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. MCD

    Obama is too busy getting ready to deal with McCain

    April 18, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  2. Jan, Oregon

    I think Robert Reich's blog piece about that last debate says it all for me. Read his April 13th entry and really think about what this is doing.

    April 18, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  3. Geo

    People are sick and tired of Clinton. She is showing her true colors. Give it up Clinton while you still have your place in the senate.

    April 18, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  4. we wanh hillary, not mccain...screw him.

    I agree with Frank, our gender has been discriminated against because of our color. It's all the media's fault...and CNN too.

    Hillary and Nader for the country

    April 18, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  5. we wanh hillary, not mccain...screw him.

    I agree with Paul... words cannot deceive us. The empty words of the Billary clan is too much.No more drama.

    April 18, 2008 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  6. Bill Pa.

    Lets go obama, one more debate. You did not perform very well
    in Philadelphia.

    April 18, 2008 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  7. Bill Pa.

    Its Hillary or McCain period.

    April 18, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  8. Angi's mom

    Cinton's communications director, Howard Wolfson, wants to see a "good debate in Indiana". I'd love to see the debate between Wolfson and former Clinton cabinet member and Obama supporter, Robert Reich.

    April 18, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  9. Leila

    Obama is afraid of debating again. He doesn't do well when he can't cheer and spout rhetoric.

    NObama '08

    April 18, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  10. J T

    oh yea, the debate should be moderated by steven colbert – jon stewart – conan o' brian

    April 18, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  11. Canadian Neighbour

    Captain Hillary Clinton, your ship is "sinking"
    Captain, the seas are rough !

    April 18, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  12. Rochelle

    Those who are realistic will see that #1 standing there answering stupid and unimportant questions for nearly the first hour would obviously make one frustrated who wants to get down to what is important to the American people instead of dealing with the same ole politics. Just as Obama said, we need to get on with the real issues while others apparently didn't have the American people's concerns at heart, he did. #2. Obama did do well. There are folk that really really need to listen to his message. Clinton on the other hand talking about if you can't stand the heat...shows she missed the point as well and did not have the American peoples concerns at heart. If she did, she too would have been frustrated FOR the American people as well. Further shows her appearance of winning by any means necessary. #3 Persons hollering about 'experience'. Think about how many jobs you've had and didn't have "experience." Are
    you not yet good at your job? Why, because you were given the opportunity and worked at it. Obama has a vision for the American people and is and will be surrounded by great people. Let's MOVE ON to a new and better America. We ourselves deserve it. BO will win this election!!!

    April 18, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  13. Mike in Houston

    Obama will NEVER agree to another debate. Debates show how weak and ineffective he is without a script.

    Howard Dean, if he had any leadership qualities at all, would put an end to this and have Obama stand aside until Obama can get a rudimentary education on how America works. Then again, the party has been hijacked by the radical left.

    April 18, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  14. Fred

    What I remember most about the Penn. debate was that Hillary admitted she lied and hoped you will overlook it. And 6 out of 10 people think she is dishonest and untrustworthy. YES YES YES Obama will win the Presidentcy.

    April 18, 2008 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  15. lynette

    another set-up, don't fall for it.

    April 18, 2008 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  16. Jeanie

    Wait. I really... don't get it. At all. After 20 debates, I did not hear these complaints from Obama and his supporters.

    But after 21 debates he's saying there have been too many debates...? So that one debate made all the difference? The one debate where he was given a tough time by the moderators (Hillary was given a tough time in several debates, but she always comes back for the next one) he choses to run away like a bitter puppy with his tail between his legs. That I do not understand, whatsoever.

    April 18, 2008 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  17. Ellie

    No more debates. Enough with the debates. Why do the Clintons ALWAYS want more debates??????? Perhaps she does perform better in debates. She loves to put on a phony act. There is nothing sincere abt her!

    April 18, 2008 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  18. we wanh hillary, not mccain...screw him.

    Marc is right... Hillary is a joke. But she's from Arkansas, my homestate, so I have to vote for her. Is THAT so wrong?

    Hillary and Nader.
    CNN please don't keep me in moderation.

    April 18, 2008 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  19. Sharon

    Obama is toooooo afraid of Hillary....she scares him too much....
    The person who can't dance says the band can't play.....BO in a nutshell 🙂

    April 18, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  20. shundee

    Just a thought

    Wrong info you are spewing here. Obama obtained 3 delegates yesterday and one today. Get your lies straight. She is losing delegates like water down Niagara Falls. I love it. Billary is a loser so jump ship now. The fat lady should sing and go back to Arkansas, Chicago, Scranton, New York ??? Where does this liar live??? Everywhere and continues to lose everywhere including PA, NC, IND, and Oregon. Bloggers...ever notice that Billary supporters are just like her!!
    By the way bloggers, Billary was prepped before the so called debate. Notes beforehand. She had no great victory. Did any body notice her face when Obama mentioned Wild Bill commuting two members of The Weather Underground group? Friends of mine were at the event and said that she clinced her fists and turned as red as a beet. If she answers that phone at 3AM she just might mispeak or have a lapse in memory and declare another war on America. A dangerous lieing, deceptive woman who will do ANYTHING to get back into the White House including the breaking of your kneecaps. Watch her come up with some new "gaff" on Sunday or Monday hoping it can not be squashed. She and Sean Hannity, ABC, FOX, and CNN are disgusting. This is what happens when desperation sets in. Woman sing and go home. You don't stand a chance, not even with the superdelegates. Sayonarra, Adios, Aholla, Bon Soir, Good Riddance!!!!

    April 18, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  21. FreshFlavor

    Yeah 90% of questions are rigged targeting personal attacks on Obama. Please...she made herself look like a fool on ABC. It was also the worst debate of all time, but her insistence to continue this negative forked tongue attack is getting really old.

    Question: Sen. Obama we heard sometimes you like to swear in the shower can you explain yourself?

    Question 2: If Rev. Wright was on dialysis would you send him a bundle of flowers and chocolates?

    Question 3: Sen. Obama many people are complaining the cologne you are wearing is an overpowering brute and it offenses their delicate nostrils...will you consider a change?

    These debates are absolutely jokes...lets just win this thing already.

    Obama 08 and beyond

    April 18, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  22. we wanh hillary, not mccain...screw him.

    Richard is right... we do want to know more about our future president. (smile)

    April 18, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  23. frank

    I used to be a Clinton supporter, but I am disgusted with her negative campaign attitude and her appeal to emotions rather than reason in her campaign.
    Obama performed better than Clinton in the debate in Pennsylvania, despite taking on "despicable questions". His reluctance to accept further debate is because of Clinton's negative attitude which tends to chip into the democratic party's hope for november. He is better than Clinton, anytime any day!

    April 18, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  24. Kitty, Denver, CO.

    Sure, do another debate and this time have Roland Martin and Olberman moderate the debate. Have them ask questions about Monica, Penn and Colombia, the upcoming court case with Paul on the same date (April 24th), Wal Mart, Bosnia, the donations to their own foundations...should I go on? What would her performance be after this type of debate, I wonder. Oh, I know, she would say, "I didn't sleep well; I know I lied but pretend you didn't notice; sure Penn backs NAFTA (so do I) but pretend that isn't true. She is experienced all right, at lieing through her well-financed-teeth and thinking it is okay simply because she a Washington elite.

    Obama's performance was outstanding considering being attacked by the Clinton Connection. In fact, because he did not fumble, the Clinton Connection looked as though they got caught with their nickers down.

    April 18, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  25. John

    I talked to a friend of mine who is an Obama supporter and, without even being prompted, he admitted that in Wednesday's debate Clinton stomped Obama to a pulp and left him for dead. I don't think Obama wants any part of Hillary now.

    April 18, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
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