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. Mike

    America has real problems and I do not believe that Obama is the answer... To use a sports analogy... As a coach you want to put the best option you have to win... do you go with the veteran that has been there done that or do you put the exciting and mistake prone rookie in the game... with Clinton you know what you are going to get and she obviously gives our country the best chance to get out of the mess we are in... Obama is a huge risk because he lacks experience and does not have the political background to get things done... I for one do not want another 4 years of our current situation... GW was a huge risk because of his lack of experience and look where that has gotten us!!! LEARN FROM YOUR MISTAKES!!! Do not repeat them... Clinton has my vote!!!

    February 27, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  2. be

    I do not think that Hillary has actually found her public voice. People who know her personally tell us how personable she really is. In public however she vascillates between being really tough or all smiles and too nice, all the while not appearing authentic and connected. Sadly, this does not bode well for a role model for women in power. On the other hand, Barack Obama gives the impression that he just thought of what he is saying, that he writes the script himself, in the very moment of debate, and that any attack on him is the attacker's problem. This alone of course is not a reason to vote for one and not the other. But, given that their politics are almost identical, I think that someone who has the ability to energize our youth (our future) with emphasis on values, participation in politics and hope for true change deserves our support.

    February 27, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  3. Lesley

    To All Females:

    I am a woman and it really irks me everytime a female Clinton supporter blames gender for their candidate's woes. Get real! It is not that she is a woman! She just does not connect with the voters! Get over it! Obama will win, and it just so happens he is a man.

    February 27, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  4. John

    I believe that there are many people in this country are better than Ms. H.R. Clinton or Mr. B. H. Obama. However, between these two persons, if you are thoughtfully caring about this country, Ms. H.R. Clinton is the best one.

    February 27, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  5. Mariann Pepitone

    Ed: I loved that tape of Hillary mocking Obama and I loved Bill Cunningham's remarks about Obama. He certainly hit it on the head. Obama would put this country in the biggest diaster in history. Worse than the 1929 depression. Why don't you and your generation wake up. Of course, he doesn't have the intelligence to run this country. You better hope that if Hillary doesn't win the nomination that McCain does or we are in trouble. Hillary should then put out a flyer advising her voters to switch their vote to McCain to block Obama from the presidency. And I hope that happens.

    February 27, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  6. Matt NC

    Let's get real! The media is very ambitious to have Obama vs. McCain in the General Election in the Fall. Why? The answer is simple. This will be the medias subtle way of pitching a black man against a white man for a one on one, and toe to toe battle. I have faith that in this match up Obama will win, but if he doesn't it will be an underlying argument about the true status of the country in terms of race and ethnic relations in today's society. The country has not changed as much as desired will be the headlines in newspapers and television lead ins across the country for months.

    February 27, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  7. SH

    Hillary has to be a fighter, she had to go up against the opposing candidates, the media and the Republicans. I heard that there has been a lot of money donated from Republicans to Senator Obama's campaign in hopes that they can eliminate Senator Clinton before the General Election because they fear they can not beat her. There is an interesting article at the City Edition of San Francisco about manipulating the Presidential Primaries, if you are interested.

    February 27, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  8. nick

    She and her people whine and cry for more debates, then when they get it they cry because she gets to go first. If Obama was going first most of the time she would cry because of that too. What a baby. No more debates because we don't want to hear her whine anymore. She is not presidential material at all in my book. Glad we had the debates so that I got a chance to see just what she is about.

    February 27, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  9. lisa

    go hillary!!! you are the true democrat, if people don't want a true democrat you should be independent.

    February 27, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  10. Chantay

    I personally, object the forever attacks on Obama, from his speaking, his intelligence, background, education, etc. Talk show host and radio stations, I feel should be more geared toward getting out the truth and not promoting unsound information, somethings shouldn't be in media. Mocking of Obama's middle name, surely if this is what McCain's supporters are like, even if he had to dismiss them, doesn't show me that he's against those that have that mentality, in other words he shouldn't have had him on his team anyway.

    Differences, between the two are Experience With Bad Judgements, Vs. Experience With Sound Judgements. Physical sacrifice! And for the voters of the Four more Years, I am glad that you now see what matters and who actually have the power. You and I!

    I don't mind being apart of a process where taking care of home first and reaching out to others to prevent past history from repeating itself. I am for improving. Obama, doesn't claim to save the world, he proposes We all save the world. Either way it goes, we the people will take part in this goal of keeping America safe and getting back on our feet.

    I hear the Truth, the Sincerity in Sen. Obama. Bag Of Wind Hillary! You had eight years to prove yourself and you failed.

    February 27, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  11. Louisiana for Hillary

    Well said John, We have to make a choice between the two and Hillary is the BEST of the two. Experience is what we need and Hillary will fight for CHANGE. Dreaming and hoping for change will not get us anywhere we need ACTION!! Texas and Ohio really need to get in the game and stop Obama!

    February 27, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  12. beans in Belize C.A

    It is clear now after the debate that Hilliary what's to run a negative campaign but Barack is not buying into it. He wants change american politics but Hilliary does not want.

    It is time for a new chapter in American politics.


    February 27, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  13. Matt NC

    The media is doing Obama a diservice by being Pro-Obama and Anti-Clinton. The reason is because if Obama wins the primary he will go into the General election against McCain. It will be at this point that the media will hit him and the viewing audience with all of the hard, Clinton styled questions. Obama will then begin to receive the criticism that Clinton has endured throughout the campaign. The problem is that while Clinton has had the time to prepare herself because of the media attacks, Obama will not have been able to be so lucky. What you will get in the end is complete, absolute, and total destruction by McCain over Obama in a General Election.

    America do the right thing and send Hillary against McCain if we are really wanting a fair competition in the Fall.

    Experience + human characteristics+ proven leadership= President Hillary Clinton

    February 27, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  14. IKW

    It is interesting to note that Hillary referes to Senator Obama as "Barack" 99% of the time, whereas Senator Obama referes to Hillary as "Senator Clinton". Even if private personal feelings prove otherwise, in public interactions, that lack of respect by Hillary speaks to her character. She is left to last resorts of name calling and failed one-liners (Xerox and SNL comments). Calm, collected and respectful are traits I look for.

    February 27, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  15. Richard Ford

    I am not a supporter of Hillary Clinton nor the inexperienced Barak H. Oboma, however, I have to agree with Hillary that SNF skit closely parallels the the obvious favoritism that the debate moderators have displayed throughout the debates. Shame on you Tim and Brian. You're better than that.

    February 27, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  16. sonya

    it seems as if obama continues to be on the hillary bandwagon. does he carry one independent thought of his own. he's copied all ideas from hrc and agrees with everything she states. he needs to develop his own identity and is way to novice to become president. watch and learn. i bet he even has some of her pantsuits in his closet..

    hrc 08

    February 27, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  17. cecil

    American Heritage Dictionary – Cite This Source – Share This de·nounce (dĭ-nouns') Pronunciation Key
    tr.v. de·nounced, de·nounc·ing, de·nounc·es

    To condemn openly as being evil or reprehensible. See Synonyms at criticize.
    To accuse formally.
    To give formal announcement of the ending of (a treaty).

    Correct and Great Choice Of The word (denounce).

    Nice job Obama

    February 27, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  18. AJ

    The debate once again showed that Obama is noting but an empty suit with no substance. He doesnt have 1 original idea. I urge all Clinton supporters to vote McCain if Obama is the democratic nominee!!

    February 27, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  19. etta1

    i just want to say i have been impressed with the plans that Obama has for Healthcare , ending Iraq and educations plans, and regardless what anyone says i listen to the debate and felt he was unstoppable in anwersing any question ask , showing the true presidant he could be. As for Hillary SHE JUST NEEDS TO CALL IT QUITS!!!!!!!!!

    February 27, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  20. OBAMA 4 President

    CNN has not posted one of my comments ever, wonder why!

    What struck me hard from last nights debate was that Hillary is now acting like a DRAMA QUEEN! I don't remember Obama acting like a petulant child when he was behind. That comment about no one getting her a pillow was MANIC!!

    Also this attitude that they should vote for her because she's a woman is not helping the equal rights movement. I'll be happy to vote for a woman only if she's competent and of good character. I don't want to be forced to vote for anyone based on guilt.

    OHIO please do the right thing, give Obama a resounding victory and lets end this endless clinton soap opera.

    February 27, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  21. cecil

    Farrakan as an American has a right to support, whom he will.

    American Heritage Dictionary – Cite This Source – Share This de·nounce (dĭ-nouns') Pronunciation Key
    tr.v. de·nounced, de·nounc·ing, de·nounc·es

    To condemn openly as being evil or reprehensible. See Synonyms at criticize.
    To accuse formally.
    To give formal announcement of the ending of (a treaty).

    Correct and Great Choice Of The word (denounce).

    Obama 08

    February 27, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  22. Chicago

    Oh Lesley – come on!!! Be fair for a second.

    If Barak Obama was a female, would she get this far with only a few years of experience in a state senate and a couple more at the federal level?

    Please. This has more to do with gender than connection.

    February 27, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  23. Maurice

    I support Hillary -she has the ability experience and political fortitude that obama lacks and still has to learn what it even means - the guy is a nebish -a schlumiel – a "farakkan supporter" of the worst kind – he has a grandmother who sits peeling mealies in the backyards of Kenya – a so called father who abandoned his obama family at the tender age of 2 years– and with this background you want him to be the leader of the great US of America??? Don't be fooled by "hot air" talk - its just that..
    Should he succeed though –i will definitely vote for John McCain or even Ralph Nader for that matter....I hope that i do not have to go this route but if I have to I will....Please Hillary win the nomination –u are a great woman and leader....

    February 27, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  24. John, Las Vegas, NV

    If HRC was a man, behaving as HRC does, I also wouldn't be able to stand him. HRC is like the worst boss and the worst spouse any of us have ever had. HRC, please note, NO ONE IS OWED the Presidency simply because they have feebly tolerated a lying, cheating spouse their entire married life. You are weak, incompetent, and whiny, and THAT is why people can't stand you.

    February 27, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  25. Vet in S.A.

    For all you saying the media is biased towards one candidate or the other just wait until it's a dem vs a rep and then you'll see the media's real bias.

    February 27, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
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