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. Barack Obama Hiding Himself From The Voters

    I think Barack Obama should debate. Voters have a right to know him and he is not allowing that. It makes me wonder what he might be hiding. I think he is very uncomfortable with showing us his real self. Why? Voters are just asking to be able to get to know a candidate in order to make an informed decision. No RESPONSIBLE voter will vote for a candidate he or she does not know very well and if the candidate will not let us see who he is and what he truly stands for, then we have no basis on which to vote for him.

    April 23, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  2. al-des moines

    He oughta be scared out of his tired white shirt and black suit to debate her. She chews him up and spits him out every time.

    If he's a coward now, what would he be like in the White House?

    April 23, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  3. Makeshift

    Yeah when you get your cronies to moderate the debate, of COURSE Hillary is going to win, Bill. You are such a liar.

    April 23, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  4. Chanda-Cincinnati Ohio

    I am sick of seeing these two debate. If you don't know where they stand on the issues by now than you are either illiterate, or you live under a rock. The next debate I want to see is McCain vs WHOEVER wins the Democratic nod! Hillary is just trying to get some free airtime.

    April 23, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  5. Greg, NY

    Educated Black Male for Hillary April 23rd, 2008 4:28 pm ET

    OBAMA is just a BIG LOOSER

    Sorry, I saw this on another post and comments were closed, so I had to respond here.

    Educated to what grade? 1st? Guess they didn't get to the spelling part yet.

    Unless that is what you meant, in which case I have to ask: How can we make Obama a big tighter instead?

    April 23, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  6. Claudia, Tucson, AZ

    We have had 22 debates and do not need anymore. If anyone doesn't know what the candidates positions are they have been living under a rock. Barack is unable to defend himself in these debates without being seen as a black man attacking a white woman and the Clinton's know this. They just want to bring more of the "trash" out. Please don't insult, those of us that are thinking, our intelligence. He will be very formidable opponent with McCain. Everyone watch out for the nasty politics of the Clinton's. Even the New York Times has caught on. For the SuperD's to allow this to continue on, knowing the math, is pandering to the Clinton's they need to find some backbone.

    April 23, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  7. Tricia

    It is so obvious that Clinton just wants the chance to throw more mud. She's not prepared to discuss issues. How do you think she will conduct herself if elected President She will be worse than Bush Jr. She won't listen, or discuss. She will simply start hurling irrelevant insults. She failed on healthcare once. That was because of her attitude. She's not changed. I am for Obama. After seeing how Hillary behaves I'm against Hillary. Yes McCain may be the better choice for a lot of better off, better educated Democrats and Independents. We have jobs, can afford healthcare and would prefer a candidate who we all know could have been President instead of Bush if dirty tactics hadn't ruined his chances. He does seem more honorable. Hillary says she won't change Washington and is talking about nuking Iran. If it's not Obama I'll support McCain.

    April 23, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  8. Herman LA, CA



    April 23, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  9. Carlos from Maryland

    Bill and Hillary are just too dishonest. Some leadership! They are insisting on and feeling entitled to taking this nation into the gutter...again!

    April 23, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  10. Deborah

    Obama should never debate the Liar Hillary Rotten Clinton again

    Obama should save his energy for meeting the people in Indiana and SC

    Clinton wants to debate because she has some dirty tactics up her sleeve.

    Obama should go the other way and not deal with this Rotten Woman

    Hillary is not for America Hillar y and Bill are only for themselves

    April 23, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  11. Molly

    The only debate he's going to engage in is with McCain. Because he's the nominee, and we're moving on to the general. Clinton is obsolete, the Democrats are moving on.

    April 23, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  12. Jim

    I woudn't call a debate with Obama a debate. It's more time for him to recite his 4 year old speech. Pay attention next time, if there is one. He can't debate, and he knows it. Why would a presidential candidate ever say "let's not debate, let's campaign" He's also had his time in the Illinois senate and the US senate to back his words with actions. His record does not support it. How could that possibly be....unless he's going to CHANGE.

    April 23, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  13. Judy

    PA is oriented toward a Hillary type, period. As for debates, enough already! Obama brought Hill's 28 point lead down to 9 or so, so he did well. The more we see Hillary, the less we like her. She should stick to drinkin' with the good ole boys.

    April 23, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  14. Frances

    Enough debates. We know why Clinton wants them, to boost her self esteem. We have heard all we want from her. What more do we need? More negativity? They say all they want without the debates . We don't need them. A waste of time and money.

    April 23, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  15. John Edwards

    In case Hillary doesn't know, PA was her last big chance. Hillary was suppose to win by 20 points.

    When all is said and done, Obama will be ahead in delegates and popular vote. So, Hillary is now irrevelent.

    Obama is now shifting full gears towards John McCain.

    April 23, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  16. applecrispbetty

    Don't debate, her, Barack. Ignore her. You'll win in any case. Take the high road.

    April 23, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  17. CHANGE

    Hillary cannot be the Democratic nominee. If she were, she would have to stop endorsing John McCain. Poor Hillary can't quit him.

    April 23, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  18. carol woodward

    tell clinton to go fly a kite!!!!!!!

    April 23, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  19. momma obama

    Dear Senator Obama,
    She can say what she wants, and CNN too, however, please
    do not lower your standards, do not let them reel you in the trap of politics same old same old, where they bring trash and not the issues facing our country. These debates are not worth your time, the people's taxes, time and we dont want to hear another bashing and misleading or misrepresentation of where you stand and of what we the people want. It is offensive, and its not democratic it is not a debate. We all know where you stand, and to give them what they want is to do politics as usual...

    the media , rush limbaugh , and the billarys do not like to hear honest answers, or accept one makes mistakes, they see that as a weakness. Hillary like Bush likes threats, lies, blames, et.c. she is worse than Bush I am sad to say............

    the so called debates ........is a laugh, I mean really my 13 year old commented "how is this a debate?"
    lord these are political tricks to the lamest.. I know Rush L, was behind operation chaos but I did not the media was carrying his message and helping Hillary with her same old same old..

    April 23, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  20. Ardnuas

    I don't want to see ANYMORE debates................Hillary is trying to destroy the democratic party..... she can't WIN!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 23, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  21. DGH

    Seems to me Barack can't find the time because he knows he doesn't fare well against Hillary in debates and why is that? Because he can't do the one-on-one spin. Hillary holds him accountable, just as the American voters should.

    April 23, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  22. frank

    I used to be a Clinton supporter, but her "mis-speaking" and negative campaign attitude puts me off. She is not really helping the democratic party in the bid for winning the November election. Her attitude is divisive and splitting the party. You can tell from the number of her folk who claim they cannot vote for Obama even if he wins the nomination.
    I totally disagree that she performed better than Obama in last week's debate. Obama has reached a tolerant limit for Clinton's negative campaign technique which was very prominent in that debate. He does not consider her attitude in the debate good for the democratic party and americans in general. It is not in the interest of the democratic party for Obama to debate with Clinton again. There is nothing helpful or constructive in debating with her.
    It is time for the true democrats to rise and put an end to her unhelpful campaign. She won Pennsylvania, Ohio and Texas because of her negative campaign which has increasingly divided the party!

    April 23, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  23. Sharon Minnesota

    What's he afraid of?

    April 23, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  24. cher

    obama, stick to your guns and campaign more. hrc should have never turned down your initial date request. everything has to be on her terms.

    no to debates, more to campaigning. she has name recognition so she can afford to pay off her clowns and get the questions ahead of time. you don't have that insider trading thing working for you, so make yourself known to the rest of us by campaigning in your front lawns.

    less to media spin, more to real issues worthy of making news!

    April 23, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  25. Corey, Maryland

    And i thought Clinton couldn't do anything more to make me hate her even more!!!!!!! There have been 21 debates already!!! we know where they stand and when they are at debates you don't even discuss issues!! All you do is complain like a 13 year old girl Hillary!!! No one wants these debates to happen except Clinton and her little ring of freak show participants!!! Put an end to all this BS and vote Obama, the only candidate that will accomplish anything!!

    Obama Richardson 08!!!!!

    April 23, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
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