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. N Kannan

    Yes. What do you expect? Obama's campaign made a big mistake in accepting ABC's debate. George Stephanopoulus was a Clinton Minion and will always be. What's more dumb than accepting a Clinton Campaign staffer as a moderator? George proved that it was a wrong idea by hammering Obama for the first 60 minutes and throwing softball questions to Hillary!!

    What a hatchet job!


    April 18, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  2. KJ, CA

    Spin, spin, spin, spin, spin, spin..... I agree with the first comment posted, watching the debate was like watching a Clinton campaign event. The first 45 minutes were spent on garbage – it was a horrible excuse of a "debate". It's a wonder that Barack looked frustrated – he had to be. I am sure he was wondering when the heck they were going to get down to business. That and the fact that when Hillary said something she went on and on and on and on... It was horrible and Barack has every reason to complain about it (Oh yea, Hillary – he isn't the only one complaining about it either, so are a vast number of the American people... remember the people you are suppose to listen to).

    April 18, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  3. Tiffany

    This is too funny!! Hillary and her campaign complain constantly about the media and the debates. She even complained during a debate! Everyone can see right through you Hillary, quit looking so ridiculous!

    April 18, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  4. Hillary is UNpresidential

    twist twist twist twist. Does she ever stop. I honestly have no idea how anyone can support Hillary and her flat out dishonest manipulation of the truth. Most pro Hillary comments are from women it seems. If Hillary wins the democratic nomination I'm going to vote for her for president but probably spit on the ballot. Barack is complaining she says, PAlease!. Come on PA please end this race. PLEASE.

    She thinks she's tougher then Barack which is the biggest lie of all. If she was so tough she would've left Bill after he cheated on her.

    April 18, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  5. Melissa

    It will never cease to amaze me how Obama supporters think the world is against them! The cries and complaining I've heard over the last 48 hours is pathetic. I'm a democrat. And I intend to vote for the Dem's nominee, but I tell you, if Obama does end up being the nominee there is now a chance I won't vote for him. The sad thing is that it has nothing to do with him and everything to do with his supporters!

    April 18, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  6. mike

    Grasping for Straws!!!

    April 18, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  7. Ky From Philly

    Honestly, I can hardly blame Obama for not wanting to debate anymore and wanting to put his focus on campaigning. Hes currently the front runner, nothing positive can come out of him debating again and the only person who has anything to gain from debating is Clinton. Honestly, I think 21 debates is ALOT for just a primary. Its been 15 months and 21 debates, if you dont know these candidates enough by now, I dont know what to tell ya.

    April 18, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  8. Kelley

    This is what bothers me the most. How would you answer the questions? Would any answer satisfy the people? Let's face it no answer would satisfy everybody, so let's move on and figure out how to put food on my table and gas in my car.

    April 18, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  9. Chris

    I get so sick of reading these bias blogs. People wake up!!!!!!!!!
    Clinton complains about Obama. Obama complains about Clinton. This is there job. Please do not believe one is better than the other.

    April 18, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  10. Samuel Brown

    Senator Obama should not have had anything negative to say about the debate and the questioning; he has had a free ride and a very unfair love affair with the media through-out most of this very very long primary season.

    The media has been beating the HELL out of Senator Clinton at every opportunity possible. Senator Clinton is clearly the best candidate for the job. I respect and admire Senator Obama, I feel that he should have gone with his first decision not to run for office, I feel that he should have waited and gained more experience on a National level instead of falling to the pressure of Oprah and the Powers That Be to run for the ultimate office so prematurely.

    From a very proud and progressive African American Man,


    April 18, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  11. Leroy

    B.H. Obama, if you dont hang around those poeple and make stupid mistake, Charlie and George would not give you excellent question.
    Dont cry you still have your stupid friend.

    April 18, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  12. Mack

    If Obama don't want to get asked hard questions, then why is he running for president. Hillary has always gotten asked hard questions. The debates was the fair, and Obama did poorly.

    April 18, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  13. Dianne

    Didn't Hillary complain about always being called on first to answer questions in earlier debates? Didn't Bill say that the media was giving his wife a hard time? How quickly they forget!!!
    Hillary should be talking issues and not spending her time trying to tear down Obama. How trivial!!!

    April 18, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  14. Mark

    Someone needs to remind Hillary about her constant whining-may be she forgot her earlier 'how come I am always asked the first question' and that the 'boys had ganged up against her' in earlier debates or that media is out to get her. What happened-yesterday seems like years away?

    Height of hypocrisy and opportunism. Wants to have it both ways!

    April 18, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  15. Timothy

    It was obvious to me Charles and George were not Obama supporters. The debate was one sided in its questions. Debates are necessary and any candidate should be able to answer tough questions. The media is truly bias especially channel 2.

    April 18, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  16. Jeff

    I don't think the issue is so much that Obama was asked some of these questions, some of the "tabloid" questions where legitimate. The issue is that Obama was asked way more of these questions than Hillary was. Like many have brought up, how come nothing was brought up about Mark Penn and his Columbian relationship.

    April 18, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  17. unbelievable

    Last time i checked she whined like a little baby at the debate in Ohio because she was getting all the questions first. I can't believe how she tries to twist things in her favor.....

    April 18, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  18. Corey

    I agree that the debate was trivial and gutter! We spent so much time talking about that crap, which is so unimportant in the big scheme of things. We have two wars going on, people in PA and the rest of the US are losing jobs and homes, and yet still we spend 40 minutes disussing flag pins and 60s radicals. You have got to be kidding me. Give the American people some credit for having some sensibility and intelligence. If Wednesday night's debate wasn't a prime example of politics of the past, then I don't know what is. Gibson and that weasel Streptococcus should apologize. Hillary needs to just go away.

    OBAMA '08

    April 18, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  19. DB

    Is this not the same Hillary who complained long and hard about being asked the first question at the debates just one month ago? I heard the clip, and it didn't seem much to me like Obama was complaining about the questions being tough though.

    April 18, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  20. Annemarie

    I have some questions for Hillary, since she didn't seem to get asked too much about her ethics by sormer Clinton staffer, Stephanolpolous:

    1.Why did you wait until the Senate Ethics Complaint against you was filed before returning the things you stole from the White House on Jan 20. 2001?

    2.In the FBI Filegate scnadal, you were identified as the mastermind behind the illegal obtaining and misuse of 100's of FBI background files, if you are President, will you disabuse your power again in matters like this?

    3.The White House admitted that you were Bill's accomplice when he was found guilty of a smear campaign to defame Kathleen Willey, who accused him of rape. As President of the US, how will you chain Bill up and prevent things like this from happening again?

    April 18, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  21. Andrea

    I guess Clinton can say Obama was showing a weak side, since it was 3 against one...... but isn't it funny that when the media questions negative towards Obama it is fair game....but it is towards her it's favoritism

    April 18, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  22. Gwen

    This"bitter" statement has been been overblown and worked as hard as a dish rag. Obama said that he used a poor choice of words; however, it seems that it's imperative to continually pound him. Hillary said that her words were "misspoken" and "it proves she's human," and no one else dared to take it any further. Bill Clinton made a similar statement to Obama's while he was running for president, "insecure white people scared to death"... yet he went on and was president elect. Our words outlive us and if it's convenient to dig into the past of one candidate and his/her family.. then the other should not be exempt.
    The debate was really "debate and switch". There was'nt anything fair about it. But then, how could it be with Bill Clinton's wife and former employee in control? It was a setup.

    April 18, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  23. Jason

    “Being asked tough questions in a debate is nothing like the pressures you face inside the White House.”

    Amen! And that's exactly the point Obama was trying to make. These trivial and stupid questions have nothing to do with the true pressures a President must face, namely: the work that he must do to improve the United States both domestically and abroad.

    Thanks for making Obama's case for him, Hillary.

    April 18, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  24. Noel Bynum, Winston Salem, NC

    Good for you Hillary. She had to undergo the first 20 debates geared against her and now he complains when one isn't perfectly aligned for him?!!? BREAKING NEWS; Reality just endorsed Hillary Clinton!

    April 18, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  25. William in California

    NOT POSSIBLE! Either she has no memory, or else she genuinely believe no one else does. Not only was she complaining about earlier debates, talking up SNL's take on the debates, decrying the media's unfairness towards her before, during, and after debates – but she actually complained about the debates DURING the debates. "Why do I always get asked the first question?" And for the record, he had every right to complain! Stepanopolus's interrogation – er, tangential questioning of Obama during the first hour was simply not to be believed in a televised national debate. Anyway, it warrants more complaining that "Why do I have to go first?"

    April 18, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
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