April 18th, 2008
09:45 AM ET
14 years ago

Clinton: Obama 'complaining' about debate

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/04/18/art.clintoncomplain.ap.jpg caption=" Clinton said Obama is complaining about Wednesday night's debate."]

PHILADELPHIA (CNN) - In her first comments about the Wednesday evening’s controversial debate, Hillary Clinton accused Barack Obama of “complaining” about the broadcast and hinted her rival might not be equipped to handle the rigors of the Oval Office.

“I know he spent all day yesterday complaining about the hard questions he was asked,” she told an interviewer Friday morning on WTXF in Philadelphia. “Being asked tough questions in a debate is nothing like the pressures you face inside the White House.”

In campaign stops in Pennsylvania and North Carolina yesterday, Obama criticized both his rival and the debate format, accusing the moderators of focusing on trivialities and saying Clinton was “in her element.”

Seeing an opening after what some pundits regarded as a poor performance by Obama, Clinton used the morning show interview to make the case for her own toughness and determination.

“When the going gets tough you can't run away,” she said of Obama.

Clinton said she had no problems with the debate, a face-off that some critics — and many Obama supporters — claimed was slanted against the Illinois senator.

“The special interests are going to be a lot tougher than 90 minutes of questions from two journalists,” she said, “and we need a president who is going to be up there fighting everyday for the American people and not complain about how much pressure there is, and how hard the questions are.”

soundoff (833 Responses)
  1. Terell

    Despite her shortcomings, Hillary is right on this one.
    Polls say, more than 70% of America is ready for a black president. But is America ready to have a great woman president like Hillary? Many great women around the world have been wonderful leaders, just look at Margaret Thatcher in England, and Indira Gandhi in India. Hillary will make a much superior and stronger president than Obama.

    April 18, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  2. Obama Conservative

    Way to spin the situation yet again Hillary. The issue is that the debate had no SUBSTANTIVE questions. She's trying to make it look like he was "complaining that the questions were hard". Senator Clinton, please buy a dictionary. Look up unimportant and inane (those describe the debate). Then look up difficult and tough (this is how you're trying to spin it).

    April 18, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  3. Anne

    She's right. Obama has made some bad choices that he finds
    very hard to explain. Hillary is tough....that's what we need in
    the Whitehouse.

    April 18, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  4. Jeff

    I think it's funny that she mentioned "special interests", since she is in their pockets. She's so smug when she thinks that things are going her way. Please do not let her be on the ticket in Nov., PA & NC!!!

    April 18, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  5. Mike

    I could not have said it better... Obama showed a major weakness and the Republicans are going to have a field day with him!!!

    If you watch more than just CNN... a lot of strategists are talking... they are saying that there is a growing number or a lot of Republicans talking behind closed doors that they hope Obama is the nominee... they think he is the easier of the two to beat... before they thought Clinton was the easier target...

    My question is what do they think about both of them???

    April 18, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  6. Anonymous

    I think all Obama is saying is that the debates should be about issues and is not about personal attacks or having fun.

    April 18, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  7. gordon

    thats what self righteousness is all about, when it is your oponent that is asked or faced with questions of charater or statements you join in and poke fun at them, when its your turn, you say thats not important, lets talk about issues. Talk about childish behaviour....your charater is defined by the way you handle pressure not when every one is singing your praise.


    April 18, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  8. marie

    fight for the american people? ....geez, i see how gossips and ridiculous questions will help us pay our mortgage, school and gas. this woman is seriously on a complete different time zone from the rest of us rational individuals... but then what else can u expect from someone who spins and twists every word said by her opponent... i rest my case.

    April 18, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  9. Will

    Was she complaining when she said, "it seems I'm always asked the tough questions, blahblahblah". I was a clinton supporter but this lady is so fake and cold. it's amazing they would let a former employee of her husband to moderate a debate.

    April 18, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  10. TM

    I was very disappointed with the debate. I have always admired and respected George but effective immeadiately, I will no listen to what he has to say.

    Hillary has proven to me with the mismanagement of her campaign finances along with her crudeness that she is NOT qualified to be president.

    I have lost respect for her and look forward to her losing the democratic nomination.

    April 18, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  11. Santiago

    Don't be mad Hillary, because you've already lost this election season, we will send you a postcard from the White House.

    Obama 08

    April 18, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  12. Anastasia in Obamaha, NE

    It wasn't that the questions were "hard" it's about how much time was wasted and how the real issues were not the main focus for almost an hour. Wearing a flag pin is not going to feed, house, clothe, or provide health care to the American people! She needs to stop running her lips and start running on a treadmill, because she’s starting to get a fat as her mouth.

    Obama not Chelsea's momma!

    April 18, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  13. Rev. Wright vs Priest




    April 18, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  14. PA Democrat

    YEA it was totally Bias! 3 against one!
    When you said more twist n turns I guess you weren't lying you threw the whole kitchen at him but thats good tho like Sen. Obama said you are using Republican tatics to toughen him up!
    Brush your shoulders off and keep going!
    Sen. Obama!

    April 18, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  15. Eric

    Here we go again.

    This woman seems to have no clue, unable to understand what's wrong about the way she conducts herself.

    First spin: "He complained all day". False, he actually made jokes about that, and did say he understood that your only choice is to crawl in the gutter in the hope of finding some dirt about him.

    Second spin: She then tries, with a logic that she alone understands, to relate his annoyance with a debate that most thought stupid with his future capability to handle pressure and fight off lobbyists.

    Good God, is anyone able to follow her logic. I still respect the strenght and capability she's showing, but she lacks any kind of credibility. How are you supposed to fight the Reps when all you do is to use the exact lame tactics they are using. I know she thinks that if she gets a chance to distroy him, the Supers will come on her side. But the last weeks have shown her that the reverse is happening.

    So you're left with the question: Is she still in touch with the reality? And how a campaign that took 8 years to build can be so ineffective?

    April 18, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  16. Maureen

    maybe she wouldn't feel the same way had they given her equal time on questions regarding ALL of her lies and dirty ways. She's digging herself even deeper. Keep it up Hillary.............Obama will come out on top as usual. Her dirty politics last week haven't made a bit of difference in the polls like she thought or hoped they would. She looks so deparate, guess we'll hear your spin on unfairness when you lose. Whaa, Whaa, Whaa

    April 18, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  17. Mikey, Scottsdale AZ

    Hillary ..do the words SHUT UP mean anything to you ?

    Can anyone imagine listening to this woman for four years ! Her campaign is a disaster, her choices for campaign management have been a disaster, her memory is a disaster,her husband is a disaster,
    her healthcare program was and is a disaster!

    In short, she spells disaster for the Democratic Party and apparently half the party is either deaf or blind ! AND THAT'S A DISASTER !

    April 18, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  18. Rick

    She should look at the on-line surveys that show she lost the debate. There she goes again – saying Obama can beat McCain but now he can't stand up to the pressures of the office. Boy whay a crackpot.

    April 18, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  19. Ron Las Vegas

    I guess she is not ready since she has consistently complained about being picked on and treated unfairly in debates. I guess she thinks she is the only one who is allowed to complain and say anything she wants without a response from anyone.

    April 18, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  20. John in PA

    She's right on this one. If he thinks that was tough, he has no clue and is not prepared for the White House.

    April 18, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  21. EyesWideOpen

    At what point in time are people going to wake up? This brand of politics is for simple-minded fools. I agree with Hillary that being President is a lot harder than a 90 minute debate. However, it is if people are missing the point of what Obama is saying. At what point did the issues in this country stop being the most important thing during a debate? I wasted nearly an hour of my life listening to nonsense that had nothing to do with why I'm voting in the Fall.

    So now we have debates to test how a candidate can stand up to hard questions about flag pins, ministers, and Weathermen? A flag pin that most people in this country don't wear, a minister that said something ridiculous (as many of them do), and a former radical who donated $200 and served on a board for a community service organization???

    In the meantime, people are losing jobs and houses while our soldiers continue to die in a war that is built on lies. The debate fails to focus on that though. We have to see how a candidate can stand up to "tough" questions. I USED to be a Hillary supporter, now I'm 100% for Obama because he sees what I see............we as a people need to stop focusing on tearing each other down and build OUR country back up.

    April 18, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  22. Pete

    Tough Questions? How about questions that matter. I am very disapointed in both Clinton's. Stop the spinning we are sick of it.

    April 18, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  23. chris

    Hypocrite! Isn't she the one that's been complaining about media bia for the last 3 months. She's even done tv shows like saturday night live to talk about it. This is the definition of Hypocrocy!

    April 18, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  24. Blayze Kohime

    Hard questions? The whole thing as a circus sideshow and a disgrace to the media that ran the debate. The questioned asked to BOTH candidates were shallow and irrelevant to the problems that REAL people are dealing with.

    April 18, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  25. NickSanDiego

    Once again her view of reality comes 100% from Clinton world. The rest of us are just stupid and believe that the problem with that debate was the questions. It was the LACK of questions asked HER!!!

    Obama answered EVERY QUESTION put to him Honestly, Openly and very well.

    She dodged 99% of the questions she didn't have pre-prepared answers for with " I will look into it when I am president"

    She can't help it. she is what she is. A calculateing, self serving, fake.

    April 18, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
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