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. John

    To Pupnannie no he did not have a vote for this at the time Popular Iraq, war he was in a much more precarious position, he was engaged in a political campaign against a republican Supporter of the war for a senate seat. PS he won by a landslide just as he has in the last 11 primaries and just as he will against John McCain.

    Obama for president

    February 27, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  2. amazed

    After watching last nights debate, I an amazed that "our best" candidates snow the people with this crap. "My plan is better than your plan" debates really say little. Where are all the details of these grandious plans that they say they can deliver. After all, having a plan doesn't mean either has a means to deliver the benefits. There is always an excuse after the election for why they couldn't get their plan installed "as they wanted". Usually the "other party" is the convienient excuse. Wake up america! We are going down the tubes.

    February 27, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  3. Gary

    CNN dosnt know how to play a fair campaign.You have lost alot of veiwers after this race. You dont want anyone commenting against poor Obama. Its find if they dirt Hillary. Half of the comments people make you dont let be shown.You tell me you guys arent bias. Why dont you put all the endorsments on CNN that Hillary has. You bring Obamas up. You dont want the country to see all the Generals,Admirals and top leaders that support her.This is a one sided race. The whole U.S. MIlitary is endorsing Hillary. They should know more about her being the one that can lead this country. Give me a break CNN. God help us all

    February 27, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  4. Mark V.

    Ruth (and other Hillary supporters): Has it ever occurred to you that if the media "does not touch Obama," that it just may be that it is not because they do not "dare" to touch him, but that there is nothing bad "to touch", but plenty "to touch" with Hillary?

    February 27, 2008 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  5. Bran

    I do think Hillary needs to emphasize a bit more than Senator Obama did not have the responsibility of voting regarding the issue of invading Iraq. To be honest, many of his supporters (certainly not all) may not even be aware of that. Sure, he was against the war. So was I. I did not have a seat in the U.S. Senate hearing the misled-information fed from the Bush administration persuading to invade Iraq. And neither did Obama.

    It's easy to point fingers and say "I didn't vote for this, and I didn't vote for that" when you haven't been in Washington longer than 4 years anyway...

    February 27, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  6. Ed, Santa Fe NM

    How much money has Hillary scarfed up from lobbyists and what does she now owe them?

    and TAX RETURNS?

    February 27, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  7. Lewis, Denver

    We all watched the debate last night and i am shocked that there are people in here who are convinced that Clinton won the debate. People wake up Obama actually won the debate 95% of the time. Its about time we stood with the right person as democrats. If we elect Clinton then McCain will be our next President. Who wants McCain?

    Go Obama!!!
    Obama 08

    February 27, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  8. Ray - NJ

    For all you Obama Cult followers, WAKE UP!!!!!

    Hillary came out on top last night!!! She is the right choice!!!

    February 27, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  9. Joan

    Hillary should grow up. Her whining and cheap gimmcks (SNL, Youtube, Xerox?) get boos and yet she keeps usign them.

    She looked petty and small.

    Obama won by default. Hillary shot herself in the foot with a petulant performance.

    Hillary should drop out, for the good of the party.

    February 27, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  10. JOE

    I just hope that Ohio doesnt make the same mistake that they made in 2004, and get duped into voting for the wrong person... OBAMA IS FOR THE WORKING MAN.. what does it tell you that CONSERVATIVES are leaving McCains camp to go to CLINTON?

    February 27, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  11. Gary

    You did it again CNN. You took my comment off which was very important for people to see.What you all hiding in the media.Why cant you tell the truth.Is money and ratings mean more than the people in our country? You are buliding up Obama even if he falls on his face.News means your suppose to be fair and tell the country about all of it,not just Obama.THe facts are that Hillary has Generals,Admirals,Top leaders endorsing her. You wont put all the good things about her on your news,just dirt. The U.S. Military proves to me that she is the one our country needs for our leader. Why dont you start being fair and give her the credit she deserves. concened viet nam vet Go Hillary

    February 27, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |

    There is only one president that I can think of that has done the right thing, Lincoln. Every president since then, experienced or no, has come under fire for one thing or another. We are a fickle people, never satisfied, and under the delusion that someone as perfect as Jesus Christ will be our earthly president.

    Get over it. Every single one from now until the good lords devine intervention will have flaws. I dont wont some histerical, pampered princess makeing decisions on my behalf.

    February 27, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  13. JA Cook

    Texas, Ohio, Vermont and Rhode Island....


    Put us out of her misery!

    February 27, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  14. B. Smart

    Wonder whats in those tax returns Hillary? And where is the White House china?

    February 27, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  15. Kelly Anne

    Clinton was pretty bad. I actually cringed watching her SNL gambit.

    Obama seems to improve each time. He is now holding his own.

    As a side note, Tim Russert is awful. I think the real lsoer in this debate was NBC. The questions were obnoxious. It was almost as if the candidates were on trial and Russert was the prosecutor.

    PLEASE don't let Russert moderate these debates ever again!

    February 27, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  16. MattOhio


    If you get a chance watch Frank Luntz's focus group of undecided voters who watched the debate last. It is a stark revelation on what is actually the truth to voters in Ohio. They gave the mandate to Hillary overwhelmingly. People are realising the value of Hillary's experience, stance on healthcare, zeal to promote human rights, create jobs and a strong foreign policy. All in all everyone knows that she is a FIGHTER for the American People.


    February 27, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  17. Kelly Anne

    Hillary needs to drop out now.

    For the goosd of the party, and to help Dems win in November.

    A loss in Texas or Ohio would be great, since it would definitively tell Hillary she has no chance and to quit.

    I think she should do the honorable thing and drop out gracefully before she damages DNC prospects against McCain.

    February 27, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  18. E Fabian

    Gary, all my pro-Hillary posts and posts that are critical of Obama have been DELETED and they are by no means offensive. CNN has hit an ALL TIME low in their favoritism and censorship.

    Hillary does have a lot of important people endorsing her, Generals, Admirals, Flag Officers and many more community leaders too but they are not reported in the media. Shameful.

    And those who keep stating Obama The Semi-God is a uniter, take a good hard look at the vitriol spewed on these posts by the many Obama fanatics. That's uniting??? Give me a break. Hypocracy.

    Oh and I know CNN will delete this post because I have insulted their favorite candidate, so be it.

    February 27, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  19. LaLa in KCMO

    Ray from NJ - were you watching the same debate?!

    February 27, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  20. James Tx

    The exchange that struck me the most was:

    When asked about the $5 mil Hillary lent her campaign she plugged her website and dodged the question by saying she gets many donations from there.

    After being pressed about not releasing financial data Clinton said it was coming and that she has always been up front & honest about her finances. This came not 20 seconds after dodging the question about where the $5 mil came from.

    February 27, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  21. KW

    The Media is so Desperate in their Biases against Hillary.

    This is so comical. They keep showing this poll on last nights Debate claiming that 70% of the TEXT MESSAGAGES show that Obama won the debate.


    ANSWER: 60% are KIDS Text Messaging

    February 27, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  22. Chris from California

    The media has been biased against Hillary Clinton from the beginning. Whatever happened to true journalistic integrity, presenting the REAL, untainted facts and allowing voters to make up their own minds? I think a lot of these news programs are more like tabloid television than genuine news programs and I think those who work for them carry some shame in not standing up for integrity.

    Despite the media bias against Hillary Clinton, Senator Clinton has still demonstrated her competence, capabilities, and expertise in all areas needed to fulfill the role of the Presidency in this country. During the debate, she demonstrated a knowledge of the workings of this and even of other countries in the world. She demonstrated her expertise in both domestic and foreign policies and that she had a solid handle on it all. Barack Obama did not.

    February 27, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  23. tarra

    I definitely think Hillary showed vast and superior knowledge in the debate, but she won't get credit for it. Instead the media calls attention to how calm and unflappable Obama is. She runs circles around him! It reflects a truth in our society today, which is that that the most qualified women often don't get the position. Our society could be so much better if we actually honored the promises of a meritocracy. Also, there is blatant sexism in the media's coverage, which reflects a truth in our society. I don't think it's intentional, but it's taken for granted and that's pretty sad because I think we can be better than that. . I think someone on this website wondered how many facelifts Hillary has had, for example. The media isn't going to be any smarter than the people who watch it. And judging from these comments, we're not very smart are we?

    February 27, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  24. cc ri

    Tim Russert and the media are supposed to be unbiased. I think someone should tell them that because he almost giggles everytime someone says something negative about Hillary.

    The media has already crowned Obama King, America should wake up before its too late. With all the wrongs in this country that need to be righted Hillary is the only one with the experience to set the country onto the right course again. Does anyone remember what the deficit was when Bill Clinton was in office?

    February 27, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  25. Diana

    I think the media made it easy for obama .They didn't ask him any questions at first...it was always Hillary .Then She seen what they were doing. They were making it very easy for obama. All he had to do was agree with what Hillary said and add or subtract one thing. He couldn't lose.
    It wasn't until she made that comment that shortly thereafter they asked obama a question and even at that made it very easy for him to answer.

    I have to believe the reason they asked Obama the same questions after Hillary has answered is simply because Obama does not have any answers.

    The media needs to play it fair.

    February 27, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
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