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. Venus

    I am been waiting for this moment to sound off at Hillary's supporters!
    Ha, ha, haaaaaaaaaaaaa! That's for the last debate! Thanks ABC and Hillary! No more debates for now Obama. It's you and Mc Cain and if Hillary's supporters vote for Mc Cain – who cares- Obama is still going to be their president!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha,ha Hillary!

    April 18, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  2. Tony

    Like the battery commercial Hillary keeps going and going and going. Come on Obama, show up at the next debate. Hillary in 08!!!

    April 18, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  3. maynard


    April 18, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  4. SueB

    Oh, good! Another debate! And this time, we'll cut out the middleman and just have Bill moderate it. It'll be as fair as Stephanopolis was.

    April 18, 2008 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  5. Jim

    Who wants to debate a LOSER who's campaign is ON LIFE SUPPORT??

    DEBATE is her only chance to score any points. How sad. And How irrelevant.

    April 18, 2008 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  6. king

    Hillary is trying the last option open to her which is sabotage. She knows winning is not possible. What is important to her now is to ensure his loss.

    April 18, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  7. Sharon

    Helloooooo 🙂
    Ok, BO supporters say the first 45 minutes of the debate was horrible and not even a debate......WHAT ABOUT THE OTHER HOUR AND 15 MINUTES??????? They talked income taxes, social security, the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, Iran, capital gains tax (which the moderators had to explain the concept of to BO), education, health care, affirmative action, using ex-presidents in their administration, etc.......sorry, but they covered MANY issues besides BO's personal problems....
    BTW if everyone is SOOOO sick of this campaign, then WHY was this debate the MOST watched debate so far, even beating out American Idol for number of viewers?????
    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 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  8. M Paul

    Yes, let's have another debate. First question: Sens. Obama and Clinton, is it fair to say that we get to pick our pastors and we get to pick our husbands and wives as well? If so, what do we like about our spouses and what we don't like about them? And then, we have to denounce and reject them for what we don't like and leave them. Let's put our uniforms on and play and let's stay in the kitchen to stand the heat.

    Chantilly, Virginia

    April 18, 2008 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  9. MD in OK

    Please, no more debates. I think it's Hillary who wants the debate. she needs the publicity because she doesn't have the funds. She's determined to make Obama look bad. I wonder if she going to choose the moderator(s) again.

    April 18, 2008 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  10. Franky

    Listen guys, I personally don't mind debates but it seems to me that the debates are more stupid and more out of the box. Listen, don't get me wrong, I personally believe both of them will like to debate but you know what? What are they going to debate about??? No offense but is the same thing over and over again and nothing changes. Let's face it, we know who people are going to vote and having 20+ debates is going only to enhance the tension. No offense, but THANK GOD I didn't watch the debate because if it took that long to get to the real issues, then I don't know what the heck are people voting for. Are people voting for to solve their problems or enhancing them??? I mean, I just don't get it what the real intention is for the problems we face today are not going to be the problems we see tomorrow, I mean, what are we voting for??? I just don't get it and do you know what's the sad part??? It's the Democratic Party doing this to themselves....

    Listen, I don't mind debates, personally. And what surprises me the most is that instead of learning something, we learn the opposite. I don't know but last time I checked, a debate is when two people discuss issues that may have impact on the world, not themselves. I mean, don't get me wrong, I'm sure people wanna find some answers about their choices but how in the world are you going to find answers if you're talking about something that literally is personally instead of economically. No offense but both candidates are debating, not taking a Psychological test........

    Hey, I don't mind the debates, I don't. But if you wanna give them a Psychological test, I just don't think that answer will solve how the mortgage crisis will be solved......as a matter of fact. it'll probably enhanced it, LOL!!!!!

    Listen, I don't mind the debates and I understand that people want to know but remember, psychology doesn't create problems, it challenges them.....

    I just want a good debate where good and real questions were talked about. I know people wanna talk about this and that, but if you wanna talk about it, make sure you have a Bachelor's degree in Psychology so you'll probably understand it better.......

    April 18, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |


    April 18, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  12. Joey Taylor

    I think a debate between the to would be great as along as we stick to the issues. Clinton has been luck no one has yet to ask her about her husbands cheating ways. Don't get me wrong I love Bill Clinton, but you know some reporter is going to ask her about the affiar. That line of questioning is coming real soon.

    April 18, 2008 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  13. Kenneth M.

    In a statement to The Huffington Post, MoveOn's Executive Director Eli Pariser reacted strongly to Clinton's remarks: "Senator Clinton has her facts wrong again. MoveOn never opposed the war in Afghanistan, and we set the record straight years ago when Karl Rove made the same claim.

    April 18, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  14. Texan

    Debate ?

    Why Sen Obama doesn't want to share what he has on his mind ?

    April 18, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  15. Dave

    Enough with these stupid debates. Hillary is doing what all candidates do when they are losing....they push debates. We are sick of these so called debates. We know each of their positions. Lets get the voting done and get ready for the general election. We don't need or want any more stinking debates.

    April 18, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  16. Antoinette

    Honestly, if i hear another debate imma die

    This would be the 22nd debate wouldnt it?

    April 18, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  17. vic nashville,Tn

    Obama please accept the invitation
    I support Hillary strong and I like CNN also, BUT past 5 months I don’t agree what ever CNN say about Hillary because I am supporting Hillary strong I believe She will be the best president
    When you have Jeremiah Wright controversy Wolf Blitzer took extra 3hrs on that week in Larry king show to help you out , Same week you got free air In Larry king show on Thursday and Sunday
    You got free air In AC 360 also the same week
    I was mad at CNN on that time even though I watch CNN because I am watching CNN from 1991 I know where CNN stand
    Last week and this week CNN covering POPE that also helped you
    Obama this my advice to you if you want be play basket ball you should know the game same logic apply in politics also
    In democratic Media also one of the pillar
    Anyway My family votes for HILLARY or MC CAIN because we don’t much about you

    April 18, 2008 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  18. Grif

    If you were only half the woman, I believe you are, and if the Women who have also followed you this far... You have to believe in you!!! Don't waste their time and you're...

    April 18, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  19. T Baker

    Ohhhh gooooody .... another freakin' debate.

    It's old already....

    April 18, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  20. Key West Sun

    We don't need a president that can't take pressue, Obama wanting to cut and run. Man got no backbone or truth in his soul. Please get out now Obama before you ruin Hillarys chance to win.

    April 18, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  21. CB-Texas

    Know when to say when!!!! It's time to end this Sen Clinton. The democratic people dont want you as our nominee. Stop adding to the rheteric and support the candidate the people want (OBAMA).

    I was truly hurt by the Bosinia story. You looked straight into that camera and with a tear in your voice, you flat out LIED to the American people. You should be ashamed of yourself!!!!! I believe you would stoop at nothing to win this nomination including selling your own soul to the devil!!!!!

    April 18, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  22. Swiss in Canada

    Clinton scares me too, and I am really far away....

    April 18, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  23. Kim

    Make sure who the orators will be first. Maybe they should be Black so we don't have to endure another lynch mob arena like it was Wednesday night. There are many good white people who are voting for Obama but there's so many horrible ones that stand out like the black dot on a white piece of paper. They need to discuss ahead of time the questions that will be asked and not insignificant matters that have been discussed and addressed already. I'm so sick of the way the white media continues to attack Obama and not address the real issues. They are sadistic and so evil, and they love being so hatemongering. I hope after Obama is elected all the racist pukes will get out of AMerica for good...like the fate of the Titantic.

    April 18, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  24. nancy gentile

    HI anderson I'm tired of hearing about how great Obama is. HE is a great good speaker etc., but give me a break, give hillary clinton a break. Can you just be fair? I believe Hillary is being wrongly reported because of her gender, among other obvious things. If Obama is elected, I would love to hear your comments after a year or so. Will his opinions,etc. change? More than likely. don't even feel like watching the political news anymore. It is so biased. Formerly a rregular loyal viewer. Nancyhan @ netzero.com

    April 18, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  25. KE

    Anytime Hillary sneezes people worries Obama might get flue. "Oh dear Hillary, can't you stay away from him?" Anytime media sneezes "You are so mean to him. You can beat up on Hillary but not him. Obama can do dirty tricks on Hillary but don't expose him. It's all her fault. Please go after her."

    People immediately picture Hillary as a big guy picking on a little guy, becasue of this anti-America sentiments propagenda played on the television over and over. This whole democratic race has become nothing but putting guilt on goodwill of reguler folks.

    People can't hardly say anything to upset Obama and Obama power. We are watching the world going backwards these days. It's stunning and mindboggling.

    And stop that mind numbing polls.

    Let's start having real conversations.

    Indiana for Hillary.

    April 18, 2008 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
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