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. Ron L

    Ohhh.. One other thing that I think is REALLY STUPID!!

    This FLAG pin issue!!

    What the heck is wrong with you people!!!

    NEWS FLASH...I can't remember ever seeing Hillary with a Flag pin on!! ( Including that night) Is this only required on male candidates?? Because, I have on more than one occasion seen John McCann not have one on as well. ( Or is he exempt?? )

    EVERYONE of you who make a big deal out of this NEED TO GET A GRIP!!

    You have NO IDEA how ridiculous this argument is... If you have a problem with Barack not wearing a Flag Pin you probably didn't like him anyway. But at least come up with better reasons. This Flag pin thing is pretty LAME and CHILDISH!!!

    April 18, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  2. Ugh.

    If he did this badly being asked generally trivial questions, he will be slaughtered against McCain if he gets the nomination. The Obamabots haven't realized yet that without Clinton to lash out at, Obama is going to be in the line of fire. If so, there won't be any Hillary to point the finger at. He can have fun trying to brush off McCain in the fall.

    April 18, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  3. KiloWhiskey - Denver

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

    Questions like "Bill, where the heck are you going with that cigar?"

    The DNC gets no money from me if she ends up with the nomination!

    April 18, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  4. Lindsay

    So "out of touch" Clinton doesn't realize that so many viewers (you know, average Americans) were disgusted with the lack of discussion of real issues?? This debate was widely criticized by pretty much everyone as being a big fat waste of time. Doesn't Hillary Clinton understand that voters care more about the war, the economy, health care, rather than all these distraction issues being brought up? Who's out of touch??

    April 18, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  5. scott

    correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't she complaing in a debate about always being asked the first question? and didn't she at one time reference Saturday Night Live, in her complaint that the press was being too tough on her? and hasn't she, her husband and others complained that she's getting unfair treatment because she's a woman?....give me a break.

    April 18, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  6. StoptheMadness

    AZM – Senator Obama isn't dodging the questions. I don't profess to speak for the man, but I believe he is more than happy to explain and re-explain... and re-explain however many times is needed to allay the concerns of the people. But when it is apparent that you are being questioned and your opponent, who still has not clearly responded to her controversies i.e, NAFTA, Columbian Free Trade, Penn's conflict of interest ...is he fired, is he not fired?, your husband's donor list to his library... are foreign governments involved that could possibly have influence on her presidency, the list goes on... then it becomes clear that maybe this isn't a fair exchange, but a setup.

    I don't think anyone of us relishes the idea of having walked into a set-up.

    April 18, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  7. McKinney 4 Obama

    Didn't she complain about always getting the first question in previous debates??? Talk about TYPICAL politician.. She will do and say anthing to win..

    April 18, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  8. Larry

    More Spin from the Clinton's. Seems like last time I heard she wanted to stick to the issues...well that debate didn't do that...Furthermore, Obama isn't complaining...he is taking the punches like a man...seems like after the last few debates she COMPLAINED about media bias on a daily basis...she's totally disingenuous!

    April 18, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  9. Dave

    Stop whining, Barack! You've been the media darling for the last several months and now that they are playing a little hardball, you want to take your ball and go home(quit the debates). What are you going to do when McCain lays into you?

    April 18, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  10. Donna

    I am so very, very tired of this woman.

    April 18, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  11. Spirit of America

    Hillary, in a debate and on her record, is head and shoulders above Barack. Not only that. All those anti-American skeletons in Obama's closet will be taken out one by one and smashed by the Republicans on their way to a landslide victory if BO is the nominee. Clinton has no anti-American skeletons in her closet. Her coming smashing victory in PA will prevent an American disaster.

    April 18, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  12. POST THIS!

    Wasn't Hillary the one complaining a few Debates ago about being asked the first question?? Typical HRC! She's the pot and everyone else is the kettle!

    April 18, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  13. Virginia

    Finally! Folks begin to look beyond the Obama facade and are finding things that should concern the American public. Obama seems to be a good man and may one day be a fine president, but, wake up America look deeper and find the real man. What are his true connections past and current to the subversive black groups. Americans, you should take a strong look at his voting record as a state legislator and in Congress. He is taking credit for legislation he did not write, he was one of a team. It is disconcerting that what we see is not what we might get!! We need strength and credibility not unrest due to an unknown.

    Super Delegates – where in the devil are your brains! You know this is a critical time for America – so many things need to be repaired after 7-bad years of the Bush Administration. THINK – can Obama deliver what he promises??? And, what in the dickenens is his defination of Change – we haven't heard it. Will at least one of you Super Delegates ask for a definition -PLEASE for the sake of our people!

    I know that Senator Clinton has some "warts" that annoy many people – but we, as they say, know the product. Now is not the time to risk American and its people on an unproven new comer.


    April 18, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  14. MS Gal

    Enough hillary. of course it is easy for you-you just lie your way through them! isn't it easier when you don't have to speak truthfully...just make up a good-sounding like and keep rolling! you are such a hypocrite and negative person....it's almost plain disgusting! you notice–obama could have drilled you and ruined your already struggling credibility about that "lie" you told about Bosnia....he didn't go there! Now that's presidential! You, on the other hand, down right dirty whatever it takes politician. It's time a for a new day!

    Go Obama!

    April 18, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  15. clay

    With all fairness, Hillary negative tactics is definitely going to hurt the democratic party come november. However, we don't quite know the degree or enomity to which it may harm the party. We expect Hillary to be above the frail by now. Disappointingly enough, she just don't get it. I don't know what exactly it may take to make her know that going negative is just not working.

    April 18, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  16. Lou

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

    I don't think wearing a flag pin or not will come up much in the white house. I wanted to hear about their plans when they become president. He wasn't the only one complaining about that debate...the whole country was.

    April 18, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  17. oby

    Obama must quit whining and quit the race whilst he's at it. he is not equiped to handle the pressures of the oval office. not by a long shot.

    April 18, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  18. Tanya, Chicago

    7 good reasons why Obama wont debate again…

    1. Scared

    2. Nothing else to talk about

    3. Tired of saying "yes we can" and "change"

    4. You don’t let me give a Speech in the debate 🙂

    5. Someone is really asking me a question?

    6. Why do I need to debate when I am already getting a free ride?

    7. Afraid that I will offend people by unconsciously telling the truth

    April 18, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  19. Janet

    How in the world can you people blame Hilary for Obama's gaffes? Nothing is twisted. He says what he says–plain English–he probably thinks us gun-toting hunters and religious, uneducated people will hear him in a "different" way then the "latte drinkers". I don't care for latte–too "bittertasting". Give me a strong cup of "Michigan Hillbilly" Java any old day. Is Java a savvy word?

    April 18, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  20. Harry in France

    I follow this race from the beginning and everytime again and again Hilary dreams up something else to hurt her opponent It's really disgusting. Though I cannot vote but Obama is my number 1. Be wise Americains and don't get your arms twisted by this lying Hilary. One period Clinton was enough.

    April 18, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  21. Kristine

    Heard this whining coming all the way...Obama supporters are tech savy but should go back to kindergarten and learn to play fair and stop whining!
    Obama and his supporters are so used to media insulation from reality, I'm sure it's shocking for him to face uncomfortable questioning...do they really think the Republicans are not going to go after him? Dream on. He has a lot to explain and had CNN (Clearly Not Neutral) been fair and thorough, we'd would have known a lot more about Obama, Ayers, Dohrn, and Rev. Wright before we voted for him in the first place...

    April 18, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  22. Cowboy Jack

    Hillary complained about the media's biased coverage toward Obama (especially NBC's).

    Obama is complaining about being asked questions... OH NO!

    If he can't handle rough questions in a Dem primary, the Republicans and their 527 Independent groups will eat him alive..... the ABC debate was nothing compared to how hard he'll get roughed up in the general

    That's why I support HILLARY b/c she's been through this, she knows how to handle it and knock it down, and how to stand up and fight

    April 18, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  23. p Coleman


    April 18, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  24. oh really?

    she just can't help herself, huh?

    it's truly sad to watch; i'm starting to feel sorry for her (as much as a bitter blue-collar elitist can sympathize with a $109 millionaire)

    maybe bill will plunk down some of that $800k he got from columbia, and spring for for some therapy

    April 18, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  25. Eric S

    Hillary is right. Obama whined too much about those legitimate tough questions. He must answer them before he can take the highest office of the country.

    April 18, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
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