April 18th, 2008
07:00 PM ET
7 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. Jacqueline, NY

    I am going to call her Hillary Rodam Desperate Clinton from now on.

    April 18, 2008 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  2. FNJ in Pa

    By the way.....I LOVE HOW CLINTON SUPPORTERS HAVE SELECTIVE MEMORY. Remember when she was boo hoo'ing about "getting the first questions" and "getting all the tough questions". You people are so one sided it's insane. Hillary could get away with murder yet anything Barack does you slam him. Get a clue. Every one of you. And for all the idiots that say they wont support Obama if he is the nominee....GOOD WE DON'T NEED YOU ANYWAYS!

    OBAMA 08

    April 18, 2008 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  3. olive

    Everyone should cool it.

    April 18, 2008 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  4. Sheryl

    Enough of the debates lets get on with it. After 21 debates we all know we don't like Hillary one more debate and we still won't like Hillary. Enough is Enough

    April 18, 2008 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  5. Bayou Joe

    No more debates. I'm sick and tired of seeing the ugly face of Barak on TV. Get him a pacifier so he stops crying about how bad the media treats him.

    Go Hillary dont let the B's get you down.

    April 18, 2008 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  6. Vig

    So how many basketball analogies are we going to hear from Obama in Indiana? Spare me.

    April 18, 2008 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  7. Bayou Joe

    Registered Republican that votes Democrats now there is a split personallity. Do the honorable thing register as a Democrat.

    April 18, 2008 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  8. Cheryl

    We do hope that Wolfson's poor performance does, however, deter him from running such a wreck of a campaign again.

    April 18, 2008 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  9. pet

    why is the republicans only attacking obama and not hilary?

    why are they, the republicans and hilary, calling obama an elitist?

    think about it. EVERYONE, EVEN THOSE WITH HALF A BRAIN, KNOW OBAMA COMES FROM A LOW SOCI-ECONOMIC BACKGROUND AND ONLY RECENTLY HAS MADE MONEY FROM HIS BOOKS.

    politicians ONLY attack the ones with the most power or threat to win. Obama has the best chance to bean Mccain, so that why his attacks. Hilary is attacking his because SHE IS WILLING TO DESTROY THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY CHANCE TO WIN BY TEARING OBAMA DOWN, AND THEN LATER SHE WILL SAY, I TOLD YOU SO.

    WHAT A DECIETFUL WOMEN. HOW COULD ANYONE SUPPORT HER, I REALLY DONT UNDERSTAND HOW HILARY SUPPORTERS CANNOT READ RIGHT THROUGH HER.

    I READ HER SO CLEARLY AND I AM NOT A ROCKET SCIENTIST.

    April 18, 2008 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  10. boomer babe for Obama

    Only Clinton supporters and the media want more debates. ABC used the Wednesday night event to perpetuate the Clinton-generated smears, confirming Obama's position that such tactics prevent us from dealing with the nation's serious issues.

    Obama needs to stay out of Clinton's gutter and get on with the race against McCain.

    (I live in Asheville, NC and would gladly forego a debate in this state.)

    April 18, 2008 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  11. Florida voter

    Cant wait to see Hillary wipe the floor with Obama. Seriously, when was the last time that Obama beat her in a debate? Obamas good with speeches but when it come to debating the issues, he doesnt stand a chance.

    April 18, 2008 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  12. jo

    What is the use of debating. We could hear all the negetive stuff from her AD.

    April 18, 2008 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  13. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Go home Hillary and fix your problems with Bill. Your problems are not voters problems.

    April 18, 2008 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  14. lisa

    Obama did a great job in the so-called 'debate'- he elevated the discussion, stayed dignified, brought up issues in the face of national enquirer questions, and although the audience was asked not to applaud, they did anyway in response to Obama- 3 times, I think?!!

    Just look at their closing statements- Hillary's was completely empty, she said nothing! Obama's had substance.

    Go Obama!

    April 18, 2008 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  15. Peachy Keen

    I am soooo sick of these debates. They are all the same old kaka. Let's just get on with the elections and stop the dribble.

    April 18, 2008 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  16. BRC in Knoxville, TN

    If fans of Obama don’t want to see him take a beating from his opponents or from the media, shouldn’t they want him to get out of the race for president of the United States? What do they think would happen to him as the nominee if he goes up against the other party during the general election starts? During that contest, the gloves really come off.
    Now that the media are finally giving Obama a little front-runner treatment, his fans can’t bear to see him questioned at all.
    Give me a break.
    Hillary Clinton’s supporters have been watching her take a beating from the media and from Obama for months. She’s proven that she can take it and continue to work hard.
    Maybe Obama fans should just make him president of the Obama Fanatic Club and leave the hard work of running for president of the United States to the serious candidates.

    April 18, 2008 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  17. Peg

    OBAMA,

    PLEASE DON'T DO ANYMORE DEBATES, MY HEART WON'T STAND IT AND WE CAN'T AFFORD A NEW TV SET.....BECAUSE I THROW THINGS AT IT.

    YOU'VE HAD ENOUGHT DEBATES, THIS LAST ONE ABOUT DID ME IN AND IT WAS VERY STUPID AND MADE BOTH OF YOU LOOK STUPID. YOU SHOULD HAVE WALKED OFF THE STAGE WHEN YOU REALIZED THERE WERE NO SUBSTANTIVE QUESTIONS!

    April 18, 2008 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  18. @americans

    why debate with a witch; Billary has no issues to debate other than to tear her opponent down – politics of the old!

    Billary, take your "bitter" losing streak home and go bake cookies for old Billa!!!!

    April 18, 2008 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  19. jorg

    What's the bama guy worried about? You people are pathic, since when is it only up to the first few primary states to decide the primary. We the people of the United States not the people of the Obama States what to see a real debate – let the candidates do a "real" debate back and forth.
    What's the problem no teleprompter available?!? Have you noticed that Obama cannot speak from the heart! All of his speeches are from teleprompters, he NEVER looks at the camera – because there are no teleprompters there. Perhaps he should use the Bush – receiver underneath the suit coat trick.
    That's the last thing we the united states citizens need is another 4 years of puppet presidency! What we saw in the last debate was the real Obama – someone who cannot speak from the heart, who has no opinion of their own (maybe he should say present instead of giving an answer), who has no real plan for the economy, who has no real plan for getting out of IRAQ – GIVE ME A BREAK he is in the Senate now and can work on the issues he claims needs to be addressed – OH I FORGOT, he too busy running for the presidency. Does that mean when he gets elected he will be tto busy doing something else to do the Job!

    April 18, 2008 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  20. myrtle kelley

    go Hillery go you will win

    April 18, 2008 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  21. Brian from Iowa

    It is extremely interesting how loud the Obamaniacs/brainwashed individuals become when a weakness is found; I rather think it's like a child who puts their fingers in their ears and scream at the top of their lungs to drown out their parents.

    Hamas for Obama 2008, 2012, ad infinitum!
    Americans for Nader 2008!

    April 18, 2008 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  22. George

    BARACK CANNOT TAKE THE HEAT....

    THAT CRYBABY CAN'T STAND ANOTHER DEBATE....

    What a WIMP !!!

    April 18, 2008 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  23. Eric-Illinois

    The new Messiah won't dare to show up....Hillary will eat him alive...AGAIN... He can't take the heat folks and the sooner you Kool Aid drinking "can't we all just get along" folks wake up and smell the coffee the better off this party will be. He is not going to change politics in America...Notice the way he is now running his race....straight out of the same old same old mold. He doesn't want to debate because he is afraid and his aids know it and won't let him...yup sounds like leadership potntial to me..

    April 18, 2008 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  24. jenny

    James: "Enough of these debates. I am already getting sick. Geezzz…"

    I think 10.5 million viewers who watched the last debate will not agree your comment.

    April 18, 2008 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  25. bernice

    please , was she not the that was supposred to win, from day 1. OPPS until Senator Obama got real, his supporter donate less than a million dollars at a time, We the people!! Opps we are all KOOL AID drinkers

    April 18, 2008 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
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