April 23rd, 2008
04:05 PM ET
13 years ago

Clinton camp launches Obama 'Debate Watch'

(CNN) - Hillary Clinton’s campaign has increased its efforts to pressure Barack Obama to agree to more debates.

On Wednesday, they sent reporters a press release titled “Debate Watch: Day 1,” as part of their continuing effort to focus attention on Obama’s reluctance to schedule more primary season showdowns.

During a rally in Hillsborough, North Carolina Wednesday afternoon, former President Bill Clinton, standing on the back of a pick-up truck, told voters: “I think I know the answer to why one candidate wants to debate, ‘cuz I saw the debate in Pennsylvania. And afterwards, 41 percent of the voters saw it. And by 55 to 22, they said Hillary won.”

Earlier this week, a proposed North Carolina debate was cancelled after Obama’s team said the Illinois senator would not be able to find time in his schedule.

“It's not clear that another debate is going to be the best use of our time,” Obama told CNN’s Roland Martin Wednesday.

The Obama campaign says that the candidates have met in more than 20 primary season debates. But the Clinton camp counters that only four of those meetings have been one-on-one.

“Hoosiers are going to be disappointed if [the debate] doesn’t happen,” said Sen. Evan Bayh, a Clinton supporter. Clinton herself told an Indiana crowd that "some people" think the voters are tired of debates but she disagrees.

Hillary Clinton was widely viewed as having a stronger performance at last week’s debate than Obama, which her campaign said contributed to her success with late-deciding voters.

Both North Carolina and Indiana vote May 6.

soundoff (368 Responses)
  1. Bil Jergens

    Obama knows that he doesn't work well when asked off the cuff questions on gaffes or policy. In the PA debate, he was asked gaffe questions which he didn't do well with. He was asked policy questions in terms of taxes and gun regulation and he botched those too. He knows that if he has to answer questions off the top of his head without prepared remarks, he looks weak, inexperienced when standing next to Hillary and it makes him look bad. That's why he won't debate. There has been 21 and those weren't broadcast nationally. THey were only seen on local and statewide television. Only 4 of the debates were between Obama and Hillary. I think it is important for voters to get as much information by seeing how they do when compared next to each other.

    April 23, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  2. Carl

    Well its all very well saying theyve had 21 debates but theyve only had 4 between the two of them. I think debates are good for undecided voters and I know a lot of people like to see these candidates together, there where 20,000 dissapointed people from North Carolina who wanted tickets but Obama said no to it. Its the only time when both candidates can be together comparing policies, some people dont want to have to watch and attend rallies or speeches of each candidate, if Obama says hes had too many debates surely he shouldnt do any more speeches or rallies because hes had enough of them as well.
    This is just a guy who knows more contraversies are gonna come out about him and they will then be asked at the debate. Your running for president you cant pick and choose what you want to do, if your invited to do something when your President you cant pick and choose.

    April 23, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  3. Janice, CT

    Absolutely, because they know he doesn't need another debate. Why don't they start the Clinton lie watch, that will take all of one day.

    Don't take the bate Barack, you are bigger than that.

    Obama 08

    April 23, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  4. Marie in California

    I think Obama is too chicken-hearted to debate Hillary again. He only does things that are "safe" and now he's gun-shy because he feels ABC beat up on him in the last debate. Poor baby....upset because they asked quesruons that directly relate to character and judgment.

    I also know Obama won't debate on Fox News Channel, even though they've invited him. Heck, he won't even appear on their channel.....too scared to face their questions.

    Well, I've noticed Hillary always comes back for more debates, even after getting beat up by the mainstream media during the preceding 20 debates as they tried to pimp Obama, their Chosen One.

    Give me a break!

    Hillary of McCain – 2008

    April 23, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  5. Indiana Univ.

    Hillary kicked Obama's tail in the debate and PA. Looks like Obama's train is running out of steam. LOL!!

    April 23, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  6. politicsIsdirty

    Don't do it Sen Obama. They will only discuss the controversies surrounding you and you might stumble again.

    Play it safe. Just be contented with making beautiful speeches. It works anyway.

    April 23, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  7. Delegate Count

    If people don't understand their views after all of these debates, that's their own fault, I think, and the quality of the last debate was so poor, I want my 2 hours of my life back. All of the analysis about Catholics, women, Obama supporters voting for Clinton and vice versa is driving me a little nuts today:I am a Catholic woman who is a racial minority who supports Obama, and I WILL NOT vote for Hillary in the General Election if she steals this nomination, nor will I support the Dems again ever.

    April 23, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  8. rich

    I would like someone to tell me if he has won the debates, then why has he LOST every single large state. Also if he wins the debates then just have one more, How did he win anything when the only tyhing he ever says is change and unite, no REAL answers by the way. He did give a few when he said I agree with Sen Clinton.

    I would also like to hear why we are voting for the next big fad, he has no experience and no idea how to help or change anything, but yes lets put him in charge of the world, maybe we can just wish things will change and it will happen, oh wait this is the real world not fantasy land.

    April 23, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  9. richard

    If they allow a teleprompter and 10 minutes for him to research his answer he will debate.

    April 23, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  10. Obama 08 & 12

    I would actually rather see a debate between the everyday supporters of the two candidates – the debates on these threads are more interesting than anything on tv. Maybe then we'd learn something new.

    Let's face it, at this point neither Clinton nor Obama will say anything we haven't already heard.

    Meanwhile, Clinton is doing her usual cheap-shot-copied-from-the-Republican-playbook bit. If she can't win, she'll at least have the satisfaction of tearing down the Democratic Party.

    Win or lose, Clinton is the gift that keeps on giving for the Republican Party – thanks to her they have no need to run attack ads, they save money and at the same time get high poll ratings for taking the high road.

    Now there's some political genius and principled leadership.

    April 23, 2008 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  11. rich

    Tell Clinton to go fly a kite this is what Cheryl said in this comment section she must be one of the educated Obama voters.

    April 23, 2008 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  12. Obamican

    It's a trick Obama. Please don't fall for it. No more debates with Hillary. Make her campaign pay for ads if she wants the advertisements. Don't give her any free airtime to keep drumming up the same issues against you that have been beaten to death. But If you feel you must debate with her, it's time to get down and dirty and start hitting her with some of the issues you've been trying to avoid hitting her with, because of the gentleman you are. The gloves are off. Since she's so good at giving it, let's see how she does taking it. Media do your jobs and start reporting about the upcoming Paul vs Clinton trial Clinton library donation contributors, 2007 tax returns, etc., etc. please. I know you've got plenty, so get it out there. You can bet the Clintons have moved on from the kitchen sink and will be throwing toilet water within the next two weeks.

    April 23, 2008 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  13. John

    Funny how Obama can challenge Hillary to the debate then bash her for not accepting right away then backs out when Hillary agrees

    April 23, 2008 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  14. Jordan, NM

    Dear J. McKinney,

    Fear mongering is when you post pictures of the worst disasters in a century, and say that your candidate and only your candidate will protect us. It’s the same as when as she protected Chelsea in Bosnia from the "fake" sniper fire. Hillary is playing the American people like a fake fiddle–and they are drinking it up.

    The Obama campaign has been smarter, and not let the Clintons dictate their campaign. He is still ahead and on his way to win the nomination, and that is a good thing.

    Obama 08

    April 23, 2008 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  15. kim portland, oregon

    oh give me a break, hillary. you will use ANYTHING to put a bad spin on barack, but THIS is beyond pathetic! you guys have already had PLENTY of debates, and besides if your buddy george moderates anymore of them your guys will NEVER discuss the important issues...ohhhh, i get it now!!!

    quit playing whatever game you are playing hilary. you're making all the crazy conspiracy stories about you and running 2012, or connections to the repubs, etc look more and more sane every day!!!

    KNOCK IT OFF, and quit acting like the ugly republicans/mark penn/karl rove... you are disgracing the already-shaky democratic party. you make it WEAKER when it is vitally important that it is as strong as it possibly can be so we dont have another 4 years of bush/mccain!!!!!!!!!!

    April 23, 2008 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  16. Jeanne

    More debates would be pointless. Obama should show some backbone and just say "NO".

    April 23, 2008 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  17. Necie in OKC

    I'm SICK of the debates....it's my responsibility as a Voter to find out what I can about my Candidates. And If I don't know what their aobut by now...another debate won't make a difference.

    Hillary only wants to get Barack in a debate so she can harp on the same old crap she's been whining about. She doesn't care about the issues, she cares about herself and extending the Clinton legacy with another presidency. Selfish, conceited and deceitful..I Don't Trust her at all.

    Obama.....PLEASE Please spend your time meeting the people in the upcoming States and focus your attention on snatching her base.
    Obama '08

    April 23, 2008 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  18. diana jackson from Iowa

    Pay your bills Cliton

    April 23, 2008 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
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