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. Mike

    It feels a bit like Hillary is grasping at straws. But what else can she do?

    I think that we all need to relax, and let the remaining votes in the upcoming primaries play themselves out. Most importantly, as aggravated as many of us are, we Democrats must get ready to come together for the general election.

    By the way, please don't pay a lot of attention to all the hate-filled entries that come through these blogs. And I mean that for either side. That will not help us change from the Bush/McCain policies in November. We really need to unite if we care about the direction of this country.

    I honestly believe that the majority of the hate-filled and abusive messages we see here are being entered by McCain supporters, often proportedly in the name of Hillary or Barack supporters, in an effort to create bad blood and more divisiveness among the democrats. Don't get hooked by these messages, otherwise you will just be feeding into the Karl Rove-style politics that the Republicans are using.

    April 18, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  2. The Wise of American

    Hillary is at it again. She are saying that Sen Obama is complaining just because he is wondering why this debate was about non ssues.
    Hillary is the biggest complainer. She complain about everything. Sen Obama is doing something that has not been done ever in politics. He is running a clean campaign regardless of what others say. Sen Obama has been criticized for everything that he do. Alot of the media personnel has made Sen Obama a personal matter. It does not make any since to me. We are still fighting for the right for respect. All I say is for Hillary to stop trying to find fault in Sen Obama and try and win on her policies. What she need to do is continue to gain her trust back and stop trying to cover up her lies with trying bring find dirt on Sen Obama. Also, she need to realized that the American people favors Sen Obama then her. Sen McCain will eat her lunch.

    April 18, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  3. TJ IN LA

    I am sooo sick of this woman. She is in denial. She had EVERY advantage going into the campaign and she blew it because she's simply not as strong a candidate as Senator Barack Obama. Now she's ready to make the whole party pay because she blew it.
    Please Hillary, find a hobby, join a club, learn to bake cookies...but LEAVE THE AMERICAN PUBLIC ALONE...WE'RE REALLY SICK OF YOU!

    April 18, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  4. Barb Canada

    Some have also pointed out in his Dandruff video, that as it starts, he makes a complaint about the debate, and uses his middle finger to scratch his face twice. If you watch it, you have to wonder if it was just another little innuendo like the shoulder wiping.......

    April 18, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  5. CINCINNATI, OHIO

    no sweetie (hillary) he wasnt complaining about the debate, he just said it you (hillary) were in your element and was comfortable with that. What he complained is that they spend 45 minutes attacking him (which he proved to me he could handle and was very knowledgeable on the subject) and didnt address many of the issues the American people are concerned about. Everyone could see they were obviously her supporters and the debate was not even.

    Im sure hillary has something planned big for this weekend since the primary is on Tuesday....just wondering what it will be.

    OBAMA 2008/2012

    April 18, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  6. Lee WV

    Right before the Ohio and Texas primaries Hillary was complaining about being picked on by the press.Debates before that period were productive,debates like that joke on ABC the other night is a waste of everyone's time.I can understand Obama for not wanting to waste time with anymore of these.I just bought gas this morn $3.65 per gallon. A debate on whether somenoe's preacher mouthed off,or if smalltown people are bitter,or even if someone ducked sniperfire while duck hunting with their old grandpappy doesnot do a thing to ease the strain of the economy.Get to the issues or get out!!!!!

    April 18, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  7. Bob

    I seem to remember Clinton complaining about being treated unfairly in the media and always being asked questions first in prior debates. I think the fact that Obama is still so popular in this race is evidence that he can take the pressure that scrutiny brings.

    April 18, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  8. T L

    This is just the FIRST TIME Obama takes the heat from a debate. A person's character matters. A lot of people claimed Bush was more honest than Gore in year 2000. Guess what happened? Now this is the same scenario. They are politicians, is that a surprise they lie? Probably not. Clinton took a lot of beating in the last 3 months, now Obama just got a taste of what she felt. He starts to complain. And he said he knew it's politics. Come on, he played the same old political tricks to become IL senate!!! Check his history.

    April 18, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  9. paul oregon

    hillary just does not get it. she defeadently doesnt know liston to anyone but her self. there was a movie made awhile back
    dumd and dumber the clintons ought to see it

    April 18, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  10. seitu

    hard questions??...hilary..get real..what if obama asked you about ur husbands affairs??..its the same thing..irrelevant to the issue at hand..dont you get it??

    April 18, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  11. Madison , PA

    Obama stands on a High ground not trying to go negative... He felt sorry for you Hillary regardindg your lie on Bosnian trip.... We need to talk about real issue... your attack won't put food at our table, won't give us our jobs back or will decrease the Gaz price...You lost my vote... Keep going negative and you will continue to lose voters...

    April 18, 2008 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  12. Obama is the new Kerry

    Hillary!! You hit the nail on the head:

    “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.”

    What is Obama going to do when he has to handle the press as President? Sorry - the press is beating up on me??? You're asking too many tough questions?

    Hillary has a lot of baggage, but with all that she still handles questions and takes controversies head on. It's a sign of real LEADERSHIP.

    Obam is weak - he's the new John Kerry

    April 18, 2008 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  13. SPQR753

    That's what's happening when a candidate is adulated by an all too complacent media and by ""adoring"" voters: PANIC and WHINING at the first sign of in-depth questions about relationships with QUESTIONABLE people.

    IF, repeat IF, Sen. Obama will be the Democratic nominee, whatever criticism he has received so far, will be a joke when compared with the attack s the Republican political machine will bring to bear.

    At that point in time, Sen. Obama will need KLEENEX by the truckload.

    April 18, 2008 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  14. Aoife

    So what was she doing after the other debates? He's not whining about it like she did. He's telling it like it is. An hour on useless topics and they never asked her about Colombia or NAFTA. They didn't ask about the money her husband was paid to support the Colombia deal (when she's loaned money to her own campaign, this is an important issue). They didn't ask why her top campaign advisor was negotiating a deal she has publicly opposed. They didn't ask why her campaign lied about meeting with Canada and blamed it on the Obama camp. These are important issues that deal directly with her credibility and instead they asked about Obama's LAPEL PIN?! What a joke. Of course he's calling out ABC. The debate was a travesty.

    April 18, 2008 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  15. Ki-Jana Carter

    PLEASE! Billary did nothing but complain for the first 20 debates! Can someone get Billary a pillow?!?!

    Is there no end to the Clinton hypocrisy? (i think we all know the answer). GO AWAY NOBODY LOVES YOU NOT EVEN YOUR HUSBAND!

    April 18, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  16. Phoenix

    Obama and Clinton are both "right" in their characterization of this non-debate. The questions in the beginning were trivial all right, except for the fact that votes are cast so often from the heart, from impressions that are part of observed patterns, and these impressions are based on total trivia. This trivia is actually more important to many people than the real issues, which only cause glazed eyes. And, it is illuminating to see the unscripted response to this trivia. Although both candidates should have had ample time by now to come up with pat answers to the same old stuff, only one seemed sure. And that was Clinton, who should certainly know something about the constant attacks over trivia that a president has to face. And for Obama to respond by slyly giving her the finger in a speech later is lower than childish. He can try to duck more debates, but he will never escape the trivia attacks.

    April 18, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  17. Tampa Voter

    No, EVERYONE complained about that debacle, um, debate!

    Obama 08!

    April 18, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  18. Richmond

    Exactly what I have been sayin all along. Obama's fake. Fellow democrats as youself this " are we ready to hand the most important Job in the world to a man who's only been on the senate 3 years n whom we know nothing of ? " if he can't stand being asked questiones about himself and the people he chooses to be friends with, what is he going todo when national ad's go up in december? he will crumble. fellow democrats vote on the issue not the guy that makes you feel good. jote Hillary.

    P.s. If she doesn't get the nomination, I will not vote for mccain but I will not vote either. so all you obama supporters out there he can't win without clinton supporters just rememebr that

    April 18, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  19. CINCINNATI, OHIO

    ...again if you are disoriented (bosnia) at 11:00 pm, how can you answer the phone at 3:00????

    She never answers a question, she always talks around it.

    April 18, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  20. Krystof

    Errr...I don't think Barack was complaining about how hard the questions were – but he was instead making light of the fact that the questions had nothing to do with what the voters want to know about. That, and the fact that the questions were the typical Washington that he wants to change. It is no different than when Hillary made light of the fact she was asked the first question again in a debate some time back. He answered the questions, and they were not tough ones, and he never said they were.

    April 18, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  21. Daniel, Plattsburgh, NY

    More petty BS from the Clinton campaign, I see...

    April 18, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  22. The truth

    Yeah Hillary, like you really thought the debate was fair. Three on one in my opinion is a beat down. I see you will need others to beat down your enemys if you win. Your weak and it shows. All tough talk but no real tough actions to back them up.

    April 18, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  23. Yankee Dog

    When the going gets tough - Clinton's lie. Wake up America - these two (BC and HRC) will lie and cheat for their own political gain (as well as financial - all $108 million! She will bring down the entire Democrat party for her own gain. She knows she can't win in 08 so she will do what she can to bring down Obama so she can try again in 2012 - when McNutso is 76 yrs old, and the country will be in ruins. Wake up America - real change can only be found with Obama. We need someone like him more than ever now!

    April 18, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  24. Fatima Peter

    The so called debate was biased and irrelevant to the challenges that ordinary citizens face today. Choosing Stephanopoulos as a moderator was a very bad decision on the part of ABC knowing he is a choir boy for the Clintons. I think Chris Mathews or Stephen Colbert would have served as a better moderator.

    April 18, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  25. Chanda-Cincinnati Ohio

    OH FOR THE LOVE OF GOD!!!!!!! THIS COMING FROM THE SAME WOMAN WHO TOLD THE MEDIA THEY WERE BEING TO HARD ON HER, HAS ACCUSED MODERATORS OF BEING INFATUATED WITH OBAMA IN THE PREVIOUS 20 DEBATES, AND COMPLAINED BECAUSE SHE GETS ASKED QUESTIONS FIRST!!!!!!!!! THEY SPENT 45-50 MINUTES IN THE DEBATE WED. COVERING THE SENSATIONALIZED TOPICS. TOPICS I MIGHT ADD OBAMA HAS ANSWERED QUESTIONS TO REPEATEDLY. HOW MANY MORE TIMES DOES HE HAVE TO EXPLIAN NOT ALWAYS WEARING A LAPEL PIN? I LOVE MY COUNTRY, AND I DONT WEAR AN AMERICAN FLAG LAPEL PIN, I DON'T KNOW ANYONE WHO DOES. THOSE WERE NOT THE QUESTIONS THAT I WANTED TO SEE ANSWERED. SOMEBODY NEEDS TO EXPLAIN TO ME WHY I AM PAYING $3.75 FOR A GALLON OF GAS. TELL ME WHY NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND IS LEAING EVERY CHILD BEHIND. EXPLAIN TO ME HOW WE CAN FUNNEL BILLIONS UPON BILLIONS OF DOLLARS INTO A WAR, BUT TEACHERS GET PAID SO LITTLE, THE INFRASTUCTURE OF THIS COUNTRY IS CRUMBLING, AND MY GRANDMOTHER HAS TO PAY $500 A MONTH FOR MEDICATION. TELL ME WHAT YOU ARE GOING TO DO ABOUT TAXES AND THE WAR . THOSE ARE A FEW OF THE TOUGH QUESTIONS THAT REALLY NEED TO BE ANSWERED.

    P.S. IF ANY OF YOU HRC FANS REALLY BELIEVE OUR TROOPS WILL BE WITHDRAWN 60 DAYS AFTER SHE TAKES OFFICE YOU ARE THE EPITOME OF DELUSIONAL!!

    April 18, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
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