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. Audrey, San Francisco

    Hillary, Hillary, Hillary. We all KNOW now that you're out of money and are looking for free press. Give it up already!

    April 23, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  2. Jason from Colorado

    Hillary, you're done you old hag. Obama is going to destroy you on May the 6th. Get over it lady, you lost. Stop wasting our time.

    April 23, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  3. Joe, Northern Virginia

    I really don’t know the reason why Sen. Clinton and her campaign want another debate. Clearly, these candidates have very little policy differences between them... and their contention during debates come to their little differences in their health care policies. They have had enough debates! They should go ahead and explain to the people the reason why they should vote for them. I think another debate will have very little if any influence on the NC and IN voters since all their (candidates) close to a dozen debates if not more were watched nationally. People should critically analyze the debates and tell me if they heard anything dramatically different the last time from the previous ones. Plus, has anyone listened to CNN's Lanny Davis's analysis at all? He is a disgrace to lawyers; people who pride themselves on logics and fair reasoning for a living. I wonder how he got on CNN.

    April 23, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  4. MAy

    Oh so that the likes of George Stephanopulos will get the chance to do the Clintons' dirty job for them? Did Hillary agree to debates when she was running for the Senate in New York? Does this Clinton gang feel shame? DEAN, YOU ARE NOT A WEAK LEADER!

    April 23, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  5. Bryan

    I'm sick of the debates. And they are not really debates. They are joint interviews. I can learn just as much by reading or watching interviews of each of them by various media outlets. Let's not call them "debates." And honestly, there have more than enough of them! As long as this race has gone on, who doesn't know enough by now to make up their mind???

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

    It's time to solve problems instead of debating. Stop this nonsense!

    April 23, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  7. Jamie, NY

    Thanks to the Clinton campaign for showing us that no matter how much you talk crap, how many staff and strategy advisors that are secretly playing for the other team (like she didn't know in advance about the Penn/ Colombia meeting!) and that with a careless"hell we'll just nuke 'em" declaration you can still hold your head high, deflect any accountability and divide the democratic party even further by exposing their extreme ineptness at handling a loose cannon like your campaign has been. The more you talk, the more you sound like GWB. Alienating people left and right and taking care of what only matters to you while this country sinks further into decline, you have managed to change my opinion of you so dramatically that I will NEVER vote for you!!

    I hope Obama goes "kitchen sink" on you and deflates whatever high and mighty elitist and egotistical cloud you seem to float on.

    Obama or McCain in '08! We don't need a pretensious Bush wannabe in office!

    April 23, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  8. Yves larochelle

    Bill Clinton, the shameless cheater has lost the latest string of cridibility as a former president. He behaves and talks like a moron and latent racist!

    April 23, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  9. Chris

    Where's the story about Hillary backing out of a debate between 4/22 and 5/6?? if debates asked good questions I'd say go for it... but if they only bring up Obama's skeletons b/c he's the front runner and only 1 of hers (bosnia), then that's not a "debate". She also wants to play the "gotcha" game – aka OLD politics. Stay positive and ON the issues.. and with the media the way it is, campaigning is probably the only way to do that.

    Hillary + Bill + Chelsea + McCain in some ways



    Yes his schedule should be booked.

    April 23, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  10. uchujin


    Can you be serious????? I think you have your candidates confused. You should rewatch the "debate". It couldn't be more obvious that her answers were totally scripted! She doesn't write anything herself unlike BO who writes all of his own speeches. That "debate" was a farce created by her cronies to fool the poor, less educated electorate of PA to keep her boat afloat. I wouldn't be surprised if BO was given a slightly different set of questions than she was. And for the record, all she did was complain about all the previous debates so why does she need one more? If BO gets to handpick the moderators like I'm sure Camp Clinton secretly did then maybe. Really, if she wants to discuss the issues, she can do it on the stump......I'm still waiting for her to prove he was lying about her healthcare plan as she claims. Just saying so doesn't make it so. Where's the beef? She's a lying cow. She needs to be put out to pasture.

    April 23, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  11. Paul

    Obama is a chicken

    Hillary -all the way!!!

    April 23, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  12. joe




    April 23, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  13. SueB

    Yeah, Hillary, and this time, maybe Bill can moderate!

    April 23, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  14. Bh In Phoenix

    The hidden word is ambush. No!

    April 23, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  15. Elle

    Just check the ratings and the volume of millions that tuned in last week.Believe me not everybody has a chance to meet the candidate live nor have cable access.
    And it is the only format where you can not prep with speeches and need to address issues on an instant and openly.
    What is wrong with that Obama ?
    Don't seem to be comfortable with your speech ability anymore ..
    Strange indeed !

    April 23, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  16. Jerry

    After Sen Obama's performance in the PA debate you can't blame him for declining any further debates. The road to the nomination might be getting too hot.

    April 23, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  17. Texican

    No more debates. We are sick and tired of both of them. They never discuss the issues anyway. Just another forum for them to push their slogans.. We want to know how they will handle the illegal immigrants already in this country and what they will do to stop more from coming into the U.S. Both legal and illegal immigration needs to stop.

    April 23, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  18. b

    jesus pete, they have debated how many times?

    I guess she can't think what else to do now that she cannot catch him

    April 23, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  19. Clinton or McCain, but NEVER obama

    It makes me sick just to look at obama. What an UNFIT, empty suit.

    April 23, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  20. Brian

    how many debates is too much? 21 is 16 too many as it is!

    April 23, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  21. Wake up America!

    She'll do her best to goad him into doing it. It's all a setup...just like the last one. Anybody with half a brain saw it for what it was. Just analyze her performance. She had tailor-made questions. Her talking points were already laid out for her. Don't believe me? Watch it again and check her eye movements. Down and right to her notes. Then up and to the right, indicating that she is trying to access the creative centers of her brain. Evidence that she is lying folks. Ever notice how Obama does his best to look you in the eye? Wake up.

    April 23, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  22. chris in vegas

    after 21 debates i believe they have gotten their issues and points across

    April 23, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  23. Elizabeth, NC

    Yeah right. Another debate or interrogation. Obama please don't fall into her evil trap. Being the con artists they are believe me she already has the questions and answers. Besides, me and every learned person is tired of this nonsense. And another thing, Wolf Blitzer, Campbell Brown, John King and that arrogant white man who comes on at seven after the situation room who is pertrified of foreign born individuals from Mexico, if Hillary Clinton is paying you to cover her negativity against dear Obama, get cash upfront.!!!!!.

    April 23, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  24. frank

    Obama can read speech well written by others, but he is not able to debate with Hillary. He really don't know how to answer the questions from others, since he has no answer in his mind. How does become a president? He will have problems to solve the real issues.

    April 23, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  25. K

    That's because Obama sucks at debates. He either says " I agree with Senator Clinton" or "uuhhhhhhhhhhh". That's not a coincidence since debates and interviews can't be prewritten. Obama prefers to continue his strengths which are preaching from the stump like he believes he's JFK or MLK. Hope, change, blah blah. So tired of your words Obama. You will continue to lose votes as this process goes on because America is learning more about you and who you really are. If it weren't for the black vote, you would be done. Your naive college kids aren't reliable voters either.

    April 23, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
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