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. GoObama

    Another typical Clinton spin. I guess it was OK when she was complaining about the previous debates but now that Barack is doing it we must all doubt his ability to run the country! PLEASE! We're done with your spins and lies. At least you've made it to the acceptance stage of your 12 step program. Hearing you admit to the American public that you LIED about Bosnia is a bit refreshing – but you're still a dirty politician to me!

    Obama is not perfect, nobody is, but he is a refreshing politician and he is exactly what this country needs to fix our internal and external problems!

    April 18, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  2. Apryl

    Oh and Hillary doesn't complain? She complained every chance she got about how the media was treating her and how she got the first question during debates. She is so full of it. Its to the point that if she sneezed it would be fake.

    April 18, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  3. Matt

    Thats funny, cause I remember her complaining about this in Texas? Does that mean that she isn't ready either for the presidency?

    April 18, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  4. Chris W.

    I seem to remember Clinton "complaining" about HER getting the tougher treatment a couple months ago.

    Does she not remember invoking an SNL skit ("maybe we should get Senator Obama a pillow")? Or complaining about always getting the first question???

    Wow, has she defined the term "double standard"...

    April 18, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  5. ladyc

    oh please HIL-LIE-RY......that was not a debate it was a joke. It took themm 40 min to ask questions tht i care about or will affect me. You need to STOP IT. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH

    April 18, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  6. Bearcat

    As I recall, Sen. Clinton was the first to complain about the debate questions and even the media. There is nothing but hypocrisies, lies, and deceit within this women.

    April 18, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  7. Abdirazak

    Obama,
    If you can not debate just decline to attend the debates.

    April 18, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  8. Low

    I cannot believe that she has the nerve to say this. Is this the same liar that complained about being asked questions in a debate first?

    April 18, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  9. Dinesh

    Senator Clinton, you were the one who said DURING A DEBATE that the SNL skit about the media loving Obama was accurate. You were the one who "complained" publicly. Yet when Senator Obama has a reason to complain since George Stephanopolus was a biased questioner who worked for your husbands campaign, and asked him about every single "FOX NEWS" controversy, you say he is complaining. He has reason to complain, it was unfair.

    April 18, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  10. Ray Estrada

    We want questions that are addressing issues that affect everyday Americans.

    April 18, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  11. David, New Castle. PA

    Oh Hillary, how I hate thee. Let me count the ways: 1. You were not much of a wife to Bill so he cheated on you for years. Now I can really see why. 2. You constantly lie and pander and parse. 3. You have bloodied the eventual nominee with all your spiteful innuendo about his patriotism. 4. You pretend to be against NAFTA when the record clearly shows you have supported it publically in the past. 5. You pretend to care about gun ownership while you were a big cheerleader for the Brady Bill. 6. You have a nasty look about you, like the country owes you this nomination through entitlement. After all, you did endure the Monica-Jennifer-etc. scrutiny and bitterly played the role of doormat. So we 'owe' you the presidency? 7. You cannot be trusted, ref. your multiple, blatant lies about 'sniper fire' in Bosnia. 8. You voted for the invasion of Iraq because you thought it was politically expedient, now you are against it for the same reason. 9. You are a carpetbagger who moved to N.Y. for it utility in advancing your insatiable self. 10. You are a horrible example for American women. Go for a long walk after Barrack puts your sorry campaign away for good. PA Voters–vote for Change–vote for Obama.

    April 18, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  12. Ross in MD

    "hard questions"? Like do you believe in the flag?

    She is completely out-of-touch with reality. ABC got 18000 comments complaining not about how 'hard' or 'tough' the questions were, but how totally moronic they were.

    She obviously disagreed – as Obama says, this is right up her alley.

    April 18, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  13. 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 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  14. Jamil - Dearborn, MI

    Yup, the special interests will be fighting and Sen. Clinton will be on their side since she has taken more money from them than any other candidate – over $800,000. At least Sen. Obama didn't complain DURING the debate – remember Clinton referring to SNL skits and telling the moderators to offer Barack a pillow, etc...
    George Stephonapolous owes his career to the Clintons and he showed his loyalty during the debate – what kind of a stupid question is "Does Rev. Wright love America?" or "Do you think Rev. Wright is as patriotic as you are?" The next debate might as well be hosted by the National Enquirer with Geraldo Rivera and Jerry Springer as the moderators!

    April 18, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  15. Clintons: pardoned american terrorist bombers .Not just misspeak HRC lies to Penn voters

    I would like to see fairness here. Obama was 8 years old during the time he was accused of being involved in underground. He did not have anything to do with this.
    Clinton however pardoned the american terrorists. Sounds to me and the American public that the relationship was with the Clintons and the terrorist group , not Obama. This is Billarys past trash.
    Why did the Billarys pardon an American underground group of terrorist?

    Please tell the truth here.

    April 18, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  16. Boycott ABC "THIS WEEK"

    George Stephanopoulos is a political hack. The debate on 04/16 was a set up to torpedo Obama's nomination. George Stephanopoulos has never been a journalist. He uses politic to enrich himself. He wrote a book by gussiping his former boss (Bill Clinton). Then he switch to be a sympatizer for the Neo Conservatives. ABC hired him to get access to the "Washington insiders". And now he is taking notes from FOXNews to support the Repulican candidate (the idea is to nominate Hillary Clinton, who can be easily defeated by John McCain). This is not a conspiracy. It is the fact if you know where he gets his questions for the debate.

    April 18, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  17. Tennessee

    Obama is an eloquent speaker when he is speaking in vague, broad terms and is the only one talking. But when he tries to speak about substantive issues or is in any way challenged, he at best comes off as smug and elitist. At worst, he sounds incompetent and niave.

    Democrats Against Obama '08

    April 18, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  18. White Woman for Obama

    Whine, whine, whine! You'll soon be through, Hillary.

    April 18, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  19. Andy

    This coming from the candidate who, ON AIR, DURING A LIVE DEBATE, said that the "media has been unfairly picking on me."

    It's just getting stupid at this point. Hillary is digging her own grave.

    April 18, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  20. Moshe

    Nobama is a spoiled cry baby. If this nation wants a progressive future Hillary is the only choise. Hillary 2008!

    April 18, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  21. Charles IN

    HIllary, you showed the depth of your knowledge and understanding of the issues so important to our country. You answered tough questions with honesty and made no excuses for missteps you have made along the campaign trail. At one point you apologized for misspeaking. Obama did none of those things. He didn't take responsibility for his gaffs and appeared angry and petulant. Really, he didn't have a good night and exposed himself as having an arrogant and above-it-all attitude.

    April 18, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  22. Lawrence

    He is not the only one complaining Billary. News papers, radio pundits and voters, yes voters, are also complaining about how the debate was runned.

    Maybe you should look at all of this before making statements like these. Not all the people complaining are his supporters.

    April 18, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  23. ariel

    What I find most repellent about the Clintons is that they seem to actually relish a vicious campaign.And Hillary Clinton continues to –knowingly - lie to voters. Sen. Clinton knows full well that she would be as vulnerable–if not more– to Republican attacks in November as Obama. Mc Cain has publicly and repeatedly stated that he would prefer to run against Clinton.Superdelegates, wake up!

    April 18, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  24. Sharon

    Personally I don't have to see another debate. The last debate was by far the worst ever. We've had 21 and haven't discussed very many issues important to me. Enough is enough

    April 18, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  25. Anderson

    Wow. It seems Hillary is totally unaware that Americans see right through her. Tough questions? It seems she is the only one in America that considers those questions "tough" – let alone relevant or worthy of a presidential debate.

    While I initially supported her, I have now come to actively loathe the idea of her in any sort of public service position, as clearly she thinks Americans are doe-eyed idiots that are incapable of critical thinking and who can be hypnotized by 70's -style Washington rhetoric to forget what we are actually experiencing in every day life, and seeing for ourselves.

    April 18, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
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