Clinton challenges Obama to more debates

April 26, 2008

hillary.jpgEAST 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)

38 comments

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Obama’s FEAR of debating with Clinton is worrisome and shows how WEAK he really is.

If the media and his blind supporers are trying to hide this FEARFULLNESS in Obama, I think they are courting disaster for US!

Posted by Jkan | Report as abusive

IT’S TIME AMERICA:

It’s time for everyone to face the truth. Barack Obama has no real chance of winning the national election in November at this time. His crushing defeat in Pennsylvania makes that fact crystal clear. His best, and only real chance of winning in November is on a ticket with Hillary Clinton as her VP.

Hillary Clinton seemed almost somber at her victory speech. As if part of her was hoping Obama could have defeated her. And proved he had some chance of winning against the republican attack machine, and their unlimited money, and resources. In all honesty. I felt some of that too.

But it is absolutely essential that the democrats take back the Whitehouse in November. America, and the American people are in a very desperate condition now. And the whole World has been doing all that they can to help keep us propped up.

Hillary Clinton say’s that the heat, and decisions in the Whitehouse are much tougher than the ones on the campaign trail. But I think Mr. Obama faces a test of whether he has what it takes to be a commander and chief by facing the difficult facts, and the truth before him. And by doing what is best for the American people by dropping out of the race, and offering his whole hearted assistance to Hillary Clinton to help her take back the Whitehouse for the American people, and the World.

Mr. Obama is a great speaker. And I am confident he can explain to the American people the need, and wisdom of such a personal sacrifice for them. It should be clear to everyone by now that Hillary Clinton is fighting her heart out for the American people. She has known for a long time that Mr. Obama can not win this November. You have to remember that the Clinton’s have won the Whitehouse twice before. They know what it takes.

If Mr. Obama fails his test of commander and chief we can only hope that Hillary Clinton can continue her heroic fight for the American people. And that she prevails. She will need all the continual support and help we can give her. She may fight like a superhuman. But she is only human.

Sen. Hillary Clinton: “You know, more people have now voted for me than have voted for my opponent. In fact, I now have more votes than anybody has ever had in a primary contest for a nomination. And it’s also clear that we’ve got nine more important contests to go.”

Sincerely

Jacksmith… Working Class :-)

Posted by jacksmith | Report as abusive

I really wish people would re-read their comments before they post.

As one of Obama’s “blind supporers” I honestly feel that Clinton’s repeated call for debates is utterly ridiculous. How many freaking debates does she want to have??

What can either candidate say at this point that hasn’t been said, e-mailed, blogged, or reported?? The last debate proved that mediators are simply running out of intelligent, issue-related questions.

Posted by Dani girl | Report as abusive

obama has done nothing but shown substance. mrs. clinton is constantly using desperate attacks or tactics to show how qualified she is. the question is, why hasn’t she championed the change she’s talking about all of the years she’s been a senator. Name one piece of legislation she’s brought forward that’s changed your life for the better. exactly.

Posted by sab | Report as abusive

If Obama is afraid of debating with Hillary, what does that tell us about him?

If he is running away from a debate with Hillary, what does it tell us about how he deals with difficult situations.

Do you honestly want a guy like this to represent you? At least, George Bush won\’t run away from problems.

Posted by lc | Report as abusive

Of course she wants to debate Obama in Indiana and NC and every remaining state she bloodies the Democrats through. Why? Well, it’s free media and she’s out of money — that’s the politics for dummies answer. I don’t think he’s afraid because he has nothing to be afraid of – so far he’s has confronted every issue head-on. And just because he has done so in a manner that is non-confrontational — i.e. not negative, accusatory, or mudslinging, and has restrained himself doesn’t mean he is weak .. I think quite the opposite. I think he shows character and integrity … words I think aren’t in some people’s language.

Posted by Jan | Report as abusive

Obama don’t need to have one split of second debate with Hillery any more. As days past, she is slipping into the oblivion and becoming a bail. No chance for her at all for the nomination. It is time Obama gather his energy to deal with Mcain, that is where the real challange and the republican machine is grinding. Hillary is a toast. If she is doing any good for the party, she must quit after May 06, or else take the responsibility of triggering the downward spiral of Democratic party for a very long time to come. I am serious.
One more thing, Obama is a blessing and a breath of fresh air to American politics and the world at large, average blue color worker have no clue about it, but will appreciate wholeheartedly as the time of Obamamania comes and his belly world burst with goodness. But the elite of this country are well aware of OBAMA’S potentiality and uniqueness that is why they welcome him with open hands and exuberant VOTE. OBAMA 08 ….. what a quite contrast with BUSH!!!!!

Posted by AAA | Report as abusive

Yeah, Bush was fearless. He would never run from a debate. Or a war. Or fake intelligence. Obama should be more like Bush.

Posted by Bruce | Report as abusive

We have heard enough debates already between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. The last debate in Pennsylvania HAS NO SUBSTANCE AT ALL! It was a waste of time watching that debate! NO MORE DEBATES PLEASE!!!

Posted by John | Report as abusive

Obama is a weakling. I have never seen anyone evade and run from questions like he has.

Obamabots argue that there’s been 21 debates. And that everyone knows everything. Yet I’m sitting here asking myself about Obama’s healthcare plan, gun rights, and many other things. And how exactly he wants to fix the politics in DC?

Even there there’s only been 4 debates between the two, how many people actually watch all 21 debates? No one…because they were dull. But now it’s a 1 on 1 battle. We want to see what Obama is about without the teleprompter. “Uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh”…gotta do better than that brother.

Sorry…you can spin it anyway you want Barry, but you’re a chicken. Or maybe you should go get them waffles instead. Until you stop running from questions and debates, 40% of hillary supporters won’t vote for you.

And please don’t flip off Hillary anymore. Stay classy now Barry.

The longer Hillary Clinton stays in the race, the Democrats will loose the election to John McCain! Hillary’s say anything, do anything attitude because she thinks it is her birth right to become President will only destroy her Party. Most of her policies are similar to Barack’s and there is no point in having any more debates.

Please if you need to watch Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama debate, then check it out on Youtube. There are many past debate clips already available on the Internet!!!

Posted by John | Report as abusive

Hillary get a life and stop asking Barack for a debate. If I was him I would not give you the time of day. Barack need to campaign more in IN and NC. The last debate in PA was a waste of my time – taking 50 minutes to asked about the state of this miserable economy. I say give her no more free air time – if you want air time – have your support donate money to your campaign.

Posted by Deborah | Report as abusive

Err, Tor. If you don’t know where ANY of the candidates stand on issues such as healthcare or gun rights, it’s your own ignorance.

See: http://obama.senate.gov/issues/

People saying that Obama didn’t make clear his stance was dumb 6 months ago and it’s even dumber now that he’s on every channel. :P

Posted by Ryan | Report as abusive

How can anyone call Obama weak for not wanting to debate more, when the NC debate was cancelled because HILLARY kept waffling. She just wants to look like she’s open to debate, but when a day and location has been picked out, she’s full of excuses. Typical of the Clintons.

Posted by Jenny | Report as abusive

If Hillary claims that the heat in the white house is much greater than it is on the campaign trail they why does she need Bill Clinton’s help campaigning??? She obviously will not be able to make decisions by herself in the White House

OBAMA ’08

Posted by Sahid | Report as abusive

Has Obama accomplished anything as a Senator?
Are cute dimples and rehearsed speeches enough of a credential to be nominated?

Posted by hhkeller | Report as abusive

Obama accepted a date to debate her, but she turned it down. How many more debates does she need anyway? It’s the same old thing over and over. Maybe she should drop out of the presidential race and join a debate team if she likes it so much.

Posted by Judy | Report as abusive

I am a 28 year old Illinois resident who grew up in the fine city of LaPorte, Indiana. Since I have been old enough to watch the news, there has never been a time when I have not seen a Bush or a Clinton in the White House. Even in the heyday of Bill Clinton’s presidency, I was never more than mildly interested in politics–I guess adolescent cynicism sometimes gets in the way. Our current Democratic primary has reigned me towards the television set and Google news at every available opportunity. There are still times, though, when I feel aggravated by the drama and the petty issues that arise. Reading the above comments has brought me into one of those times.
Did anyone take the time to actually watch the PA debate? If you noticed, the first 45 minutes were spent “discussing” the slew of exposes that Hillary Clinton has tirelessly directed towards Barack Obama. While Obama answered each in turn, it was obvious through his actions and his public speeches, AND by public opinion, that these exposes have been worn out and have been sufficiently addressed. While Clinton was asked a few difficult questions, she also had the opportunity to avoid particular topics that George S. “knew she didn’t want to talk about,” as he so generously threw in to a question directed at her. What was that???
Barack Obama has done nothing but focus on a campaign to bring our world together–to help us stand united together to work out American issues in a way that will help all individuals. Why should he have to take time from a schedule that proves he is focused on what really matters to “debate” once again with the Clinton machine the non-issues that Hillary and her supporters feel will distract the public from the facts? Barack Obama has, when needed, pointed out inconsistencies with Hillary Clinton’s smear campaigns, but has done so while retaining his humility and his fairness. Hillary Clinton has used not only her tactics against Barack Obama, but also the American public’s tendency to willingly pay attention to this type of drama, to DISTRACT the American public from the real focus: that without stealing the popular vote, she cannot win. She is using these tactics to MAKE BARACK OBAMA LOOK BAD because she has no other tactics that will work. Unless she can convince enough of us that the real reason Barack Obama will not campaign is because he is lazy, scared, or doesn’t care enough about giving Indiana and North Carolina his time…unless she can do that, she will not win enough of the popular vote to ensure that she gets enough of the delegate count to make it seem not as ridiculous that she is still in a race that she cannot win—and by doing so,she can continue to request more money from the American public to finance a campaign that she, herself, does not see worth financing herself anymore. All of this is just ridiculous. She lacks tact and she is ruining her own career and irreparably damaging the Democratic party’s future in the 2008 election by continuing to stay in it and hammer at her opponent…the opponent who, by the way, she cannot beat. Anyone who buys into her arguments should take a step back and look at her methods versus Obama’s without being swayed either way by the issues or the personality. See who is the real leader.

Posted by Catherine Y | Report as abusive

Obama is too scared to get whooped by Hilary like last time.. If hes too scared to debate he obviously does not have the substance to become the president.

HILARY ’08

Posted by George | Report as abusive

enough ‘debates’ already. the moderators are shills. lets just have speeches — of substance. If SHE (her royal clintoness-rodhAMNESS) has not been able to pull this off with the ENTIRE establishment behind her she does not deserve any quarter – retire and go away.

Posted by Azmat | Report as abusive

Good post, Catherine Y. I have an son who recently turned 18 who feels much the same way.

The ABC debate was so slanted in Hillary’s favor that I found it disgusting. As you mentioned, the moderators even prefaced one of her questions with a “I know you don’t like to talk about this …” They didn’t do that with Obama. They didn’t ask why Hillary doesn’t wear a flag lapel pin. It was obvious that they wanted Hillary to win, but I think the American people were the ones who lost.

It’s time to get out of the “same old politics” rut and support a candidate who will listen the people — someone who can bridge gaps around the world. Someone who will surround himself with experts who will advise him so he can make the best possible decisions. It’s time to get rid of the old-style politics where a president chooses his advisors based on how much they donated to the campaign or based on which one is owed a favor. I think Obama is the only candidate who can accomplish this.

Posted by Judy | Report as abusive

Well said Catherine Y.
I can’t believe people aren’t seeing through Hillary’s bullcrap. People are so caught up in DRAMA that they aren’t paying attention to the real issues. These tactics are what got GWB elected and re-elected. Wake up America!
And why isn’t the Media talking about this story more in the news?

By Dick Morris & Eileen McGann

In this week’s debate, Hillary Clinton said all of her “baggage” has been “rummaged through” for years. But important features of her close relationship with known terrorist sympathizers and Hamas supporters are still opaque to the public view.

Her relationship with terrorists began in the mid-1980s when she served on the Board of the New World Foundation, which gave funds to the Palestine Liberation Organization, at a time when the PLO was officially recognized by the US government as a terrorist organization.

In 1996, the First Lady initiated an outreach program to bring Muslim leaders to the White House. But, as terrorism expert Steve Emerson noted in the Wall Street Journal: “Curiously, nearly all of the leaders with whom Mrs. Clinton elected to meet came from Islamic fundamentalist organizations. A review of the statements, publications, and conferences of the groups Mrs. Clinton embraced shows unambiguously that they have long advocated or justified violence. By meeting with these groups, the first lady lent them legitimacy as ‘mainstream’ and ‘moderate.’”

Among these radical groups was the American Muslim Council (AMA) and the Council on American-Islamic Relations, both groups that support Hamas, who attended a White House reception hosted by Hillary in February, 1996. Emerson says that its leaders “have sanctioned terrorism, published anti-Semitic statements, and repeatedly hosted conferences that were forums for denunciations of Jews and exhortations to wage jihad.”

Posted by J. Grice | Report as abusive

Obama isn’t a “do anything to win” type. He know’s that the debates are now just mud slinging sessions at this point. He has been very vocal to the fact he is not interested in that forum. It’s not the point of his running for president. This is only a last resort of an extremely desperate campaign. It’s her last chance for exposure before she quickly becomes irrelevant.

I live in Oregon and I can tell you right now this will easily be an Obama state. So if you are keeping track, you can go ahead and scratch that one off the list as well.

Posted by Noel | Report as abusive

Obama never accepted a date to debate Clinton in Indiana & NC. It is white lies…Obama is afraid from debate after his big Loss in TX. and Ohio.

Core Democrat

Nelson Brown

Posted by Nelson | Report as abusive

Obama is just full of words. If you want a winner look at Hillary. She is the one who has come back again and again despite looses. We need a resilient leader like her not jsut a new face (read Obama). We cannot have as a president a man who answers just “present” to issues that matter. He will be chewed up alive by the more politically astute foreign leaders where he should be representing our great nation. We need a strong person as our leader not just a man full of words.

Posted by Bee | Report as abusive

Debate is the basis of our system of democracy. Bush and Obama seem to feel a dictatorship would be a lot easier for them. Then they can just say whatever they want unchallenged. Have you also noticed that Obama only appears on shows which support him. Hillary has appeared on shows that have been strongly against her, because she isn’t a coward. Obama refuses the press to follow him, whereas Clinton keeps an open book policy allowing them to cover all of her events. She is open to listening to the people instead of telling them pre-conceived notions like Obama does. Soon as somebody challenges him, it’s blasphemy. This was like George Bush when he accepted the presidency and he suppressed protests with police force. He cried bloody mary which got employees fired who brought up dirt against him, like his dodging the draft. Same tactics as Obama uses. Bush had to hire one of the best debating coaches and practice for a week to make a less than respectable performance in debates, just like Obama prepares for several days beforehand having his campaign manager tell him what to say and then does terrible in the debate. I don’t want another George Bush in the white house. Please vote against Obama!!! We need a candidate who is strong and smart without having people around him telling him what to do. No more puppets for president!

Posted by jonathan | Report as abusive

[...] desconocido wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptIf 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. … [...]

Obama is not afraid of debating Hillary. He just realizes it is a waste of time. I’m sorry, but if the people of Indiana and North Carolina have managed to misss all of the TWENTY or more Democratic Debates, they are probably either not planning to vote, or do not hold much stock in debates anyway.

Posted by Sara | Report as abusive

When you have high ideals, hope, optimism, integrity it’s a credit to Obama that he doesn’t want to scrap in the mud with Hillary. It’s a testament to his character that he doesn’t want to drag the country down her mud slinging past. I’m proud of Obama…dust yourself from that one and please continue to be the Billary anecdote. She’s the self professed ‘fighter’. I don’t want another fighter, I want a diplomat with integrity and honor. We don’t need a fighter – they are a dime a dozen. On the other hand, Obama, a true diplomat is unlike anything this country has seen since Kennedy…

Posted by michal | Report as abusive

VOTE AGAINST HILLARY ALL DAY LONG……..
OBAMA ’08

Posted by Deborah | Report as abusive

I agree with the commenter that said…(paraphrase)Obama’s unwillingness to debate Hillary shows how he deals with issues… by turning his back to it when he’s had enough. The issue of finding the stronger democratic nominee is obviously of huge importance. Obama just appears lazy and self-aggrandizing, not noble for refusing to debate and proves himself to be the weaker one. Time will tell.

Posted by openwindow | Report as abusive

She simply wants free advert. OBAMA 4 LIFE

Posted by Henry | Report as abusive

Senator Obama should not succumb to another one of Billary’s mud fights. Truly they are both close in policies. The main difference between the two is that Obama leads with integrity, honor and grace – the embodiment of leadership. She is a mud slinging, lying hypocrit – it’s no wonder she relishes in the mud and wants to drag him into the mud pit – it’s familiar to her. He should not stoop to her level. Someone above the fray cannot win a low level competition all they can do is stay above the fray. Brush yourself off Obama and steer clear. America for leadership, truth, honor and candor -Obama. The antithesis is Billary. Her latest ‘we will obliterate Iran’ should scare the daylights out of Americans. That coupled with her vote for the Iraq war shows her true colors. I don’t want her on the other end of the 3 am call. For her to tout that she is a fighter? We don’t need fighters – we need diplomats who can solve with diplomacy – something Billary will never have and it shows – please open your eyes — you only need peak to see the truth.

Posted by michal | Report as abusive

I’m curious as to while the commentators were in the mud (Billary’s territory) they didn’t ask her why she won’t expose those contributors who paid millions to the Clinton library to buy their allegiance. Why are those pieces missing? By the very act of omission, there is deceit. Why would a presidential candidate not be proud to open their books. The obvious reason is they have mortgaged the white house. American’s will not own it. If the truth were known the Clintons have millions in ‘pay back’ favors to be doled out at the tax payers expense. Transparency should be of utmost importance. Why do you suppose commentators wouldn’t ask questions about the smoking gun. Beware Billary supporters, where there is hiding there is deceit

Posted by michal | Report as abusive

Hillary Clinton ‘heroic fight for the American people’? Oh that’s right — Bosnia and the sniper fire where she risked her life for us – what a great metaphor – one big lie

Posted by michal | Report as abusive

[...] not sure how many Democratic debates there have been. Twenty-one, twenty-two? Clinton wants another one against Obama. The last debate featured questions about lapel pins. What’s on deck for this [...]

It is utterly ridiculous for Obama to act like he is the nominee after losing in Pennsylvania. This is simply a campaign tactic he is using in order to “appear” like he is still “it” to the superdelegates.

I for one, will not for a man who acts like a cry baby after he is asked “hard” questions in a debate by refusing to talk to the media for ten days, then whines when they ask him about waffles. Then has the audacity to whine about more debates. If Obama cannot debate Hillary then why in the heck should I believe he can debagte McCain??

Posted by marsha, oregon | Report as abusive

Clinton is full of it!

Beware the forked tongue!

Posted by Keith M Warwick | Report as abusive

Hillary is not intelligent enough to be president. It’s clear that Hillary has given up trying to compete with Obama on political issues and is now trying her hardest to attract the uneducated & ignorant racist vote. If I were republican, I would be laughing my head off right now.

Posted by M | Report as abusive

No more free air time Hill. You aren’t skilled enough at fund raising to compete effectively, but that’s not the Obama campaign’s problem. You tried this debate bating in Wisconsin and he whupped ya. Just go out and run your own campaign. Also, in case you aren’t one of the half million or so watchers of this new movie on You Tube, here’s a link to a very informative discussion totally in Hillary’s own words. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=exsmFDYyK 4U

Posted by karela | Report as abusive