April 18th, 2008
07:00 PM ET
10 years ago

Clinton accepts Indiana debate invitation

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Hillary Clinton accepted an invitation Friday to debate Barack Obama in Indiana ahead of the state’s May 6 primary, at an event sponsored by the Indiana Debate Commission, CNN and PBS.

As of Friday, Obama had not committed to participate in the debate.

A senior Clinton aide said the New York senator would appear at the debate on April 24, two days after the Pennsylvania primary. The commission offered April 24 as one possible date for the event, but noted in the invitations sent to Clinton and Obama that “we can work with you on the dates.”

“We are looking forward to a good debate in Indiana,” said Howard Wolfson, Clinton’s communications director. “We hope that Senator Obama’s poor performance in Philadelphia does not dissuade him from doing future debates.”

Wolfson was critiquing Obama’s performance Wednesday night when the two Democratic presidential hopefuls squared off in Philadelphia at a debate televised on ABC.

A senior Obama aide said that no decision has been made whether or not the Illinois senator will accept the Indiana invitation.

“There have been 21 Democratic debates and four one-on-one debates with Senator Clinton, all televised nationally,” said Bill Burton, Obama’s communications director. “Our focus will be on meeting with voters in Indiana and hearing directly from them. We will make a decision about debates shortly.”

In the latest CNN Pennsylvania Poll of Polls, Obama is trailing Clinton by five points - four days before that state’s primary. Obama leads Clinton in the race for delegates as well as the overall popular vote.

In Indiana, there has not been enough polling for a CNN Indiana Poll of Polls. But a recent Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg Poll showed that Obama had a five point lead over Clinton, although the survey had a four point margin of error.

The commission is a consortium of Indiana television stations and newspapers. The debate would air live nationally on CNN and PBS and on public television stations statewide, and made available to every commercial broadcast station in Indiana.

In addition to the media organizations, the commission is comprised of citizen groups, including the League of Women Voters of Indiana and the Indiana Coalition for Open Government.

Filed under: Hillary Clinton
soundoff (284 Responses)
  1. Grif

    Hillary's Last Stand! Hope you, are gonna wear you're Boots..

    April 18, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  2. Sean

    Of course she would! After that abonination of a debate the other night, she probably thinks it'd benefit her. I would imagine Obama will agree to one, but I know what station it WON'T be on!

    April 18, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  3. Niky

    Of course Clinton wants to debate... so that she can be mean and nasty to Obama in front of everyone.

    April 18, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  4. SF

    This is a non issue as she will be out of the race on Tuesday.

    April 18, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  5. James

    Enough of these debates. I am already getting sick. Geezzz...

    April 18, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  6. Ilona Proud Canadian

    Please God, save us from yet another debate!!!!!!!!!1

    April 18, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  7. Kristine

    Poor performance? Didn't you hear Obama? He has already done 21 debates, though the last debate was more of a mud-slinging parade for ABC. They can deliver each others' lines. I ask how Wolfson can sleep at night. Worse than Rove. Worse.

    April 18, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  8. SF

    I hear she has made some of own comments against Democratic activists behind closed doors. The audio is just breaking.

    Google Hillary Slams Democratic Activists.

    April 18, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  9. Paul

    Hillary you have been strong in every debate.

    On the other hand, Obama has done poorly and that is a clear evidence that when he does not have his outline at hand ( that probably is prepared by his Preacher Mr. Wright) he is "just words" (but unexperienced ones)

    Hillary – President of the United States of America

    We love you Hillary, words cannot deceive us from the fact that you are the best candidate to lead our nation!

    April 18, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  10. Venus

    21 debates and counting! I hope Penn seals the deal! As a matter of fact – this race is over with! Get your dolls and toys Hillary and leave!

    April 18, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  11. Charlotte

    Obama will say, NO I Won't, NO I Won't. He really sucks at debates. He doesn't think fast on his feet. Take away the pre-written text and he is like a Duck Out of Water

    April 18, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  12. Mark Anthony

    Poor debate? That could not even be considered a debate, they talked about "crap" for 45 minutes. I think other debates are pointless. I'm tired of hearing the same ole, same ole.

    Lets move this ahead. Clinton needs to drop out, how arrogant of her to think she is owed the Presidency!!!

    April 18, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  13. SD4Obama

    No more!! Why do we need more debates? his last debate was awful, you think the next would be better? Who are the moderators? Tom and Jerry? We're worn out on debates.

    Obama is right, stick to the real issues, cut the crap.

    Why doesn't some one ask Hillary about her screw 'em comment?
    I bet she says that about alot of people.

    April 18, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  14. Roger

    Always, Always, Always. Hillary is always the first to jump into the action, while Obama has to be prodded.

    April 18, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  15. Jacqueline

    If I were Obama, I would tell her to get lost!!

    April 18, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  16. California Girl

    You go, Hillary!
    Obama the whiner is scared to debate against Hillary. Hillary is way too smart for him. Hillary cares for the American people, Obama only cares about his ego.

    April 18, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  17. Ian

    How is it the people continue to think that Obama had a bad debate. Was I the only one that saw Hillary say she lied "a couple of times?" This is a habit with the Clinton's from "no sexual relations" to "sniper fire." If she is not honest, how can you vote for her?

    April 18, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  18. Voice of Reason

    "Poor performance" ... ahh, gotta love Clinton's idio... er I mean staff.

    Given the attacks he was sustaining, he performed admirably, and given Clinton's smirk... well, let's just say her response to the attacks was disgusting.

    April 18, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  19. Not Impressed

    Too bad Obama will never accept this debate. He is already tired of discussing the issues and would rather send out celebrities like Dave Matthews to campaign for him. Show some backbone Obama.

    April 18, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  20. AZM

    No way he does it... She handed him his lunch at the last one!

    April 18, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  21. Roger

    No Hillary! Your going to make him c-c-c-cry.

    April 18, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  22. Jacqueline

    Typical Hillary tactics, reminds me of something George Bush would do. IT IS TIME FOR A CHANGE!

    April 18, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  23. Sandy

    This is just a little bit of what the commentary is saying.
    I guess she had better not run for president, if she can't stand the heat...or don't put on the uniform if she isn't prepared – as her hubby is saying.

    Democrats are intimidating her supporters. Oh No!!!

    "At a small closed-door fundraiser after Super Tuesday, Sen. Hillary Clinton blamed what she called the "activist base" of the Democratic Party - and MoveOn.org in particular - for many of her electoral defeats, saying activists had "flooded" state caucuses and "intimidated" her supporters, according to an audio recording of the event obtained by The Huffington Post."

    April 18, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |


    April 18, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  25. Holly

    Will it be another National Enquirer debate?

    Would any real questions be asked.

    Will Hillary keep blaming other people?

    Is Hillary really Bi-Polar?

    Will Hillary keep lying?

    April 18, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
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