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. Mike

    Hilary tiptoed around the Cuba subject while Obama hit it straight on.

    February 21, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  2. Mike M

    Hillary is reaching. If all she can do is be critical of Obama's speeches she is going to be on the losing end of this debate. She needs to stay on substance.

    February 21, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  3. pls

    Have you checked his experience? Just because he hasn't had the media coverage that came from being the first lady...... Maybe we didn't see him in the news but he has experience. He has been able to manage a successful campaign; she had to loan herself money; he has worked even at the street level as a community organizer. I'm personally ready to have someone in charge who works to get change in this change AT the very basic level.

    February 21, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  4. Bale

    Is Hillary going to cry again? It doesn't matter how she is trying she just need to show tears again to fool around with American people.

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


    Way to throw her campaign's silliness right back in her face!!!!

    Obama 08'

    February 21, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  6. David Maestri, AR

    Obama and Clinton are almost exactly the same on every aspect of their campaigns with minor differences. I was just wondering how everyone feels about them as campaign partners. I think which ever candidate wins the democratic endorsement, should take the other candidate as their Vice-President, because they would know the other candidate would fulfill the plan that each other have set up because they feel the same about the topics. Just wondering how the candidates and everyone else feel about that.

    February 21, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  7. Zack

    Dana is exactly write, Obama isnt that "into" this debate. Also vote for someone who knows what there doing when they get there. Hillary Has more experince and Obama doesnt even know what hes going to do the "first Day" in the White House. Thats if he even makes it there. People are voting for him just because every one else is and also because Hillary's lost 10 times in a row, She knew she was going to loose thouse states.

    February 21, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  8. mike

    What experience is it the Hillary Clinton speaks of, they began there carear in the Senate at the same time before that she was first lady (A housewife). What is she talking about I wish someone would ask her.

    February 21, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  9. Evelyn New Jersey

    HE notonly used a few words the whole speech was word for word. I want to know about the signs that were eing waved at hils last acceptance speech. What About the Hood. yes barack what about the Hood? He just keeps stmling as he speaks.

    February 21, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  10. kb

    This is disgraceful. One of the most important topics at the moment are the men and women fighting for "our country" and their right to "perform" in tonights contest. What about our soldiers needs ? Such as housing, the spouses struggles at home, VA Hospital funding ?....Both are making promise after promise that are not even close to being realistic...."GOD" BLESS OUR SOLDIERS AND THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA !

    February 21, 2008 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  11. L. Teng

    Some people mistake the eloquence of Clinton to be a sign that she is more aware of the topics than Obama. However, Obama's responses are more genuine as opposed to Clinton's. Just because her speech lacks "uhms" and other pauses does not mean that she knows more and is more prepared to be President.

    Moreover, she constantly picks at the petty things. "Plagiarism" is not only an irrelevant and petty issue, it is also done by Clinton when she copied several of Obama's slogan. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

    February 21, 2008 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  12. Mike M

    There are alot of posts about Hillary's experience but #1) She has the same amount of experience being President as Obama. (being married to the President doesn't count) #2) I believe Bill Clintion had about the same amount of presidential experience when he was the govenor or Arkansas as Obama has now. The bottom line is both of these candidates are good and they both would beat McCain.

    February 21, 2008 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  13. Sgt. Kristian Carlson

    She is so desperate with that xerox line. How much damage will she do before she packs it in?

    She won't beat McCain. She is unelectable.

    Everyone admires what she has done with her life, and she is a true democratic hero, but this negative desperate act is ruining her future.

    It's truly sad. She should be above it.

    Barack's response shows his maturity as he remains above the fray, and refuses to go negative.

    February 21, 2008 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  14. James West

    He is just stupid, obviously. He trys to bring up his popularity instead of showing why he is right or wrong. All of his "Ideas", he stole from Hillary throughout the months. I will bet you all don't know that Hillary mentoured him his early days in senate. He is taking everthing she has tought him.

    February 21, 2008 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  15. Betty

    Wait a minute... didn't both of these debaters put Bush down for wanting democracy abroad and fighting for that?

    Given this – shouldn't they feel it is not our business what polical choices are made by another country... 90 miles away or across the ocean.

    DId they say go in to change them to a democracy???

    February 21, 2008 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  16. jose pomalaza

    Obama was shown to be oportunistic by changing his former stand on the convenience of the economic embargo

    February 21, 2008 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  17. heads up

    obama = destruction for america. has never done anything that can be noted and never will. his train ride is about to end. thank god!
    go hilary. pull some dirt up on this animal – you know you have some! you're a clinton.

    February 21, 2008 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  18. Marsha

    Hillary has only had one opportunity to rebutt Barak's comments. A commercial break left him with the last word once again. This debate is not coming across very balanced.

    February 21, 2008 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  19. JAW

    Obama is naive. You cannot negotiate with leaders and terrorist that do not display good faith. He lacks the understanding of an ideology. I do not find his willingness couragous I find it inexperienced. He makes my vote too easy.

    February 21, 2008 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  20. Independent

    Barack is absolutely correct on this issue. The arrogant notion that the President won't even meet with the leader of another country until they do as we want is absurd and is getting us nowhere. Particularly given the damage to our reputation abroad as a result of the horrific foreign policy of this administration, this is exactly when we need to let the world know that things have changed in the United States, and we are ready to again lead with confidence and not with arrogance.

    I also find it amusing how many people I meet who talk about foreign policy and the ways of other nations who have never traveled beyond Mexico or the Bahamas. It is the views of most Americans that are naive on issues of foreign policy when compared to those of the average citizen in almost any other developed nation.

    February 21, 2008 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  21. Greg

    The only reason Obama seems to follow her lead is because most of the pertinent questions are directed to Hillary first. Most of the questions directed to Obama are follow-up questions concerning the same topics that were first directed to Hillary. That fact is that they do not differ much. Obama can not only beat McCain, but McCain is afraid of Obama.

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

    Hillary had a relaxed strong opening. She connected with Texas, by mentioning Ann Richards and Barbara Jordon.

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

    For the life of me, I cannot see the charm of Obama! Througout
    this debate, he seems to be almost childish – stuttering and stammering, avoiding answering most questions, or parroting
    Clinton. There doesn't seem to be an original bone in his body.
    He appears to be an amateur trying to compete with a professional.
    I find myself feeling a great pity for him.

    February 21, 2008 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  24. mike

    ahhh I would say you are wrong on that. It seems that obama rolled his eyes a couple times when she was talking about this topic. I think that is wrong for a canidate to do that to another canidate. Now you should talk about their body language too. Its obvious to me that obama is clearly on the defensive so far.

    February 21, 2008 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  25. KENNETH Wordell Richardson, II

    I feel a few people here do not understand the need of this country is real change. And it is sad...

    February 21, 2008 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
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