will unfortunately have 3 successive President's who are much worse than the great American people deserve. O'Bumma!

    April 16, 2008 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  25. Venus

    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! After all that has been said and done – I will be happy when Hillary take Bill and go home. Not the white house – but where-ever they live! Obama – just keep your foot on her neck! She is not worth saving. I am also amazed that considering the brand name of the Clintons that she is having trouble beating a so called rookie!

    April 16, 2008 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
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