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. Cruiser66

    This was the worst debate I have ever seen. It was bias and for the first 63 minutes the moderators played "gotcha" – mostly with Senator Obama. I can't believe these two pathetic excuses for moderators asked Senator Obama about the "weather-underground" person; the "bitter" comment; the "flag pin"; and Rev. Wright. Oh yeah, they asked Clinton about Bosnia. The bias against Senator Obama was unbelievable. The moderators and Clinton disrespected him. Senator Obama refers to her as "Senator Clinton" and she calls him Barak. I won't be watching ABC again as it is now FOX/

    April 16, 2008 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  2. k.m.k.

    w hat a tabloid debate. If there is another debate I truly hope that real journalists will ask the questions not Clinton FLUNKYS. hOPE CNN or msnbc get the next one !!!!

    April 16, 2008 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  3. John

    Why was George Stephanopoulos moderating this debate, given his long-standing relationship with the Clintons?

    April 16, 2008 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  4. Ryan from Indiana

    I thought Hillary's answer on Bosnia was very good.

    April 16, 2008 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  5. Monica, Texas

    If Obama was not vetted before he sure was after this debate...It seemed very one sided. I thought someone should have asked Hillary if she wanted a pillow? I'm not sure if Charlie and George were looking ahead thinking Obama would be demcrat of choice or they wanted to see how "tough" he was under pressure. Either way I thought Obama held his own. Hillary for the most part was not given much of the lime light.

    April 16, 2008 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  6. Brian C from New York

    This wasn't really a debate, it was more like a bash Obama for an hour. I really must agree with Obama on this one...we are tired of this. This kind of nonsense make me bitter! Over all however I think this so called debate goes to Obama. He took the high road while Hillary tried to drag him into the mud. This HAS to hurt her over all image and really does make it look like she is desperate.

    I went to both camps blogs after the debate...Obamas was full of what I was feeling...that ABC did a terrible job! It was really one sided. No talk about Penn but the flag pin? Come on...

    Next I went to Hillary's blog. WOW, is it only women posting over there? They were very happy with her performance and felt the questions (beating up Obama) were finally due. I thought that was a bit funny as we have heard his comments on these non issues soooo many times. They are also looking for polls so they can "help out our girl!"

    Bottom line, these 2 candidates are so close on all the important issues!!!!! Why would anyone of their supporters vote for McBush if their candidate doesn't win is proof that RACE and GENDER is playing a HUGE ROLL!

    My vote goes to Obama. I will vote for Hillary if she gets the nod but I still don't trust her... she can't be as bad as McCain!

    April 16, 2008 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  7. Ryan

    Where were the questions about NAFTA, Mark Penn??

    April 16, 2008 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  8. Yve

    Hopefully after this fiasco one of the news organization will jump on the real news reporting band wagon. There are a lot of people that are sick of the tabloid direction that the msm has taken. For a second there I thought I was watching fauxnews. No, my T.V was tuned to ABC but it won't be for long. I have given up FOX and am mentally relaxed for it. Let me make this clear. Yes I'm an Obama supporter but even if I was supporting Hillary I would be turned off. I've been reading newspapers since the age of 6 and expect the news to be different than the National Inquirer. However lately I can't tell which is which.

    April 16, 2008 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  9. Mark

    Its clear after tonight that Mrs. Clinton is the best person for the job and a real leader. Sour face Obama needs to drop of race and let hillary get on with the race. Obama tried his best to attack everyone and was off from all the issures. Mrs. Clinton more of a President person that sour face Obama.

    April 16, 2008 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  10. Dianne Salazar

    Fifty minutes of questions that have nothing to do with solving America's devasting problems, but tear apart and undermine our political process. This was supposed to be a debate on the issues that matter to our lives. Once again the media has shown a propensity to waste valuable time on devisive non-issues that will not solve even one of the constitutional crisises that we have been facing this last seven years. What about questions to each about their views on the White House condoning torchure at the highest levels, fisa, Supreme Court nominees, signing statements, Procecution Attorneys being politicized? There are plenty of questions that could serve to enlighten the voting population, but instead you served only to divert with idiocy. NOT THIS TIME!!! You wasted our valuable time with trash!!! Shame on you.

    April 16, 2008 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |



    April 16, 2008 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  12. FELIPE

    Remember, based on two local polls here in the philadelphia area, she won the debate. Another major factor is that Barack Wants to raise tthe capital gains (which is currrently 15%) to 28%. Are you kidding me.
    Hillary my dear you are on your way. Prediction; she will win PA by at least 10 points.

    April 16, 2008 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  13. Former Barack Supporter

    He got creamed tonight.

    April 16, 2008 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  14. will

    In my twenty years of voteing i have never seen a debate turn into and all out war on one candiate. ABC owes Obama a lot of aplolgies. It does not suprise me since one of the clinton's former staffers was asking the questions. 50 minutes of disgusting slime attacks by ABC. I guess we now know who ABC is pulling for.

    April 16, 2008 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  15. leon PA

    that was not a debate go home hillary

    April 16, 2008 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  16. Chris

    After Obama said several times that these weren't the issues the American people were interested in, the announcers continued and interrupted and argued.

    The above poster is right as well, Obama defended Clinton several times and Clinton was continously attacking. She can't say anything positive about anyone unless it benefits her.

    Bitter comment
    Being on some panel with a neighbor that was related to bombings when he was 8 yrs old

    Nothing about Penn
    Nothing about offshore accounts
    Nothing about NAFTA
    Nothing about voting for the War

    Where was the balance?

    April 16, 2008 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  17. Gillis

    She is doing everything she can right now to make sure that none of them takes the oath of office next January.

    April 16, 2008 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  18. Beverley

    This was the worst presidential debates of the 30+ (republican and democratic) debates I have watched. Where was the exchange of ideas or policies? Where were the issues that matter to the majority of voters? (like we didnt know that Clinton lies and Barrack does want to put holes in his fancy suit lapels!) I am so mad – I'll never watch ABC again (in case you haven't noticed George and Charlie – we have options and they run 24/7! unlike you!)

    Lastly, CNN I have watched you since 6th grade when Bernie Shaw was your anchor – if you let those ABC Bozos trash your industry and get away calling their dismal and bias horse and pony show as a debate – I'll get all my news off the net.

    Jack Cafferty I expect one of your questions to be about this debacle! Wolf remind everyone why all your debates were rating breakers! Howard Kurtz – I'll be watching your show on sunday! Don't let them get away with this!

    April 16, 2008 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  19. H.M.

    This has been the theme for the last five months. She is willing to pull them both down for her own selfish ambitions. Every pundit out there has said the same thing. If the roles were reversed and Billary had the lead in votes, delegates, and states won, it done been over. Her supporters like to say that it's because Barack is black that he's getting 85%+ of the black vote. Alas they omit one thing, that she led among blacks until Obama won the 97% white state of IOWA. And not only did he win, she came in third. What I'd like to ask her is, "where would YOU be in the nomination if you weren't Bill Clintons wife??? I say she wouldn't even be a Senator, let alone President.

    April 16, 2008 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  20. from Boston

    Obama can spin his comments any way he wants – he is so bad that he is unelectable. He continuously has to spin and explain what he means after people become outraged at what he says. We know what he means the first time around, but to embellish and twist things a different way only makes him a fool.

    April 16, 2008 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  21. Marc, Tacoma Wash

    I am in shock that when they tried to attack Hillary, Obama was the better person and tried to make her look good. On the other hand, when they tried on Obama, she came with her claws ready to tear. I have lost all respect for Hillary Clinton. Obama said she could win in a General Election and Hillary said Yes, Yes, Yes. In this debate, Obama showed that he is the better man and I really think the people of PA will see this. She will do anything to win. She is really sad.

    Obama 08

    April 16, 2008 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  22. Sherri

    Go Obama. You are honest. You are sincere. We need your integrity and intelligence.

    The mediators, if you can call them that, were clearly on Hillary's side. The questions were aimed at Obama, and God bless him, he fielded them well.

    April 16, 2008 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  23. Newman

    Clinton lost that debate. Obama was the clear winner, and made it very clear where he stood on the issues. A lot of Pennsylvania voters just swayed his way tonight. Go Obama! '08

    April 16, 2008 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  24. frustrated, Iowa

    I totally agree that Obama took the high road. We were very disappointed, however that the first half of the debate seemed to be a campaign commercial for Clinton attacking Obama. In all fairness, she didn't have to do the dirty work herself; she had George Stephanopolus interrupting and arguing with Obama, then lofting softballs to Hillary as the perfect interlude to her prepared statements. I wouldn't be surprised if George was wearing a Hillary '08 t-shirt underneath his suit!

    Both supposed moderators clearly were trying to put Obama on the defensive and it was obvious who they are rooting for. Hopefully the American people have seen enough of the other balanced debates to make their decisions. Instead of taking tonight to really dive into important issues, we got to spend the first hour rehashing the explosive soundbites that are meant to distract and confuse people. Conflict is what sells, and it sure pushed their agenda tonight.

    Keep your chin up Barack; we're still hanging on for an Obama presidency! America needs you!

    April 16, 2008 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  25. PB

    George S as moderator, a shining light on Clinton's daughter every five minutes... 40 minutes of Obama bashing questions...Was that a paid Clinton ad?

    Clinton replied to a question about why she LIED about Bosnia by saying she wasn't DUMB? Hmmmm. Maybe she should get more sleep, but ohhh she needs to be ready at 3am.

    Obama may have worded things badly with the bitter comments but there was truth in his meaning, there was nothing but a lie in her Bosnia comments and everyone knows that...

    And for being vetted, she has more bones in her closet then missing files in Vince Fosters office... Also why is no one mentioning what she and Bill did to put Stan Lee (comic book hero) out of business...

    I am from PA but live in Colorado, PA please vote her out....

    Please don't censor this.

    April 16, 2008 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
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