Chicago Sun-Times
The scoop from Washington

Clinton: If Obama thinks debate was tough, wait until he gets to the White House.


PHILADELPHIA, PA.--On a local news show, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) said Friday morning she knows Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) spent the day after their debate "complaining about the hard questions he was asked."

"Being asked tough questions in a debate is nothing like the pressures you face inside the White House," Clinton said. "In fact, when the going gets tough, you just can’t walk away because we’re going to have some very tough decisions that we have to make."

Clinton was asked by FOX 29 about the Wednesday ABC News debate--criticized for piling on Obama. In a few minutes, Clinton will be speaking at the Esperanza High School, a public charter school run by a Hispanic faith-based organization. After tha, she heads to suburbs and then flies to North Carolina. Obama ends his day here with a big rally in the city.

from the Clinton campaign......

HRC just did FOX 29 Local Morning Show.

Here is a bit of the transcript I wanted to get your way. Full transcript coming soon.


Q: Obviously, the war in Iraq is one of so many issues that you dealt with at the debate Wednesday night. I want to get your thoughts on this, we talked about it yesterday, its on the front of so many papers, I’ll show you this one, it’s the Philadelphia Tribune, it says ‘viewers upset with ABC debate’, it’s got Barack Obama’s picture right there on the right. Yesterday he was saying for 40 minutes or so it was all about who said what and who did this, and you really didn’t get to the key issues until almost the second hour of the debate. What did you think about the debate on Wednesday night?

HRC: We were both asked some pretty tough questions and that’s part of what happens in a debate and in a campaign. And I know he spent all day yesterday complaining about the hard questions he was asked. Being asked tough questions in a debate is nothing like the pressures you face inside the White House. In fact, when the going gets tough, you just can’t walk away because we’re going to have some very tough decisions that we have to make. I think we need a president who can take whatever comes your way. You have to stand strong; you have to fight for the American people – because it will not be easy to stand up against the special interests.

Q: So you were fine with the debate, did you see any problem with it?

HRC: Well, can I say that I’ve been through, what 23 of these debates? And as I recall, I was asked some pretty tough questions in nearly every one of them. That goes with the territory, having been inside the White House, I know the pressures inside the White House, I know how hard it is every single day. When the going gets tough you can’t run away. And it’s going to be tough going to deal with these hard problems; getting out of Iraq in the right way, turning the economy around, getting universal health care, ending our dependence on foreign oil. The special interests are going to be a lot tougher than 90 minutes of questions from two journalists and we need a president who is going to be up there fighting everyday for the American people and not complain about how much pressure there is, and how hard the questions are.


Get out of Iraq the right way?

Turn the economy around?

Get universal health care?

If wanted, there is only one way.


There's one small-minded problem and that IS the DEMOCRATIC PARTY.

You can pontificate the throwing of 'green' at the problem, but to ignore that oil will run the world for at least the next 75 years is to bury your head in the Saudi sand. The Saudi's don't mind. It's a big desert.

The 'Party' will NOT allow exploration within any territory controlled by the USA, period. But it will whine about our dependence on foriegn oil, over and over and over.

POLTROONS! That would be, base COWARDS!

I thought Obama was 46 years old, not 6 years old? He showed what a pathetically weak little boy he is at the debate the other night. I bet the leaders of countries like Iran and North Korea, not to mention organizations like Al Queada and Hamas, are paraying he becomes President.

Such disingenuous pretense for HRC to say this. Yes, she was in the White House. She did see the pressures there, and certainly bore them with patience and courage. But she was not there as the President! She was there as his spouse! Her feelings are probably shared, to a lesser degree, by everyone who was there from Chelsea to the pastry chef.

The larger question is why so many Americans, particularly reporters, accept the underlying premise that she was basically a co-governor and a co-president without the overt scoffs that this claim deserves. Perhaps one day our system will establish these positions as legitimate roles, subject to the will of the voters and normal checks on their authority.

Until then, she is lying to us every time she talks like this.

Howard Dean told CNN that they need to decide who their nominee is. I expect that he's thinking that if it's Obama, he'll need all the time he can get to prepare for campaigning since he came across so weak during the debate. A year's worth of preparation at this point won't help Obama!!

I believe we have to give kudos to Hillary for handling the "tough" issues and pressure of the White House, and take it into consideration when voting. Imagine what she had on her plate:

- Preparing for the Chinagate lawsuit and the stress of having Bill's own Administration's Commerce Secretary, Ron Brown, identify uHillary under oath that as the architect of the fundraising scheme which sold official US trade mission seats!

-Having her close friend, Johnny Chung, identify her role in Chinagate - the transfer of sensitive US nuclear missile & satellite technology to China

-Being identified in judicial Watch lawsuit as the mastermind behind the FBI Filegate scandal, and all the work required to use the confidential info against her opponents

-Surviving a Justice Dept. criminal investigation into her underreporting campaign funds by a mere $2,000,000

-Being forced by a US Senate Ethics Complaint to return to the White House, the items she stole from there on Jan 20, 2001

-Being rudely identified as an accomplice of Bill Clintons in the defamation and intimidation assaults on Kathleen Willey

Mrs. Clinton is right. You have to be TOUGH to get yourself into and out of such events!

Obama has gotten himself trapped in his new politics by trying to stay above the fray. He appeared weak in that debate. The Republicans would eat him up. Nonetheless, I don't think the journalists did a good job of getting the candidates to lay out their positions on anything for the citizens of Pennsylvania. Most of the debate was focused on the candidates sore points over Rev. Wright and Bosnia as if they were trawling for controversy and dirt rather than substance.

As for Clinton's experience in the White House, it is true she didn't have to sweat out the large and small stuff in the White House; however, I would not underestimate her position as Bill Clinton's political partner. Although we will never know, I suspect their pillow talk revolved more around trouble spots in the world and his troubles in Congress than sweet nothings. Bill was hated by many politicians because he was a slick politician who could get his way, and Hillary was hated because of her presumption to power. At this point in time, she has her own record in Congress, and it has been a good one, save the one vote, which many other Senators fell for as she did. It's been pointed out by political pundits that she has no managerial/executive experience, but that is equally true of McCain and Obama.

Either Democrat is an improvement over the Republican's McCain, who will give us 4 more years of Bush policies. He is gung-ho on the war and proudly knows nothing about the economy. Is that the way we want to go? I know an ex-Marine of the Vietnam era who wants to vote for McCain because he is a patriot and war hero. I thank John McCain with all my heart for his patriotism and for what he suffered in the war of my generation, but being a war hero doesn't automatically make him fit for the office of President.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on April 18, 2008 8:40 AM.

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