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. What Really Happend

    And this a lady who complained about getting asked questions first? Her campaign has really been a sad joke.

    Obama 08

    April 18, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  2. Jan

    Surprise, Senator Obama wants no more debates! He and Jack Cafferty should promote their agenda somewhere else. Since Cafferty only posts Obama comments-I do not bother with his site anymore. I wait for debates BECAUSE of hard questions asked of the future president of the United States and leader of the free world. What would Obama do if he was confronted with terrorist groups and evil regimes if he cannot debate with a "typical white woman" without cringing in terror and worrying about what "secret" in his past she might bring up?! He should be thanking Hilary, not whining. Senonator, Obama, if you cannot stand the heat-GET OUT OF THE KITCHEN–its that simple! Michigan woman-I guess he is afraid of me and my vote! ( strange, I do not think HILARY made up the Wright (I refuse to call him reverend) CD's, the guns, religion, and bitterness remarks, and Michelle Obama's "first time in my life-patriotism" remarks.

    April 18, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  3. Robert in Toronto,ON

    Does Clinton think we're stupid? Wasn't her AND her husband complaining about media bias when they were losing their lead back in the early stages of this election? Not to mention that it's not a debate when it's ONE SIDED.

    The hypocrisy! As if people haven't learned, she will bs her way by saying anything she can to win this nomination.

    Well newsflash lady – this nomination isn't yours because you feel like you're ENTITLED to it. And when 6 out of 10 people don't trust or like you – you WILL NOT WIN a general election come November.

    Yknow what? I hope they do finish all the primaries, and once the hvotes are counted and you discover getting your political butt handed to you on a plate you step out of the race and support the incumbent President – Barack Obama.

    April 18, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  4. Kentucky Woman for Obama

    Obama didn't complain much. His supporters and much of the media spoke out more aggressively against the farce that was called a debate. In a debate, the moderators must be impartial and the questions, for a presidential candidate, should be substantial. Flag pins? Bitter? 60s radicals? The American people are smarter than that. Talk about the issues affecting our lives.

    April 18, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  5. Kelley

    I care about Iraq,The economy, The Price of Gas, I don't care about Clinton or Obama's mis-steps, mis statements, of gaffe's! I care about feeding my family, being able to pay for gas to get to work, and how we are going to get out of Iraq! I want to watch a debate about the issues's that have a direct impact on my life. If I wanted tabloid journalism I would read Perez Hilton or watch Entertainment Tonite.

    April 18, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  6. Don - Indiana

    For all the Hillary supporters who say there is no way Obama can win in the GE check this out...seems to be leaning toward Obama. If you vote for McCain just because Hillary is not the nominee you are just demonstrating you really do not care about the issues! YOU ARE SAYING YES TO FOUR MORE YEARS OF BUSH AND DESTROYING OUR NATION!!!

    John McCain (R) vs. Barack Obama (D)
    Poll Date Sample McCain (R) Obama (D) Spread
    RCP Average 04/07 to 04/16 – 45.0% 45.6% Obama +0.6%
    Rasmussen Tracking 04/13 – 04/16 1700 LV 47% 43% McCain +4%
    Gallup Tracking 04/12 – 04/16 4413 RV 44% 46% Obama +2%
    ABC News/Wash Post 04/10 – 04/13 1197 A 44% 49% Obama +5%
    Reuters/Zogby 04/10 – 04/13 1049 LV 45% 45% Tie
    AP-Ipsos 04/07 – 04/09 749 RV 45% 45% Tie
    See More General Election: McCain vs. Obama Polls | Chart

    John McCain (R) vs. Hillary Clinton (D)
    Poll Date Sample McCain (R) Clinton (D) Spread
    RCP Average 04/07 to 04/16 – 46.6% 44.2% McCain +2.4%
    Rasmussen Tracking 04/13 – 04/16 1700 LV 49% 41% McCain +8%
    Gallup Tracking 04/12 – 04/16 4413 RV 45% 46% Clinton +1%
    ABC News/Wash Post 04/10 – 04/13 1197 A 48% 45% McCain +3%
    Reuters/Zogby 04/10 – 04/13 1049 LV 46% 41% McCain +5%
    AP-Ipsos 04/07 – 04/09 749 RV 45% 48% Clinton +3%

    April 18, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  7. Julie

    So much "HATE" comming from Sen. Obama's supporters, is this the change Sen Obama was talking about?

    April 18, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  8. Susan MO

    The candidiates need to debate so the public can listen. We have always enjoyed watching the debates. The debates help in learning more about a candidate.

    This is a good complaint. The debates is part of American presidential history.

    Concerned that Obama does not want anymore debates.......and why.

    April 18, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  9. Mr. C.

    Here we go again. I know she would spin this. This woman needs to hide somewhere and never come out again.

    April 18, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  10. Veterans for Obama

    I am getting so fed up with this destroyer of the Democratic Party!

    Its OVER!
    Its OVER!
    Its OVER!
    Its OVER!
    Its OVER!

    April 18, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  11. Andrea

    Right on! Thank god someone said it! I can't believe the press has been eating up his complaining and helping him to distract people from the fact that he buckled under pressure during the debate.
    Where was this discussion when Clinton was asked the tough questions for the last 15 months? There was no complaining from the Clinton campaign that's for sure. What's good for the goose is good for the gander.

    April 18, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  12. Rob

    Hillary is a sad caricature of poor loser.

    Nobody believes her, and only women who might not live to the next election are for her. Them and the stooges and rubes who represent the dark cynical side of our nation.

    Smart folk like Obama, dumb ones like Hillary. That is a trned set in stone.

    She's sad all around, power having had a rather toxic effect over 35 years.

    The race is long over. She's just a s

    April 18, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  13. chuck

    The Obama camp is unreal. Welcome to the real world of what a real candidate goes through. Obama has been bashing Hillary for 15 months. His entire "message of hope" has been nothing but an attack on Clinton. So, for 45 minutes he has to put up with what Clinton has been getting for 16 years and he turns into a bowl of mush. "Uhm, uhm well, ahh, uhm..."

    The GOP will steal this kids lunch money. There is still time to save ourselves from this train wreck.

    April 18, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  14. female grad student NYC

    what a sissy Obama is! he's a POLITICIAN whining that people are playing politics...

    the woman is tougher than the sissy boy – that's because we're used to working twice as hard. think about it, she's worked her way up the ladder the hard way for years and years, then Obama makes a whimsical decision to run for president one day – has he had the time that she has to consider and delineate plans to solve the problems of the country? no – he copies off of her plans. people do not value experience and working one's way up from the bottom to the top.

    they are both extremely intelligent people, but her health care and economy plans are better (and way more detailed) AND even if you obama supporters hate to admit it, she has way more experience. why aren't people acknowledging her positive points at all? because they're sexist and don't even know it? i can't understand it.
    let's give credit where it's due and get behind the better candidate for THIS election.

    April 18, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  15. Ohio Voter

    Senator Clinton is right, he should have taken a page out of her book and started to cry...or does that only work when you're behind?

    April 18, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  16. beckett70

    Hillary is the TRUE GRIT.

    April 18, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  17. MD

    21 debates have resulted in one conclusion: We definitely do not need another one.

    April 18, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  18. Jessica, MI


    Is this coming from the same woman who whined about how it was "curious" that she always got the first question in debates? Is this coming from the same woman who cried about allegedly biased media coverage and referenced Saturday Night Live in a debate?

    You have GOT to be kidding me.

    April 18, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  19. Marc, Tacoma Wash

    To come up here now and try to appeal to the white voters is sick. I am against Farrakhan and at least I would say it instead of saying that you and your husband always was against somebody and it seemed different in this rare interview. CNN love to find things against Obama, but should be asking the tough questions to Hillary and her crooked husband like the 800,000 dollars they took from Colombia. The secret meetings with Canada and Canada already said that they received a letter from the Clinton camp saying that this is all but talk during the campaign. Really sad. CNN, I dare you to show the truth. I want to hear what these Hillary supporters are going to say now when they know that there jobs will be lost very soon.

    April 18, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  20. Tym

    Clinton was accused of whining, when she made the comment about being asked the first question.

    Here, now, Obama is taking whining to the extreme, running away from any other debate and crying about how the moderators played too hard on him.

    I was disgusted with the questions of the moderators but Clinton's right – this is the stuff he's going to have to deal in debates with McCain and later on as President.

    What's he gonna do as president? Ban press conferences?

    April 18, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  21. Obama is a GODSEND

    Nails on the chalkboard....thats all I hear.

    April 18, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  22. Election Watch

    The "debate" was a hit job. I have a vague senseb that Hillary already knew that Obama was set up for this ambush.

    How come there were no questions about Columbian trade deal?

    Maybe Stephanopolous had a debt to repay his former boss. He repaid it handsomely yesterday by being his wife's hit man...

    The "debate" was a greatest shame for the American democracy. I looked more like a Kangaroo trial of Obama.

    April 18, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  23. Mark


    He's talking about the fact that for the first HOUR of the debate, nobody asked any questions that had anything to do with POLICY.

    Obama even said that them asking her about BOSNIA was stupid.


    "Why do I always get asked the first question?" WAH, WAH, WAH.

    April 18, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  24. Anthony-Minneapolis,MN

    This is indicative of her weak campaign and her weak candidancy for president. OBama was right, she was and is in her element with the trivalities. Instead of Hillary Clinton taking the high road and saying "that she too was disappointed that the first 45 minutes of the debate focused on issues that are one factor in a voters mind but the more important issues of gas prices, home foreclosures, foreign policy experience should have been addressed. As I believe Senator Obama and I are quite different. I believe my foreign policy, economic experience is formidable."

    This is what she could have said and made her look alot better to PA Voters on the fence and superdelegates but she didn't she stayed in the gutter. This is judgement or lack thereof people, when the opportunity to turn lemons into lemonade, she blew it. POOR JUDGEMENT! PLAIN AND SIMPLE, like her campaign.

    April 18, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  25. Are you kidding?

    You've got to be kidding. Tough questions? the questions that mattered MOST to America were only glazed over after all the "tabloid fodder" was pushed ad nauseum. Does this even qualify as a Presidential Debate? Spare us this nonsensical madness already!

    April 18, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
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