Clinton challenges Obama to more debates
EAST CHICAGO, Ind. – Democratic presidential candidates have held more than 20 debates. Evidently that’s not enough for Hillary Clinton.
Clinton is pressing her final rival, Barack Obama, to debate her in Indiana and North Carolina, which hold their primary contests on May 6.
Either state would be fine, but both would be better, Clinton said on Friday.
“I’ll go anywhere and anytime. And we’ll have that debate as long as Senator Obama will agree to actually meet me,” Clinton said Friday morning in Jacksonville, North Carolina.
“I think the people of Indiana deserve a debate,” she told WFIE TV in Evansville, Indiana, several hours later. “We should be up there answering questions that are important to Hoosiers.”
This is a classic page from the underdog’s political playbook, last deployed by Republican Mike Huckabee before he conceded to John McCain in March.
If Obama accepts the challenge, he shares a stage with a rival that most political observers believe has little chance of winning the Democratic nomination. If he declines, he risks looking cowardly or disengaged.
The Obama campaign said it was not interested in more debates.
“While Senator Clinton is focused on debating debates … Senator Obama is focused on finding real solutions for our families,” spokesman Hari Sevugan said in an e-mail. “The difference in this election couldn’t be more clear.”
The two last met in Philadelphia last week, before that state gave Clinton a much-needed victory.
An April 27 debate in North Carolina was canceled by state party officials who cited logistical reasons.
Obama had agreed to participate in that debate while Clinton had not, Sevugan said.
Photo credit: Reuters/John Gress (Hillary Clinton campaigns in Indianapolis)