April 23rd, 2008
04:05 PM ET
6 years ago

Clinton camp launches Obama 'Debate Watch'

(CNN) – Hillary Clinton’s campaign has increased its efforts to pressure Barack Obama to agree to more debates.

On Wednesday, they sent reporters a press release titled “Debate Watch: Day 1,” as part of their continuing effort to focus attention on Obama’s reluctance to schedule more primary season showdowns.

During a rally in Hillsborough, North Carolina Wednesday afternoon, former President Bill Clinton, standing on the back of a pick-up truck, told voters: “I think I know the answer to why one candidate wants to debate, ‘cuz I saw the debate in Pennsylvania. And afterwards, 41 percent of the voters saw it. And by 55 to 22, they said Hillary won.”

Earlier this week, a proposed North Carolina debate was cancelled after Obama’s team said the Illinois senator would not be able to find time in his schedule.

“It's not clear that another debate is going to be the best use of our time,” Obama told CNN’s Roland Martin Wednesday.

The Obama campaign says that the candidates have met in more than 20 primary season debates. But the Clinton camp counters that only four of those meetings have been one-on-one.

“Hoosiers are going to be disappointed if [the debate] doesn’t happen,” said Sen. Evan Bayh, a Clinton supporter. Clinton herself told an Indiana crowd that "some people" think the voters are tired of debates but she disagrees.

Hillary Clinton was widely viewed as having a stronger performance at last week’s debate than Obama, which her campaign said contributed to her success with late-deciding voters.

Both North Carolina and Indiana vote May 6.

soundoff (368 Responses)
  1. Philip

    My problem with the debates is CNN's analysts who come on afterward.

    CNN should not have Jamal whatever-his-last-name-is as one of the "analysts." He's running for office himself - press secretary under an Obama administration.

    April 23, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  2. Marian Goitia Candler, NC

    Senator Obama needs to spend his time speaking at his rallies which have been very well attended and probably more profitable. HRH Hillary wants to debate only to try and belittle him and disparage his remarks. She has her family meanwhile performing at the rallies, along with CNN pundits on TV, trying to inflict more damage to his campaign. Her advertisements have become shocking, sporting a picture of Bin Laden, which is taking a page out of the Rove/Bush handbook to use " fear" in obtaining her votes. We certainly do not need any more fear campaigns as we are putting that administration to rest. I am one of his senior voters, an 85 year old white lady who along with my daughter and her husband have been hoping he would become our president after hearing his stirring specch at the convention. We are registered Independents since moving to NC two years ago. We left the Democrats not pleased with their program.
    Mimi in Candler

    April 23, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  3. Joe, Northern Virginia

    Sen. Clinton is a shrew politician and she knows that she is disintegrating the Democratic Party with her divisive politics... politics that she is playing straight from Karl Rove's playbook. She is undermining the not only her own ability to win in the fall elections but also Sen. Obama’s. If anyone should be making the point to the super-delegates that anyone can’t win the general elections then that should be Obama. She is playing a pathetic and shameful politics... something unlike a democrat. If there were more politicians like Obama; then there will be fewer like Hillary and her cronies in Washington!

    April 23, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  4. Greg

    Not a chance Obama agrees to do any more debates.

    Nor would she if she were in his position.

    He just needs to continue running a positive campaign and not allow himself to be goading into anything by the sinking Clinton ship.

    They are in complete desperation mode right now because they are beginning to realize that no matter what happens (Obama speech gaffe re: PA voters, sub-par debate performance by Obama in last debate, her nice win in PA last night) they cannot halt Obama's slow march toward the nomination.

    April 23, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  5. Hillary Will Win

    I'm not surprised Obama is running from another debate. He doesn't like to answer real questions with real solutions. He is a polished speaker, but not a problem solver. He also refuses to appear on FOX News and answer their questions as well - what is he afraid of - that certainly asked Hillary some tough questions and she responded with respect and integrity.

    April 23, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  6. Jane, NC

    Another debate would definitely be helpful IF the moderators focused on one or two single issues pertinent to the American people, such as health care or foreign policy. We need IN DEPTH discussion of issues only. That is an important means of revealing the best candidate, and quite frankly, I don't think Sen. Obama believes he would do very well.

    April 23, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  7. heartlight3

    Haven't we had more debates already than any other Presidential race, ever? I think after the travesty of the last debate, they have forfeited their right to any more debates. Hillary's mean and devious tactics have cost her the respect I used to have for her. I don't want a President whose criteria for election is that whoever can be the nastiest wins. How do we ever expect to change the trajectory of this country with those methods? Could that be how we got into this disastrous state in the first place? I saw that John McCain asked the RNC to take down a nasty ad. I hope that indicates a real desire for a civilized, respectful campaign.

    April 23, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  8. allen

    If obama doesnt debate, he will look like a scared child.Who doesnt want to debate the issues.The clinton team will use this to their advantage!It will work in IN.We all know it wont matter in north carolina,thats his in the primary and McCains in the fall.

    April 23, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  9. Rebecca

    What does the United States call other countries who change their rules in the middle of an election to favor a particular canidate. Corrupt. That is exactly what Hillary Clinton and her team want to do. Change the rules in the middle of an election. According to the official rules this election is finished and Obama is the winner. Therefore, no more need for another debate so they can team up on Obama 3 to 1 again.

    I know Hillary won't quit until she is knocked out all the way, so Obama please knock her out. Give her a good solid knock out punch that lands her sprawling on the ground. Then give her a couple of good kicks to make sure she doesn't get back up. We're getting sick of her and her buddies nasty mouths.

    April 23, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  10. informed voter

    Seriously? 21 debates and the Clinton camp wants more? What will it accomplish? Nothing (the others haven't have they?).

    I really doubt that Barack is worried that he doesn't fare well. He's apparently just smart enough to realize it as the total waste of time that it is.

    April 23, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  11. Rebecca

    What does the United States call other countries who change their rules in the middle of an election to favor a particular canidate. Corrupt. That is exactly what Hillary Clinton and her team want to do. Change the rules in the middle of an election. According to the official rules this election is finished and Obama is the winner. Therefore, no more need for another debate so they can team up on Obama 3 to 1 again.

    I know Hillary won't quit until she is knocked out all the way, so Obama please knock her out. Give her a good solid knock out punch that lands her sprawling on the ground. Then give her a couple of good kicks to make sure she doesn't get back up. We're getting sick of her and her buddies nasty mouths.

    April 23, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  12. Randy - Denver

    to J. McKinny not sure if I should swat your young behind or thank you for calling me an 18 to 25 year old the fact is that this 47 year old man has READ Mr. Obama's stands on the issues as well as ALL the candidates and does not need to be spoon fed the answwers, I understand why only the undereducated Hillary supporters want another debate the thought of READING and doing research has them shaking with fear. Go ahead and try reading it though folks he really does not use that many big words and if you get stuck you can always ask one of Mr. Obama's supporters it will not be hard to find one as there are more of them than of the Ms. clinton supporters just venture outside of your trailer parks and try a latte instead of the big ol slurpee from Wally World.... Okay that was a bit harsh but I am so tired of people who say they need ANOTHER debate because after more than 15 of them (I Quit counting) they still do not know where the candidates stand on the issues.

    April 23, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  13. T in FL

    The right response by Obama:

    "I am more focused on meeting and talking directly with the people if Indiana and North Carolina. Sen. Clinton's continued complaining about debates, after declining several herself, is far from enticing to me."

    April 23, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  14. Douglas Hinds

    Why should he cater to another bout of sleaze, innuendo and carefully staged hatchet jobs? Hillary's behavior demonstrates that she'll stoop to any level to get the nomination but she needed at least 18% to have a fighting chance, not the 9.2% Pennsylvania's Secretary of State said she obtained yesterday (hardly a double digit victory, unless you count fractions). Is loosing over half of your original margin a victory?

    April 23, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  15. Jim T

    got real arrogant eh hillary? that PA debate was pro-clinton, even that moderater was, so hillary can just shove it where the sun doesnt shine

    April 23, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  16. Rebecca

    Where is Dorothy when we need her? We need a big bucket of water to pour on this witch so she'll melt and go away.

    April 23, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  17. Mar

    I would think that all you ObamaIdiots would WANT him to debate. Afterall, you think he has this thing wrapped up. You should want him to have the practice and believe me he will need it if he gets to the GE. He will wish he was back with Hillary!!

    You keep at him Hillary!! 08

    April 23, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  18. kelly WI

    Obama cancelled the CBS debate after he got whupped the last time.
    He's a elitist wuss. Scaredy cat.
    He lost every demographic last night except blacks and far left liberals. Now who is racist?
    PA is a big state so that means a lot of electoral college votes. Little states don't have many.
    Supers are waiting to see who can win nation wide. The way its shaking down neither of them can.
    The only one benefitting from ads are the Ad companies and the media who get paid to run them.
    Far left liberals do not win elections. Gore, Kerry, Mondale, McGovern .Dukasis.

    April 23, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  19. bP

    GOTCHA DEBATES?????????

    April 23, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  20. smith so jersey

    SHE wants to debate because it's FREE FREE FREE FREE

    chance for her to smear Obama, dig and spit, claw and jab

    something she's very EXPERIENCED at..

    FREE AIRTIME for Whitewater Bonnie (& Clyde) who is broke

    Now her campaign will heckle Obama like the hyenas they are!

    She's conniving for FREE FREE FREE FREE FREE airtime.

    April 23, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  21. B.NYC

    He out-spent her 4 to 1 in Penn... Only to loose big... That says a lot...
    There is NO WAY that this man could get us out of debt... Not a chance.

    NEVER...

    April 23, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  22. GIGI

    YOU PEOPLE ARE ONE SIDED OBAMA HAS BEEN NEG TOWARD HILLARY ALL THE TIME PLUS SEND MAIL OUT THAT IS NEG COME OM BE FAIR THE MEDA HAS BEEN ON HILLRY ALL THE TIME AND YOU DONT COMPLAIN OF THAT ALSO HILLRY GOT TOUGH QUESTIONS THE NIGH OF THE DEBATE TOO IF IT WAS HILLARY THEY WAS ASKING NOT OBAMA YOULL WOULD NOT SAID ONE THING ABOUT IT NOT BEING FAIR ALSO OBAMA HAS SAID SHE WAS WHINING A LOT OF TIMES I HEAR BOTH SIDES OF THINGS YOU NALL DONT HILLARY ALL THE WAY GOGO

    April 23, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  23. Cindy

    What this is telling me is, even with her negatives sky high, she still won Pennsylvania. People still vote for her despite her negative campaign. So she's going to escalate it. Until somebody who has the authority to do so, stops her. Right now that would be.. The Superdelegates, or the voters of the next primaries.

    I swear... she must have Rush advising her. Operation Chaos is in full throttle at the Clinton Camp.

    April 23, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  24. D Montoya, El Paso, TX

    I guess if the horse isn't dead you can try to beat it dead first, before actually beating the dead horse.... I just don't see the horse dying...

    April 23, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  25. jason pawlik

    I just have to say that I'm a white catholic for Obama. Old people are just plain dumb and can't accept a black man. He's trying to give us our country back by eliminating the lobbyists and she says they are useful because they represent the people. As John Edwards said "How many people in this room have lobbyists working for them?" PA voters are not very bright, the problem with our gov is the special interests. DUMB DUMB

    April 23, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
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