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. Almost Over

    Don't relent Barack, you don't NEED another debate with her...

    She is up to her old tricks again.

    Let her and the media pressure you all they want, dog you out, call you a coward or whatever, they've been dogging you out anyway and will continue to – so who cares! You are going to win anyway...

    April 23, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  2. chryssa

    OMG people, 21 debates aren't enough??

    April 23, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  3. Capt. Smash, Salt Lake City, Utah

    How about bill collection watch for Hillary! Lets se how long it takes her to pay her bills.

    April 23, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  4. 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 he said so he ends up in trouble the voters.
    You know they're out to get you, think before speaking Mr. Obama.
    Just a thought.

    April 23, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  5. Carmen

    The Debate is find as long as the Clinton's don't have a hand in the Debate. Hillary and Bill is running this campaign so whatever they want but I think that is wrong. Bill needs to go home and stop running this campaign.

    April 23, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  6. Jack in ND

    Just ignore her. Twenty-one is plenty. She's just trolling.

    Debates are useless theatre anyways. Stick with real people and real issues.

    April 23, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  7. justobserve

    Yeh, Obama should NOT waste time debating Clinton. As in the schoolyard, avoiding the bullies is advisable!

    April 23, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  8. Jaime

    Ya know, if someone could come up with an ACTUAL debate format, maybe Obama would consider it. Instead what is offered is a BS session concentrating on stupid sideshow issues instead of the problems our country is facing.

    April 23, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  9. KJ, CA

    How many debates do you need to have, really? They have already had like 17 – enough is enough. I agree with Senator Obama 100% we don't need another debate. We definitely don't need to hear about having another debate either. How about this one? Let's hear about the issues.

    April 23, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  10. diane pryslak

    I am a Hillary Clinton supporter and I am having a difficult time with the media especially CNN. All you do is Hillary bashing even when she accomplishes good things like winning Pennsylvania by double digits!!! Barack Obama is an eletist and I believe he is purposely vague. He cannot even say"God bless America" without stuttering!! Why is it that this press core cannot see the handwriting on the wall?!
    You have a responsibility to report the news fairly and honestly. Instead your group has decided to tell America who to vote for!! I used to love to watch CNN now I refuse to do so. You are a disgraceful organization.

    April 23, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  11. Jason

    Primary reason Clinton wants to debate.....

    Her campaign is running low on money. The last time she pushed for more debates was right after she loaned her campaign $5 million. Interesting coincidence?

    Also, I really don't care to see more debates as it is not helping get issues solved. Great Hillary can be titled champion of the United States in debates. That doesn't translate into getting things done for our country.

    April 23, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  12. Gloria

    If these debates truly focused on the issues that are important to the American citizens I could understand the need for this type of fourm. But they don't! IInstead, they are used as opportunities to point fingers, make accusations and act like 5 year olds! Enough already!

    This is just another ploy by the Clinton campaign to get more airtime on someone else's dime!

    April 23, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  13. KJ, CA

    We do not need another debate – 17 is more than enough. We also don't need to listen to Hillary calling Barack out to debate her, we do not need to allow her to continue to derail the real discussions that we should be having. How about the candidates talk about the issues and spend their time meeting with the voters and talking to them.

    April 23, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  14. stephanie

    if i were him, i wouldn't want to debate her either. even if the moderators put aside the trash, ie., Wright, Resko, bittergate, etc., she still will knock him out on the issues. She's simply the better candidate.

    Dems, let's kiss and make up! Clinton/Obama 2008/2012

    April 23, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  15. People Trust Obama

    100% of Obama's money comes from the people. So he will owe THE PEOPLE in the end, not some Drug Company or Special interest Corporation . She has run her campaign finances into the ground and is in debt. $10 million, he has not.

    If THE PEOPLE have Given Obama Money Now and trust him, more than they trust her with there finances then they won't mind paying taxes, as much, if He is President because they know he will spend it only towards the well being of the country.

    To remind everyone... countries won't mind lending us money and working with us becuase they know he will actually pay it back ON TIME and work towards solutions, not instigate problems or want to fight everyone like Hill.

    She says she want's peace but all she can talk about is fighting, even if they are on her team

    Shame on you Hillary.

    April 23, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  16. D.Kimbro OHIO

    I am sure they want another debate, however, I think this would be ill-advised for Obama. If the format will allow for a discussion of the issues that would be nice. The Clintons seem to want opportunities, to pander lies and distort the truth. I am sure that CNN will have a good time posting this type of stuff. I hope he doesnt bow to the pressure the same news agencies that cost him Pa. If it were'nt for the constant smear of of his character he would have faired much better. Even with that he was closer than the polls indicated he would be when fight for Pa started. I am sure he will right the ship in time to get this nomination.

    April 23, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  17. Manuel TX

    No surprise here, Obama keeps getting his butt handed to him by Hillary in debates.

    He's better off reading pre-written, call/respond speeches, with a teleprompter.

    He's worthless in a debate. He simply can't think on his feet.


    April 23, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  18. joe

    Who is going to moderate George S. and Charlie Gibson as they did it last week. Enough is Enough We heard it all.

    April 23, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  19. dAVEB

    No reason for Obama to have anymore debates, It's a setup by the clinton campaign and the media. It's obvious who the media and america IS FOR. hILLARY IS NOT TOUGH, SHE IS A BULLY, If Obama was to fight back, then it would appear to white america, a black man is picking on a white woman. No matter what he does, the media, CNN, ABC, FOX and some knucklhead commentators(republicans) will find something wrong. Race is a major factor and it is obvious who is clinton's prime support, older white women, and uneduacted white men. If she thinks the popular vote will matter, she is just as delusional as the DNC should they nominate her. Obama should just keep doing what he;s doing and have a real debate with Mccain in the Fall

    April 23, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  20. b

    That's right, Obama – just ignore her. Why waste time debating a candidate who has no chance of winning the nomitation undern any scenario? Focus on McCain in stead.

    April 23, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |

    Clinton SOOOOOOOO did not win that debate according to a msnbc poll 78% thought obama won. Enough with the debates anyway the clinton campaign obviously thinks that after debates and a primary is near she does well, well lets just see how she does in the next primary with out debating you've done more than 20 enough of the debates we need to get Obama nominated asap because when it is all said and done he's going to get the nomination, does not matter if clinton won big states he's won big states as well but for some reason they think those states obama has won don't matter. If those big states she won mattered so much how come clinton doesn't have the nomination by now and they are asking why can't obama close the deal, I think we all know the answer to that , what I want to know from those loyal blind clinton supporters is how come SHE couldn't close the deal on SUPER Tuesday when her campaign said it would. Explain that to me please.

    April 23, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  22. dave

    I think some Obama supporter...not him though...should launch a 'sniper fire' watch for Clinton. It could be a count down until the next time she or bill was caught in another lie.

    April 23, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  23. justobserve

    Obama should let them have the " Watch: Refused!" everyday until sunset! Not only bullies are to be avoided, the kind of bullies who have their hands in the cookie jars and scrumbs on their lips and when asked who ate the cookies, point to their fellow or whoever near them should be avoided at all costs! Don't let them lure you to the debate and gang-rape you.

    April 23, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  24. Elisabeth

    No idea Clinton, he can only make speeches,

    April 23, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  25. Capt. Smash, Salt Lake City, Utah

    Debt watch for Clinton. How long will it take for her to pay her bills?

    April 23, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
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