PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania (CNN) - In their last face-to-face meeting before a crucial primary showdown in Pennsylvania, Democrats Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama went back and forth over recent campaign-trail controversies before staking out differences on taxes and the economy.
In the end, both conceded their opponent is capable of defeating Republican John McCain for the presidency in November while maintaining they would have the best chance of the two.
"Yes. Yes. Yes," Clinton said when pressed to answer whether Obama, the senator from Illinois, could win. Media reports have said Clinton and her campaign have been quietly courting support, chiefly from Democratic superdelegates who could decide a close race at the party's convention, by arguing that Obama is not electable.
"Now, I think I can do a better job - obviously that's why I'm here," said Clinton, who promised she will "do everything I possibly can to make sure that one of us takes the oath of office next January."
Obama said Clinton could win, too. He also said he would support the New York senator and former first lady if she is the Democratic nominee, although both candidates declined to say whether they would consider naming the other as a running mate.
"One thing I'm absolutely certain of is, come August when we're in Denver, the Democratic Party will come together," he said.
The candidates spent nearly half of the debate, hosted by ABC News, tilting over flare-ups that have been fodder for journalists, partisans and pundits for the past few weeks. Much of the fire was leveled at Obama, who once again answered questions about controversial statements by his former pastor and his own comments that some rural Pennsylvanians are "bitter."