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. GCG - Austin, TX

    Oh, the spin machine starts. He did not complain about the "hard questions he was asked," what he complained about was that it took 45 minutes before ANY relevant questions were asked about the things that the various polls state is the most important things to the American people: the economy, the war in Iraq, and health care.

    Regardless of your particular political affiliation or specific candidate, the impartial polls, from a whole bunch of pollsters and demographics across the country state that these are the most important things to the American people, not about Hillary lying about Bosnia and not about whether Obama wears a flag pin.

    We care about keeping our houses, getting our troops home, and how we're going to care for our families when they need it. And for the first 45 minutes of the "debate", we did not hear anything even remotely relevant to those issues.

    April 18, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  2. ILoveAmerica

    I listened to what Obama said. He never said the questions were "hard" – he said that for the first 45 minutes the questions had nothing to do with the issues that voters are most concerned about. And was absolutely right.

    Hillary is always ready to distort and misrepresent anything that is said by anyone else.

    We need an honest president for a change.

    April 18, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  3. eric

    Hillary, you responded to a question back in January about how you face attacks by crying and saying you don't know how you do it. Barack responded to the debate not saying that the questions were hard, but the first half was a waste of time focusing on things that do not matter to most voters. Who sounds more ready? The debate would have been better spent by the two of you comparing and contrasting your plans on the economy, health care, Iraq war, etc. You are not telling the truth here about your opponent. Please focus on the economy, etc and MAYBE you'll pull it off. Please unlearn what you got from the horrific Republican attacks you got in the 90's. They are not to be emulated, but should be shunned. So don't go accusing others falsely of what you actually have done yourself.

    April 18, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  4. karen

    why no question for hillary about mark penn?
    that's a hard question!!!!!

    April 18, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  5. Corey

    Hill... you must not remember complaining about always gettingthe first question.

    April 18, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  6. Amber

    AMEN! She's absolutely dead-on right!

    April 18, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  7. ed

    hillary was complaining about the media being biased against her months ago, and her complaining was much more extensive and immature than Barack's, whom you could hardly say is "complaining". HOwever, the difference between these two times is that after this latest debate, most people agree that the debate focused on issues that weren't important.

    April 18, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  8. Crystal CA

    Even if you agree that the debate was a joke, she does make a great point. I would have preferred to see him rise above the "trivialities" and make statements about what he wanted to say if he had gotten the opportunity. He needs to be stronger, and show the American people the graciousness that is making everyone flock to him. He was bullied, so he went home and cried to mommy.

    April 18, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  9. Jefferson

    It is clear that Hillary is the right choice for this country. With Obama crying like a baby, it only shows that he can't handle pressure.

    The American people has to know what is behind Obama's mask and I think that ABC debate was one of the best. Issues concerning Wright, Rezko, Ayes, Farrakhan, Bosnia and others have to be on the table.

    If Obama can't handle pressure and if he is the nominee, the democrats are sure to lose in November.

    April 18, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  10. Michael

    This is another example of political forgetfulness. I believe Hillary complained about Obama getting preferential treatment in recent debates, suggesting that the moderators may want to give Obama a pillow to sit on (a reference to a SNL skit). In that same debate, she complained about being asked to answer most of the questions first. I also believe she was the one who emotionally teared up regarding the rigors of the campaign (after one contest, mind you). In the more distant past, I believe she said attacks against her husband suggesting that he may have been unfaithful were part of a "vast right wing conspiracy."

    I do not have a problem with complaining about things that we perceive as unfair, and Clinton may have had legitimate complaints to lodge. However, I do have a problem with hypocrisy. This is the reason I decided to vote for Obama and not Clinton. I am tired of the Janus face of politics,and I feel that Obama is more straightforward and honest.

    April 18, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  11. marv g

    it's unbelievable that hilary would accuse obama of complaining and whining. i distinctly remember hilary complain to a moderator (russert)during a recent debate of receiving the tough questions first, and bill accusing media of being too hard on hilary and too soft on obama. the clintons are the greatest spin machine in modern politics. i'm still trying to figure out what's the big deal with the "bitter" comment.

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

    This is the personality type we need leading our country! She sounds like a 6 year old.

    April 18, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  13. David

    oh, please! lady, if you were in touch with people at all, you would have seen the poll on CNN yesterday about whether a debate will help you make up your mind on who you will vote for. when I clicked "no" there were about 88% that said no. so just campaign already Hillary. and get on with the issues and not the verbal jabs. so sick of it.

    April 18, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  14. marcus

    Will you Shut up already!!!!!!! You are discredited you are, You are made to look like a fool, You have been weighed and measured and found wanting. The worst part about it is you did it to YOURSELF!!!!

    Just Accept the inevitable Obama Saw your weakness and forced you to play yourself like a fiddle.

    You are not FIT to run this country. You can barely run a campaign, so just accept it. IT was never meant for you.

    Hillary = EPIC FAIL!!!!
    Barack Obama = CHANGE FOR AMERICA

    OBAMA08

    April 18, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  15. Moses

    How lame, hillary knows good and well she rigged that debate with her former advisor stepanopoulis, to paint her as the ideal candidate..how pathetic. Obama gets hammered for nearly 50 minutes on meaningless national enquirer questions, and not a single question to clinton about Nafta, or the columbian ordeal with her senior advisor Penn, or her endless lie's and cover up's. I personally think she wouldn't have fared well at all if asked about any of those questions. ABC is pathetic, and Clinton has the nerve to call anyone a complainer..heck hillary clinton has practically cried at every debate because "waaah waaah, everyone is soooo hard on hillary" she's the pot calling the kettle black. I can atleast say that Obama atleast held his own verses Clinton and her ABC Gang, and came out looking far more presidential then hillary could have ever imagined...The kitchen sink hillary tactic failed miseribly, and Obamy is closing the gap in Pa.. The time for clinton to concede to her defeat will come shortly after the pa primary.

    Democrat 08

    April 18, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  16. Stacy Clarks, TX

    Its so funny that Clinton is complainging about Obama complainging

    WASN'T SHE THE ONE CRYING ABOUT THE WAY THE MEDIA IS TREATING HER!!!

    TAKE YOUR OWN ADVICE!!!!

    OBAMA 08!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 18, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  17. CAROLINE

    this is same woman that called for David Shuster's head when he made the pimped out comment about Chelsea....Same woman that cried about being treated unfairly by the media.
    The fact of the matter is this, the abc debate was an ambush and obvious antempt staged and ploted to discredit Senator Obama. Anyone who thinks otherswise is just simply an idiot. I would be dismayed like any body would if ambused like that. And I personally would have walked out. It was a shameless and cheap attempt of a hit job. Obama however was able to maintain his composure...won the debate hands that by driving home his message and point for the night, ironically with the help of the moderators and Clinton herself.
    And the point is that Senator Clinton doesnt get it. Actually i take that back. She gets it...she just represents the old petty type of politics that Obama has been talking about. I wouldnt be saying that Obama is complaining if i were her. Obama isnt complaining...Clinton is helping make the case for him.
    I chose hope anytime over fear

    April 18, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  18. Kris in PA

    Hillary Clinton won this debate hands down. Obama was reduced to a smug, bumbling, inarticulate candidate by those tough questions. He was clearly uncomfortable and uneasy. And now he's out ont eh trail crying like a baby because the mainstream press actully had the nerve to question him at all. Rediculous.

    April 18, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  19. maria antbing

    Hillary!
    You are The United States Thacher! You will save the country in the same way she saved Great Britains economi! You will also give USA a good reputation again!
    We love you in Sweden!

    April 18, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  20. Dan , TX

    Well, it's official. Even adding FL and MI delegates as is, Obama still will win.

    April 18, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  21. Ray from CA

    she is right, he needs to know that debates are nothing compared to the white house

    April 18, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  22. fred

    Poor little cry baby Obama!!

    Go Hillary!!

    April 18, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  23. CAROLINE

    this is same woman that called for David Shuster's head when he made the pimped out comment about Chelsea….Same woman that cried about being treated unfairly by the media.
    The fact of the matter is this, the abc debate was an ambush and obvious antempt staged and ploted to discredit Senator Obama. Anyone who thinks otherswise is just simply an idiot. I would be dismayed like any body would if ambused like that. And I personally would have walked out. It was a shameless and cheap attempt of a hit job. Obama however was able to maintain his composure…won the debate hands that by driving home his message and point for the night, ironically with the help of the moderators and Clinton herself.
    And the point is that Senator Clinton doesnt get it. Actually i take that back. She gets it…she just represents the old petty type of politics that Obama has been talking about. I wouldnt be saying that Obama is complaining if i were her. Obama isnt complaining…Clinton is helping make the case for him.
    I chose hope anytime over fear

    April 18, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  24. NV for Obama

    Well, she would know complaining when she sees it, considering she is the biggest whiner in this campaign. Obama was slammed in that debate by ABC and Clinton loved every minute of it. Fact remains though, that he handled it quite well, and her nasty attacks did nothing to HIS popularity, just reinforced her image as the negative person, the negative candidate and the dead weight she is and would bring to the presidency. This is like Chinese water torture, someone please just put her out of our misery.

    April 18, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  25. RD CASE

    WHEN OBAMA SAID THAT WHEN WE GET ANGRY AND BITTER THAT WE CLING TO OUR RELIGION AND GUNS, LETS HOPE AND PRAY HE DON'T GET ANGRY AND CLING TO HIS RELIGION AND A GUN...
    I HAVE VOTED FOR DEMOCRATS FOR YEARS- BUT NEVER AGAIN.
    I WOULD RATHER VOTE FOR BUSH ...... AND THAT SAY'S A LOT....

    April 18, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
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