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. JAW

    Obama is niave. To say that the US policy with Cuba/Fidel Castro was or is a failure is riduculous. I am so disgusted with Obama's approach with foriegn policy. You cannot negotiate with leaders that do not want to give up their dictatorships. You cannot negotiate with Terroist. If this guy becomes President countries and terroist will find their way to hurt or destroy our way of life. Obama would make it easy.

    February 21, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  2. LEB

    Cuba as "the issue of the moment"? Please! This initial question unfairly skewed the dialogue on an issue that is not representative of Latinos' concerns. Perhaps it is Univision's narrow concern.

    February 21, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  3. david

    Why can't Obama ever say HOW he is going to get to these great goals. He basically says every American gets healthcare, tax breaks, near free education without explaining how he's going to have to raise taxes. Just listen to him–he is a man of words and ideas, but no method of how to get to his goals.

    February 21, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  4. sam

    Obama sounds like G.W. Bush. Promises Promises... Where is his experience? He's a motivational speaker at best

    February 21, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  5. Eric Keller, Detroit, Michigan

    When dealing with international politics, and avoiding conflic, it is key to have diplomacy, this is where Sen. Clinton fails. Without diplomacy we will continue to see the same problems we are being faced with today.

    February 21, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  6. Lisa

    You just told her OBAMA!!! WE WE WE WE WE WE WE WE WE!!!

    February 21, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  7. amber

    Contrary to this article, I think Senator Obama did a great job outlining why he should meet with the new Cuban leader. In order to get results, someone must take the first step. Senator Clinton just expects to sit in the White House to wait for change. Well, if that is case, then it is going to take awhile for change to happen (stalemate anyone?). Senator Obama is more proactive in that he would initiate the first step to built a better relation with Cuba. As he said, we shouldn't hold our noses so high that we refuse to speak to our enemies.

    February 21, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  8. Bob

    I guess i'm seeing the talked about CNN bias. So far, standard comments that see Obama doing better in this debate seem to only get the comment is awaiting moderation .. Obama had great answer to accomplishments question.. Well done...

    February 21, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  9. Susie

    Senator Clinton continues to impress me by her experience...Obama seems like he is lost in this debate and it scares me that he may be our President some day...So experience will get my vote!!!

    February 21, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  10. Suzanne


    February 21, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  11. Fred

    Sorry Hilary you can't turn the clock back with your husband, Bill. It is 2008! Remember? The Republicans are trying to turn the clock back with John McCain. We can't move backwards. A dual presidency with Hilary Clinton is out of the question. Barack is the only answer for our country at this time in our history. It is not an issue of gender or race. It is an issue of difference. Let us as Americans give difference a chance!

    February 21, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  12. Lloyd


    February 21, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    someone said doing the same thing over an over again an looking for a change now thats a true LOSER

    February 21, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  14. Carol

    It would be a terrible loss of face if the President of the most powerful country in the world met with leaders of countries with whom we do not have diplomatic relations. If Obama gets to the White House, he should fire any advisor that agrees with his position to meet without precondition. However, he did sort of flip flop tonight from his previous position. Now, he's taking Hillary's position. He may be a charismatic speaker, but that won't solve the problems facing this country after 8 years of Republican domination.

    February 21, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  15. Bob Patterson

    They both have good positions, but I don't think the country is ready for a black president.

    February 21, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  16. pat

    people say the big difference between hillary and obama is that hillary says I I I and obama says WE WE WE. as for me, I want a perz that says "the buck stops here, I make the decisions."

    February 21, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  17. JERRY

    I just read in the WSJ that the Pharm companies are going to raise the prescription drug prices before the new President takes office in 09 (which will make an increase of about 50% from 2002) and then let the new administration negociate and play the shell game after settling with a minor reduction. How well both candidates handle this situation?

    February 21, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  18. lana

    Not talking to people we don't like will not get us any where! Hillary is too decisive and will not be able to beat McCain. And to say that she is "winning" the debate before it is over is stupid.

    February 21, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  19. Mary

    Yes, please!!! I can't see how anyone can listen to the 2 candidates and have any doubt that Hillary is the best choice.

    February 21, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  20. Preach

    Obama may be somewhat of a novice when it comes to Hilary. He is YOUNGER. Youth is what we need!! What about Bill and Hilary's dealings out of this country for millions of dollars. Let's start with someone who has a fairly clean "apron"....

    February 21, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  21. Marsha

    This is a "real" job with "real problems". Inspiration standing alone is a scary prospect. Barak is a wonderful orator, but debates are where you might have just a glimpse of where the candidates stand on "real issues." Hillary still has the years of hands-on, "real issue" experience.

    February 21, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  22. david

    People are concered with Obama using someone elses words because it PROVES he is not genuine. We need to hear from HIM, not people he admires. That is why Hillary is the right choice – the only choice in this election.

    February 21, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  23. Shelly

    Hey Ron, who is really we we we we? Hilliary is a can do and she does do! SO, I, I , I, I pick Hilliay!
    We stands for HELP MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE because im Barack Obama and lack in so many ways!
    Keep on following the leader Obama! Have some more water!

    February 21, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  24. mason

    Obama being endorsed by all the major newspapers in Texas. Big whooping deal? What's silly in this race is how OBAMA has made it this far. Wake up AMERICA – this guy is scary. Think it's bad now – if he gets it – kiss it goodbye folks. Reminds me of a cult.

    February 21, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  25. Lisa

    You told her again Obama "It's the silly season"! Hilliary Stop! Please stop! You are so fake and silly!

    February 21, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
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