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. DrRay from Ohio

    I for one am tired of debates after 22 of them. If Hillary supporters still want to see one they should ask her to step aside so we can see Obama take on McSame.

    Irish for O'bama! Obama-Gore, Gore-Obama or even Obama-Pelosi '08!

    April 18, 2008 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  2. An American in Canada

    IF ANY OF YOU BITTER BARACK BLOGGERS THINK FOR ONE MINUTE THAT HILLARY R. CLINTON SUPPORTERS WOULD EVER SUPPORT obama, YOU ARE TAKING TO MANY DRUGS.

    WE NEVER SUPPORT A WEAK CANDIDATE, A GIRLY MAN...

    HILLARY SUPPORTERS WILL EITHER NOT VOTE OR VOTE FOR MCCAIN, SAME DIFFERENCE.

    WE KNOW WHAT THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY IS TRYING TO DO TO HILLARY AND THAT MAKES US ONLY MORE ADAMENT TO FIGHT FOR HER.

    OUR BIGGEST ENEMY IS HOWARD DEANS FOLLOWED BY obama.

    SO, IF YOU THINK YOU CAN SLIP IN OBAMA WITHOUT THE MAJORITY OF DELEGATES WE WILL NOT BACK THAT DECISION.

    HE IS NOT AHEAD IN ANY POLLS, HE IS AHEAD IN STATES THAT DO NOT EVEN VOTE DEMOCRATICALLY IN THE GENERAL ELECITONS THAT AND 5 DOLLARS WILL BUY YOU A CUP OF COFFEE.

    ALL obama's CAMPAGIN MANAGED TO DO WAS TO UTILIZE THE BACK DOOR TO DELEGATE, THE CAUCUSES.
    THEY USED INTIMIDATION TACTICS TO WOMEN AND MEN WHO ARE CIVIL AND NOT USE TO STRONG ARM MANOEUVERS A ND VERBAL ABUSE.

    I UNDERSTAND AND ACKNOWLEDGE THAT THEIR WILL BE DISSATISFACTION IN WHICH EVER CANDIDATE GETS THE NOMINATION... BUT YOU CAN BE SURE THAT THE FIRST CASUALITY WILL BE HOWARD DEAN.

    April 18, 2008 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  3. allen

    To Susan MO:

    For once you said something reasonable. I always watch out for your out-of-space comments like you don't think with your brains. I hope you accept my compliment and keep it up. cheers

    April 18, 2008 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  4. Give me a break

    beyonce pride
    ____________________________________________________

    To you and those like you. You are a "typical white person". You are probably lazy and have a sense of entitlement that is being blown apart by a black man who is about to be President.
    Your kind is about to go extinct.
    buh-bye

    April 18, 2008 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  5. Oh Please

    lol Wolfson, you're a hilarious *rick. Too bad your candidate is a wolf with no charisma...

    April 18, 2008 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  6. Gregory H. Brooklyn New York

    "I am a Democrat because we are the party that believes we're all in this together."~~Barack Obama~~ Sooner, rather than later, I pray we realize this.

    April 18, 2008 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  7. Herman LA, CA

    I have hear and seen enough debates let get on with the primary.

    NO MORE DEBATES PLEASE!!!

    April 18, 2008 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  8. Joe

    I keep hoping someone on these boards will have an intelligent comment. Instead, all we get is a pissing match, each side trying to drown out the other. Useless.

    April 18, 2008 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  9. dwho

    The debate in PA was onesided. George, one of the moderators has served under Bill Clinton as aide. It proves that all of the questionaire were given to HRC to study before the debate.

    On the other hand time magazine scored the debate and Obama had B plus where as HRC had B-(manus).

    So, what is there to debate? HRC might debate all she wants but the truth stance.

    April 18, 2008 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  10. Dan J

    If Senator Obama doesn't agree, he's essentially "staying out of the kitchen."

    What he should be worried about is not how he handled the first 45 minutes of tough questioning in the last debate, but rather the LAST 45 minutes, which he also bombed pretty badly.

    April 18, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  11. Mark

    He should agree. Everyone knows ABC – the All Bill Clinton network is biased in favor of Hillary. He got most of the follow up questions while she was treated with kid gloves. Anyone can see she was spoon fed.

    For instance:

    George S: Hillary, you told Bill Richardson Barack cannot win, I know you dont want to talk about it but can he win? What the hell was that?

    He was right to cover things that have happened since the last debate but she all but admitted she lied about Bosnia, where was the follow up? What about Penn, what about VIDEO tapes of her at meetings, lunch meetings, etc. pushing NAFTA? They barely asked her any questions. Regardless of the outcome, I think Obama did a great job and Im a Republican!

    The guy held his ground and I surely like what he said about trying to pin other peoples problems on the candidates! He can't come out of them all smelling and looking like roses, nor can she.

    The thing now though is that, her commenting on his comments have now forced some to take a look at previous comments made by her. Be careful what you lable others as Hillary as it could come back to bite you big time.

    Anyway, that debate was one sided and the Obama camp should have known. Even intelligent Clinton supporters will admit she wasn't the focus he was. A debate by PBS will hardly favor her.

    April 18, 2008 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  12. Ray from Gainesville VA

    For the 100th time, Sen Obama will slam Sen Clinton only on the issues. That's fair game. If others do, that's on them. He does not want to get into the negatives on the personal side. Did you not get that during the debate? He even gave her the benefit of the doubt for the "baking cookies" comment. Bravo to him for not getting suckered into playing her 's and ABC's game. I do agree though, 22 debates is enough. He needs to be focusing on Sen McCain now. Sen Clinton doesn't stand a snowball's chance in hell of winning so why continue debating with her?

    April 18, 2008 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  13. Gregory H. Brooklyn New York

    "What I want to be able to do if possible, and it's not always possible, is to engage people who disagree with me in a dialogue." ~~Sen. Obama
    Si Se Puede Senator, We love you!!

    April 18, 2008 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  14. Unshrub

    What a bunch of dunder heads!!

    April 18, 2008 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  15. Gary IN

    Obama is scared to debate again. He cant take it.

    Let me go to another million man march.

    Get out of here Barack.

    Hillary Clinton, is the way to go, we know her!

    April 18, 2008 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  16. Brenda

    A debate moderated by CNN will focus on the issues important to the American people. I think Obama should participate. The debate will not be constructed around friviolous and irrelevant questions.

    April 18, 2008 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  17. Ilona Proud Canadian

    Calling on all Sen. Obama Supporters!

    Folks just Google Rev. Will Procanick, and spread the word. Get on every blog you have access to and let the voters hear about this!
    Sen. Obama deserves your support, he is fighting for you and all Americans.

    April 18, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  18. Gregory H. Brooklyn New York

    "I have a number of political heroes, including iconic figures like Dr. King, Congressman John Lewis, and President Lincoln. These leaders are visionary, they are inspiring, and they gave those of us who watched or studied them a sense of HOPE and purpose and a reason to get involved." ~~Barack Obama~~

    April 18, 2008 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  19. Bernice

    Reguardless of what spinning Hilly and her crew do we the voters are very much able to see through all of this to know the truth, Hillary is the only one that does not.

    The truth of the matter is Hillary got slammed last night Obama's come backs with the truths that shut Hillay's mouth on three occasions were far more powerful than ALL the attacks and spins that Hillary did ALL during the debate. Hillary is no match for Obama in intelligence or wit. Time after time he allows her to make a fool of herself by letting her true self show all the while he stands by coolly then SLAMS her politely, that is.

    We are not as stupid as you all in Hillary's team and the media think, if you don't believe me take a look at the recent polls they say it all. We are tried of Hillary Rotten Clinton and ALL of her lying.

    April 18, 2008 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  20. NOT IF WE CAN HELP IT...

    WHY SO SHE CAN CONTINUE TO DO JOHN MCCAINS WORK???

    April 18, 2008 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  21. Ken of NC

    I am tireing fast of these non debates. I want to here questions and responses on real issues and not moderators being nit picking or candidates being evasive.

    I have made my decisions on Bosina, Rev. Wright, 3AM, The Flag Pin and everything else that is irrelavant. Now if there is a debate I want to here of issues.

    April 18, 2008 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  22. Brian

    I think it is safe to say ABC ended all democratic debates with comments like these:

    STEPHANOPOULOS: Let me pick up on this. When these comments from Senator Obama broke on Friday, Senator McCain's campaign immediately said that it was going to be a killer issue in November.
    Senator Clinton, when Bill Richardson called you to say he was
    endorsing Barack Obama, you told him that Senator Obama can't win. I'm not going to ask you about that conversation; I know you don't want to talk about it.

    Then they ask Obama about Wright, lapel pins and bitter.

    Yeah REAL fair!

    maybe he should cry on Nat'l TV like Hillary did

    April 18, 2008 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  23. Gregory H. Brooklyn New York

    "He is a voice of strength and moderation, an American success story." ~~Sen. John McCain on Obama

    April 18, 2008 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  24. Tanis

    Give the O'bama hell Hillary. Hope there are tons of foreign policy questions--Bama is an idiot–Hill rocks.

    April 18, 2008 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  25. Susan

    Hillary is finished! This will go on until the NC and IN primaries at which time Obama's statistics will make it clear that she has no chance of winning the nomination. Starting the next day, the superdelegates will come out in force for him and send Hillary a loud and clear messsage that she will NOT be the nominee.

    April 18, 2008 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
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