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. Bowie, MD

    Barack did not say the questions were "Hard". Stop twisting people's words. It is stupid and childish. Just because the Republicans are going to do it doesn't mean that it's right.

    In a way the debate was a good thing because it exposed so much. It made all the issues a lot of us Obama supporters were afraid of, look so small and irrelevant. Hillary really is the only person who did the most damage to her campaign. She had plenty of opportunity to be honest and genuine and she always falls short. I liked that she apologized for lying. She doesn't realize she is at her best when she is honest. Oh well too bad so sad for Hillary.

    Obama 08

    April 18, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  2. Monica, Texas

    Hillary Please.....Do the people of PA know you said this, I think not


    April 18, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  3. Goldie

    Lost in all of this was the most startling statement of the debate: Hillary saying we should be in an agreement to defend a host of Middle East countries from attack, sort of like NATO. Really? That is frightening. According to her idea, we would be in the Middle East forever, war after war after war. I want to get our troops out of there. We can't afford another commitment like that. No thank you Hillary. We don't need your ideas in the White House. It would bankrupt us to be the Middle East police.

    April 18, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  4. Chris

    You must be kidding Hillary. I don't see how this has any relevance to being in the White House. Everyone knows that the whole Monica scandal has no play on who you are and how you'll be as president, but they would ask if you weren't a Clinton. Why should Barack have to answer for people he barely even knows. He put you in your place when he said Ayers didn't matter, then you (once more) tried to pick a fight about it, and he said that Bill pardoned two of the bombers. Yeah, you didn't have much to say about that did you. Barack wasn't handling "tough" questions, he was handling ridiculous one's that have nothing to do with running the country. He was asked if he thought Reverend Wright was as patriotic as he was...are you kidding me? That's the most absurd question, and ABC allowed it. They've had people on their asking idiotic questions about wearing a flag on his lapel. Come on Hillary, you know it was crap, but because it serves you politically you're going to pretend they were legit questions. They asked you about Bosnia and Barack defended you. He could have jumped on you but he didn't. The american people are being hurt by your tactics. Barack didn't say the questions were "hard" Hillary, he said they were bad questions. Come on, I'm so sick of this woman. She doesn't realize she's burying herself.

    April 18, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  5. Dee

    Go away Billary.


    April 18, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  6. Gerald F.

    You have to give Mrs Clinton credit on the fact about seeing the everyday pressures of a President's job. She, DID happen to have a husband that was doing that job everyday and she was there to witness it directly. Even Senator Obama supporters cannot say otherwise on that statement. Senator Obama may have done a lot in his field of past experience as a Senator. But not this heavy a job.
    Do you ever wonder how a President makes it through a long political day? Doing the work load 365 times a year times how ever many years inthe job? It has its down time for lighter duties. But do you think other Presidents (current and past) only had to put in a few hours every day like a part timer? THAT I believe is what makes a good candidate: The one that can get up everyday and deal with the hundreds of different In Baskets on the desk that are always stacked high with Need To Deal With Items.

    April 18, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  7. Eddie

    This woman(Hillary) is such a hypocrite and liar.She complained for several debates,Wow.Obama did not complain,but it was apparent to all who watched that this debate was prepared by Hillarys allies to ambush Obama.I think he showed he is very ready to be president.He was gracious and did not give these people the reaction of negativity they tried to enlist from him,but truly tried to to stay focused on what is important,like the issues.We need to get rid of this myth that Obama has not been vetted or put through scrutiny this campaign and that Hillary is just trying to help him by giving the republicansall the negative things to use against him.This witch is evil to the 1st degree.Will someone put this wounded horse out of her misery?

    April 18, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  8. CaliPeach

    Get over it Hillary, your days are numbered. Throw in the towel now, before you disgrace your family name worse than you already have!!

    OBAMA 08

    April 18, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  9. Kyle

    is this the same Clinton who was complaining/ whining about the questions she was being asked DURING a debate?

    April 18, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  10. Ed, Santa Fe NM

    Yes, and whiny, carping Hillary can? GIMME BREAK..... She's already lost the nomination but she drones ONE AND ONE AND ON

    April 18, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  11. Helen Roy

    Go Hillary!!!

    April 18, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  12. Barb Canada

    She makes a very valid point! As far as wiping Hillary off your shoulder like dandruff....well that was a little out there! Poor choice! Poor judgment! Poor Sport!

    April 18, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  13. ABC was wrong

    ABC LIED!!!!!! They claimed that people who ask the questions in the debate had sent in the questons when in fact, they recruited the questioners!

    The woman who asked about Obama lack of a flag pin was tracked down by ABC staff to ask that question. She had complained about it before in a newspaper interveiw and ABC staffers saw the news article and tracked her down to ask the question. There are articles about this at Huffington Post.

    Shame on you ABC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 18, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  14. Chief lagosboy, NJ

    Hillary, the only reason you did fairly well in the debate is because Little George Stephanoupolis, had given you the questions before the debate and you still screwed up! The so called debate was so one-sided and pro-Hillary, it was sickening to watch. Moron Charlie Gibson and Little George Stephanoupolis, should both apologies to the American public for there bias and shameful performance and also for calling themselves journalist. Hillary you are destroying the Democratic Party……..please go away, YOU CAN NOT WIN!

    Our President Obama 08’ & 12’

    April 18, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  15. Skeeve, NYC, NY

    He was not complaining about being asked questions. He was complaining about being asked about pointless media fueled and Clinton-supported trivialities that have absolutely no bearing to real problems of this country and no substance . Considering his tight schedule this debate was a perfect waste of his and listener's time.

    April 18, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  16. P, CA

    I don't know... seemed like he "brushed it off" his shoulder yesterday and put it behind him... sounds like something a mature adult (and president) should do...

    Who's keeping it going for political gain? And who's putting it behind him after reasonably and accurately stating the ridiculous nature of that debate.

    Don't even try it, Hill. Smart people will see through it. Maybe you're just trying to manipulate the people who are gullible enough to fall for it. I hope you people see it for what it is.

    April 18, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  17. Chris

    Go get 'em...HILLARY '08!!!!

    April 18, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  18. Simon Mwangi from Kenya

    Clinton needs to understand that we already know her designs and formula for the path towards the presidency, it is this simple.

    (A) Knowing she will lose the nominations to Sen. Obama, she wants to make him look weak and bad.
    (B) Sen. Obama goes ahead to lose the Gen.Election in the fall and McCain (McSame) gets to the White House.
    (C)Clinton spends the next four years readying herself for the onslaught that will be the 2012 general election. And she will have the last laugh.

    –However, there is ONE major problem with this Clintonesque reasoning....Obama is not going to lose in the fall, and 2012 will be a chance for Americans to return him back to the Oval Office in a landslide manner.
    Should Clinton still harbor Presidential Ambitions, 2016 will be available and people will suppport her...by then she will be a 68 grandmother (Chelsea will be 35 with 3 kids).

    April 18, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  19. Stephen

    we need a fighter, we need hillary

    April 18, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  20. Brian

    I used to like and respect Hillary Clinton, but now she's just a big joke. She'll say and do ANYTHING to get elected. After all these years defending her, I finally see and understand why the republicans despise her. When I look up words slimy politician in the dictionary, I see the pictures of George Bush and Hillary and Bill Clinton. Enough already.

    April 18, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  21. s.b.

    Obama also gave Hillary the finger during a rally in NC yesterday.

    He is criticising her then brings his middle finger up to the side ofhis face. The crowd reacts. Then, he smirks and contains a laugh.

    He is not saying anything funny and there is nothing else for the crowd to have reacted to other than his middle finger.

    The video on You Tube speaks for itself.

    April 18, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  22. Mike

    WTG, Hillary. He is having problems dealing with the hard character issues that the American people are wanting to know. I find it funny yesterday when he was crying all day long about the debate and how long it took to ask an issue question, when yesterday his issue speach time was taken up by him crying over the debate. Amazing!!!

    April 18, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  23. Love Huckabee

    He didn't complain, he was stating the obvious. Not one "relevant" question for 55 minutes.

    April 18, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  24. Alex H

    Omg... she's so stupid. She needs to know when to stop talking and let Obama make his mistakes. These traps are being set for Obama and SHE'S sticking her hand in! BAD IDEA!

    I watched the entire debate and while Obama was being asked these tough questions by the moderators and struggling, she couldn't help but try and join the fight. DON'T! She could've taken a high-road and moved to issues before anyone else did but she didn't. She stuck her hand in the dirt and she still hasn't taken it out.

    She had a chance... she blew it.

    April 18, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  25. Deb

    Thank You Hillary for flying to your strengths and staying with us!

    I know you will make a GREAT President; you are the most viable candidate in the Race!

    We look forward to years of Peace, Prosperity and a balanced budget!

    April 18, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
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