February 27th, 2008
08:45 AM ET
15 years ago

Showdown in Ohio


Watch New York Times reporter Jeff Zeleny weigh in on how both candidates performed Tuesday night. (Getty Images)

CLEVELAND, Ohio (CNN) - Democrats Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama sparred with each other over negative campaigning, health care and free trade Tuesday, a week before key primaries in Texas and Ohio

Those contests are must-wins for Clinton if she is to continue to contest Obama for the nomination, as even former President Clinton suggests.

Debating at Cleveland State University, Clinton repeated angry claims from the campaign trail that Obama mischaracterized her stances on health care and NAFTA in political material mailed to voters in Ohio.

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Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Hillary Clinton • Ohio
soundoff (177 Responses)
  1. kofi

    sorry hillary mocking somebody is not haveing a little fun. shame on you.

    February 27, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  2. Dane the Independent

    I find it funny that Hillary complained about being the first to respond to the moderators' questions. After 19 debates, the candidates know how they want to characterize their positions. Going first, if anything, affords you a chance to shape the debate and make your opponent respond to the specifics of each issue as you present it. I've read comments from Clinton supporters that criticize Obama for agreeing with some of Clinton's statements when he was given a chance to respond. Well which is it? Are the moderators picking on her by giving her the first opportunity to attack? I don't see it.

    February 27, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  3. Bill Jay

    We love CNN and Hillary fron Pa.

    February 27, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  4. Gary

    Its a 100% true that she gets picked first ,so Obama can agree with her and come back with something over her head. I thaught she did good at the rebate.He stumped a few times.He knows that photo was placed out of his camp for political tatics against her ,like the pamplets.He is a slick operator. The debate showed Obama was for NAFTA too. What a big hypocrypt. I myself thaught Hillary won this debate hands down. The media wont agree. They have been bias ever since this race started. Its a shame they dont want a woman president in office even though she is the only knowledgable canadate for our leader.This country will not get the change they are looking for if Obama wins. History is starting to repeat itself . The news is showing children stapping eachother and adults fighting eachother over this bias race. This is the change that Obama has brought already.God help us all, this is just the beginning. I hope you Obama voters will wake up before we have a war between our own people in this country. Its already starting. This is your CHANGE. concern viet nam vet Go Hillary

    February 27, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  5. Bayou Joe

    America WAKE UP. Reject and Denounce both of these candidates.
    Neither one is capable of being president of my PTA.
    No Experience, No knowledge of foreign affairs, No viable plans for helping homeowners with foreclosures. No plans for addressing the
    Illegal Aliens. Nothing but Socialist solutions to domestic issues.
    This is the new world order coming into our country. If you want to lose your sovereingty go ahead and vote Democrat in November. If you want to remain free and independent vote Republican.

    February 27, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  6. Yasir

    I am just amazed with Hillary's ability or I should say UNability to debate what's important to us "citizens" and rather she countinues to come up with those silly matters (Farakhan, xerox, photos !, etc) that are not doing anything other than backfire on her. It's obviouse that her campain is really running low on good ideas on how to turn the train direction.

    Hillary is simply becoming "Irrelevant"..

    As she has demonstared her unability of debating, she should get OFF the wagon and let this campaing debates our daily needs..not to choose what words Obama uses when denouncing a matter. Hillary this is a Campain not a marriage relationship!

    If she is not even trusty enough to make her tax records public , then why in the world should anyone of us trust her ! she is just after power ! is that what we need ! Definitly NOT !..

    People are really turned off by Hillary failing tactics,..it's not working for those of us who are simple minded

    Thank you Hillary, you are helping us in electing our next leader,

    That's why Obama's is gaining more voters..


    February 27, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  7. Vet in S.A.

    I heard on the radio this morning they both have voted yes on everything about NAFTA in the past.

    February 27, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  8. pupnannie

    Where is my comment. As I said, Senator Clinton did mention but did not bring enough attention to the fact that although obama says he was against the war all along, he fails to mention that HE DID NOT HAVE A VOTE. He was not in the Senate at the time. It is time for people to realize that it is easy to say you are against something if you didn't have the responsibility of casting a vote. Senator voted to the best of her ability with the misinformation given to them by this administration. I feel that CNN should at least talk about the fact that he didn't have a vote. You never know how you would vote until you are forced to make that decision. Come on CNN...give ALL the facts, not just the positive ones on obama and the negative ones on Senator Clinton.

    February 27, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  9. Republican Looking In

    Once again Tim Russert showed why Wolf Blitzer is no Tim Russert ! Obama answers the questions. Hillary does not. Russert does not let her get away with the false statements and failure to answer. He showed her true statements on NAFTA, her waffling on tax return disclosure, etc etc. The Queen has no clothes !

    February 27, 2008 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  10. Ed, Santa Fe NM

    Thank HILLARY for NAFTA and the decline in the US economy.
    Thank HILLARY for the Bush War in Iraq
    Thank HILLARY for Bush's harsh bankruptcy laws
    Thank HILLARY for grabbing millions of dollars in lobbyist money
    Thank HILLARY for her proposed MANDATORY health care plan that she has no idea how to implement or fund and would garnish wages from people who don't want it.

    February 27, 2008 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  11. Carole

    If Obama gets the nomination – McCain gets the Presidency!!


    February 27, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  12. Mariana Stout

    Is Obama ready and willing to reject the his Church whose Minister
    has close ties to Farrakhan?
    The only reason you are currently ahead in te delegate count and states won Obama is because your campaign has more money to spend on ads and the Republicans would rather go up against you then the intellectually superior HILLARY CLINTON.

    February 27, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  13. E Fabian

    Obama did falter or stumble but try to have an Obama fanatic admit to this is impossible..

    February 27, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  14. Carol Myers

    I'm worried about Obama going BACK into Iraq and going into Pakiston with the military. When one country goes into another country like Obama said he would do in Pakistan that's war which is exactly what an inept Bush did. I'm voting for Hillary.
    Carol Ohio

    February 27, 2008 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  15. Robert M. Reidy N.Y.

    America is ready !

    The world is ready !

    Barack and Michelle are ready !

    The House and Senate will be ready !

    I personally can't wait for that DAY ONE !

    America is back !

    Obama all the way !

    February 27, 2008 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  16. Doug, DC

    Barack won the debate hands down. He showed that he is Hillary's equal, if not better, on foreign policy. He was waaaaay more preseidential looking. He had a true understanding of the issues. Again, Hillary was supposed to wipe the floor up with Barack. That didn't happen. Their policies are 90% the same so the fact that Barack offers a change from the normal course of business is enough for this undecided to vote OBAMA in 2008!!

    February 27, 2008 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  17. B. Smart

    Anyone, who after having listened to Obama, and listen to top officials including top military officials tout his experience and readiness to lead
    the country, are not ready to accept the facts, may not be capable of cerebral thinking.
    OBAMA 08!

    February 27, 2008 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  18. Gary


    February 27, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  19. Barney, Long Island

    Obama wiggled out of Hillary's attack about the Farrankhan endorsement. This guy should be a champion boxer, he can dodge and weave with the best! Soon he will be in the ring with John McCain who will be holding the knockout punch! You can only dance so long before you get tagged!!

    February 27, 2008 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  20. Corey, Maryland

    Hillary had the opportunity to duke it out with Obama, and she just let it slide. This debate guaranteed wins for Obama on March 4th, in most if not all of the states!!

    Obama Richardson 08!!!!

    February 27, 2008 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  21. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Hillary continues to be her own worst enemy and appears to be unable to think her way out of a paper bag, not good. Ambition is important but not when it's an impediment to ones judgement, as Hillary is displaying, it's time to call it a day. Vote Obama

    February 27, 2008 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  22. Teresa

    America! READ BETWEEN THE LINES... I cannot speak for everyone, But I want a PRESIDENT who fight, YES FIGHT to STAND UP for our COUNTRY. HILLARY is a FIGHTER!!! Hey if she has caused FEAR amongest AMERICAN MEN... Perhaps she can do the same to some of those Idiots who are our enimies. The Medai has brainwashed viewers with THIER message and bias reports.

    February 27, 2008 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  23. ALBERT

    Im so worried that the media is on its way to validating Mccain as the next president of the United States. This is because the protection the media has given Obama, because they hate the Clintons, will come back to hunt Obama at the General Elections. Hillary has been inpublic life and in Washington more than Obama. She has has been examined ina way no one has, and she facing the republicans, even Karl Roove will have nothing new to present against Clinton, except by trying to bring back old issues which Americans have already known. In this case, it will make no news, and that will favour the democrates.

    Wolf if the Republicans are not so Afraid of Hillary, what explanation can you give for Sean Hannity maintaining a one hour radio program titled " Stop Hillary Express" This program has been in place now for almost a year. All Republicans are doing everything to stop Hillary because they know that with Hillary it will be an uphill battle.

    The romance the republicans have with Obama is a well calculated move to stop Hillary. When that is done, in the General Election, Karl Roove will come out with that trup card that will send the Democrates weeping, and by that time they will say had we known, but it will be too late.

    February 27, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  24. Decided in Chicago, IL

    She got slammed in the debate by the moderators. She was interrupted more than 3 times and Obama was not. Almost every question related to anyone's position had clips about her. Almost every questioned quote was from what she said. Do you think that he didn't say questionable things on the campaign trail? Of course not. The moderator would let her answer the tough questions (including the name of the new puppet Russian President) and just asked Obama "Mr. Obama, what do you think?"; Despite all this, she had composed, SUBSTANTIVE responses, and she fought back and held her head up high and thus won this debate. On the other hand, Obama seemed to repeat everything she said, including agreeing with her when she schooled him to reject Farrakhan's endorsement.

    February 27, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  25. candice

    I am so sick of the coverage of Obama by the media..Hillary won that debate last night.. HILLARY 08

    February 27, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
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