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. lisa

    Neither candidate has ENOUGH support to win the nomination on their own. Another debate could sway voters one way or the other. If you look at all the polls there are a lot of undecided voters. I'm still waiting to hear a GOOD reason why I should vote for Obama if Clinton doesn't win the nomination. I would never just not vote, but I'd write Hillary Clinton's name on the ballot if she's not the nominee. People who have not fallen at his feet need to know more about Barack Obama before committing to voting to him. Another debate could really sway things one way or the other or at the very least put to rest the fear people have of the other if their candidate doesn't win the nomination.

    April 23, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  2. kathleen retired Professional w/woman for obama

    Let's hear hope and inspiring talks, Obama. America needs you. We are ready to listen to you but no more debates with the attack dog, please. That was a deliberate "set up". Now, would anybody put that past Hillary.
    Obama, defend yourself immediately and move on with dot org!!!
    American wants to hear and listen to you. Hillary has no message.
    Except about her and how great she is. I can't imagine, even any
    woman, thinking any good of her. It ain't there!!!!!!!!! Hillary is a
    dispicable, despisable woman!

    April 23, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  3. bobby

    Theses HRC machine is really funny to think after that bullcrap called debate the last time will happen again is isane. The Gov and the mayor probably planted the clown from ABC and this was very disappointing to say the least. she has sudenly become a desperado of some sort.

    April 23, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  4. Mark

    I think it's absolutely incredible that Clinton can say, unprompted, in a Ohio debate:

    "Well, can I just point out that in the last several debates, I seem to get the first question all the time. And I don't mind. I - you know, I'll be happy to field them, but I do find it curious"

    What was the question about? It was about NAFTA.

    And then, she gives Obama the business for complaining about getting questions about frickin' flag pins!!

    I mean, she's right, Obama has to deal with that crap, but she complained louder over far less.

    Now, the hypocracy doesn't bother me, because when you're right, you're right, and right now, Clinton is right, even through she was wrong in Ohio.

    But what does bother me is the fact that she is able to stand up and spin her entire campaign around this notion, as if Ohio never happened.

    It's smart politics, I guess, but the fact that people fall for it is absolutely astounding...

    April 23, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  5. Venus

    She hasn't figured out that she lost the debate?

    Again – you are in the lead Obama – focus on Mc Cain and winning the rest of the states! Hillary is the one who has to prove some thing!

    April 23, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  6. mike

    Funny all the Obama supporters seem to be afraid of thier guy debating. I wonder why that is. Could it be that without a prepared speech thier guy looks more like the beginer he is. If your guy is so far ahead in everything and is gonna win, I mean look at the math, why not meet her. Fear Fear Fear. Not what I want in a presidential. And don't give me any of this BS about Clinton doing the same thing if the positions were switched. She loves debating and would be happy to run circles aroud your guy. We have but one way to loose to the GOP.... Obama.

    April 23, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  7. SZ

    You scared, Barack?

    April 23, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  8. David

    I am amazed that Hillary Clinton has the gust to shout about her victory and she turns around to call herself the underdog having entered the race as the 'Princess'. What a drama, it reminds me of the story of the dubious emperor in the Russel Crowe's movie The Gladiator. Mark my words, the only thing Hillary will gain out of all of this is shame even if she wins the november elections.

    April 23, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  9. kathleen retired Professional w/woman for obama

    What kind of "woman" would support a liar? They have to be too old
    or stupid or just plain ignorant.

    April 23, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  10. sylvia

    WHY?.....We've had enough debates....and that last one was a waste of time and resources, not to mention the fact that it was clearly a set-up by the Status-Quo Operatives against Sen. Obama, with help from the Clinton machine (Bill's xpresidential powers at work) – However, there is a power greater than the power of the forces that are fighting hard to deny "We the People" access back into the governance of our Republic. The Status-Quo Operatives may wield a lot of power in our political system, but it has no might against the "Hand of Almighty God" Who is going to bring CHANGE to America, on so many levels (spiritually, socially, politically, economically, ect) – in not many days hence, whether they like it or not!

    April 23, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  11. kathleen retired Professional w/woman for obama

    Did Hillary go to "rove" school?

    April 23, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  12. DJ, LA, CA

    Yes Obama said it best...we know there pitches so well by now it is just the same stuff recycled over and over.

    Healhcare, Iraq, etc. has already been addressed. Hillary voted for Iraq and Obama made a speech against the war.

    What else is there to talk about? Flag pins? Religion? Racial profiling?

    April 23, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  13. Lila

    Yes, Hillary wants free coverage. Also, criticizing Sen. Obama for not agreeing to another debate gives her another opportunity to go negative. There is no way she can get the nomination, and is just staying because she cannot face reality. She is NOT qualified to be president ... she has proven that. She really would be a great running mate for McCain, she plays their kind of politics. Big mouth, no substance. Please Hillary go home to NY, but I really do not think they want you anymore!!!

    April 23, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  14. The American People

    Hillary takes another one from the Fox/Rove playbook... I will not vote for that woman ever again.

    April 23, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  15. Brandy- I love Obama!

    Another opportunity to boost negativity in this campaign. Hillary, we are tired of hearing you! That NY article was 100% accurate when it discredited her and blamed her for the all the negativity in this campaign. The debates don't discuss the real issues of America, but continues to run in circles with the petty stuff. I am ready for a change. I want to discuss real issues. Hillary has nothing to lose and she is beyond desperate. She was a person who I once admired many years ago before I knew the real truth, and now words can't express how much I dislike this woman.

    Obama 08

    April 23, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  16. JJ from Arizona

    You know... people had an unfavorable view of obama after the debate because he got irritated. If you really look at what happened though, it really strengthens his argument. They spent almost half the debate talking about garbage.

    April 23, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  17. lisa

    All of you who DON'T want another debate don't want to give Barack Obama a chance to clarify his support of raising the Employment tax cap from $102,000 to $200,000? I sure do. On the one hand he said there would be no new taxes to people with incomes less than $200,000 then he mentions looking into raising the Employment Tax cap. That's a huge tax increase of at least 7.5% on icome over $102K and as much as 15.3% for people who are self employed. You can't say no new taxes and then pull something like that. I think he needs to answer it and since it only came out in the debate, obviously he's not answering it during campaigning. I think another debate is needed.

    April 23, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  18. George

    These debates are sideshows and a waste of bloody time.

    April 23, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  19. Rohit

    Obama should start a HILLARY LIE WATCH : Time her to see how much time before she "mispeaks" (lies) next.

    April 23, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  20. John Smith

    People need to remember that even MCCain does not want to use "dirty tatics." I think I have heard him make several statements regarding this issue, given what he experienced in the hands of George Bush.

    But all that Hillary wants us to believe is that there is a need to "fight" rather than negotiate; that there is a need to tel lies, rather than be honest; that there is a need to throw mud, rather than compromise. Well, this is Washington, as we know it- fight, blame the other party, and do not carry out any solution for this nation. Keep fighting, but when you go out there, be prepared to pay $4 at the pump; expect your job to close down, and expect to pay more for food and insurance. Just keep fighting, see if these fights resolve any issue for this nation!!!!

    April 23, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  21. jose

    Oh come on debate. I love either seeing him stumble and say, "that is not what I meant to say" or watching him fumble. Sure .. now you want to appease the elderly. The elderly got your # Obama. Older people are harder to fool. Although, you do have quite a few rallying to you. Many of the tv stations could have cared less about Clinton except to say how bad she is doing. It's to late to shore up your leaks Obama. Many Democrats will either not vote or vote for McCain if you are nominated. You can't win the White House.

    April 23, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  22. Aussie Pork

    Can someone please explain to me exactly why Florida and Michigan delegates aren't being included? Why did they go early? Who made them do it? Why?

    Surely those primaries should be held again? How can a system be fair if the voters of two states are not counted? It isn't democracy, that is for sure.

    Now, at such a late stage, if Obama won Florida surely Hillary would have to quit. It would be an emphatic victory and the Democrats could get on with the real business of trying to defeat McCain. If Hillary won then it would all come down to the Superdelegates. In any event we'd be a whole lot closer to a getting a fair result rather than the sham that we currently have.

    Please explain how such a large state will not have their voters will included? This isn't a game, this is democracy. Many people have died defending this right.

    April 23, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  23. Tom Swift, Shopton USA


    Go, Hillary, GO ! Don't let up! Take this fight to the floor of the convention!

    McCain '08

    April 23, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  24. Independent in DC

    A debate for what?

    This will all be over May 6th. Mark my words...

    April 23, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  25. Carolina

    He certainly doesn't do well in debates! He stands there with false-confidence, like a "know-it-all" but it's all a facade.

    I think his time in the sun has come-and-gone, like a skyrocket that shoots off into the sky with noise and pretty colors. Everyone claps, shouts their oooh's and ahhhhh's..... but then watches it fall to the ground, all spent out. Same substance!

    April 23, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
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