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)


    April 23, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  2. Julie

    Hillary Clinton is running out of money. She needs free coverage.

    She can't afford to travel. Not many people want to contribute to a losing campaign.

    So get her a debate!!! She can debate herself with all her PACs and Washington lobbyists.

    Yes we can!

    OBAMA '08!

    April 23, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  3. Venus

    Obama – it's over for Hillary! Let her debate Bill or Chels!

    Just stay focus on Mc Cain!

    April 23, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  4. Ben

    Why would we have another debate? So we can have more glamour shots of Chelsea in the audiance?

    April 23, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  5. brainsplus

    compare and contrast ... thanks a trillion

    April 23, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  6. Thomas

    Obama can only sing the song of change. Ask him the specifics, and he's as good as a dumb (pun intended) & deaf.

    No wonder, he doesn't want to debate. His whole campaign is a farce aimed at grabbing the white house for himself.

    April 23, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  7. duane D

    Funny.... Obama won the last debate...the networks use the debate to boost their falling ratings....They don't care about the topics there in it for the advertising dollars.


    April 23, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  8. Ryan

    Haven't we heard and said all that can be heard and said in 21 debates?? Honestly, Hilbillary how big is your kitchen sink?

    April 23, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  9. Pa voter

    Honestly, these people are really annoying me. I would like to think politics isn't all about lying and manipulating the truth just so people start to dislike the other guy instead of liking you. For all that his holy, stop!

    April 23, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  10. Noel Bynum, Winston Salem, NC

    Good for them! I am in NC and still would love to see them debate here!

    April 23, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  11. DS in CA

    What a sad ploy by a truly sad group of individuals. How could anyone not know the difference between the candidates after 21 debates! For crying out loud! I know the Clinton camp is hoping for another hit job reminiscent of the ABC travesty last week, but luckily only her hardcore supporters are stupid enough to fall for her shananigans over and over again.

    April 23, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  12. Venus

    Obama – you are ahead of Hillary – you don't have to debate. Spend your time with the people!

    April 23, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  13. Iv

    The Clinton machine is getting out of control and their desperation is showing. After taking part in 21 debates they have the nerve to say that Obama is scared of debates. Give me a break.

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

    Another debate? Do we need another debate? I doubt she'd be pressing the matter so hard if it weren't for her being flat broke.

    April 23, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  15. Lisa in Cincy

    Why keep debating when the media will twist his words.
    He's right to focus on the ISSUES and not Hillary. She thinks everyone has to do what she says and say it the way she wants them to say it. Get over yourself!

    April 23, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  16. YESWECAN08

    Yeah, let's have another debate but this time why don't we give Hillary the BS gotcha questions for the first 45 minutes. Let's ask her about Mark Penn and his relationship with the Columbians. Or maybe we can bring up why Big Bill excepted 800k from them as well. What about the fact that she won't release her lists of earmarks or the donors list to the Clinton Library? I bet there are plenty of Hoosiers that would like to know why this unknown from IL has been able to whip her in delegates, states won AND popular vote, I mean after all wasn't she the heir apparent for the nomination? Lastly, the good folk of Indiana deserve to know why she voted to enter into a useless war that has cost the lives of over 4k of our citizens.

    April 23, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  17. Nancy Thelwell

    As a black person in America, I must say that I am very disgusted with the racial overtones in the media coverage.i thought the media was supposed to be reporting and not showing a bias but too many of you (eg. -Chris Matthews of msnbc,Lou Dobbs of cnn and others seemed very biased in your coverage.However I am thrilled with the number of white voters who have grown up and learned to overlook race as a factor. But the media tells a story so slanted that you know that they hope by telling it one way;they can turn their biased coverage into a reality. If they say anything enough that it will become a reality. as for myself, I lived in DC during the Clinton years and between the Clinton's shenanigans and the Republicans investigations ,I was sick of it and so no I will not vote for four more years of Clinton-gate ;my conscience will not allow it!

    April 23, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  18. carol wilson

    We do not need any more debates. Enough Billary

    April 23, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  19. HRC=JMC

    Why not just focus on the issues that are hurting America instead of playing a manipulation game to get your opponent to debate?

    Nader looks more appealing everyday!

    April 23, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  20. Sophie

    BO is pathetic. He's been crying and whining about the last debate and now he's afraid to do another one. He has better things to do? Like what? Give stump speeches? I'm sure he can invite some of his fans to the debate as well!
    I want another debate. No Ayers-questions, no Bosnia-questions. Issues. So she can -once again- show her command of the subjects at hand and he can-once again- show us how he only has good answers when reading someone else's speech from a teleprompter...

    April 23, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  21. Nicole in NE

    Sorry, but that debate was a joke. If you watched any of the CNN debates – you could tell a huge difference in the way the questions were poised. Debate moderaters are there to moderate, not to act like tabloids.
    True Obama got grilled and it made Hillary come out looking like a saint in the end. But honestly, they didn't ask her anything questionable except about Bosnia? How about her husband's dealings with Columbia and NAFTA? Oh yeah..... her relationship with her husband has nothing to do with her – but Obama's to his pastor does.

    April 23, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  22. gail

    I don't think another debate is a good idea. I like Senator Obama, but he sometimes says stupid things, without thinking. People twist what
    You know they're out to get you, think before speaking Mr. Obama.
    Just a thought.

    April 23, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  23. Glenn Griggs

    I only have one thing to say. Taking a quote from President Bill Clinton during the 2004 DNC. If one candidate is offering you hope and another candidate is offering you fear, always vote for the candidate who offers you hope. Thats one reason why i'm supporting Obama for President.

    April 23, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  24. No McClinton 08

    NO ! NO ! NO! NO ! NO!

    No point debating crooks and liars!!

    April 23, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  25. southerndem

    ROFL this woman has ZERO originallity. From stealing Obamas "yes we can" and turning it into "yes we will". Did she get this Obama watch idea from Faux News Sunday where they have their Obama watch going too? Glad to see Hillary is finally showing her true stripes as a right wing tool. Taking campaign cues from Fox , like Stephanopolous did with Hannity at the debate, should let you Hillary supporters know where she gets her ideas.

    April 23, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
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