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. mike

    Obama does do alot of whining at his rally's. He can't handle questions without first knowing what they are and having his "people" write an answer for him. He is not good at slapstick.

    April 18, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  2. Peter

    "Everything Obama does is fundamentally about a people-powered democracy and people-powered campaign," says Mindy Finn, a Republican consultant who ran Mitt Romney's Internet operation. "McCain's message is different."

    The statement above is from a Republican on Obama's management of his campaign and how he uses the new technology called "internet". The old man McCaine doesn't understand the dynamics of the current global economy and how the information technology is transforming our lives. So does Hillary, her supporters and her base that consists of old folks and uneducated rural town people. McCaine's and Hillary's bases vote on issues such as gun ownership, gay rights, abortion and religion. Science and technology take backstage when these folks cast their votes. This is a very dangerous path for a country like ours. We better elect a president who understands technology and knows how to use it to empower democracy. If history has taught us anyting, it is that empires fall when religion replaces science and technology.

    Use your common sense and vote for a new future! We have that chance in this election with Barack Obama.

    April 18, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  3. Olivia

    Obama did poorly in the debate...no if or buts about it.
    I was disappointed that he came out the next day with the type of bluster and defensiveness you often see when a person knows he goofed. I would have respected him more if he had just shrugged it off and carried on instead of the rude gesture of the "shoulder brushing". That was downright rude.

    The debate clearly showed who's more qualified to be president.
    Hillary is the one.

    April 18, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  4. Jana

    Now Obama boy experience the same hit Hillary had for a long time. And guess what he is complaining. You now Mr. Obama if you can not withhold it, do not even try to go to a general election. We better off with Clinton.

    April 18, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  5. Now for Obama

    Okay now Hillary do you remember complaining about always getting the first question at debates?

    Also, if you can't pay your campaign debts, how can you help America's money problem. You have ran the worst campaign ever, and I take it that this is how you would run the White House which is why I will never vote for you.

    April 18, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  6. William

    Obama's the biggest cry baby i've ever seen. He has the gall to complain after the year of glowing radiant press coverage he has received? He deserved a rough night from the press and he deserves more. He's running for President of the United States!! He is going to have to answer touch questions! This is laugh out loud funny. Obama is pathetic.

    April 18, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  7. 35 Southbound

    SPIN, SPIN, SPIN. I don't believe he actually "complained" about it. I believe, again, he stated the obvioius. He even admitted that Clinton had the "right" to twist the knife. He sarcastically gave Clinton kudos, she was in her element. Was he supposed to not comment on the debate, like nothing happened? Or come out and say that is was fair and balanced, no. Only Clinton would do that, it would be lying.

    April 18, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  8. Kebede

    I do not blame arrogant Hillary!!!!!! She has been treated as a queen by ABC. We do not care any more for ABC. We have CNN highly professional journalists. We enjoyed the previous debates.

    April 18, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  9. Reality Check

    Obama might have spent a day over the questions he was asked but Clinton has spent AN ENTIRE CAMPAIGN complaining over questions that she has been asked. Furthermore, her complaints focus on why she should be held accountable for her political record (i.e. her healthcare failure, her changing stances on NAFTA, her exaggerations/lies about her experience). These are legitimate areas to be probed. Obama is merely complaining about more personal political attacks/spins which, while these are legitimate areas to probe, are not nearly as substantial as the probing of Clintons factual failures and lies.

    April 18, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  10. A

    How do we get out of Iraq is a tough question. How can we shrink the budget deficit is a tough question. Playing 45 minutes of "gotcha" politics before talking about Iraq or the economy isn't a "tough question" its a separate sport that favors only the calculating, not the righteous.

    April 18, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  11. Vacman

    When the pressure is on Hillary she lies and makes up exaggerated stories!! She real trustworthy!! Some people will do and say anything!!

    April 18, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  12. Independent

    Sounds much different that her "complaining" about the press being too hard on her and being too nice to Obama during the past several debates. Recall the reference to SNL skit, the "can someone get Obama a pillow" comment, the "why do I always get the first question" comment, and on and on. Once again, she flip flops when it suits her position. No wonder her trustworthiness is in question in many voters' minds.

    April 18, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  13. Michelle in Denver, CO

    Give it a rest lady. That's not what he said at all.

    April 18, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  14. Q

    “I seem to get the first question all the time.”
    “Maybe we should ask Barack if he’s comfortable and needs another pillow.”

    April 18, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  15. kt

    There is no doubt in my mind who is the best person for the job and that person is Hillary. She is absolutely correct in saying that the office of the presidency requires a person who can stand the heat and she has certainly proven her ability in this area and many other areas. I have taken it upon myself to try and give Barack a fair chance so I have dug deep to find out who he is and what I found is that he is not the person he keeps presenting to the public. It is a shame more people have not taken the time to see on the honesty chart his number should be more negative than Hillarys. This woman is prepared to hold the highest office in the land and Barack is not.

    April 18, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  16. SC

    The Grinch who stole the election.

    April 18, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  17. ABC is a joke

    I don't think the commander-in-chief will be hard pressed about lapel pins. Using Bush as an example, I would rather have a leader with a brain, than one who dons costume jewelry.

    April 18, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  18. honkey white guy from cali

    All I have heard this campaign season is about how the media is bias the media is bias! complain complain complain! get a life women! no one has complained about the media in this primary more than you and your staff!!! No one! not even Mc Cain and he has made his statements. I can not believe she is still talking down to the person whom has out right won more states, delegates, and Popular vote even including MI and FL. Soon to be ahead in Superdelegates now that people are starting to wake up and see her for who she is. very very shameful!

    Go Obama 08 Yes We Can

    April 18, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  19. Mike

    Obama does not like debates because they make him look dumb.

    The only exception is when they ask him the same questions they just asked Hillary so he can parrot her answers.

    April 18, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  20. Ivey

    Of course Hillary had no problem with the debate. One of the guys questioning them owes everything to the Clintons. I have to agree with Obama, enough with issues that don't matter. I want to focus on things that matter to me, like the economy and education. Enough distractions. Enough negative campaigning. Let's stick with the real issues/problems facing this nation.

    April 18, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  21. Tim, Atlanta GA

    Hillary... I don't think he was complaining about "tough questions", but rather irrelevant questions. A lot of people would prefer to hear his views on solutions to our economic and national security problems..... not about some guy he knows who did some bad things when he was 8 years old.

    April 18, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  22. Honest Abe

    How many times must we watch the Clintons contradict themselves????
    Wasn't it the Clinton campaign and its supporters who have been complaining about the media treating Obama better than herself for the past 2 months or so??? Are they that stupid? I know a lot of her supporters are dumb (uneducated). But is she a big idiot also...? Yep!

    April 18, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  23. JB

    It's about time Hillary and others pointed out to Obama that there's more to politics and facing issues than giving fancy speeches. If he can't handle the heat, he needs to stay out of the kitchen. Hillary is a fighter who will not flinch in her battle against the opposition.

    April 18, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  24. HATTIE

    When I read that Clinton "had no problem with the debate" I could have hurled.. Upon watching the debate it was indeed quite weird.. In my opinion, it seemed that Mrs. Clinton and have been given a preview as to what was going to be asked in the debate.. and when Mr. Obama was asked about the Weather Underground why was Mrs. Clinton so prepared to chime in on that issue and any other issue that was brought up ??? She did'nt ever bust a sweat.. and why, because George Stehphie had given her the pre-quel....

    April 18, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  25. NYC

    Didn't Hillary complain during on of the debates about the tough questions being asked of her?!?! Are we in the twilight zone now?

    April 18, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
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