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. Pam

    He wasn't "complaining about being asked hard questions", he was complaining, and rightly so, that it took almost an hour before they started discussing the actual issues that affect people. Stick a fork in Hillary, she's done.

    April 18, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  2. kathy

    yes he complained and as he was talking about hillary he scratched his face with his middle finger and his crowd went wild why dont you report this CNN .
    Obama since no one is playing fair why dont you take your ball and go home..........

    April 18, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  3. CHANGE

    Hillary, see ya, wouldn't want to be ya!

    No, Hillary, he wasn't complaining. Barack was defining what you are, a purveyor of the Republican Dirty Politics Playbook. You really should switch parties. You're a natural swiftboater.

    April 18, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  4. TEE

    I DON'T HAVE A PROBLEM WITH THE QUESTIONS THAT WERE ASK. BUT THEY WEREN'T THE QUESTIONS THAT WERE GOING TO HELP GET THIS COUNTRY BACK ON THE RIGHT TRACK. I DO BELIEVE SEN CLINTON WOULD HAVE HAD A PROBLEM WITH ONE OF ABC'S JOURNALISTS IF THEY HAD BEEN EMPLOYED BY SEN. OBAMA. I WOULD HAVE LOVE TO HAVE A WOMAN PRESIDENT. BUT I WOULD NOT WANT TO BE THE FIRST WOMAN PRESIDENT AND HAVE PEOPLE REMEMBER ME IN THIS WAY. WOMAN ARE ALWAYS QUESTION AS TO HOW DID SHE GET JOB, WHO DID SHE SLEEP WITH,OR SHE GOT JOB BECAUSE OF WHO SHE KNOWS. LETS EARN THIS JOB OF PRESIDENT OF THE US AND NOT TAKE IT FROM SOMEONE WHO IS JUST A QUALIFIED AS YOURSELF TAKE THE HIGH ROAD AS SAY IT WASN'T MY MOMENT OR MY TIME. JUST AS THE OTHER 8 DEMS AND 9 GOPS DID. WE NEED THE DEMS IN THE WHITEHOUSE THIS YEAR FOR SURE. SO I DON'T THINK IT AS MUCH ABOUT THE DEBATE AS IT IS ABOUT YOU. YOUR ATTITUDE IS IF I DON'T WIN NEITHER WILL THE DEMS. LETS JUST FACE REALITY MOST DEMS LIKE BOTH OF YOU ITS JUST TURNING OUT THAT MORE ARE PERFERING SEN OBAMA. ITS HIS TIME ITS HIS MOMENT. LETS KEEP YOUR DIGNITY AND INTEGRITY. PROVE TO AMERICA YOUR A BETTER PERSON THAN WHAT THEY ARE THINKING OF YOU RIGHT NOW. MOST OF THE PEOPLE I WORK WITH ARE GOP'S NEEDLESS TO SAY WHAT THEY ARE SAYING ABOUT THIS WHOLE PRIMARY.

    April 18, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  5. Elijah, Oklahoma City

    My understanding is that Obama wasn't complaining so much about the questions being "tough". The problem was that the questions lacked substance. I didn't hear of him saying anything negative about questions of policy.

    The other side of this is that Clinton herself has complained about the debates. She cited an SNL skit about it. It's not very wise to point a finger at Obama for something she herself did.

    April 18, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  6. Cindy

    This is absolutely ridiculous!!!

    For her to correlate his criticism for the way the debate was handled and what it seemed to focus in on (NOT THE ISSUES) to then extend that logic to "Obama isn't tough enough or electable enough" to be President, is absolutely INSANE!

    April 18, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  7. Mathew

    "You spin me round round......."

    The special interests are going to be a lot tougher, she'd know as most of her campaign is supported by her high and mighty CEO friends –

    I'm sick of the Bill and Hillary show – all it's doing for Dems' right now is dig a deep hole we'll have to clamber out of and if it keeps up at this rate – then lets all get ready for 4 more years of Bush in the office – as McCain will be just as bad!

    April 18, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  8. wilfred

    I am all for tough questions, so long as I am not the one getting them!

    April 18, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  9. Independant/Iowa

    52 minutes of none issues to Obama and zero to the hill/
    Hellery you were not even in the debate.
    lots of questions abc could have laid out to you but you were there favorite so you were spared.
    PooP!

    April 18, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  10. Simon Jinx

    I am just wondering what has happened to "Yes, we can!". What was wrong with Obama? I feel so empowered by his "yes we can!" that even I can answer all those tough questions. By myself. That is alone. In fact everybody can. He must've been just tired.

    April 18, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  11. Jack Walden

    So, here is a woman who kept whinning about how she was always first to get questions in a debate.. Well, Madam-soon-to-be-not selected-for -democractic-nomination, who are thay supposed to call "first" at 3AM...
    Your faithful donor in Lincoln bedroom?

    April 18, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  12. Cindy

    Obama is a fighter, he comes from Chicago! He's black! How can anyone claim that he won't be a fighter!

    Hillary go home- STOP DESTRYING THE DEMOCRATICE PARTY WITH YOUR ANTICS!

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

    Obama wasn't complaining about the debate in the strict sense of the word. He simply said that they wasted time asking him for answers to questions which had already been dealt with.

    Hillary Clinton is the elitist – she's the one who said in 1992 that she could've stayed at home and baked cookies but she decided to further her career. Hillary Clinton is the person who is condescending to the people of America because she held meetings in order to get support for NAFTA and then her husband published the policy and now she says she was opposed to NAFTA. NAFTA resulted in the loss of 200,000 jobs in Pennsylvania over the last few years. Of course people are going to be 'bitter'!

    Bill Clinton himself said that when one person is talking about fear and the other one is telling you to hope, you better vote for the one which tells you to hope – precisely what Barack Obama's message is about!

    An Obama Supporter from England,

    AJM.

    April 18, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  14. gmaryland

    Okay Annie Oakley. I wonder why they did not ask you about you and Bills impending indictment in California, or about your husband and Mark Penn's subsequent dealings with Columbia. I would have loved to watch you squirm. Obama has every right to complain. No matter how he tried to stay on point it always went back to silly season with you leading the charge.

    I've got news for you. You are over, done, kaput, finished.

    April 18, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  15. GG, Dallas, TX

    Its no wonder he doesn't want to debate Hillary another time. He's a LOSER!

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

    Isn't this the same woman who complained a few weeks ago for beeing asked the first and tough question during previous debate?

    Penn, make the right choice

    Vote Obama !

    April 18, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  17. Kmp;

    Oh please Clinton I seem to remember when you were complaining that you always seemed to get the first question. I find it amusing how you like to call Obama on things that you yourself have done. You aren't doing yourself any favors here, you and your husband are making you seem very desparate.

    April 18, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  18. Bill is Sabotaging Hillary

    This is the end, my only friend, the end.

    April 18, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  19. Darlene

    Give it a break, Sen. Clinton, we have heard you whine about being tired, whine about having too much to do, whine about the media.....now your surrogate, you know the guy you shared the Presidency with in the '90s, is doing your childish splattering about how they are picking on the girl, and how the media is always picking on you, and then both of you have the audacity to mention Obama's comments about the debate.

    The debate was very one-sided, Obama hung in there considering the stacked deck, a former Clinton employee and a known Clinton supporter doing the moderating, yeah....real fair and balanced debate.
    I am a registered Republican so I have no dog in this Demo. race, but with the thought that McCain might not be the Repub. to pull off a victory I have to look at the Dems and what will possibly be my President and my stomach actually turns at the thought of Hillary R. Clinton. If the American people do not feel she is trustworthy HOW can she gain the trust of our foreign neighbors??????????????
    I like the change message, we need a change, the career politicans in Washington no longer have our backs, time to shake it up!

    April 18, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  20. ***AMERICAN***

    What a witch. Will she just go away.

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

    If Senator Obama finds answering questions so difficult, one has to wonder how he will react in a crisis. We need a President who can handle the pressures of the job and not one who whines and complains they picked on me when he does not like the questions. Go back to the senate Senator Obama and grow up, this job is not for amateurs

    April 18, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  22. Texan

    Sen Obama doesn't want to debate, why ?

    Does he not want to discuss whats on his mind and in his heart ?

    April 18, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  23. jl

    ...AND SHE COMPLAINED AND COMPLAINED UNTIL SNL CAME TO

    HER RESCUE!!

    AND MILLIONS OF VOTERS ARE COMPLAINING THAT SHE IS

    TRASHING THE DEMOCRATS CHANCES TO WIN THE

    PRESIDENCY-

    ———–AND YET SHE IGNORES US.

    April 18, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  24. Tracy, Chicago, IL

    LMAO at the Clintons, I remember not too long ago they were whining–I mean complaining about the media and her always getting the first question at the Debates. She needs to stick to playing the Damsel Card by crying and blaming the men for gaining up on her because she's not getting her way–that's when her poll numbers usually go lup.

    April 18, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  25. James, Pennsylvania

    Obama is a weak, whining, pathetic candidate who has to run for cover behind his ethnicity. It's time for Barak to simply run away. We had a debate that finally asks tough questions of both candidates and Barak couldn't handle it so he had to go to North Carolina and cry! Pathetic!

    April 18, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
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