April 23rd, 2008
04:05 PM ET
12 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. Sean

    Of course Hillary wants more debates. She's struggling with money compared to Obama, so she wants all the free publicity she can get. Personally, I don't think there will be any more. There have already been 20+ of them, and Obama is better served by focusing on the voters in the remaining primary states, and on the upcoming battle with McCain rather than on nationally televised debates with Hillary Clinton.

    April 23, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  2. Mike

    Mr. Obama sure does not have anything specific to say as he ran out of borrowed slogans hence no debate.

    On a different note, I am really surprised to found out that 9 out of 10 African American voted for Sen. Obama in PA. These are the people complaing about recism. GO figure.

    Also, I am definately against affirmative action for the post of the President of the United States.

    April 23, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  3. leicheco

    NO, please, I will have to see and hear HRC again, I am an OBAMA supporter and would like to see him, but she's there too. Right now I just mute the TV when I hear her, can't imagine if she gets elected I will never be able to hear the president speak. Wish she would just away......

    April 23, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  4. E. loz Miami

    It's odd to see Obama have great speeches but cant do great in debates. example-Huugh, hugh, aamm.... It's like u want to shake him up!!

    April 23, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  5. Elana, Melbourne Florida

    For the last 15 months I have said that even though I was a die hard Obama supporter I would of course vote for Hillary in the general if it came to that. I want what is good for my country and my children. But since Ms. Clinton does not think that way, I will be voting for Nader in November if Ms. Clinton gets the nod. Attacking your own teammate so you can claw your way to the top is unappealing, macchiavellian and basically downright awful. I am so saddened by the turn this campaign has taken and so distraught that the lessons Ms. Clinton is teaching my daughter is not one of "every little girl can grow up to be president" It is that to get ahead you have to give up your soul, your integrity and your basic sense of decency. Good luck Ms. Clinton and one day you will be judged

    April 23, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  6. Donna

    Twenty-one debates is ENOUGH!.

    April 23, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  7. Drew

    What can you possibly bring up that hasn't been discussed in the other 21 debates?

    April 23, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  8. Mandy, California

    No need for a debate. they never bring up issues, just garbage to talk about. So why bother!

    If Hillary is so interested in having a debate, it makes one wonder who will be moderating and if they are a pro-Clinton ex-staff member!

    April 23, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  9. Blake, San Diego

    Given the amount of time between the Pennsylvania primary and the Indiana/North Carolina primaries I would say a debate probably wouldn't be the most efficient use of time. Although scheduled televised debates are the only way some people even learn about politics.

    By now there is more than enough information available on the stances/policies of both candidates, but people need to actively pursue this information. We live in the information age, but you have to make some effort in digging it up.

    If people would look beyond the controversies and criticisms and scour the issues, they would find that both candidates offer genuine plans for our nation's future.

    Hillary was right when she said "although there are differences between Sen. Obama and myself, they pale in the differences between us and Sen. McCain."

    Just do the research, educate yourself, and then make an informed decision.

    Democrats '08

    April 23, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  10. The Truth

    I would not debat either especially if the debate is more like a interogation on irrelevant issues... the media does fine stirring up controversy by themselves

    April 23, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  11. gary


    April 23, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  12. BabyObama

    Obama said words matter but doesn't like debate. Why?
    Obama spent much more money for PA primary but lost. Why?
    Obama gtes 90% of Black votes but not White nor Hispanic. Why?

    April 23, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  13. RR

    What for? We already know their positions....It doesn't matter if it's one-on-one or with eight people....

    April 23, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  14. jared

    I am offically over the Clintons. Get out of the race.

    April 23, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  15. Chuck

    What kind of spin are you going to put to this SEN Clinton. I am curious, you are the spin queeen and billy is the spin king. Your both very good at distortion of fact, and lies.

    So tell us your spin to this, I am waiting with baited breath. For sure you will try to spin this in such a way to make him look weak and unelectable. I am no longer sure who is worse, you and bill, or the media that plays your game for you.
    Ahh what the heck, I dont like you. I dont like the sound of your voice, it grates on my nerves and I do not like your politics they are the worst in my history of voting. Too many lies, too many embillishments of the truth and distortions of fact.
    I would not debate you either, and Personally I dont want to hear your voice in another debate. I already know what your going to say, and what you will say afterwards. Just dont want to hear any more from you.

    April 23, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  16. When you are broke........

    I guess when you have no money you have to get all the free air time you can...

    hilarious. Wasn't she the one who avoided her NY opponenant when running for Senator. She is funny.

    April 23, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  17. Sherri

    What in the world does she want to debate about? ABC couldn't even ask legitimate questions at the last one. They wasted an hour of time of ridiculous banter. There was no vetting of the issues or delving into plans for action. It was a farce. We need no more of this nonsense.

    April 23, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  18. Getting tired of this

    I have been criticizing people who say if Obama doesn't win they will vote McCain. But every story I see out of the Clinton campaign has me feeling more and more sympathy for those who feel this way. I don't know if I could bring myself to vote for McCain, but I really can't vote for her anymore. Not even for the Senate here in NY where I live. I find her and her tactics despicable. She wants to launch a debate-watch? Let's launch an unpaid-debts-watch; a lie-about-your-experience-watch; a race-baiting-spouse-watch. I am starting to want to see her lose even more than I want to see Obama win.

    April 23, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  19. marie

    Hillary you make me want to barf – No more air time for you!

    April 23, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  20. Matt

    Obama is afraid to answer the touch questions.
    Shaking hands and kissing babies is not what running the country is about.
    Hillary '08

    April 23, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  21. The Truth

    Avoid an amBUSH or amClinton at all cost!

    April 23, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  22. get real

    He does not want to debate. He might to answer questions!

    Hillary '08

    April 23, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  23. Hillary Clinton

    I'm broke!!! I need as much free press time as possible. I'm spending $1.10 for every $1.00 I get. Please debate me and make me still seem viable. Please. I can't afford media time.

    April 23, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  24. George

    What is the point of having more debates? There has been 21 already.

    April 23, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  25. Ingrid

    The only reason Hillary Clinton wants more debates is because it is free advertising and she is low on funds. I'd tell her to use her own ill gotten funds.

    April 23, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
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