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. Marc

    Amen, Hillary. Not only that, he childishly gives her "the finger" (see youtube) in his post-debate NC speech. Wow, great comeback, Barack. Hope this isn't your solution to the war, Iran, and anybody else who disagrees with you.

    April 18, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  2. NY Girl

    People, Hillary specifically, fail to see the difference between tough questions and relevant tough questions. George and Charles, staples of the industry, (though not on the level of Cronkite) who typically ask thoughful and intelligent questions, definitley did not do the job and failed the American people. If ABC was going to moderate a deabte, it should have been just that, a DEBATE.

    How many questions were asked about the Iraq War? Not Enough
    How many questions were asked about the Economy? Not Enough
    How many questions were asked about Healtcare? Not Enough

    Do you see the trend here?

    Obama 2008

    April 18, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  3. Margi

    He didn't complain about hard questions, they were no hard questions. He complained about the fact that 50 minutes of debate time did not center on gas prices, mortgage crises or the war in Irag. You on the other hand Senator Clinton have been complaining throughout this campaign, from the boys picking on you to actually bringing up some tears to being asked the first question.

    April 18, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  4. TONI

    I find it funny, that Mr. Obama is complaining about the way he was treated in this past debate. I dont think they asked him hard enough questions personally. I would like to know more details about alot more things. But my suggestion to Mr. Obama is too view in the past 20 debates, and see the way Hillary Clinton has been treated, and stop whinning! You could never have withstood what she has this past year. I doubt you can in the Whitehouse. When Chris Matthews had you on his show, I suggested he change the name to SOFTBALL!!!

    April 18, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  5. Ravi

    When Hillary Clinton lost 11 primaries in a row her campaign did not hesitate to slam the "liberal" media's alleged preference for Obama. She threatened to boycott MSNBC but it was only out of desperation for [free] media coverage that she relented. To criticize Barack Obama's objection to one of the most sensationalised debates I have ever witnessed to date is hypocritical. The manner of the criticism also suggest that by the same token she is unfit to be the next US President. We are not idiots, Hillary Clinton.

    April 18, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  6. EDW

    Complaining about being "gang-banged" Hillary is different from compaining about ALWAYS GOING FIRST.

    April 18, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  7. trellskig

    "Old Washington politics" Enough already lady...good greif!

    April 18, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  8. Brian

    This lady is an unbelievable. I can't wait for her to drop out of sight once Obama takes the nom. She's worthless and will bring nothing but more negativity and ignorance to this country.

    April 18, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  9. Diane

    Hilliary is certainly a leader. Obama's arrogance showed yesteday in brushing off his shoulders and pants, and a gesture many think was out of line..

    April 18, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  10. mary-NH

    Obama was not complaining about the 'hard' questions he was asked...He was complaining about the 45min of trivial, non-issue questions he was bombarded with before any questions were asked about real issues. George Stefanopolis (Bill Clinton's old advisor) was far more interested in the nonsense than asking about the real issues. Wonder who put him up to that? Roll on June.

    April 18, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  11. Prab

    Clinton is right and this kidn of debate suppose to happen past 15 months, As media is not askign right quesitons to Obama. Really Charlie & George has doen great job askign correct quesitons. Now we can see who is ready for the Office. People have to think about it and vote for appropirate cadnidate.

    April 18, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  12. Jbecks

    HIPPOCRACY X 1,000,000,000,000=HILLARY CLINTON

    April 18, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  13. rumpusgoopus

    I've long said that even if Clinton win's the nomination unfairly (which is the only way she can now), I would still vote for her in the general just to make sure a Republican didn't become president. I would absolutely despise doing so, but I'd do it. But as this Primary drags on, Clinton is doing everything she can to make me hate her so much that I just refuse to to vote. She's coming dangerously close, if she hasn't done so already. I'm starting to think that if she became president, it would be disasterous not only to the country, but also to the Democratic Party and the country.

    April 18, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  14. M.S. Indiana

    Then you better get use to ask the questions first to too...
    Good help you got there from ABC and ex-worker...

    April 18, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  15. Queenmumm

    Too bad Ms. Clinton was not asked hard questions....Nafta, $800,000.00 Conflicting Columbian Money, Mark Penn, Hu, Rose Law Firm, Vince Foster, Funding mandated "universal Health Care" and penalities that would apply when the "common" folk decided they could not or will not pay, Funding "universal" pre-k, inability to do anything constructive or meaningful in NY – other than promising thousands of jobs in upstate and then losing threefold, lying at the blink of an eye, lack of her flag pin and love of the country (ok, that one was sarcasim). One has to wonder if perhaps George provided Ms. Clinton with the questions prior to the debate since she was so scripted .. because we all know Ms. Clinton has not uttered an authentic word since, I don't know, the 90's ...when she publically stated that she shouldn't be expect to stay home and bake cookies and.. screw the southern women, they owe us nothing.....oh wait, that was private speaking....but made public now by the internet....gotta love technology....here's hoping that whomever you're for you will educate yourself, not depend on pundits, talk show hosts ..trust me you are a whole lot smarter then any of them give you credit for.....the information is there...

    April 18, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  16. DK in Bourbonnais, IL

    Hillary Clinton continues to hit a deep nerve of disdain in me. She IS old politics and epitomizes dishonesty, mean spiritedness, and condescension. How does she expect to solve our serious problems with her alienating, divisive methods??? I am an Independent who is leaning heavily toward Barack Obama but am looking forward to an intelligent, honorable debate between him and John McCain.

    April 18, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  17. steve

    Just because your husband's former employer ,george stepha.. fixed /feed the questions to your advantage ,it should be easy for you.
    Obama is not whinning but condenming the dirty and destructive politics you are employing with your croonies.
    Americans need something better.
    See George in huffington post 16 years ago criticizing the same tactics he used against Obama.
    Such a hypocrit

    April 18, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  18. Elbows

    They weren't "hard" questions, they were idiotic and counterproductive and Sen. Obama has every right to complain as does every American fed up with the media's BS.

    April 18, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  19. Mary

    Wasn't she the one complaining about being asked the first question in Ohio? Whining about media coverage? The hypocrisy and changing stories continue. Please PA – end her campaign now!

    April 18, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  20. DC Steve

    "I get the first question all the time....wahhh wahhh wahh" "Does Barak need a pillow?...wahhh wahhh wahhh"

    Sound familiar Hillary?

    April 18, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  21. arun

    He was not complaining about the hard questions he was complaining about the obsession with inanities as opposed to dealing with real issues. We need a president who can actually address problems. We have already had 8 years of a thumb twirling presidency. Do not need more of that.

    April 18, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  22. shall182

    Well at least he didn't cite to "Saturday Night Live" skits while he was allegedly "complaining" about a debate. Does anybody else remember her saying, "I just want to point out that I always get asked the first question in these debates . . . Maybe Barack needs a pillow . . ."? Come on.

    April 18, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  23. Swampdweller

    Thing is, he wasn't complaining that the questions were too tough - he was complaining that the asinine moderators and his asinine opponent were playing into those "C list" items that distract from the real issues: ending the war and fixing the economic mess the sitting administration has nurtured, to name just two.

    Lapel pins, Bill Ayers, even Tuzla are a waste of time: ours and theirs.

    Is Barack Obama the right person for the job? Frankly, I'm not sure anyone is; it's a big job. But, come November, he's getting my vote.

    April 18, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  24. Nancy

    Ugh, Hilliary–you are clearly grasping at straws. I remember a debate or so back you indicated the press was being unfair to you.....wah. I'm so tired of this crap–you continue to pick at little things and throw stones. No wonder the polls are showing you no longer have the lead and that American's find you untrustworthy. Enough is enough.

    April 18, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  25. tammy

    I'm sorry but I seem to recall Clinton complaining loudly when she felt the debates were biased against her. Remember the SNL debacle. She even compained about being asked the questions first. The only difference is that when she complained, the media spent the next few weeks trying to compensate for their "sin" and blasted Obama non-stop for days. Give me a break, Hill and Bill have been whining since New Hampshire.

    April 18, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34