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. David Pearson

    It is so sad to see petty politics, masterfully conducted by Hillary, having an impact on this increasingly pathetic campaign.

    Can you imagine serious Presidential candidates being asked about Flag pins? How enfantile and meaningless.

    If it helps her win, its all good...for her and Bill.

    Let us hope that we can break out of this tail spin of campaigning by the lowest common denominator that has led us to our high-school President Bush. Hillary get your tarmack story straight and run on your merits – not your ability to unjusty impugn the reputation of others.

    April 18, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  2. Honest Abe

    The Clintons are toast! Just quit already!

    April 18, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  3. Chyrel Wallace-Jackson, Chicago Illinois

    This is preposterous. HRC has been whining about the unfairness of the press during this primary campaign coverage for months. Networks even started to question whether or not her charges were credible. Then 2 nights ago the ABC TV network held a sham of a debate with their inane coverage hosted by Charles and George that backfired. Americans nationwide were outraged at the tabloid tactics of the ABC Network. People were so outraged that they begin writing and calling the network in droves, now HRC has the unmitigated colossal nerve to talk about BO, calling him a whiner? Give me a break, I like my fellow Americans want these candidates and especially the newsmedia including you, CNN, to get back to the business at hand of reporting substantive, unbiased, fair network coverage of this political campaign. I'm sure my comments won't be posted because it would appear that you're only interested in posting the most nonsensical and pubescent blog posts that champion for HRC. I am disgusted and dare I say it, extremely bitter.

    April 18, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  4. Andrew

    The only thing hard about the questions was, as a viewer, having to sit and watch that trite. It was a universally bad debate, by any unbiased measure. The questions asked did not address the concerns of the people. Boom. Over and done with. The most surprising thing about the debate was how poor ABC's news team must really be, I'd have been downright ashamed to air that.

    April 18, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  5. Dana Johnson

    Oh, Hillary, if people would "complain" a little more on behalf of the American people we wouldn't have "business as usual". Perception is reality and the American people's perception of you is on a downward spiral...increased negativity on your part equals little to no chance at the presidency

    April 18, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  6. R. and C. Barnes

    Hill, it's one thing to be asked tough questions and another to be asked rehashed, ridiculous NON-ISSUES for 45 minutes. This was not an impeachment hearing! Obama did not run away and even commended you for being in your element, basically saying that you got the better of him in the debate (with more than extensive help from the moderators who relentlessly tried to hold him down for you). He knows and understands that there will be these questions, this type of pressing of non-issues and a ton of mudslinging to come his way – he just didn't expect to have to go there with YOU, a party collegue.

    April 18, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  7. Independent for Obama

    Still have questions about Sen.Obama…check it out for yourselves:


    April 18, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  8. Linda. Boston, MA

    Despite what some may think, he wasn't "complaining" about the debate being unfair to him, but was instead using it as a perfect example of what he's been saying all along: petty bickering and frivolous distractions prevent politicians from being able to address the issues that matter to voters, like the economy, health care, the war in Iraq, etc.

    He has been saying this since day 1, and that last debate was a perfect example of this. So he's pointing that out, and rightfully so because it validates the premise of his entire campaign – that we need to change the way Washington operates (and he's 100% correct – we do!).

    When the format of the debate confirms the message he's been sending since the beginning, it's hard to see how you can call it a loss.

    April 18, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  9. Megan

    “I know he spent all day yesterday complaining about the hard questions he was asked,”

    Excuse me, could you source that? Where did Obama say any of those questions were "hard?" When did he "complain?" Sure, his supporters are complaining. But Obama is taking it in stride. He said they had a right to ask the question...but he believes the questions are irrelevant distractions.

    Hillary, once again, is making things up. Pathologically.

    April 18, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  10. Darth Vadik, CA

    No he isn't, he brushed it off,
    but the people are complaining and we are correct, it was a 3 on 1, with the 3 emerging as losers, Obama being unscathed and McCain emerging as the victor.

    April 18, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  11. The Truth

    That's not the point The point is the question has nothing to do with the white house or signifcant issues that involves him, his vision and abilities.

    April 18, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  12. spun out

    wow, funny, I seem to remember one candidate actually whining about getting the first question IN A DEBATE, not afterward, funny how hypocrisy works...

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

    I seem to remember Sen. Clinton complaining about being given unfair treatment by the media, it works both ways...

    April 18, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  14. Lee Chang

    Yes, I think whining about things do not solve problems, and indeed that is not the CHANGE IN WASHINGTON – TO A WHINY PRESIDENT that the Americans deserve nor want.

    Obama is showing what he is bit by bit – NOT READY.

    Go Hillary Go. Hillary 08

    April 18, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  15. Lee

    Obama's speeches have no substance, he is phony, that is why Obama is afraid of debate.

    April 18, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  16. T

    By Hillary taking a shot of whiskey, she is drinking the devil's drink.

    Nader 08

    April 18, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  17. USR

    Coming from the same woman that CRIED and was complaining about the hard questioning she faced as a WOMAN??

    Incredibly LUDICROUS!!

    April 18, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  18. Obama is a GODSEND

    "pressures in the Whitehouse"....well we saw how Bill relieved those pressures. Who's going to make sure Bubba keeps his overalls on if he had a second chance? Please, our nation has endured enough ridicule lets get a real person in the Whitehouse.

    Obama is a GODSEND!

    April 18, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  19. ricksramblings

    Barack Obama has had a fairy tail romance with the media and now cries when he finally get asked some questions about his past and character. Hillary has been doing this for 20 years. Barack will not make it through the general if he is doing all this crying now.

    April 18, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  20. we wanh hillary, not mccain...screw him.

    You should only run away when you don't get nominated.

    Hillary and Nader

    April 18, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  21. honkey white guy from cali

    Keep going negative it has worked so well for you

    April 18, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  22. goblai67

    What do we expect her to say,
    22 debates and she hasn't succeeded to do any demage.
    Old politic do not work any more.

    Anytime she open her mouth, she put herself in trouble.


    April 18, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  23. lynden

    If I'm not mistaken, didn't she complain DURING a debate about being asked tough questions all the time?????

    it pretty funny to hear that coming from Hillarious, who has complained more than all the other candidates that entered the race combined. But i guess the fact that she is a woman justifies her actions.

    Ask yourself this- if it were a man complaining the way she does- what would you think, would you jump to his aid like Hillary supporters do or would you tell him to grow a pair???

    April 18, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  24. Tony Burroughs

    She's leading with her chin again. She has complained about debate questions.

    April 18, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  25. Cathy

    I'm sorry but Clinton again is calling the kettle black. Obama's statements regarding the debate never whispered any personal "whining" complaints about the debate. Clinton is the one who has always complained publicly about the negative media and being asked the first question, etc... Obama's statements regarding the debate are all true and equal the majority of people that watched the debate. Obama has shown the American his true integrity and strong character to not let the negative attention and games change his belief that this country deserves better then just old D.C. politics.

    Obama's handling of the worst debate I have ever seen just proves again to me why he is the best candidate for the President of the United States.

    Clinton is just annoying me more and more everyday...Obama is the type of person we need in the oval office.

    April 18, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
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