February 21st, 2008
08:28 PM ET
12 years ago

Schneider: Past debate moment comes up

AUSTIN, Texas (CNN) - The first question dealt with the issue of the day: Cuba.

Clinton made the argument she has made before - that she would not meet with Raul Castro without preconditions. In doing so, she is subtly reminding the audience of what was largely viewed as a misstep by Obama at summer debate: when he said he would meet with some of the world's worst dictators without preconditions. Clinton later called that answer naïve.

CNN's Campbell Brown quickly pressed Obama on that argument; he said he would meet Raul Castro too, but not before groundwork had been laid - a fuzzier answer than he gave over the summer. Clinton is also hedging, saying she would pursue "vigorous diplomacy" with America's enemies.

On this issue, the two seem to be moving toward each other - and to the extent they do that, it's to Obama's advantage, because he was clearly seen as the loser of this issue debate earlier in the campaign.

- CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider


Filed under: Bill Schneider
soundoff (230 Responses)
  1. Satish

    Both are wrong. They should meet Raul Castro and discuss the issues.

    February 21, 2008 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  2. Ron

    Note to Dana – Both Barack and Hillary received points prewritten for them.

    February 21, 2008 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  3. Teenager

    Obama for '08.

    February 21, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  4. Jason, Cola, SC

    Giving Cuba the silent treatment has not worked for the last 49 years, it will not magically begin working when President #11 tries it.

    February 21, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  5. Jane

    Hillary "off the cuff"?! I've never seen a more calculating person. Puh-leez.

    February 21, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  6. anna

    Hillary is so desperate, its not becoming at all.

    February 21, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  7. Zach

    Those who claim Obama has no real policy positions, I urge you to look to his website. You may be surprised by what you find: real, well articulated, and sensible policy propositions.

    February 21, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  8. Marilyn

    Hillay may have so-called experience but she has no leadership skills. She generates gridlock rather than unity.

    February 21, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  9. Eric

    Preconditions to diplomacy are ridiculous. You can have goals and stop diplomacy if they are not met, however, telling a country, "We won't talk to you until you hold a democratic election," or whatever precondition Hillary wants, is absolutely child-like.

    February 21, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  10. wayne

    I still would like to know how we are going to balance the federal budget.... Neither has addressed this issue. Social Programs are great but the money has to come from somewhere or is my granddaughter paying for it?

    February 21, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  11. Mike, MD

    STAND STRONG FOR CHANGE (OBAMA)

    OR

    FALL HARD FOR THE SAME (Clinton)!!!!

    February 21, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  12. M.Dowell, North Carolina

    She would meet leaders-but would they meet her?

    February 21, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  13. william clarke

    Obama is the right choice!! I keep hearing about but the experience and yet she had to loan her on campaign money? She is living proof that experience is not a for sure bid!!

    February 21, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  14. idprincess

    People, Hillary doesn't need to apologize for voting for the Iraq war. She like the rest of America were lied to about what was really going on over there. Would it be nice for her to say, "Hey, I've made a mistake but I believe it was necessary at the time." Cool. But she should not apologize! Obama gives great speeches but that's it.

    February 21, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  15. Angel

    Obama appeared to have problem understanding foreign policy specially Cuba.

    February 21, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  16. JazzyJef

    Colin Powell stated in an interview with Wolf Blitzer that he agrees with Barack on his position to negotiate directly, as president, with leaders of enemy states such as Iran, Cuba, and North Korea.

    February 21, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  17. Carol

    I am asking to myself how people can say that Obama's points have been written by somebody else? It's absolutely absurd! Just because Obama's words come from his heart and life experience and Hillary's words are just winning words. I mean a word from a person who only wants to win!!!!!!!
    YES WE CAN!!!!!!!

    February 21, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  18. Michael

    Do they disagree on anything?

    February 21, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  19. JP

    Nice to see all the Clinon fans lined up early to make her look good. It doesn't work. Obama is playing at her level and beating her. She is the one that is being schooled. It's ok, it will make her a better Senator in the end.

    February 21, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  20. Julie

    What are you talking about Wolf? He totally changed his position on this issue! Lame. She didn't!

    February 21, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  21. mike

    when did cubqa become an important issue to texans?

    February 21, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  22. lily

    Obama's point is sounder, and showing he is broadminded person.That is why he drew so much new voters recently.

    February 21, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  23. ann rodriguez

    What is happening here this is more like tea not a debate!!!

    February 21, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  24. mike

    the peoples republic of austin is the perfect place for this marxist debate!!!

    February 21, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  25. Pat Heath

    I really hate to say it, but Senator Clinton just seems to be the one with the ideas, while Senator Obama seems to be just parroting what she is saying. I realize that these are both brilliant people, but so far, she seems to be winning this debate.

    February 21, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
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