April 18th, 2008
07:00 PM ET
6 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. Marie in California

    I think Obama is too chicken-hearted to debate Hillary again. He only does things that are "safe" and now he's gun-shy because he feels ABC beat up on him in the last debate. Poor baby....upset because they asked quesruons that directly relate to character and judgment.

    I also know Obama won't debate on Fox News Channel, even though they've invited him. Heck, he won't even appear on their channel.....too scared to face their questions.

    Well, I've noticed Hillary comes back for more debates, even after getting beat up by the mainstream media during the preceding 20 debates as they tried to pimp Obama, their Chosen One.

    Give me a break!

    Hillary of McCain – 2008

    April 18, 2008 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  2. David in Illinois

    I hope Hillary's poor performance nationwide in caucus after caucus, primary after primary, don't hinder her at the next debate. (renenber the 11 in a row you lost by double-digit margins?) She's the one who did poorly at the Pa. debate, because she couldn't face Obama on the issues. She had to go for the petty stuff.
    Nothing can detract from the fact that more superdelegates are moving to Obama, and even Clinton's "friends" are abandoning her daily. Most recent: the honorable Robert Reich. Smart, smart man.
    It's over Billary!

    April 18, 2008 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  3. Brad IL.

    He won't ! He suck's at debates. He looks even more lost than McCain. Hillary for President or this is one of many that will vote for McCain. I hope the Democrats have enough new voters to cover the one's they are going to lose. Omama is the most ridiculous person to put in this office and I will not vote for him just because of the party elite. They are not supporting him for any thing except for the money. DNC is broke and they will have to get Obama to get his welfare people out in force to get the money they will need to beat McCain. No Omama

    April 18, 2008 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  4. texas cattle

    Man up, Obama!

    April 18, 2008 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  5. Chris in Va.

    Yes We Can-"Let her debate in front of a mirror." Fabulous idea!!! It is a iron-clad way to get rid of Hillary once and for all! She could stand there and debate her split personalities forever! Between that and the fact that she doesn't know when to sit down and shut up......solutions we can use.

    April 18, 2008 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  6. tuff

    What would be the point in another debate,t hey have had 21 of them, I'm bored with these so called debates, they just want to keep harping Obama over the same irrelavant issues, about Rev Wright, lapel pins, something hillary never wears, and whether someone is bitter, I'm bitter and I'm not from a small town, I'm from a big town

    April 18, 2008 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  7. frustrated in PA

    I am a conservative and I watched the debate the other evening so as to make an informed decision when I cast my vote in November. Sorry to point this out folks, but Obama got negative first. He was the first to slam Hillary for her comments on his "bitter" comment both in speeches and in advertising. I am not a fan of either Hillary or Obama, can't really say I'm all that excited about McCain either, but Obama scares me. With Hillary we already know what to expect. It's like choosing one abuser over ther other because you already know what their fists feel like,

    I would like to further add that all the negativity and pure hate put forth in these blogs has helped to soften my political tone. I unfortunately saw a lot of my former self reflected in the more hateful blogs and did not like what I saw. It's politics, and yes even if Obama is elected it will be politics as usual. He will learn very fast how things don't get done in Washington and follow suit.

    April 18, 2008 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  8. ANTI CLINTONS

    Who is she going to debate? Obama has kicked her fat butt all over the place and 21 debates is enough, time to campaign and get the nomination.

    April 18, 2008 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  9. Justin

    Judging from the misspellings, grammatical errors and mixed metaphors of the comments from Clinton supporters, I think the country could benefit from the education policies of a President Obama. Before you call me an elitist, I make just over minimum wage. My family just happens to value education, which doesn't seem that high a priority for Clinton supporters.

    April 18, 2008 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  10. Michael Guinn , Ventura, CA

    21 is enough already–well, actually 20. ABC did not run a debate- they ran a circus.

    April 18, 2008 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  11. Zeppo!

    Add up MICHIGAN and FLORIDA into the count and presto-chango, we have a winner.

    OBLAHBLAH is winning all the states that McCain is sure to win.
    He has no chance of beating McCain. McCain will take all the red states AND may grab California and New York, and disenfranchised Florida.

    April 18, 2008 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  12. Ed

    Enough of the debates. Someone pleeeeeeeeze stop them.

    April 18, 2008 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  13. boer

    If I were Obama I would not accept a further debate so early after Pennsylvania, which would make no sense if HILLARY is not able yo win big there.

    And I would insist that the debate should be concentarted on issues, with KNOWLEDGEABLE moderators asking and debating actively jointly with the camdidates. Rehashing the same issues and slogans
    as in the past 21 debates would be an useless exercize

    TOM BOER

    April 18, 2008 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  14. JOHN

    OH HELL NO. DON'T DO OBAMA, IT'S ANOTHER SET UP, A TRAP, A STING. ONLY GO IF THE FIRST FIVE QUESTIONS ARE. 1. HILLARY DID YOU LIE ABOUT BOSINA? 2. WHY DID YOU TAKE $850,000 FROM HEALTH CARE LOBBIEST AS MIKE MOORE SAID YOU DID IN THE MOVIE SICKO, AT THE SAME TIME YOU WERE TELLING THE AMERICAN PEOPLE YOU WERE FIGHTING FOR UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE? 3. WHY DID BILL TAKE 800,000 FROM A SPEECH ON CFTA? 4. HOW COME YOU DON'T WEAR A LAPEL PIN AND A THONG? 5.WAS YOUR X PASTOR CONVICTED OF CHILD MOLESTATION? ONE MORE QUESTION 6. PLEASE TELL US ABOUT PETER PAUL VS CLINTON?

    April 18, 2008 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  15. Justin

    Thank you.

    April 18, 2008 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  16. GO HILLARY

    MEET HER IN INDIANA!

    PEOPLE ARE SICK OF DEBATES – BUT WE HAVEN'T TALKED ABOUT THE ISSUES IN A WHILE.

    INDIANA IS A STATE IN NEED OF SOME LEADERSHIP AND WE WANT TO HEAR WHAT THEY HAVE TO SAY!!!!

    April 18, 2008 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  17. Linda F

    The young senator (Obama) will be confronted with questions and a much tougher contest in the general election. It was obvious in the ABC Debate he is not ready. Senator Clinton has had to deal with much of what Senator Obama is now facing. The reality is, this is a highly competative contest. Up to this point Obama has had his hand held and been coddled by the media. For most of his campaign Obama has let his surigates do all the mud slinging, inspired people with his speeches and praised for his elloquence. Now it is time for Obama to grow up and stop whining, after all, he is running for the most prestigous and responsible position in America.

    April 18, 2008 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  18. Sheila WA

    That last supposed debate was no debate..It was tablioid journalism at its finest..Nothing about Healthcare, Jobs, infrastructure needing to be replaced..Folks are tired of hearing about Flag pins, which by the way, Hillary wasn't wearing one..It's one thing to pick apart Obama's votes and where he stands on the issues, but the media is playing into this voters personal values and I being from a small town, find it patronizing and insulting. Most of us know that wearing the right kind of pin isn't going to solve the jobs or healthcare crisis. Enough already.

    April 18, 2008 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  19. FNJ in Pa

    Are you kidding me?!!? Hopefully she is out by then! Pennsylvanians are too smart to be fooled by Hillary!

    OBAMA 08

    April 18, 2008 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  20. boer

    CORRECTION:

    Pls substitute my post 10.55 pm by:

    If I were Obama I would not accept a further debate after Pennsylvania, unless HILLARY is able to win big there.

    And I would insist that the debate should be concentarted on issues, with KNOWLEDGEABLE moderators asking and debating actively jointly with the camdidates. Rehashing the same issues and slogans
    as in the past 21 debates would be an useless exercize

    April 18, 2008 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  21. Dori in AZ

    Obama doesn't need to debate Hillary again. He can't reach most hardcore Clinton supporters and that certainly doesn't mean that they are ignorant or bad people. It just means that for whatever their personal reasons, their minds and their votes are closed to him.

    Least likely to ever join with Obama are those who threaten to vote for McCain (an older version of Bush who really went to war instead of just starting one!) if Hillary doesn't win the Democratic nomination.

    Die hard Clinton fans will hang in with Hillary no matter what. They loved Bill and still do. They see Hillary for what they believe she is. It is loyalty and devotion to someone to the max. No matter what the facts....

    Just as Obama has great supporters who would follow him anywhere, so does she. It is a political fact of life. There's no changing that. It is what it is.

    At this point, Obama needs to focus his campaign on tackling McCain who is already focusing on him. McCain will be throwing the kitchen sink – and, maybe the Clinton toilet! – at Obama! So, enough with the skirmishes with Clinton. The big battle with McCain has begun.

    Obama 2008!

    April 18, 2008 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  22. SC for Hillary

    OBAMA IS A FAKE AND CANNOT AND WILL NOT WIN THE ELECTION IN NOVEMBER, IF OBAMA IS SO GREAT, WHY IS HE AFRAID TO DEBATE HILLARY, OH I KNOW IT' IS BECAUSE THE DEBATES REALLY PULL THE COVER OFF HIM AND SHOW WHO OBAMA REALLY IS. I BET OBAMA WILL AGREE TO A DEBATE WITH BILL AYERS, TONY RESKZO AND FAMOUS AMERICAN HATER REV. WRIGHT, AND DON'T FORGET, TERRIOST MICHELLE OBAMA.

    April 18, 2008 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  23. Robert

    The questions Hillary cried about during the debates were directed towards her policies but Barack's were tabloid material. A big difference.

    April 18, 2008 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  24. Ladyleo

    No, not another debate;-–enough is enough.

    April 18, 2008 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  25. oppongfrank1

    I AM OBAMA 100% SUPPORTER AS WELL AS MY FRIENDS BUT I HAVE A SERIOUS MESSAGE FOR OBAMA TO STAY AWAY FROM WITCH SENATOR CLINTON DEBATE NO MORE THIS IS A TRAP SET TO DESTROY OBAMA. I HOPE HE WILL LISTEN TO HIS HEART AND LEARN FROM ABC DEBATE

    April 18, 2008 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
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