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. christopher

    Nothing on the economy, Iraq or the housing crisis. What we all heard about on Wednesday was rehashed issues many happening weeks ago. Shall we let it go about Rev. Wright and the bitter issue. I am angry and ready to move on and don't know about you. Nothing concerning Mark Penn, NAFTA stance. Time is ticking why not after the results Billary just call it quits, ala McCain Obama will advocate raising money for you campaign bill. Is that a deal ? You and you negative surrogates and supporters need to go away.

    April 18, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  2. Over It

    That's it. Add me to the list of would be Hillary supporters who now will not support her under any circumstances. Sure, there are still many unanswered questions about Obama, how he'll perform if he's the nominee and even after if he's President, but Hillary's constant negativity in and of itself is a major turn off. Forget all the misspeaks and policy contradictions. I simply dislike her more than I dislike the other guy. Really sad.

    April 18, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  3. Apaul

    When the scrutiny is equal Senator Obama seems to do well.This was almost like Senator Clinton, Mr Stepawhateverpolis and Mr Gibson we conducting a police interigation. Trying to get Obama to admit to a murder he did not commit. The only folks who think she did well are Clintonheads who are not being objective or rational. She is really wearing on people. I think the outcome in PA will reflect that and she will not be pleased.

    April 18, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  4. Sean

    He wasn't complaining about the questions. He was complaining about the one-sidedness of that "debate".

    April 18, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  5. Rex Heinz,NY

    Co-interrogator during that debate was ABC News host George Stephanopoulos, who began his ascent to wealth, fame, and power as a campaign operative for Bill and Hillary Clinton.

    In olden days, simple ethics would have led Stephanopoulos to recuse himself because of his past ties to one of the candidates he was to question even-handedly.

    But ethics and morality died in America when President Clinton brazenly refused to resign after being caught lying under oath, losing his law license, committing sexual acts with an intern almost as young as his daughter, and being the first elected president ever impeached.

    April 18, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  6. USAF Sr. Airman

    "Do you think you love this country more than Rev. Wright?" Well with ridiculous questions like that asked to Obama, I wouldn't blame him for complaining. Also, it really DID take 45 minutes for the debate to turn to topics that actually mattered. Shame on ABC.

    April 18, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  7. Brian

    It's not called "toughness" when you're only playing a game that you helped invent.

    And it's not called "complaining" when you've just decide you're not going to play anymore.

    I don't believe Clinton/Rove attack politics are "just the way things have to be" or that you should "get out of the kitchen if you can't stand the heat."

    I think we've candidates this year in Obama and McCain who might just lead us in a direction of running campaigns differently.

    April 18, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  8. Chyeaa

    Hillary complains every debate!!!!!

    April 18, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  9. Kaseam Ali, Philly, PA

    There are so many dirty dishes in Hillary's sink.

    April 18, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  10. Tyler in Raleigh, NC

    I would rather see someone stand up and complain about the way politics has become than shrug her shoulder's and roll in the mud with the other pork pushers.

    I did not like either one at the debate, but the debate itself was far worse. It was petty, gossip and innuendo Q&A that you would expect from some tabloid and not a respectable news organization. The moderator's acted like they had never interviewed someone and were just asking the same junk that has been playing 24/7 and no one cares too deeply about.

    It seems Clinton was in her element and is just salivating to join the Republican attack machine.

    April 18, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  11. Who are we the USA

    OF COURSE SHE, HER STAFF AND SUPPORTERS WOULD THINK THAT WAY....IT WAS PRO-HILLARY ALL THE WAY....CO-MODERATED BY HER HUSBAND'S ADVISOR DURING THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION...CAN'T COME UP WITH HIS OWN MATERIAL, BUT HAVE TO GET ?S FROM OBAMA-HATERS....OBAMA SHOULD HAVE DEMANDED THE ISSUES BE DISCUSSED OR WALKED OFF THE STAGED....THAT WAS THE HIGH ROAD TO TAKE...FLAG PINS? YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME.....THIS WAS THE WORSE DEBATE, ALMOST ALL OF THE MEDIA AGREE, EVEN THE "RIGHT" WING AND EVEN SOME OF HER SUPPORTERS SAY IT AS WELL....WORSE RATINGS AND COMMENTATORS....WE ALL KNOW SHE SAID HE CAN'T WIN, OH BUT YES YES YES, ALL OF THE SUDDEN HE'S ELECTABLE...COME ON, SAVE THE FLIP FLOPS FOR SUMMERTIME!

    April 18, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  12. hardy

    oh brother, does she think we don't remember her own complaining in previous debates about "finding it curious that she keeps getting the question first in debates"? or bill clinton whining about 'double standard' in media?

    this is laughable at best.

    April 18, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  13. PA Voter

    I agree. Way to go Hillary! Obama is well-liked by many, but is he diplomatic in the face of real pressure? He says we should get to the real issues... so does that mean that the debate did not cover any real issues?? Tell me Mr Obama, what are they? Because as you keep shunning people who care about things you consider "not real issues," I think the many of us who care about them have no faith you can win. Even if you do win the primary, you will be slaughtered by the republicans. A snotty attitude and consistent arrogance should not be the two most obvious characteristics our new American President embodies.

    April 18, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  14. Anne

    I pray to god we get this woman in the white house.
    Every week Obama will have a hissy fit about something. Will he complaine China is mean to him? Lord! Grow up

    April 18, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  15. Doug, Florida

    I am a registered Rep. since 1992. I came to this Country in 1986 and for the first time in my Adult life I will be voting for a Dem.

    Barack H. Obama

    I am not thrilled about his middle name, but the Man's poliies make sense. We had been running this Country with the same old failed policies for awhile now.

    If you keep doing things the same way over and over and again and expect a different result. That equal MADNESS

    We didn't talk to Cuba and Castro run the Country for over 40 yrs. What is wrong with our policies They lack COMMON SENSE.

    Engage your enemies so reasonable people can see that you tried then Squash them when they don't comply.

    Barack you have my support and many other Republicans supporting you. You will WIN

    OBAMA 08

    MCCAIN needs to retire to Florida. God's Waiting Room

    Go OBAMA 08

    April 18, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  16. Ed K.

    CNN,
    You guys need to hurry and turn this around for Obama. He's looking pretty bad but I know you can handle it, just like you always have.

    April 18, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  17. SNOBama

    Obama is a Wimp and the Republican Party will have him for Lunch if he's the nomine.

    John Kerry all over again!

    April 18, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  18. Mike - Texas

    If OBama can't take the heat, he needs to get out of the race. Hilary was right, it is going to get a lot harder than answering a few questions.

    This is the 1st real debate where OBama was tested and he fumbled through the answers badly.

    Were all of the questions fair?? In a word 'YES". We need to know as much about each candidate as we can in order to make the right decission.

    The media to this point has given him a free ride and I hope that they finally give him the scrutiny that he deserves.

    April 18, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  19. Ready for Change

    She is so right. Once again, Obama and his supporters blame Hillary because he could not answer questions about his own choices. How silly is that, it just makes him sound like he is whining. If he didn't expect to get asked, what does that say about him. I sure expected him to be asked. It's not as if the press has been hard on him and given her a free ride after all. She was also asked tough questions, and I'm sure she expected them. But please, at least stand up and stop blaming everybody else because you did a bad job Obama. It's unbecoming to say the least.

    April 18, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  20. Eddie G

    Obama was not saying he can't handle it, he was simply stating that the content was irrelevant like Clinton!

    April 18, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  21. joe

    as if you did not wind about the previous debate. be straight clintons and tell your hubby he is hurting your campaign by speaking

    April 18, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  22. adam c

    Yes Hillary won this debate if you consider who is wearing what a major issue in this country and not why we are paying 4$ for gas or why thousands of soldiers are dying overseas or how our government has acted over the past 8 years. Then yes if we want a leader who will care more about a flag pin and what to wear then go Hillary way to wear those scarf's!

    what a jerk off

    April 18, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  23. Jack Walden

    Ha Ha ...Very funny..From a woman who has been whinning all along.. remember her SNL moaning...

    April 18, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  24. MCD

    Get ready for Rob Reich's endorsment of Obama today, I am sure you won't complain though.

    Carville will though.

    April 18, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  25. Norisha

    This chick is funny, I can recall the last debate on CNN where it was her doing the complaining about always getting the first question and all the negative press she's getting... SHE IS HILLARIOUS....WHAT A JOKE!!!!!!!!! SHE IS RUNNING ON PURE NAME RECOGNITION AND NOTHING ELSE. SHE IS NOT GENERATING ANYTHING BUT NEGATIVITY TO THE DEM PARTY!!!! DROP OUT HILLARY FOR GOODNESS SAKE!!!!

    OBAMA 2008

    April 18, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
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