April 18th, 2008
04:15 PM ET
10 years ago

Obama: Clinton's the one complaining

Obama says Clinton’s criticism is off-base.

Obama says Clinton’s criticism is off-base.

WILLIAMSPORT, Pennsylvania (CNN) - Defending himself against criticism from Hillary Clinton that he's been "complaining about the hard questions he was asked" during Wednesday's debate, Barack Obama said Friday he's not the one who's been griping.

Upon exiting his plane on the tarmac in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, the Illinois senator was asked by a reporter at he thought of Clinton's comments.

"Did you hear me complain?" he responded, adding: "You tell me who's been complaining about the press over the last six months."

Clinton told an interviewer Friday morning that Obama "spent all day (Thursday)" complaining over tough debate queries. "Being asked tough questions in a debate is nothing like the pressures you face inside the White House," she said.

At a previous debate in Ohio, Clinton had criticized the moderators for always asking her the first question and for appearing to favor Obama.

"Maybe we should ask Barack if he's comfortable and needs another pillow," she added then.

soundoff (300 Responses)
  1. Chris in Va.

    You have to commend Senator Obama on his ability to stay cool under fire. It seems it's always three on one, Hillary, Bill, Chelsea on the campaign trail, Hillary, Lap Dog Stephanopolos, and the other Nimrod in that so called debate (more like a lynching if you'll excuse the term), yet Obama hangs in there holding his own ground. If Hillary had to endure this I guess she would just cry so they'd stop picking on "poor little Hillary".

    April 18, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  2. Victor in NC

    Its so much stuff going on, its getting to look stupid..

    I will be so glad when the election is over and we can get something done in this nation.

    We need Health Care
    We need Jobs
    We need the cost of gas lower

    Stick to the issues..
    We need a President who Cares about the American People..

    April 18, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  3. Maria C

    Pack it up and go home Obama - you sure made a complete FOOL out of yourself Wednesday night.

    HA HA HA!

    April 18, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  4. Lowrider

    Was I the only one who noticed that ole Hil couldn't elaborate on her policy plans but instead wants you to go to hill.com to look at her plans. She doesn't even know what her plans are? All of her old friends are taking a good look at Hill. They don't want her in office – she would be a menopausal mess!!!!

    Obama 08 – unless they put some trickery in the game – which we all know is possible.

    April 18, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  5. Mary

    Hillary, you complained in front of us all during that debate a month ago. You said, "why am I always asked the questions first?"

    Hillary the Sniper Fire strikes again!!! Too funny

    Imagine we were going to vote for Hillary who constantly lies to America!!!

    April 18, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  6. theroadrunner

    Barack Obama is the WINNER.

    Hilliary Clinton is the WHINER.

    There are alot of good, hard-working, and intelligent people in Pennsylvania who know the difference. They know that Hilliary Clinton is full of ...it, when she claims to be pro-labor, and yet she sat on the board of the elitist Wal-Mart Corporation and went right along with Union busting with the fat-cats. The worst part of her campaign is that she thinks others can't tell the truth anymore than she can, and she's wrong about that. People see through her and her pack of lies. Barack Obama handled all of the cheap shots thrown at him by Clintons house-boy, Stephanopoulas, with grace and elegance, continuing to advocate for the people when he simply appealed to the moderators to skip the petty personal attacks and get to the issues so that voters can compare and contrast on bread and butter issues. All Clinton could do was relish the opportunism in the petty personal attacks, and try to score "points," at the expense of the debate on issues–which she would lose, hands down. She is NOT a friend to labor, and I trust that the hard-working people in Pennsylvania will see through her and vote their best interests. VOTE OBAMA!

    April 18, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  7. Mirta

    Where is Cnn's sotry abut Obama flipping HIllary the bird? He did it! Watch the video and watch his reaction. He knew what he was doing – he did it! very Presidential...

    Hillary '08

    April 18, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  8. Ronald

    "Look, I just want to point out that you always ask me the first question!" Whine, Whine, Whine. Hillary! Are you kidding me? Obama is giving voice to the millions who watched the debacle debate and know what a miserable job ABC did. Hillary, no one is listening to you anymore because we don't have time to wait to find out if you tell the truth or not! Our country is in a world of hurt and you just make it worse, Hillary. Now hush!

    April 18, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  9. Cheryll

    Are our memories that short that we forget New Hampshire where she cried because she thought everyone was picking on her? Please America stop acting STUPID.

    Also we really need to be researching this suit that is in the Calfornia courts Peter Paul vs Clintons and Rendell. Just google Peter Paul. I wonder why the media is not picking up on that. Maybe they have been brought by someone.??? Just a question.

    April 18, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  10. Kevin

    Man, you Clinton supporters need to look up the definition of "complain."

    Obama says: "That's ok, that's what we expect from Washington." That's not a complaint.

    Hillary says: "I just have to say...I always get the first question...and Barack gets easy treatment from the media." THAT'S not only a complaint, but a high-pitched WHINE.

    April 18, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  11. Jane, NC

    Senator Obama doesn't seem to take pressure well, that's for sure. If the other debates had not been so biased in his favor, I can't imagine that he would have made it this far. I hope he has a cabinet position for the media once they get him elected.

    April 18, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  12. TunnelVision

    What I find interesting is that people who are 'SAVVY' according to Pres. Clinton vote Hillary..while people who know the Clintons endorse Obama. Can you see the irony????

    April 18, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  13. Isaac

    Sorry but this one is going to be a losing battle for Obama, I think he might want to stay quiet on this issue. There are numerous reports about how much more negative the press have been on Clinton, even in the mainstream media. Besides, Hillary Clinton only pointed out the discrepancy. She didn't complain, and she even went on to say she didn't mind. The only reason she pointed it out is because the media were not doing their jobs at that point in the race and that is the honest to goodness truth. It wasn't until she called attention to it herself that things started to change. Wednesday was hard on Obama but he better toughen up because debates between him and McCain will not be as easy as these ones. And as soon as he starts saying no more debates then he starts looking like a child that can't hack it.

    April 18, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  14. rod

    Open sesame! Praise ye Obama all Obama's host. Obama is the good-luck charm, the lucky piece, the rabbit's-foot, and the wish-bringer to today's American voter and the DNC's Superdelegates. Obama and Obama's Superdelegates will ghost dance in the magic circle durning the nomination victory. Obama will also put a Superdelegate and supporter in a trance with conjure up speeches of change. Count on Obama's vital force in numbers to win the election.

    April 18, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  15. Alex

    Yes, we did hear you complaining. Did you think you were behind closed doors? You complained DURING the debate, taking up your own time by complaining about how much time they were wasting on questions you didn't want to answer.

    Every clip from your stump speeches I've seen since then was of you complaining, oh, excuse me, making terribly witty remarks, about the same topic.

    You were unprepared for obvious questions. You got flustered and shorted yourself on time for easier questions. If you have to negotiate with, oh say, Russia or China, are you going to complain that they keep wanting to talk about things that don't interest you?

    You blew the debate! Suck it up and move on. Quit playing noble victim.

    April 18, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  16. dee, tx

    Hillary insist she can beat McCain but she's losing among her own base. We don't need a fighter in the white house, we need a uniter. In HIllary I see a career politician who will say and do anything to gain power. I deeply believe the only reason she voted for the War in Iraq was to show as a woman she could vote for war. She put her ambitions over the lives of our soliders

    April 18, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  17. Amazed

    I have looked at all of these comments and all the man said was " Did you hear me complain" and now he is considered the one complaining? What in the world? I was at the town hall meeting yesterday in Raleigh and he was not complaining about the debate. He was responding to a question from someone in the crowd. I can't belive there are so many childish people in the United States. What people need to do is stop basing their opinions on these one sided "snipits" of a statement in the articles put out by these journalist and do some research on their own.

    April 18, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  18. Vicki Walker

    It is telling that CNN lists the Obama story last and that they don't put Robert Reich's name in the headline. But typical.

    April 18, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  19. Linny

    Come on CNN, where's the news about the latest gallop poll.


    Instead of an eleven point lead, he is down to only a three point lead.


    April 18, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  20. Philip

    Well, she not going down without the Democratic Party. She will say anything to win. What does she take the voters for? Few weeks ago she was complaining about getting the first question and now she knows you have to get tougher questions to deserve the nomination.

    April 18, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  21. Mike

    AW COME ON!!! Hillary complains and whines every minute. All Obama did was joke (and he was funny) about how that last debate did not ask a single relevant question for the first forty five minutes. Every time Hillary opens her nasty mouth, a lie comes out.

    April 18, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  22. John

    Obama looks a little sreamed, kinda hot under collar.

    April 18, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  23. Silly Hilly People

    Was it not Hilliar that whined about getting the first question during debates? And then, Bill laughably says those in the political arena should have thick skins. Then, as if the irony isn't glaring enough, we have the overgrown baby Chelsea saying "none of your business" to "sensitive" questions. Well, which is it, Clintons? Surely that $800k from Colombia can buy you a plausible answer.... Perhaps, if nothing else, you should say goodbye!!! And don't trot that snotty brat Chelsea out again...there's no future in politics for her, as outlined by her own father's criteria.

    April 18, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  24. The O

    what does it mean when people that have worked with ie. Hillary Clinton, come out and endorse Obama. That tells me that they know who will be the better President no matter what the Clinton supporters want to say, and the Clinton camp try to spin it!!!

    OBAMA 08

    April 18, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  25. Jack in ND

    All these "Democrats" who are equating those who oppose Hillary Clinton for president with people who don't want a female president are certainly not true Democrats. This is about opposition to Hillary Clinton as president, not opposition to a female as president.

    When this country does elect a female president, it should be one who is inspiring and trustworthy...one we'd be proud to see perpetuated in the history books as "America's first female president".

    Hillary Clinton ain't that...not by a long shot.

    April 18, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
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