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. Thomas For Hillary

    Thank you Hillary. Obama is being a straight up punk. He is a wimp and is weak and hopefully it will show now instead if he gets the nod and the republicans beat him down. God I hope you get the nod or we are in big trouble.

    April 18, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  2. James, SC

    Here is a tough question for you: Why aren't YOU wearing the flag pin? Now I just solve America's biggest problem too.

    I also noticed that you didn't want to discuss the issues concerning the American people. Oh wait, elitism that just solved some more problems.

    Alright Billary-bipolar Clinton, put away the evil side and let's see the great problem solver you are.

    April 18, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  3. quit now

    It will never cease to amaze me how the Clinton campaign will twist the facts. Unbelievable. It reminds me of the republican tactics used during George W's reelection campaign. It seems as if their theory is that if you tell the same fabrication over and over again that eventually the public will believe it. What a scam. This is one democrat that will not vote for Clinton if she were to somehow lie her way into the general election.

    April 18, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  4. Oh! The Irony

    How is she tough? They weren't asking her tough questions.

    April 18, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  5. bigben

    Does obama want some cheeese with his whine?

    April 18, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  6. jeff from ohio


    Obama is complaning that the debate focued on minor things and note the major issues that face the american people. Most people agree with Obama's opinion of the "worst debate in history".

    The debates leading up to the Ohio primary maninly focused on issues and Hillary was / is losing the election up to that point. Maybe that is why Hillary is glad the debate focused on trival topics and not the issues!!!!

    April 18, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  7. Tony

    She's right. Plus, anyone see the released video of Obama telling Clinton to quit whining about fairness after she got drilled in early dabates while he got the cream puff questions that SNL made fun of?

    Nobama = double standard again

    April 18, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  8. Mike

    If clintoon is elected, she'll have all of the military in double knit pants suits ! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! ! ! !

    April 18, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  9. Linda

    check out the finger jester from Obama in the video "Obama brushes Clinton off his shoulders—literally". This is not someone I want to hold the highest office in the land! That was very adult, professional, and mature Obama!! If you need proof he is not ready, you now have it!

    April 18, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  10. MCD

    Actually everyone except Sean Hannity and Your Husband had some complaining to do yesterday about the farce that was that debate – NOT just Obama supporters. And when you are in the whitehouse, no one is going to say "I won't ask you that because I know you don't want to talk about it" like your FORMER EMPLOYEE said to you in the debate.

    Nice try Hill.

    April 18, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  11. Victor in NC

    Where there is Three against one, who wouldn't complain..
    Also, it did nothing to display the issues

    I was very disappointed because I only watched it to help me decide who could receive my One vote.

    Now I'm more confused then ever..

    One minute I'm voting for Hillary
    One minute later, I'm running to vote for Obama..

    I had hoped the debate would give me some closure..

    However, I did notice that Hillary was getting the easy questions, so that made me angry..

    Then I noticed that Obama looked a little shocked by the questions.

    I am so sick of the Rev. Wright question, because, it really doesn't matter to me about that man!

    I am sick of the Bosnia jokes too!

    I want issues, health care, gas prices, jobs,.. Sick of debates

    Please, post something that is going to help me!
    I can buy the National Enquire if I want to know the the inside scoop..

    I want Issues..

    April 18, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  12. Chris

    Isn't this the same woman who whined in earlier debates about always having to answer questions first and complaining that the moderators were being too hard on her?

    The debate the other night was a disgrace to those actually concerned about important political issues. Charles Gibson and ABC News really owe everyone an apology.

    April 18, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  13. jerry rubin, Whitefish Bay, WI

    I woke up Thursday at 5:00 A.M. and was fuming that I started to blog almost immediately. I am on medical Social Security and George and Charlie wasted almost an hour talking about stuff that had been discussed for months. Most had already been ask and answered.

    But the issue brought up that made me so so angry was the "American Flag Pin". Again, Sen. HRC, Charlie G., George S., Gov Rendell, Ret Gen Wesley Clark, Chelsea Clinton were all NOT wearing the pin. What a dumb issue when I am worried about my healthcare and social security checks.

    The second most rediculous moment was the camera shots. I saw Chelsea 8x, Gov Rendell 3x, Wesley Clark 3x and a few others that supported Sen HRC. Was there no supporters for Sen. Obama, like Michele his wife, Sen. Casey, etc. Why waste time showing specific people in the crowd anyways.

    Third and final issue and this goes to the heart of the "debate", why did Charlie G. keep on interrupting Sen. Obama when he was trying to answer the questions. He did that a few less times to Sen. HRC, but it seemed as if it was the Charlie G. and George S. show, not a "DEBATE" about the pressing issues that face me – oil costs, food costs, self sustainability as well as the items I previously mentioned.

    April 18, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  14. pa

    It was not fair, I wish she go away

    April 18, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  15. Eli

    Before everyone starts complaining that he was ask hard questions , please look back at the last three or four months at those debates. Obama has gotten this far because he was not ask questions that he should have been from the start of this. Hillary we all know was hit hard in those other debates. The media has just started asking him questions that they should have all along.

    April 18, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  16. Ovitshio Branco from Scranton (PA)

    It's no suprise that George Stephanopoulos, a former Clinton advisor would indulge in what I consider a disgrace to political journalism.
    I will NEVER watch ANY of his HANNITY & COLMES garbage EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The two of them had literally insulted the intelligence of fellow Americans by wasting 45 minutes on tabloid crap which was more like a policital interrogation and less like a political debate.

    I was a Hillary supporter and do not appreciate how those questions didn't focus on the REAL, SUBSTANTIVE issues facing our country and instead revolved around FLAG PINS, GAFFES, AND UTTER FOOLISHNESS ABOUT BOSNIA AND BITTERNESS. Well now I see why Obama said that Pennsylvanian's in small towns are bitter, and this is one of the reasons why.

    Thanks to the Clinton's and their pal, Mr. Stephanopoulos and FOX for engaging in slime, gutter politics. So like Obama says, this is why we need a change in Washington. He's got my vote.

    April 18, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  17. t grier

    he's was "complaining" about the fact that the tough questions have nothing to do with the crap most Americans care about. I don't care about the fact that he doesn't wear a flag on his lapel...I don't, but i consider myself patriotic. The complaint was that HRC has fought to bring this campaign away from any substantive issue (Economy, Iraq, Iran, etc....). HRC give me a break, and get out of this race!

    April 18, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  18. Desiree

    Has any one ever seen "A League Of Their Own", the Jimmy Dugan character played by Tom Hanks says "crying? There's no crying in baseball". Someone should tell Obama there's no whining in politics. This is a cheap trick to get sympathy votes. Just be honest and admit that you weren't prepared and had a bad night.

    April 18, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  19. DT - Alton, IL

    Haven't she complained as well. Hillary the debate was a complete set up by you and George. Quick playing!! The American people are not stupid!

    April 18, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  20. Terri, Dallas Texas

    "Complaining?" This is funny comming from the candidate who complained for MONTHS that "she" was asked all the hard questions for months in past debates. Sen Clinton once again is trying to undermine Sen Obama's strengths. He's obviously strong enough to withstand all of her criticism as well as that of Sen McCain.

    While I am an Obama supporter, at one time I was willing to support Sen Clinton should Obama not win the nomination. Now, after months of dirty campaigning and mudslinging, I will definitely NOT vote for her.


    April 18, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  21. Liz

    The ABC debate is very informative. The No Clapping Rule is the most fair way to do it. I salute ABC for an outstanding job!

    April 18, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  22. american

    obamma does not want to debate because he is a coward. he does not want to let the country find out how incompentent he realls is.

    April 18, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  23. JN

    Hillary, "when the going gets tough," you lie!!!

    April 18, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  24. Jon

    Obama will never win. He and Clinton whine too much. I have never seen two canidates whine as much as these two do in all my life.

    April 18, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  25. JOLO Houston,TX

    For the most powerful position in the world every American (who's here legally and can vote) has the right to know what everything possible about their future leader. But!!! I think Obama is right there are some serious issues pressing our nation right now.

    The go beyond what Hillary did 16 years ago, or when or when not Obama attended church. 4000 brave American soldiers have been buried, we spend untold billions on a war with a totally different agenda then what was sold to us 5 years ago. If going into Iraq was for oil then I guess the oil companies are benefiting from $3.50/ gal prices.


    Hillary and Mc Cain really have not done absolutly nothing to energize most people into believing them more that Obama who yes came from outside to be the biggest threat to the establishment since JFK or even closer, the Reagan administration.

    Hillary, your argument is falling on deaf ears. Its quite arrogrant to underestimate the intelligence of the American people whom at the end of the day don't have $109 million in the bank and whom most are worried about the price of gas, food, and what is more insulting of all is thinking that a measly $600 in tax stimulus is going to give Americans and relief.

    Come better than that. Surely if were spending close to a trillion dollars in Baghbad and Kabul, Afghanstan what wrong with really relief $5,000 per tax payer would be a start

    April 18, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
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