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. James

    ABC should be ashamed. They directed cheap shots, virtually all at Barack. Hillary has apparently cried enough about being vetted–which really hasn't happened except for the most obvious self-inflicted wounds. I certainly hope the voters can see this this...a tabloid-like, insinuation-laden, cynical or hollow series of attacks that will feed the pundits for days to come–What a waste of time, and a real loss for our democracy. ABC should issue an apology!!!

    April 16, 2008 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  2. Lindsay Johnson

    ABC makes me ill. They didn't even go near the Colombia double-dealing of the lying, thieving Clintons. I will never watch ABC or visit Disneyland again.

    April 16, 2008 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  3. J Gonzales

    What a horrible debate!! I'm so disappointed in ABC – this felt like it was run by the National Enquirer!

    April 16, 2008 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  4. ellianna

    A night of GUTTER by ABC!! Now CNN are you going to be in the same boat?

    April 16, 2008 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  5. lili

    abc was visibly bias. It did not make sence to have clinton closest aid be the moderator

    April 16, 2008 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  6. KLM

    This was a horrible debate. I couldn't believe ABC actually thought this was a debate. Where was the substance? I'm an Obama supporter but I wanted to hear both talk about pertinent issues. However, I do think they had it out for Obama. I don't care about snipers, bittergate, Wright, $109million. (I'm tired of hearing about them). I want to hear about specifics and not tabloid fodder. Those 2 clowns call themselves "journalists"??????

    They need to take lessons from the reporters from CNN and MSNBC. The ABC journalists look like they should actually be on Access Hollywood or something like that. It was horrible.

    April 16, 2008 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  7. For Obama in Oklahoma

    The ABC debate was a waste of my time. All the moderators were interested in doing was going over the same crap I have already heard enough of. How many times does Senator Obama have to explain himself? He has given all the explanation that is necessary. And when will it be time for Hillary to explain her poor decisions....well I can tell you it wasn't going to happen tonight...it was the most one sided debate I've seen. I kept waiting on Charlie and George to ask Hillary if she needed her pillow fluffed and another shot of Crown Royale. She is so negative and seems to enjoy stabbing her fellow democrat in the back over and over........ I'm ready for all this drama to finished and to see the only honest, inspiring, and intelligent candidate get in the White House. Hang in there Mr. Obama this nightmare is almost over and when the dust settles YOU will be the people's choice.

    OBAMA 08

    April 16, 2008 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  8. Madana

    If you really cared, if you really understood people – you would understand how a person who was not allowed to go to school, who had to sit in the back of the bus, who had to drink from the colored fountain, who was called colored but is now called black (after first attached all sorts of negative atributes to the word black) – would be angry. But keep the campaign going and you will get exactly what you deserve – to spend a lot of time at home with Bill.
    At first Presidency was a distinct possibility, then the vice presidency but you have screwed that up too. KJeep it going and you wil screw up your entile political career.
    Former Hillary supporter

    April 16, 2008 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  9. Julie N,Naperville, IL

    I couldn't watch the debate because I knew Billary was going to come out with more BS against Barack..Please still keep in mind that she is desperate and will do ANYTHING to win..I did watch Keith Olberman afterwards and I do have to laugh...Keith interviewed Senator Bob Casey who was nothing more then a gentlemen when asked what he thought about the debate...the only person who he interviewed for Billary was Howard Wolfson..who was a complete idiot in his remarks..while I feek Barack had a hard night, I still doubt any of the numbers will change...Good Luck to you Barack..I am behind you 100%....

    April 16, 2008 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  10. Matt, Austin Tx

    This was a very well conducted debate. No "rah rah" applause and the moderators asked direct, tough questions (as opposed to the candidates attacking each other). Each candidate had plenty of time to answer questions from the moderators and rebut arguments presented by the other candidate.

    Also, both candidates presented themselves as wanting to unify their party's effort in winning the presidency.

    Congratulations to ABC for a job well done! We need more of the same in this (and every) election year.

    April 16, 2008 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |

    George S. is a little dirt bag from the Clinton Adm. Why should he be allowed to ask questions?

    April 16, 2008 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |

    I like seeing the OBAMA supporters attack the Clintons, it shows theree is problems in their Party.

    Macain/rice 09

    haha Clinton would be better than OBAMA

    April 16, 2008 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  13. jimmy vekmen

    That should be the last debate between the two Democrats and am glad that both acknowledged that either one is electable.,although it would have shocked the viewers if Clinton and Obama both committed themselves to having the the runner-up as their VP
    running mate. I believe Hillary will not hesitate for one moment to have Obama as her running mate if she were to win the nomination.
    I have my doubts about Obama choosing Hillary as his VP running mate. Which brings me to the subject of Bill Richardson, whom I believe from the moment he switched his support from Hillary to Obama, that he was running for VP. AND THAT, people would be a disaster for Obama.

    April 16, 2008 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  14. Karen - Branson

    The REAL story is about the tabloit style debate. For over half hour the most useless questions and accusations I've ever seen about NOTHING! It wasn't until the second half that any issues were addressed and by that time 1/2 the viewers changed channels rather than watch a trash "debate". People want to see ISSUES.

    but then we learn that one of the moderators used to be in President Clinton's cabinet? Isn't that a conflict of interest? So that's why Hillary was smiling.

    PLEASE CNN...either you or MSNBC exclusively handle debates from now on because ABC can't seem to find decent moderators.

    If Barack Obama is smart, he will NOT let the DNC make him use Hillary as VP. She is totally NOT in sync with the change we need in Washington! Her tactics are proof enough she has no business in the "new" politics our country desperately needs.

    April 16, 2008 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  15. Sliv

    It's simply amazing how the newsmen manage to win the power struggle to evade meaningful discussion of the issues. The candidates give the cues loud and clear and are ignored. Single issue voters' issues, such as 2nd amendment rights vs. gun control, are the only ones getting any persistent airing at all. Wow, there are such huge issues! The candidates and the voters know it, and the news media do the repetitious easy....Why do we even watch?
    Barack Obama consistently rises above the fray, calls it politics as usual, and Clinton doesn't: wallows in the mud of the moment.
    Obama won this debate and he will win the nomination and the general election.

    April 16, 2008 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  16. Ex-Hillary supporter

    The more I see of Hillary and her dirty politicking, the better Obama looks.
    He has my support 100%. Switching allegiance was a smart move.

    April 16, 2008 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  17. lugina

    GREAT JOB HILLARY...period, Obama please go home...

    April 16, 2008 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  18. Dave

    It would be a grave mistake for these two to be on the same ticket.

    April 16, 2008 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  19. Tur

    I'm not sure who Obama was debating. Was he debating Clinton or the moderators? I have to admit, CNN's debates have been the most "balanced" thus far. Obama was put on the defensive time and again about his patriotism while the moderators let her skate on questions of Mark Penn's involvement with the Colombians and Bill's Asian connections. Sad, very sad!

    April 16, 2008 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  20. Ryan

    Obama refrained from attacking Hillary on her obvious Bosnia lie. But she took every opportunity to dig in on controversies surrounding much more minor issues. That right there tells you all you need to know about their personal character.

    April 16, 2008 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  21. MD

    Hillary said, "I am a lot of things, but I am not dumb."

    That is an improvement on her usual statements. At least this one was half true.

    It is true that Hillary is, "a lot of things" (including a habitual liar).

    It is a lie that you are not dumb.

    April 16, 2008 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  22. Zina

    Why was George allowed to moderate this debate? He was the communications director under the Clinton Administration. I don't like feeling deceived by the media. Obama did only as well as he could have.

    Obama '08

    April 16, 2008 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  23. Kenneth M.

    Obama was such a gracous guy tonight. He could have creamed her but he knows that does not work, it just feels good but plays to the lowest of us. Hillary just had to be rude and it will come back to haunt her. When asked if he could win she said yes yes yes.

    April 16, 2008 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  24. female grad student NYC

    These debates show the true colors of the candidates – Obama is obviously worse than his campaign makes him out to be while Hillary is better than hers!!!!

    Hillary did great! She is such an intelligent and tough woman she's so inspiring!

    April 16, 2008 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  25. Charles

    It only makes sense to me, Hillary Clinton's campaign now and statements in the debate this evening, is that she has decided that she cannot get the nomination. Understanding that she is not going to get the nomination, she is determined that no other Democrat is going to win the general election if it is not going to be her.

    April 16, 2008 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
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