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. Brian from Canada

    This coming from the woman who spent a week whining about having to answer the first question in a debate. Come to think about it she has spent nearly her entire campain, along with her husband bill, whining about everything thats come their way.

    April 18, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  2. Deb, Iowa

    That debate was a joke. He isn't complaining, he's making fun of the whole thing..... Once again, she turns things around.

    April 18, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  3. Cederico

    I think CNN viewers will recall how Clinton complained in the debate before Texas and Ohio voted that she was being picked on....always getting the tough questions and getting asked to respond first. Bill has been complaining she gets tougher treatment.

    So she has little ground to criticize Obama for correctly mentioning the mug job that is called the ABC debate. Obama has gotten tough questions in debates and had to show his mettle. He did well on Wednesday despite not having his best game.

    He has been under a lot of high pressure situations regarding the flare ups over the Rev. Wright comments and "Bitter" and has handled them with grace and not much complaint.

    April 18, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  4. Brooke

    It sounds like Obama is being a poor sport. Questions are supposed to be tough. I've noticed that Obama doesn't like it when he gets asked hard questions and people dare to criticize him. Anytime there is a question he doesn't like he says something along the lines of, "That's politics of the past, we need to move forward." You can't brush aside the tough questions like that. The whole world isn't going to be a swooning college crowd. What is Obama going to say after he leaves the negotiating table with Iran, North Korea, or Venezuela?

    April 18, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  5. Tommy

    Hillary is such a hypocrite. Excuse me while I go to the restroom, I am going to be sick...again!

    Hillary please get out of the way. NOW!

    April 18, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  6. beckett70

    "The Proof is in the Pudding" or the tireless problem solver as the case may be. The real Man for the job is a woman! If the BO followers of the Blind leading the Blind don' t open their eyes and see that "The Emperor has on no Clothes" and open their ears and realize the the voice is the little man behind the Microphone in the "Wizard of OZ" ; OZ will be in real trouble. If he can even "fool all of the people some of the time but not all of the people all of the time"- – – that will be too late. Wake up and smell the phony!

    April 18, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  7. Ced

    Did she not COMPLAIN about the last debates when she got the first question?

    She's such a lying hypocrite!

    April 18, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  8. bill

    I am really starting to believe that the only non-connected, Rich and famous voters who will support Hillary Clinton are the self proclaimed abused women of America who feel they have to hurt and destroy all who have not been a victim sometime in their life. Of course there are also the weak, fumbling, fearful and low self esteem men who will support her as well. And we must add the Rep. Geoff Davis types as well.

    These are people who are just like Hillary and Bill Clinton. These types of people will abuse, lie, cheat, and steal in just about any form to get their fix for themselves. It seems, this is what happens to Americans who lose their jobs, homes, health care. They cling to these feelings for the rest of their lives and they teach them to their children. It’s no wonder so many American's are voting for Hillary and John McCain

    Remember Clinton didnt even campaign in most of the states, I believe she said they didnt matter. How would she know what the small towns in those states would be feeling, she didnt care then and she doesnt care now. Pennsylvanians I have to say, if Clinton cared about you she would have run for Senator in her home state. Her Billion dollar earmarks are going to New York, she calls it her State and she is proud of the earmarks she got for them. What has she done for you? Rendell should have stood up for you and fought her on this issue and he didnt help you either. I really think you guys have figured these two out.

    April 18, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  9. For the love of this independent

    I love revisionist history. Let's take a trip down memory lane of complaining. Why do you keep asking me the question first? Maybe you want to get Obama a Pillow. Based on saturday night live. The one major difference in the last debate was they attacked Obama tabloid issues and the moderators were clearly biased. Where as when Hillary was complaining the questions were about issues. Remember the good ole days

    1. How would you handle Cuba?
    2. Would you meet with the nations enemies?
    3. What would you do about nafta?
    3. What do you know about the new Russian Leader

    These were the questions Clinton thought was unfair to ask her first. And they were ask of both candidates. I have no problem with dirt question but if you going to bring up the dirt on one be fair and bring up the dirt on the other. In no other debate were the moderators as clearly biased against on candidate as this ABC farce.

    April 18, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  10. Chris-Atlanta,GA

    If I remember correctly.....at an earlier debate it was Hillary who was complaining about always getting the first question, and trying to act like the media was picking on a poor little woman.....HRC needs to go grasp reality and realize that with her actions of trying to smear Obama are going to blow up in the democrats face. Is she running to bring forth the ideals of the democratic party to the white house or is she running for her own selfish reasons???

    April 18, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  11. Indianapolis Voter

    Of course Obambi will complain... if is not a nice sweet ride he wont like it. I dont know how this guy is running for the presidency when all he wants is a free ride. He enjoyed that for a long time and now anything they say about him is "unfair".

    Hillary is the one that can lead us to better days.

    HRC '08

    April 18, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  12. Teri From Atlanta

    Its funny how Sen. Clinton states that Obama has "complained" about the aspect of the the debate the other night- yet in a previous debate she "complained" of "always getting the first targeted question" from moderaterators... makes me wonder

    CNN please post and be fair.

    Obama '08- YES WE CAN!

    April 18, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  13. Belle

    I also think it is quite funny that Obama says Clinton is Old Style Politics when the Obama campaign made a huge issue of Bosnia. His strategy is to accuse Clinton of what HE is doing, and then claim the high road. Unfortunately, the repetition of his "PERSONAL" attacks...are working.

    For over a year, I have heard Obama say in stump speeches that Clinton is not to be trusted, that she is untruthful....well Obama makes "light or dimisses" his untruthfulness.

    Funny....Clinton said she would campaign tirelessly to help Obama win the nomination, should he be picked. Obama has NOT responded in kind....he really IS the divider.

    April 18, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  14. Voice of Reason

    In college Hillary must of been that annoying girl who stuck around till the end of the frat party trying to clean up and get her friends away from their dates..." come on lets go to Deny's and get a cob salad". Not realizing everyone just wanted her to go back to the dorm already.

    April 18, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  15. American Dream

    Darnit! You mean to tell me I watched the whole thing and still managed to miss the hard questions??? Let me rewind this...

    April 18, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  16. SLO Bear

    Her candidacy is the gift that keeps on giving. Which would be fine, however, the price may be a diminished future for our children and grandchildren.

    Also, as has come to be traditional, her line of attack includes some amoral lapses in logic: The question isn't whether Obama can take a punch; it is whether he should have had to have his oppponent and two moderators taking turns holding his arms behind his back so the third could punch him for half a crucial, nationally televised debate. Bully logic, bully morals.

    April 18, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  17. Tung

    But we can complain about always being asked the first question of a debate? Give me a break.

    April 18, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  18. Vic

    Hillary is not making sense anymore..if she had heard Obama's comments, he was complaining only about the trivial questions that were being asked and not about the "tough questions" as she claims. She can't stay for a day without her negative attacks and twisting the facts.

    April 18, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  19. Cedric

    Oh Hillary save it, you have whined louder and more than Barack ever has. You remind me of a rat, always trying to find the smallest crack to get through. I once would have supported you but your actions has divided this party because of your "me first " attitude. Therefore this is one vote the Republicans get in November if you are the nominee.

    April 18, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  20. Rosemary Storaska

    You go Girl! What Obama showed the world is that he is well suited for the movie star role and not for public office. Many people could never force themselves to vote for this guy, including me. He made a ton of money on this campaign selling his first two books and they have reached "normal" (millions) as Michele Obama puts it in her stump talk so he should go write another one.

    April 18, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  21. Who is out of touch?

    Hey Hillary: I am sure you didn't mind NOT getting asked about the Colombia trade dea, Mark Penn (and the fact his firm represents Blackwater and Countrywide) and you're constant lies.

    I am sure you liked that a lot seeing how you didn't mind NOT talking about the issues for the first hour. I think you are out of touch with what kind of debate the American people actually need!

    CNN: please post this. My husband is a veterand of the war she voted for and wants his friends out of Iraq and Iraq was barely mentioned in that "debate"!

    April 18, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  22. zorba

    Clinton is so out of touch. She doesn't get that every time she levels an unfair attack on Obama, her ratings go down. She doesn't get that 7 out of 8 people who watched the debate agree with Obama. She doesn't get that she came across as a complete witch during that debate, and that George and Charlie came across as her hitmen – or her lapdogs. Yuck.

    April 18, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  23. mg

    At least if he is faced with white house challanges,
    you can be sure he wont try to avoid the pressures
    by riding (dirty) with a white house intern.

    April 18, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  24. Nick

    Let him complain...
    He thought that he can "bamboozle" all the media. Glad to see there are few main stream journalists (George and Charlie) still in the bussines...

    April 18, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  25. proud army and navy mom

    i find that i don't dislike Hillary as much when I don't see or hear her lieing face on tv. Maybe some of you Hillary people will tell her she might get more votes if she would sit down and shut up

    April 18, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
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