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. Jimmy Alderson

    Obama is complaining not about being on the defensive, but the low brow questions which have nothing to do with being a president.

    Why was ABC pandering to the most uneducated in our country? Why did they waste half the debate on how best someone can deflect the feces which is being thrown at them?

    Why even dignify that?

    April 18, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  2. hsl

    Why is it when Senator Obama doesn't 'perform' well it's not just taken at face value?
    This is a pattern with Senator Obama and his supporters.
    Excuses and blame.
    And, even if it was slanted – Obama should have risen to the occasion.
    So he had tough questions – so what? He wants to lead our nation – does he not think thre might be slanted tough questions then? Hello...

    April 18, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  3. Jordan Howard

    This woman is something else. Obama knows all too well that he will have to answer tough questions. I think he just expects a little tougher questions than ones he's ALREADY ANSWERED. Hilary is a liar and as two faced as you can get. She is doing nothing but hurting the Democrats (Obama's) chance to actually change America for the better. How can you trust a woman who constantly lies and goes back on everything she says. The Republicans will eat her up.

    April 18, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  4. troy

    I wish she would SHUT UP with all the negativity. I guess the grim reality of her campaign is finally coming into focus. I hope after Obama is the nominee the Hillary supporters can get behind him and stop McBush. If I am wrong and Hillary does indeed get the nomination I certainly won't act like a silly, whiny, crybaby and vote for a 73 year old warmonger just because I'm bitter.

    OBAMA '08

    April 18, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  5. Sharon

    The person who can't dance says the band can't play......BO in a nutshell 🙂
    She should know about those pressures, she's handled them now for 16 years.....she's strong, so intelligent, so hard-working. She will be a brilliant President of the United States!
    GO HILLARY!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

    April 18, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  6. Marie

    Hillary – complaining??? Why am I so not surprised? She lives to destruct. It was totally within her character to vote FOR war.

    April 18, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  7. HSD-NYC

    This seems to confirm, that Clinton was in "Her Element" at the debate. Dirty politics that accomplishes nothing constructive is right up the Clinton's alley.

    April 18, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  8. Texan For The Truth!!!

    The nerve of Obama complaining. What does he want all the coverage like he got up until now. The press has tried to make him a ROCK STAR but the truth is now finally coming out about the man and he has too much baggage to carry. The commentators had every right to ask the questions they asked him. They also asked Hillary about her Bosnia thing. This I can believe anyone could have made a mistake in saying with the schedule the candidates have to make. It's a wonder to me they know what day and where they're at when they get there. She explained that with her written statements in her book. OBAMA is the liar. REZKO< WRIGHT<I NEVER SUPPORTED THE IRAQ WAR< probably true but who knows. FACT-The man had no vote or say in that matter sin he was not a US Senator at the time only a state Senator who has no say. HINDSIGHT does not count. W ecan can all say anything under that pretense. i know one thing during the Clinton years we had the best economy ever and Bill left three trillion dollars in escrow when he left office. HILLARY 08

    April 18, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  9. bill pike

    PLEASE go home. we are so tired of CINTONS MAKE MILLIONS ON NAFTA but are against it???? won the medal of honor fighting hand to hand combat in 100 countries. didn't have XXX with the woman??? gave pardons out to the biggest WEALTHY crooks in the entire world. PLEASE JUST GO HOME–NOW, and i mean back to little rock. PLEASE, i will pay your moving expenses.

    April 18, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  10. toni wilson

    I don't see why Hillary is so proud of this debate. I was very dissapointed in her behavior as a woman, she seem to enjoy taking pot shots. I can see her claws coming out what a disgrace to women every where. Let me remind you Hillary this is not a cat fight it is our country's future and I wish you would stick to the issues that are important to the American people instead of slinging mud. I would never vote for you for president, I would just as soon have Mickey Mouse!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 18, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  11. Martin Smith

    Clinton is running for 2012. She knows she lost it this time. Only way she can run is to make sure Obama loses this time. 4 more years for McBush.

    April 18, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  12. Paula in WI

    Clinton is untrustworthy..no matter how you try to spin it.Whats even sadder is that she attempts to use the trying times of the people of PA for all the wrong reasons.Every time I hear her voice now I just get sick.

    April 18, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  13. NObama

    I'm not suprised that Obama supporters are lashing out. It is easier to lashout than to admit that you were a gullable fool.

    Hillary will be president.

    April 18, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  14. Elizabeth

    Oh, come on Obama.....so now your debate failure was due to the moderators? Anyone else you'd like to blame for your own failure to show leadership in the midst of questionning that you didn't like. You're not ready to lead America – get out of the race before you ruin the Democratic party for another 4 or 8 years!

    April 18, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  15. Sharon

    The person who can't dance says the band can't play……BO in a nutshell....
    He whined and complained ALL DAY yesterday.....cracks me up.
    Sounded like my kids when they don't want to take resposibility for their own actions.....
    She should know about those pressures, she's handled them now for 16 years.....she's strong, so intelligent, so hard-working. She will be a brilliant President of the United States!
    GO HILLARY!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

    April 18, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  16. Chris D.

    Obama doesn't mind tough questions...it is the trivial and irrelevant questions that were disappointing.

    April 18, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  17. Ron R

    You can't help yourself can you Hillary? He wasn't complaining as you state, he was simply stating the truth and the facts about the debate, which is my opinion was the worse debate I have ever seen(by no fault of the candidates). You are a bitter looser.

    April 18, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  18. JN

    Here's proof..another misspeak by Hill and Bill:

    And ABC News' Sarah Amos reports that from front porch of an American Legion Hall in St. Mary's, Penn., Thursday, former President Bill Clinton said, "When I watched that debate last night, I got kinda tickled when the other guy's – after the [debate], her opponents', oh, the people working were saying, 'Oh this is so negative, why are they doing this.' Well they've been beatin' up on her for 15 months. I didn't hear her whining when he said she was untruthful in Iowa."

    If you haven't heard whining from your wife or from the Clinton campaign, Mr. President, then with all due respect, you haven't been paying attention.

    The Clintons and the Clinton campaign have been complaining about the media and tough questions and the like for months. It's one of their talking points, for the love of Pete.

    After a November debate when Clinton - then the clear frontrunner - was attacked by the many other Democrats on stage, the Clinton campaign even put together a youtube video complaining of the "Politics of Pile-on."

    And at the Cleveland debate seven weeks ago, Clinton complained that she always got the first question, and about the media coverage in general.

    Bill Clinton has whined about the media coverage so much and often it would be difficult to list every example. In a February interview with WMAL radio in Washington DC, the former president griped that "the political press has avowedly played a role in this election. I've never seen this before...they’ve been active participants in this election, and you know what the objective studies done."

    So thank you Bill...Oh Hillary, I think you should tell your husband to SHUT UP AGAIN...another misspeak like Bosnia?

    April 18, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  19. Rose

    Hillary clearly proves over and over again her intelligence level is so far advanced than Obama's!!
    Think about this America; with Hillary, America gets two Presidents for the price of one.(Bill & Hillary)!
    Bill has been there so has Hillary. Experience is what it will take to get America back on track and earn respect back in the whitehouse.For Christ sake, WE ARE IN A WAR! think before you vote!!

    April 18, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  20. Jeanne

    I didn't watch the debates but it certainly appears to have been a setup against Obama. Why these two are still "debating" goes way beyond reason. Hillary still hasn't figured out that negative attacks hurt her more than help her, whether from her or from her supporters. Time to put an end to the "debates" and finish the over long, tiresome campaign & primary "year". It's to the point where I'm almost ready to vote for a REPUBLICAN and the last time I did that I voted for Nixon, and we all know how that turned out. Enough with the sandbagging and negative agenda. Let's get the REAL topics of discussion out there so people can make a smart choice and get this over with.

    April 18, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  21. Patricia

    This is the first time anyone has asked Obama a tough question. The media have been crucifying Clinton for 15 months and counting. Grow up and act like a man, Obama. If you can't handle tough questions, you can't handle the toughest job in the world. Simple as that, really.

    April 18, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  22. Walter, Long Beach

    Obama did look churlish and uncomfortable. I doubt that matters much this close to the voting.

    But it reminds me of the way Adlai Stevenson used to behave when he was asked what he thought was an impertinent question.

    And, as I recall, a plain speaking, low-brow former soldier planted that Democrat in the ground like a tent peg. Hope that's not an indication of things to come.

    April 18, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  23. No to Obama

    I find it amusing that Obama and many of his supporters are complaining about the press FINALLY asking him some hard questions. He and his campaign along with the media have been blasting Hillary for EVERYTHING over the last year. In fact, Obama recently mocked Hillary's comments about guns, calling her Annie Oakley in some juvenile attempt at comedy. So, fair is fair, Barrack. You want to dish it out, you better be able to take it. We don't need a whining, whimpy president who feels he's above it all. We need someone who hangs in there and just does the job, even amid all the so-called distractions.

    April 18, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  24. Daniel, Loganville Ga

    Congrats Sen. Clinton on winning the ABC debate. I now know I do not want the same old politics, this country needs a change. Just because this is how it has been done does not mean it needs to continue this way. I don’t think Sen. Obama was complaining yesterday I heard him say this is just how it’s been done in Washington and this is what he wants to change. Why can’t debates be on the issues? He did not bring up the Mark Penn issue, the $8000, 000 that was paid for speeches regarding trade; he did not continue to repeat the sniper attack lie, and so on and so on. We need a different style of politics. Change is not always comfortable but is necessary when the same ol same ol is not working.

    April 18, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  25. Kimberly in Texas

    What ever!
    Hillary, you complained every step of the way in each earlier debate....so please!

    Just shut up and go away!!!

    April 18, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
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