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. Karen in Cape Cod

    Hillary is ABSOLUTELY RIGHT about Obama 's whining when things are not handed to him gently! Lets elect someone with strength and character and intelligence! President Hillary sounds good to me!

    April 18, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  2. Frosty

    He didn't complain but he should have. It was a disgraceful debate, uhmm.. I mean interrogation, by a fomer Clinton employee. If I remember correctly it is a Clinton thing to complain about media...whinning about getting the first question. This lady is just phony to the bone. It's amazing I don't throw up every time I hear her talk. Obama was correct that she was in her element.

    I know we'll see a woman president one day but I'm really joyful it won't be THIS woman.

    April 18, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  3. Ron L

    First of all the Debate was an INSULT to all Americans. Here is why..

    The questions about Rev. Wright has been discussed in detail 6 or more times before..Waste of time!!

    The question about the Bosnia issue..Covered 6 or more times before debate....Waste of time!!

    Discussion about raising of the Capital Gains tax..seemed somewhat scewed and gave the appearance that the moderator was trying to force them to declare they would not raise it...NOT HIS JOB!!

    There was NOTHING said about the 50% of American High Scools students dropping out. How did they plan to reverse this trend!... A WASTED OPPORTUNITY!!

    There was nothing said about 300,000 Americans filing for unemployment last month for the first time. If we are in a recession should there be an extension of 8 to 12 weeks on unemployment benefits...ANOTHER MISSED OPPORTUNITY!!

    A could go on but I think I have made my point. It doesn't matter who you support, the moderators did a poor job in my humble opinion.

    April 18, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  4. Lisa in Iowa

    At least Obama waited until AFTER the debate to discuss it. Hillary complained DURING a debate about 'always getting the first question all the time', and "maybe they could offer Barack a pillow". His statements the day after the debate were not complaints, but facts. Her complaints were flat out whining.

    April 18, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  5. Ryan O

    Oh give me a break!!!!!!!!!!!! Obama supporters are just like him: WEAK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You want to be the leader of the world and complains about an debate. Every debate over the past few months were hard for Hillary and look at her, she is still here, fighting. I have always said that I perfer a strong woman over a weak man any day and this just confirms that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Please grow a backbone you jelly back people!!!!!!!!!

    April 18, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  6. Frank, Missouri

    Not just Obama ... all bloggers and the sane press. No surprise when you have an ex-Clinton employee running the debate that should have aired on FOX.

    April 18, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  7. R.N. NC

    Hillary is right. Obama is complaining about getting into more debates. He run out of lines. I for one is tired of his nonsense and his " I didn't vote for the Iraq war" and we need change campaign. America is still the richest country in the world. When things are tough, Americans are known to be resilient. Real Americans don't buy into hope and change and the hype. Strong America needs a strong president! If not Hillary, I will vote for McCain.

    April 18, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  8. Mark

    Obama is the complainer, eh? That's rich! Remember when she was complaining about always going first? At least he had something of substance to complain about

    April 18, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  9. Marc, Tacoma Wash

    AZM, the Superdelegates are not going towards Hillary because of her support for NAFTA, and her lying about not talking to Canada and having somebody from her camp blame it on Obama. How does she donate 10% of her imcome within 6 years and to find out, it was her own organization. Explain that AZM. How about H1B Visas. Why does she support it so much and how come Bill Gates is supporting Hillary when it comes to H1B Visas. How come Health Insurance Companies are donating tons of money into Hillary's campaign and paying so much for negative ads on Obama. Why does she want the same health care plan like Germany even though she knows the people in Germany don't want this plan anymore. You will be taxed and at a hight rate. That is why the Health Insurace Companies are supporting her. Answer those for me AZM and then I will be a Hillary supporter.

    April 18, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  10. Chris, PA

    I'm glad Tuesday is only four days away....get her out of our state!

    April 18, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  11. NYRICAN

    I guess she misspoke at SNL, than???????? Get real, you know politics and will sell your own __________________ to prove, or get your way MRs. Clinton. I had so much respect for the Clintons, but Wow, I am beginning to really dislike them. I will vote Democrat, and I know Obama will be our nomine, but Hillary, Hillary, Hillary..... YES We Can Unite, without you and your husband being big factors in the Democratic process. Thanks for nothing!!!!

    McCain and Hillary VS Obama and the American People!!!!

    April 18, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  12. 35 Southbound

    And another thing, which there are a lot of, how many time has Clinton complained? The pillows and first questions. This comes from a woman who has turned on the water works and lost her cool (the shame on you rant) on national stages. Is this who we want taking face time with other world leaders or answering the phone at 3am? Here's another one of those "another things." If Obama gets the nod, how will she be a credible factor in uniting the party, she does nothing but attack and dismiss his potential. She has vomitted negativity for the last couple of months, if he is the Dem nominee, what will she say then? This never ends with her, the sink get's dirtier and dirtier, who's going to clean it?

    April 18, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  13. Deema

    Obama has voiced concern over the debate format, but to be fair, Clinton has complained in the past too... twice DURING the actual debates. The first time it was the SNL pillow comment. The next time it was the "Why do I always have to go first?" comment, and we can't forget the "all the boys are piling on me" comment. All this is in addition to the dozen times she's brought up her gender to explain calls to drop out or low favorability. I actually think Obama has done a good job of neutralizing the race issues, on the other hand. When asked if he thought Clinton's "He can't win" comment to Richardson was racist, he dismissed that possibility. When asked if the "elite" accusations were racist, he dismissed that possibility. When asked if New Hampshire voters were "racist" he dismissed that possibility. I think in all those instances, Hillary would have been all to eager to play the gender card. So while I agree that Obama needs to suck it up and move on (c'est la vie buddy), I also don't think Clinton is in any position to tell him to do so.

    Barry & Joe 08

    April 18, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  14. Bob Stephens

    Where was Hillary's American Flag stick pin, during the debate?

    April 18, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  15. Mike from Calgary

    There she goes again! Remember "I'm honoured, truly honour to be with Barack" to his face at end of debate and the next day she's RANTING "Shame on you Barack Obama!" I thought Hillary was the one telling the whoppers! The only 3AM phone call that Hillary could handle is when Bills calls home to tell her he's going to be working late at the office with his staff!
    Mike

    April 18, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  16. DS in SD

    This is the last straw. This woman is insufferable. Is she seriously attacking Obama for complaining about a debate??? You have got to be kidding me, Hillary. You are the Queen of complaining about the refs. She has no shame and no integrity. I have never been so disgusted with a Democrat in my entire life. How anyone can't see through her veil of lies is beyond me.

    April 18, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  17. Wanda

    Hillary's exactly right. Senator O'Bama finally came up against some journalists who asked the tough questions about who HE is, and he's now trying to deflect interest from his poor performance in that debate. As Hillary said, a President can't walk away from the hard questions.

    While it is true that Senator Clinton has complained about debate format before, her complaint was not about being asked the hard questions, only that the journalists always targeted her first, giving O'Bama additional time to compose a response or to add "something extra" to her response.

    If O'Bama does succeed in winning the nomination, the RNC will tear him apart. You can't say that we Dems haven't been warned.

    April 18, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  18. TD

    Interesting to see that Obama faces a few tough questions for the first time this campaign and begins to struggle...almost as though he was unprepared for questions which were certainly in the realm of fair play.

    Regardless of who was on the panel, the issues they raised were extremely relevant and Obama fumbled big time...with almost everyone of them...
    Nice to have a president who refuses to wear the American flag on his sleeve huh?

    April 18, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  19. Dawit

    When will this FAKE woman just DISAPPEAR into a thin air?

    April 18, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  20. andy

    if it had been a hit job on clinton, she would be saying "oh, the boys are ganging up on me." the best thing that could have happened for obama was for abc to unfairly target him. otherwise, hillary could play the victim card she loves so much.

    April 18, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  21. Jazzed Dem

    I think that Mrs. Clinton will probably win in PA. That state has suffered from economic downturns for over a decade. As a result, the states best and brightest have left. You may not like what Barack said in San Francisco, but it is true. Pennsylvania has suffered a "brain drain" for 10+ years. What's left are the less educated and enlightened voters – Mrs. Clinton's core constituency.

    Obama '08 – '12

    April 18, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  22. Cynthia

    Senator Clinton has not realized that she would be better off discussing the issues as opposed to he said she said. Her poll numbers aren't looking good because of her negativity and truthfullness issues. I think if I kept bumping my head against a wall – I would try a different route.

    April 18, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  23. PAUL PROVIDENCE RI

    YES, YES, YES HE CAN....But, I am the one that has more plans and I have been in the White House before. Hillary, just leave the race and go back to New York and screw those stupid people. The American people do not want you to be their leader. Most of the U.S. can not stand you and I believe Mc Cain would beat you. Now all you do is rant about your readiness, but all the time you are bring down the demorcratic party and helping John Mc Cain. Time to step aside Hillary, The fat lady is singing.

    April 18, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  24. Eunice, Maryland

    When ever Obama does not have his way, he whins and complains. Why is he even in this race if he can not take pressure? He is in the wrong country then. He will probably go back to smoking to alleviate the pressure. If he complains about a little tough question in debate, how can he really handle the position of running the difficult tasks facing this county right now. He wants a cake walk election process and he thinks that people should treat him differently in this election process from the way Clinton is treated. Senator Clinton has been brutalized by her party and the media but she still wears her beautiful smiles and continues to campaign every day. She is a very tough woman and I respect her so dearly for that and I think she still stands a chance. It will be suicidal on the part of the DNC to have Obama as their nominee because the Republicans are going to tear him up in the air. I wonder what Obama will do at that point. May be become a cry baby. It is obvious that Obama is in this race to make name for himself as the first black President and even if he gets impeached, he does not care. The guy does not even know how to talk in the public without getting himself in trouble. He only does well in memorized speeches and I don't know how any right thinking person would look at this guy's records and his circle of friends and still think that he can win the election talk of less of run this country.

    Hillary Clinton is ready to be president from day one and make no mistake about it, she is going to win the general election.

    America is ready for the change of having a woman President. America has been ruled by men President all her life and now is the time for a woman to be President. This is just one of the reasons why I want Hillary but it is the least of the reasons. Looking at the two Democratic candidates, she is the most qualified.

    April 18, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  25. Christian, Tampa FL

    The issue wasn't that he was being asked tough questions. I don't think anyone would have a problem with that. The problem was that the moderators focused most of the debate on non-substance, tabloid issues, many of which have already run their course. It was a media travesty and Hillary should be complaining as well. It wasn't fair to her as well, and she certainly wasn't really on her game either.

    April 18, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
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