November 15th, 2007
09:37 PM ET
13 years ago

Clinton's asbestos pantsuit gets a workout

Watch Sen. Clinton implore her fellow Democrats not to sling mud.

(CNN) - Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton opened Thursday night's Democratic debate in Las Vegas by joking that she was wearing an asbestos pantsuit. She needed it right out of the gate, as leading rivals Barack Obama and John Edwards turned their fire on her with their first answers.

Obama called the former first lady-turned-New York senator "a capable politician" who has run a "terrific" campaign - "But what the American people are looking for right now is straight answers to tough questions, and that is not what we've seen out of Senator Clinton on a host of issues."

Clinton shot back by citing her experience pushing for universal health care, accusing Obama of failing to support that goal with his own health care proposal. And she said Democrats will need a tested leader to advance their goals in 2008.

"The Republicans are not going to vacate the White House voluntarily," she said. "We have some big issues ahead of us and we need someone who is tested and ready to lead."

Edwards, meanwhile, said Clinton "continues to defend a system that does not work, that is broken, that is rigged and corrupt." Clinton responded by accusing him of taking cues "from the Republican playbook."

"For him to be throwing this mud and making these charges, I think really detracts from what we're trying to do here tonight," she said. "we need to put forth a positive agenda for America, telling people what we're going to do."

- CNN's Matt Smith

soundoff (47 Responses)
  1. Donna C, Orlando, FL

    Obama, Edwards & gentlement, Say Hello to the next Pres of the U.S. You guys keep picking on her, she will go right back at you all. She knows what she doing & talking about. She too wear the "pants" & not a "coward"!!!

    November 15, 2007 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  2. A.Thomas, ny, ny

    Hillary turned up the heat at the debate opening by firing back at Obama and Edwards, especially her remark about Edwards not supporting the univeral health care in 2004 but supporting now.

    Hillary did well in this debate, and this should solidify her lead to her nomination.

    November 15, 2007 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  3. fair,washington,dc

    Wow...Hillary is doing ok at this debate so the debate is a Sham..lets see what the comments will be if she slips up. Some of you folk on here are shameful.

    November 15, 2007 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  4. AD, Denver CO

    VT, Denver, Colorado...

    Just as an FYI – Obama was in the Senate on the day the vote for Iran was scheduled -as per NYTimes :-
    "Sen. Obama was present in the Senate on the day when the vote was originally scheduled to be taken, but Sen. Reid tabled the issue indefinitely. Then, the next day, Sen. Reid unexpectedly put the vote back on the schedule. Obama was in New Hampshire and given one hour’s notice. "

    I'm not a conspiracy theorist, nor suggesting you change who you follow, but Reid has relatives on Hilary's team. Again, just a FYI.

    November 15, 2007 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  5. Debbie Conway AR

    Hillary won hands down, I have never been an Edwards fan (he is so phony) but I did respect Obama when he got in this race but am losing it fast. Hillary is gal to win!!!!!

    November 15, 2007 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  6. Will, Chicago, IL

    "Daniel" is a campaign plant.

    November 15, 2007 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  7. Jess, West Palm Beach, FL

    I think, overall, Hilary did a good job defending herself, but I did like how they all seemed to agree on most of the issues.I think Clinton and Biden would make a great presidency. Just watch, that's who she will pick.

    November 15, 2007 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  8. Joe, St. Cloud MN

    There is a reason that CNN is known as the "Clinton News Network." This is the most biased debate I have ever seen. Will you please let Joe Biden (The only true leader on the stage) talk, and quit focusing on Hillary! Remember: If you can't run your own house, you cant run the White House!

    November 15, 2007 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  9. Fred Martin, Tucson, AZ

    Kucinich clearly won this debate, even though he was hardly allowed to speak.

    November 15, 2007 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  10. John. Alexandria,Va

    Obama’s answers were crucial on the issues we face today, but it was covered by Clinton’s name brand. I guess brand sells better than truth. Oh well….

    November 15, 2007 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  11. Martin Kautz, Miami

    So what does she want to do? Poison herself and the others?

    November 15, 2007 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  12. Jim, Irmo, SC

    Clinton did not present herself as presidential. She did not step up to show that she could engage the questions. And she is not electable.
    This is a serious concern, because, lets face it, other than that, the views of most of these candidates are not that far apart.
    Also, CNN, that was atrocious. The questions were facile or divisive. The format was boring. The audience needed to shut up, and the moderators had no control over anything.

    November 15, 2007 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  13. Carry - Los Altos - CA

    Bravo to "Gene, Land O Lakes, FL" your comment is right on target! No one could have said it better. Great job.

    "Bottom line is that while she does have some good points she's carrying way to much baggage and I don't want Bill anywhere near the white house."

    Well said and I too do not want Bill anywhere near the White House.

    November 15, 2007 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  14. john coronado ca

    Obama won convincingly.

    It's so predictable that the gushing, oozing Gergen would sycophantically declare Hillary the winner, especially after Wolfie rescued her within the first 10 minutes, as he became the "cooler" on the rest of the debate. I guess Hillary left J.C. Watts', Wolf's and Gergen's test*cles in a box by the door for them to retrieve as they leave.

    November 16, 2007 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
  15. Wendy

    To AD, Denver CO :

    Obama missed 80% of Senate votes, please stop finding excuses for him. If he does not fulfill his duty he has no right to criticise others!!

    November 16, 2007 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  16. charmaine, greenlawn,ny

    Hillary is not truthful nor trustworthy.
    She is past not present. Go for Obama and Biden. Both very sharp men. To vote for Hill because is ludicrus. That is an uneducated answer. I would eventually vote for a female, just not her.

    November 16, 2007 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  17. tommy

    Hillary, you ROCK tonight, girl!!! The media has been reluctantly to report too much negatives on Obama fearful of being considered "RACIST"..... Anything wrong he does, he only gets a small slap on the hand.... BUT the media doesn't seem to mind throwing rocks at Hillary with every little thing.... This shows the Double Standard... Let's face it, nowadays, America is far more SEXIST than ever.

    November 16, 2007 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
  18. sf, ca

    Bravo to "Gene, Land O Lakes, FL" your comment is right on target! No one could have said it better. Great job.

    "Bottom line is that while she does have some good points she's carrying way to much baggage and I don't want Bill anywhere near the white house."

    Well said and I too do not want Bill anywhere near the White House.

    Posted By Carry – Los Altos – CA : November 15, 2007 11:55 pm

    Let's have an intelligent discussion here. Why do you not want Bill anywhere near the White House? Any particular reason which impacts the country for not having Bill around?

    November 16, 2007 12:58 am at 12:58 am |
  19. A Voter in N.Y.

    Clinton claims to have the most experience, but has done nothing as a Senator except authorize Iraq and blame everyone else.

    There is always her failed health care she wrangled for as first lady, as she cited. But in the next breath Bill takes the hit for the team and takes responsibility for the failure of Hillary care, stating he was running it.

    She wants it both ways all the time, but if elected then what will happen when it is no longer academic?

    When she has to make REAL decisions. Will Bill take the hit then or just leave every American hanging. From their past actions, it's easy to see they don't care about anyone or anything except themselves.

    They won't change. Anyone BUT Clinton in '08

    November 16, 2007 03:00 am at 3:00 am |
  20. factjack

    "Clinton shot back by citing her experience pushing for universal health care."

    ie.., Hillary is an experienced failure..

    November 16, 2007 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  21. Jose Card

    I have never seen any presidential candidate so hated in history. Just how can she be the compromiser to unite the country?

    Hillary wants both diamonds and pearls and she wants both ways of everything. That is the mentality of a greedy little girl, not a presidential material. Bill knows her well. If she lied about planting questions, what else has she lied about? I am afraid she and Bill are birds of the same feather.

    We deserve to see the Clinton records to verify her now famous experience BEFORE the primary date. Although I am no fan of Rove, thanks to him that we now know the Clintons are blocking the release of the documents. Will you vote for liars?

    November 17, 2007 01:51 am at 1:51 am |
  22. marilyn casanave

    Hillary Clinton keeps bragging about 35 years of experience she's had as preparation for becoming President of the USA. In that she was born in 1947 and if she had begun such experience from the moment of birth, she would not be 83 years old. I believe that she is as dishonest as she was when her husband was Governor of Arkansas. To further, have Bill Clinton running around promoting her candidacy is almost ludicrous. Bill Clinton, Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy did more to dishonor the Office of the President than did others in recent times who occupied the position. Not only was Bill guilty of past denigration of the Office he is behaving in a disrespectful manner so as to further denigrate the highest office of the land.
    I wouldn't vote for those two for anything above Used Car Salesman; they will do anything, say anything and put forth personal propoganda about themselves/her that is so easily identified by any to be a lie.
    Voters have made too many past mistakes and suffered the consequences of not doing their homework before putting dishonorable individuals in the White House.

    January 24, 2008 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
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