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.

Full story

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

    i've seen so many blogs criticizing that this debate leans towards obama more than clinton, yet, they're forgetting the fact that it was clinton who, last saturday (with that bobblehead behind her) huffing and puffing, challenged to meet obama in ohio; and what did she do when they actually sat down to debate? nothing spectacular really. mrs. clinton weaved and bobbed. that snl skit did not look presidential; obama's non-reply was.

    but the greatest line i've ever heard in all of the debates since this campaign season began was the bus driving into the ditch. it's for all ages!

    February 27, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  2. K

    CNN why do you make me cut and paste because you always delete?
    I despise Clinton, but I am so glad that someone finally pointed out that Obama only stated accomplishment that he repeats over and over is that he did not vote for the war in Iraq...of course he didn't, HE WASN'T ELECTED TO THE SENATE UNTIL 2004!
    Also I'm happy that MSNBC had the guts to address the issue of his racist, radical church leader and his relationship to Farrakhan....issues he was visibly uncomfortable discussing and "denouncing". Wake up people, there's too many questions about this guy. He's not above board.

    February 27, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  3. cecil

    Hello America;

    Sen. Hillary Clinton can't even manage her campaign correctly, let alone this country.

    She is trailing because of her traditional way of thinking and campaigning.

    The world has changed, and to get things accomplish now in goverment and business you have to be very creative and decisive all mix with wisdom.

    Obama is still in contention for one reason.
    Intelligent strategics in his campaign strategy from day one period.

    Sen. Clinton has a mouth, a power name, campaign money, political
    experience and intelligents. She underestimated Obama.

    "She needs to stop blaming the media for her ineptness"

    Obama 08 Day One

    February 27, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  4. Alex

    Has anyone else noticed that even THIS article displays the way in which Hillary is treated much worse than Obama by the media?

    Look at it: it just points out that she was angry and doesn't touch on his flaws during the debate!

    Vote Hillary!

    February 27, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  5. Jonatan (Ohio)

    Good guy Obama!!! Very consistent event Gen Casey admits that. Obama has wins the debate last nitgh.

    Obama !!! Good boy.!!! America and the world are proud of you.
    From now, Hillary should be thinking how to get out the race. I hope to se her doing so soon. Because is good for her and the party to quit now and later.

    February 27, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  6. jim

    i live in the state of florida which clinton won !!!! but the voters were disenfranchised. i'M for lineing up a lot of buses to go to the national convention.and having our say. is this becoming a communist country where only certain votes count. SHAME ON THE "DNC" i will no longer contribute to this commitee ,just to the canidate–CLINTON

    February 27, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  7. DH

    Hillary was very quick to keep pointing to a "mandate" that she says Obama has on his health care but would not explain how she plans on making sure all individuals are covered under her plan....the silence on her part says she does have a mandate whether she will admit it or not.

    Regarding not releasing the taxes, she says she will if nominated or maybe sooner but when pressed as to before the election she says she can't get it together in time. Excuse me but I seriously doubt her or Bill sat down with Turbo Tax and did their own return. All it takes is a call to the accountant to say release my tax information and it could have been up this morning....reluctance to do so only begs the question.....what are you hiding....every other candidate, democrat or republican have released theirs so why not yours Hillary?????

    February 27, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  8. David

    check yourself if you though Hillary won this debate. she reeked of desperation so badly. trying to pin Obama down over Farrakhan (that was pathetic). bringing up the SNL skit (like it was the gospel truth). SNL= NBC. NBC is owned by elites (General Electric). the ones that started out backing Hillary. well, guess what, the people weren't buying into the Clintons this time (sick of the Bush/Clinton regime) and now they're all mad and it is starting to show. Hillary thought she was waltzing into a nomination but the people are speaking loud and clear. only chance she has is getting to those diebold machines.

    February 27, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  9. Hillary has Multiple Personalities

    Hillary should be the boxer, because she can certainly take a good gut punch. Obama is the man!!! He was poised and ready to stand his ground and did it VERY well.

    I LOVED the NAFTA discussion when the liar (Clinton) was about to do what she does best (LIE) and the host looked boldly and said "you said it" in response to her support of NAFTA!!! Priceless.

    She ought not make the faces she does – because the miles and lies are showing in the form of wrinkles!

    February 27, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  10. Caryn MH, WDC

    For all of Hillary's 35 years of experience, she is being outspent, outsmarted, and outcampaigned by Senator Obama. Her campaign is a complete disaster. I never know which Hillary will show up on a given day. This gives me serious pause about her being "ready on Day 1". She wasn't even prepared for her own campaign.

    Obama '08 & '12

    February 27, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  11. Sal in Phoenix

    It's a shame that it has come to this..The media has picked the candidate of their choice and is shoving it down our throats..Media bias is so obvious, it's almost criminal..

    February 27, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  12. Mariann Pepitone

    Gene: You are so right but the media is hoping Obama will win the presidency. They are promoting him like mad because they don't want another Clinton in the white house or a woman. Argentia voted a woman president and her husband was president prior. Obama will never have the intelligence of Hillary or the experience she has. He has people eating up his garbage and probably got his training from Farrakhan and Patrick whose speeches he used in the beginning. What hope. What change. He doesn't know the first thing about hope and change. He says whatever comes into his head and he has the public fooled. I am voting Hillary and if she does not win the nomination I hope her voters swing their vote to McCain to spite Obama and leave him in the senate.

    February 27, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  13. Matt NC

    Barack Obama is The WRONG ANSWER to all of America's Questions! He talks new Washington and new politics but plays the same old dirty tricks. He is phony and has a selfish agenda. He, like Hillary has stated, does well with speeches but so does my 8 year old niece when she is reading from a script. The question is why does he seem to stutter so much and is not as fluent and poetic at his debates? The answer is because he is not capable of responding on the spot like Hillary Clinton. It takes tele-promters and other helpful forms of technology to help him along the way with his grand speeches. Being able to respond on the spot is something that the Commander and Chief should be able to do and do well. He is not the one. Clinton makes her points and shows a full range of emotions that are required to deal with the full range of issues in America. Lets take 9-11 for example. I am sure that the US President laughed early in the morning before it happened, cried at the point of impact, then got angry later on in the day. Again a full range of emotions that are needed to be expressed because the President doesn't know what's going to happen from one minute to the next. One dimensional characters such as Barack Obama should make Americans extremely nervous and they should ask themselves with critical thought the very important questions-Who is Barack Obama? Will the Real Obama please stand up?

    a very proud straight 34 yearl old black man: I support Hillary Clinton and I approve this message.

    February 27, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  14. Dan in MA

    If Obama can't explain himself in front of Hillary and Tim Russert, how will he explain something to Raul Castro? Or Hugo Chavez? Or what if Farrakhan says something else that's controversial? Tim Russert is no dictator...Explaining something to the American People isn't as easy as giving a speech about hope.

    February 27, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  15. Phyllis/ PA

    In the debate last night the name of Farrahkan came up. For Hillary to elaborate and show the significance of Farrakhan, would put her in the position of being negative and playing the race card. Farrakhan alone would not be a major issue. However, when Tim Russert brought up the name of Farrakhan, this open the door to a room filled with many undesirable people in Obama's life. Hillary was attempting to keep this door open in hopes that the media will introduce these people and their relationship with Obama. This is why she made an issue over the word reject!

    February 27, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  16. M. Pomerantz

    There was, indeed, one knockout punch delivered in last night's debate, and it was a devastating one; but I have heard absolutely no TV pundits comment on it ! I refer to Tim Russert's question to Barak Obama pointing out that (shockingly) Barak Obama, who is chairman of the Senate's subcommittee on Afghhanistan, has NOT HELD A SINGLE MEETING OF HIS COMMITTEE IN OVER A YEAR. Obama,
    in a slick and ultra-calm diverting move answered by simply saying he has been busy since January '07 with his presidential campaign!!!.

    Everyone ( including Senator Clinton) readily acknowledges that Obama speaks eloquently but lacks evidence of substantive action.
    And Obama regularly includes comments about Afghanistran in his
    speeches. The observation by Tim Russert was an authentic knockout blow agaihnst Obama, but no one has even mentioned it, Quite telling.

    February 27, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  17. Tk

    It's over the 44th President of the United Stetes of America will be Mr.OBAMA.

    OBAMA 08.

    February 27, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  18. Chris

    I left a note on the Texas debate... someone questioned my opinion because I was from IL and Obama's track record... They pointed out that Obama won in a landslide and set a record with the majority vote... That person failed to point out that the Republicans had no chance in that election because the front runner had been linked to our wonderful governor that got federal charges brought against him for various things he had done while in office... That race would have been very tight if they would not had happened!!!

    The only thing I have to say is I still can not believe that everyone thinks that Obama is going to change anything... It is foolish to think that he is going to fix Congress!!! All of you need to start questioning him on his plan!!! What is he going to do to fix our economy, how is he going to fix health care, how is he going to deal with the world??? The man can talk a good game but can he walk it!!! We do not live in fantasy land or a perfect world!!!

    February 27, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  19. aw-NJ

    It was clearly observed in last debate that Clinton is much more solid than Obama in all areas for the role of the Presidency in this country.

    February 27, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  20. Tim

    Hillary goes from being the "inevitable" to the "irrelevant."

    I LOVE IT!

    It's time to step aside HIllary. Your arguments fall flat. Your debate tactics are feeble. Your campaign is flailing. Your fundraising is falling. Your support is waining.

    Your time is over.

    February 27, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  21. Eris Discordia

    I find it reprehensible that Hillary touts herself as representing women. She is the most disappointing, stereotypical representation for women I have ever seen. Her whining, anger, uncontrollable emotions, glaring, childish, erratically-tempered, truth-twisting, opportunist, mix-and-match personalities are exactly the negative traits that women have been painted with forever.

    Does this woman represent you? She does not represent me.

    February 27, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  22. Texas

    Senator Clinton had every right to be upset over the information that was distributed that had the wrong information. She has the grace to rise above anything.

    I am very disappointed that the media has been so biased and negative towards Senator Clinton.

    She is only human.

    Go Senator Clinton!

    February 27, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  23. cindyj in texas

    I have voted democrat all my life; but, if Obama wins I will definitely vote for Senator McCain. GO HILLARY!!!!!!!!!!

    February 27, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  24. Louisiana for Hillary

    Obama can smooth talk a croud in a rally, but that will not help him run this country. Hillary is a fighter and will not give up on us and the changes this country needs. Please wake up Obama dreamers. He isn't ready now. Swollow your pride of jumping on the bandwagon too soon. The eyes of Americans will open about him, but it would be too late. Hillary is the right choice for 08. HILLARY WILL FIGHT for those that need Health Care, a better education for their child, a way to keep their home and so much more that Bush has failed us on. Stop and look at the facts America.

    February 27, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  25. Sorry

    Poor Chelsea Clinton, what you must have went through as a child with a mother like Hillary, never knowing who she will be from day to day 🙁

    Now Hillary wants to put the country and the world through THAT for four years!

    I DON'T THINK SO !!!

    February 27, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
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