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. Tiffany from AZ

    I am a Clinton supporter and would like to make a complaint (I am sure that this comment will post but none of the at least ten that I have attempted to post in the past few weeks have showed up) – is it because my comments are articulate and well-thought out that they aren't being posted? Is it because I made less-than-flattering comments about the media and the double standards being applied to the candidates? Is it because I asked rational questions about Barack Obama's candidacy? Why, CNN? WHY can I not have any of my comments posted?

    I'll just keep in simple, then – I agree with Hillary and will support her throughout this process! Besides, after George Bush, experience IS change! Hillary '08!

    (I threw in some exclamation points because comments with those always seems to get posted).

    April 18, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  2. Kenneth

    Funny how Hillary has he nerve to make any comments about Obama's issues with the debate which was clearly biased when she was the first one to whine about the debates when her complaint was something as petty as getting the first question when even back then the started was decided by coin flip. It's things like this that continue to make Hillary's negative go up. Spin, Spin, Spin! I hoped that by now she would have learned that trying to bring someone else down is not a good way to make yourself look better. Thank goodness her days in the race are almost over. Let's go PA, officially end this race that has been over for months!

    April 18, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  3. Venus

    No Hillary – Obama wasn't complaining about the debate! He said they broke a record of 45-minutes playing games! He poked fun at you and how dirty you are trying to play Karl Rove games! He answered the questions! Also – many people didn't like how the debate was designed to make you look good! Your sh-t won't work. If you notice even the Superdelegates are unswayed by your attacks! And – if people notice – the reports always say the same thing about you – that you don't debate – you attack and they are not impressed!

    April 18, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  4. W.A. Davis

    Hillary – you're going DOOWWWWWNNNNNNn....only way you can win is if you steal the nomination with superdelegates and tear apart the democratic party. You only really think about yourself, bottom-line.

    April 18, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  5. ralph t. beaver daw, wi.

    Here is a question someone should ask hillary..Hillary, was you husband having sex with monica when semen got on the dress? Hillary get out of this race. Divorce Bill and maybe come back to run for president eight years from now.Maybe then I will listen to you..Right now I almost vomit when I see or hear you. Be gone!

    April 18, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  6. pauline

    As usual Clinton always ready to spin. Obama is not complaing. He is pointing out the absurdity of usual practice of washington potitics. Wasting time on silly issues while more important issues are sidetracked. This is age old political mind game played very well by old politicians . Clinton as well as the TV pundits being only used to the old politics spend days over these trivial issues. And just don't get it , the people are sick and tired of it and want to move beyond it . This is exactly the change we want. And thats what Obama is reminding the people NOT COMPLAINING. The politic of future to bring the people together NOT tear them apart.
    A Salute to Our next President OBAMA !!!

    April 18, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  7. Matrix

    Of course he complained! The debate was a joke. They started the debate on non-sense. They should have started the debate on how they plan to bring down fuel prices, for families and truckers, what you plan t o do to get America off oil, the Iraq war, enemies of our state, economy, education, health care, infastructure and so on. Hilary complained that she always use to get the first question and many people agreed. Lets end this thing and send Hilary home.

    April 18, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  8. KC

    Here's the thing it is funny that she is saying that obama is complaining about the debate, but she was the first to complain that she was being beat up on for being a woman at one of the very first debates when all the hopefuls were in the race. so isn't this the pot calling the kettle black. what obama supporters are saying (and i am one is). I like that they ask him hard questions. because i want to know two. where the problem was last night is they kept bring up old stuff that did not matter. these are the tabloid things that were asked to Obama that should have been asked and i'm glad they did, 1) about the "bitter" comment -because that was most recent 2) about the ayers thing (i did not know who he was but it was a relevant question) what bother people is stuff that happen over almost two months ago that has kinda of been squashed- they only asked clinton about Bosnia- she gave her answer it was a good one, but they didn't ask her any thing about Mark Penn- and that happend a couple a weeks ago, that is why it seemd shady. if they would have asked her that question, then it would have at least to be more of a fair debate. I agree he should be asked thought questions and so should he, but once you ask them and they give you their answers move on. on the questions they did ask both of them. it was like they were trying to get blood from a turnip. those tabloid questions they asked should have been no more the 20min at the most for both questions instead it was 45 mins of crap. and i must admit, clinton is a good in debate i won't take that from her, but that does not mean that will make you a good president, just like when people say just because barack is a great speaker, but that doesn 't mean he will be a good president. the same goes for her.

    April 18, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  9. Nobama crybaby

    Wahhh, wahhhh. He whines and cries about being picked on and can't take the heat. Clinton's been picked on more than Obama the whole campaign and had to stand up for herself and has. Yet the cry baby doesn't want to debate because he got picked on for once???
    He stumbled and fumbled over trying to defend himself and looked BAD in the debate. That's why he doesn't want to debate. He'd rather try to make everyone drink the Koolaid with "Yes we can!" and "Change!" then actually talk about his lack of qualifications, plans to actually implement CHANGE, and if he has the ability to stand up to people if elected President. It's obvious he can't.... NO HE CAN'T... Go feed your Koolaid to the gullible people.

    April 18, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |

    My complaint, like MOST people I believe based on the comments I've read, is not that it was biased against Obama (although clearly it did). The problem is that it lacked substance.

    If Clinton thinks that the American people want to hear she and Obama discuss a 1960s terrorist group, flag pins, Bosnia-gate, and Rev. Wright's love of America for an hour, she is SADLY mistaken.

    Both Sens. Clinton & Obama have real platforms upon which their campaigns are based. I suggest they, Clinton in particular, try to keep their focus on them.

    April 18, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  11. CP -TEXAS

    Pot calling the Kettle black here.

    April 18, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  12. mike

    Okay please somebody remind her I think it was the debate thaat was maybe in OHIO that triggered all the Saturday Night Live skit stuff and she had also said that the boys were ganging up on her or maybe it was bill and she has said she is being hit to hard why does she alwys get buy with stuff why can't she realize the real reason people want Obama is that they just dont like her and no matter what she does that will never change ever I hate to be the one that says it but it is a fact people would rather vote for mccain than they would her and for Obama to so some day a woman will be a president but it just want be her sorry but she is so unauthentic and every one knows it too

    April 18, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  13. jw

    Why does CNN block anything about obama's church

    April 18, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  14. maynard

    Hillary is not presidential material. If she is elected , the people of the United States will put into office on of the biggest crooks and liers of the nation to run this country

    April 18, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  15. Rob

    LOL@ the nerve of this women. Are you serious Hillary?? Your complaining about Obama complaining when thats all you've been doing. If this was anyone else they're political career would be over let alone a run for the white house.

    April 18, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  16. frank

    This debate indicates that Obama is not able to deal with difficult issues. Obama did not try to increase his ability to avoid do or say something wrong and solve real problems, but (including his supporters)attack Hillary and ABC. It is really unfair. Grow up, as a adult, you, not others, are responsible for what you did.

    April 18, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  17. After further review,Texas

    She even believes her own lies,that tells me plenty.

    April 18, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  18. Citizen

    Didn't George Stepawhateverthellhisnameis work for the Clintons? How could anybody think that he would be fair and impartial?

    April 18, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  19. Bill, Covington

    When a candidate for president of this great nation enjoys the friendship of terrorists, sits in church for 20 years and never hears anything he doesn't want to hear, is married to a woman who only decides to be proud of the country because her husband is running for president, the same woman thinks the country is mean. Is the country mean or just the white people in the country? The persuit for answers to these questions should be persued with the utmost of elan.

    April 18, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  20. CW in DC

    The nerve of this woman!!

    No.. complaining would be:


    April 18, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  21. La Raza

    Where was/is Hillary's flag pin? And McCain's for that matter. This is an attempt to "tar and feather" Obama. But it is not working, he is simply more appealing to everyone. I can't wait to move from Hillary to McCain ... it will be fun.

    April 18, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  22. John

    You Obama supporters are real sore losers.Get the grip of life.Some you loose some you win.Hillary won the debate.Don't blame ABC. journalists.Blame Obama for lack of candor to listen and answer tough questions.He is used to the softball questions from CNN reporters.Charles Gibson and George Stephanopolous are real major league curve ball throwers.If the batsman on the plate cannot see the ball or hit,then it is lights out a123 and out.Tell me how Obama is going to answer tougher questions in the White House.Hillary is as tough as nails.She has taken alot from the Obama supporters,the media who for no good apparent reasons are just Hillary bashers.Then you have those who think they incharge of Democrat voters!!!!!! Hillary will be the next USA. President.

    April 18, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  23. mema

    Half the democrats want Sen Clinton(over 13,000,000 votes) the other half want Sen Obama . Obama is not the clear-cut winner. The more Obama camp name calls, hates , belittles Sen Clinton and her support the less chance the party will unite. Do you want a President McCain?

    April 18, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  24. Kevin in DC


    Obama is not "dodging questions." If you had actually been reading the news and following the campaign, you would have realized that Obama has answered these questions countless times.

    The questions are always posed the same way, and so the point is not that the ANSWER is unsatisfactory, but rather that certain idiots in the media know that certain people (who are incapable of doing their own research) will buy these kinds of lame questions.

    "Dyou you believe in the American flag?" How ridiculous. Let's ask John McCain if he is a Communist, for god's sake. After all, he spent a lot of time over there! He must be a Communist by now!

    AZM, people like you make me sick, and you make this country sick. Grow up.

    April 18, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  25. rachel

    yeah here come the obama supporters, calling names. Its okay for obama to say something about the debate and fuss and basically mock hillary and flip her off, but if Hillary says something everyone jumps on her. Give me a break. All this trash talk about hillary and then Obama supporters will complain if she doesn't campaign for him. I wouldnt blame her if she didnt.

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