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. Peter in Canada

    This is ridiculous....tell her to get stuffed!
    Another debate? That last one was a disgrace and I suspect the next one will be worse!
    Tell her that you'll send one of your kids to debate her or if she would prefer Chelsea as her surrogate well..OK. But Hillary might not see that as a fair fight!

    April 18, 2008 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  2. rockus

    Words does matter. Barack, you are not quick thinking on your feet, in every single debate. Please wait 4 more years, so we know what you can offer us with your actions. It's all speech right now.

    April 18, 2008 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  3. Chris in Va.

    Charlotte, per your post tonight you said you were going to sit down and shut up. Guess Hillary's brainwashing is turning you into the liar she is.

    April 18, 2008 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  4. Gregory H. Brooklyn New York

    "There is not a liberal America and a conservative America. There is the United States of America."

    ~~Barack Obama~~

    April 18, 2008 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  5. Kris In PA

    Another thing the mainstream media refuses to cover because it just so happens to be good new for Clinton – former New Jersey Governors Jim Florio and Brendan Byrne pledged their support to Hillary Clinton today, after being chosen Thursday as add-on superdelegates. Their show of support comes the same day US Rep. Betty Sutton announced she too would support Clinton as a superdelegate.

    Three superdelegates in one day. But all the press can say is the SDs are moving toward Obama. Apparently not ALL of them are moving that way.

    April 18, 2008 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  6. Bill

    Howard Wolfson ...to use your words "poor performance" is having a Democratic campaign staff member making trade deals with Colombia. Let's talk about American jobs, and how unfair trade deals are destroying our country. Is Hillary a Democrat, or Republican? The Clinton people became hysterical over Obama speaking the truth to PA. voters....your kind of politics sent their jobs overseas. Asking you to tell the truth is asking way too much.

    April 18, 2008 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  7. John

    Ms.Antoinette,debates is what makes America tick and powerful in a world's population of 6-6.7 Billion yes Billion homosapiens aka human beings.They look up to Americans as mentors,and believer in equal opportunity and the right of freedom of speech.It is the reason we have the Senate and the House of representatives in the capitol of the World.To debate and Debate until they agree to disagree.If and when we discredit debate as King Obama wants,plus the surrogates,then we are doomed to a baseless pit of oblivion.That is the truth Ms. Antoinette.Good day and blessings.

    April 18, 2008 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  8. Julie N,Naperville, IL

    Of course Billary will accept the debate...she needs all the free publicity she can get....her campaign is out of money...this won't be needed however, because it will be over by Wednesday..she's done!!

    April 18, 2008 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  9. kj

    Tell her #ell no!

    April 18, 2008 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  10. nannie bouroughs, Kenosha, WI

    i do not hink that Mr. Obama can afford to show his rancid soul to any more Americans... even we blacks are starting to move away from him.

    April 18, 2008 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  11. Mary

    Bill Clinton mistakes are not Hillary mistakes. Do you not realize the first lady is not President.

    Is Obama afraid to debate Hillary after he goi asked some question about his minister, his friends, his mistakes. He has no problem bashing Hillary.

    April 18, 2008 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  12. Brennan, Seattle WA

    Surprised Clinton would agree to any debate that is not hosted by ABC after the disgusting questoining at the Pennsylvania debate.

    Obama will perform well.

    April 18, 2008 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  13. Gregory H. Brooklyn New York

    "There's a core decency to the American people that doesn't get enough attention." ~~Barack Obama~~

    April 18, 2008 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  14. Ratgurl

    Of course she'll jump on the opportunity to SLAM Obama again... it's the only thing she does well!

    April 18, 2008 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  15. step8

    To debate what?!?! They can both recite each other's answers by now. This is becoming sooo painful.

    April 18, 2008 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  16. Juan Grain

    Debate what, lapel pins and who gets the first question and who your neighbors are. Don't waste more of Americas time. Bsh has done plenty of that.

    April 18, 2008 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  17. Grif

    Is there nothing in my Comment's? I have travelled the Middle East. I have also Travelled Period. But this is you're world now little one...
    Don't spoil it, it's been around a couple, of a Billion Year's...

    April 18, 2008 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  18. Teresa, Georgia

    No more debates...period! Let us move on and focus on ending this mess!

    April 18, 2008 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  19. C.J. in North Carolina

    Finally, someone conducted a fair and unbiased debate (thank you CBS) and Obama can't take the heat!!!!!!!!!!!! All he has done is cry about how tough George and Charlie were on him, but they were only being fair–UNLIKE THE REST OF THE MAIN STREAM MEDIA–CNN included. Another debate, if conducted fairly like the last one, will further illustrate that Barak Obama does not have what it takes to be Commander In Chief.

    April 18, 2008 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  20. 27 M Kentucky


    HILLARY CLINTON 08 ALL THE WAY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 18, 2008 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  21. Bob

    Obama will accept. As soon as he ensures that it will not be the Clinton love fest farce that ABC hosted.

    April 18, 2008 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  22. SUE, Michigan

    Bet he won't commit to it-he's horrible in debates, and the press is asking awkward questions. He'll hem amd haw and pray that she has already dropped out before he has to make a decision. And this is the man you want to lead us??? Mr. Change has turned into Mr. Politician, or haven't you noticed?

    April 18, 2008 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  23. truth be told

    another debate????? sheezh! the only reason why clinton want another one is because of FREE AIRTIME, an airtime she does not have to pay!!! did you think of that? obama SHOULD NOT do another debate. he does not need it. most democrats now know where he stands, rev. wright issue and all. most democrats also know that he is the only one of the three candidates who can actually deliver on his promises, who will actually do exactly what's needed to be done in washington for the good of all. he is not perfect as everyone knows. but he is more perfect that either clinton or mccain.

    April 18, 2008 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  24. Gregory H. Brooklyn New York

    "I personally have high hopes for him." Harold M. Ickes, Hillary Clinton Senate Campaign Advisor, on Obama

    April 18, 2008 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  25. Shirley

    The last debate was a farce. Senator Obama did not bring up Bosnia, the Columbian Trade Agreement or Hillary's nasty 'screw em' comment. Obama kept trying to come back to point on issues while Hillary and the moderators kept hammering him on flag pins, Rev. Wright and the word 'bitter'. No more debates, Hillary made is obvious she is not interested.

    April 18, 2008 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
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