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. Stu from Canada

    This coming from the woman who cried about the media being to hard on her, give me a break, I'm busy dodging sniper fire.

    April 18, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  2. DeeNC

    I agree with Obama, 21 debates is enough. Yes, the debate was slanted, I guess that is because he's had a few more controversies. But focus on the issues. The media is in the business of making stories and news, I want to what to hear their views on issues that effect me, I could care less what Jeremiah Wright said at his church. Hillary lied about Bosnia and has not admitted, but so what. she has been lying about all this experience she has too, all politicians lie, Obama is no different. Jus Campaign and let's get a nominee.

    April 18, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  3. Tim

    Wait till Karl Rove's attack dogs get done with him .

    April 18, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  4. Zach

    She's disgusting.

    April 18, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  5. jyh1920

    Really? Like you complained about "getting the first question" or Media coverage being unfair?
    That kind of complaining?
    Or was he was making light of the whole thing, instead of being pinched faced and dare I say...BITTER about being behind in the primaries that were yours for the taking?

    April 18, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  6. JA Cook

    Hillary complained before about her impression that she was always getting the first question. She says we need a president who will "not complain about how much pressure there is, and how hard the questions are.”

    If getting the first questions was too much how can she be ready on day one to answer the phone at 3 AM. Presumably the call would equate to the first question.

    April 18, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  7. vic nashville,Tn

    Is Obama ready for president of USA?
    If he can face tough question how he is going handle the problems?
    Look 10 years back every one of us was thinking CNN was Clinton network But Wolf Blitzer asked very tough and direct question to Bill Clinton , that is media they do their job we can’t blame them
    Obama stop complaining about debate
    Look back 2000 election

    April 18, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  8. Eric

    Oh, give me a break! ABC has apparently lost all credibility, asking total BS for the first 45 minutes. Obama has every right to be pissed off. That was the worst commentating I've ever seen in my life. The media has already insulted our intelligence enough. We don't need you doing it too, Hillary.

    Obama '08

    April 18, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  9. MC, Maryland

    Isn't this the same person, who on national TV, asked "Why do I always have to answer first"?

    Oh Hillary stop it.

    April 18, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  10. IMO

    Clinton complained during previous debates, and even used Saturday Night Live as a testimony to validity of her complaints. Obama new issued statements about her complaining. Now she jumps at any chance to compare her qualifications over Obama's. Unlike Obama who choose to remain silent when Clinton's honesty was brought into question.

    Well, I'm not as gracious as Obama – Clinton outright lied about ducking enemy fire...how can anyone trust her after that. Don't forget about NAFTA, either. She is a candidate that will lie and twist the facts to serve her purposes. If she were in office, how could anyone trust what she says is not just another ploy to serve her purpose?

    April 18, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  11. Dan

    So Hilary wants to have more debates and answer the hard questions? Then she should go on Larry King and on Anderson Cooper's show where her campaign has declined several invitations. There they ask the hard questions, not some pre-agreed upon sets of questions where some questions are off-limits.

    If she can go on Colbert and goof off then she should not be afraid to go on Larry King and Anderson Cooper. There she will definitely answer some hard questions.

    April 18, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  12. Puzzled

    Here we go again, I was at the Town Hall Meeting yesterday in Raleigh and he was not complaining about the debate. He was responding to a question that was asked of him and he was reiterating the fact that the people want to hear about the issues and not the tabloid hot buttons. Hillary hasn't had to do any complaining, her husband had been doing enough. It remains to be seen how they are going to be able to campaign for Senator Obama should he get the nomination

    April 18, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  13. CH


    Perhaps all those shots of scotch have affected Hillary's memory.

    Does anyone recall Hillary's whining in a previous date and after when SHE was the one who was getting all of the tough questions? As I recall, she even made a joke about them 'asking him if he needs a pillow' as the skit on SNL showed.

    Can any Hillary supporters explain how her reaction to getting repeatedly hit with tough debate questions is any better than his? Can any Hillary supporters explain why this behavior is OK for her yet complaining when he does it?

    Things that make you go 'hmmmm'.

    April 18, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  14. HH

    Look in the mirror with your campaign. If I remember it was Saturday night live that helped you when you were whining. I hope you are banned from running for president again, because you and your campaign are SLIME.

    I will stay home if you are the nominee.

    April 18, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  15. Mariposa4Life

    I can see why Clinton didn't have any problem with the debate format. It was a "debate" that didn't address issues until it almost ran out of time, much like her campaign.

    Obama 08

    April 18, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  16. Phillip from Little Rock

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

    She's got some nerve. No, Hillary, when the going gets tough, you can't cry your way out of it.

    April 18, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  17. Shawna

    Obama wasn't complaining he was making light of the situation and once again he will have to brush Clinton off of his shoulders.

    April 18, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  18. Independent

    Yeah. Why is he complaining? Is it because ABC did a horrible job at trying to put Obama down and crown you the Deomcratic nominee? No. He is complaining that you, HRC, want more of the debates where the real issues are not talked about. YAY. More of 3.50 gas and lackluster economy!!

    April 18, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  19. Lou

    Of course this is the HRC spin ... Their collective selective memory is mind boggling ... Poor HRC was being beaten down by the press and complaining every step of the way ... What a hipocrit ... Bye Bye HRC ... This race is over and no more free press from debates set-up by your old cronies

    April 18, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  20. IMO

    (sp) new=never

    April 18, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  21. matt

    Stop complaining Obama! The last debate was just a preview of whats to come if you get so lucky enough to squeeze your way in. He did horrible in the last debate. Go Hillary!!

    April 18, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  22. Ben

    I wish all of you cry babieswho say if Hillary is nominated you will vote for McCaain, and thosewho say if Obama is nominated you will vote for McCain would just shut up and vote anyway you feel like.The only thing you prove with these childish comments is the democratic party
    is loaded with nuts!
    I am a republican and I will vote for Obama, but no matter who gets the nod, I would never vote for McCain because of what the republican party has done to my country over the last eight years.

    April 18, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  23. Nancy

    I am SO tired of listening to Hillary's negativity. It will be a breath of fresh air to have Obama as president. I thought he was delightfully funny when he was brushing himself off after the debate. Somehow it didn't seem like "complaining".

    April 18, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  24. Mark Diplomat

    If indeed Hillary is such a "problem solver" – she certainly should have been paying more attention to events in the White House during her husband's tenure. To now come across and back-track on issues (NAFTA), claim to have been "under sniper fire" on her jaunts with Chelsea overseas to the former Yugoslavia, and be clueless of her husband's intense interest in the White House interns..... does indeed leave a gap in judgment. Is she to be believed? trusted? again for a four year return to the White House. I think not.

    April 18, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  25. IH

    Tough questions?
    Why he doesn't wear flag pins? Is Wright a patriotic American? I think Obama should have just cackled and said," I mean how do you answer that....how many angels dance on head of a pin..."

    These weren't tough questions, these were asininely inane questions.

    April 18, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
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