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Clinton, Obama clash at debate

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By NEDRA PICKLER, Associated Press Writer

7 minutes ago

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. - Democratic presidential rivals Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama accused each other of repeatedly and deliberately distorting the truth for political gain Monday night in a highly personal, finger-wagging debate that ranged from the war in Iraq to Bill Clinton's role in the campaign.

Obama told the former first lady he was helping unemployed workers on the streets of Chicago when "you were a corporate lawyer sitting on the board at Wal-Mart."

Moments later, Clinton said that she was fighting against misguided Republican policies "when you were practicing law and representing your contributor ... in his slum landlord business in inner city Chicago." :o

Obama seemed particularly irritated at the former president, whom he accused in absentia of uttering a series of distortions to aid his wife's presidential effort.

"I'm here. He's not," she snapped.

"Well, I can't tell who I'm running against sometimes," Obama countered. :lol:

The two rivals, joined by former Sen. John Edwards, debated at close quarters five days before the South Carolina primary — and 15 days before the equivalent of a nationwide primary across 20 states that will go a long way toward settling the battle for the party's nomination.

Clinton was the national front-runner for months in the race, but Obama won the kick-off Iowa caucuses three weeks ago, knocking her off-stride. She recovered quickly, winning the New Hampshire primary in an upset, and on Saturday, won the popular vote in the Nevada caucuses while Obama won one more delegate than she.

The Democratic electorate in South Carolina is expected to be roughly 50 percent black, an evident advantage for Obama in a historic race that matches a black man against a woman.

Even in the superheated atmosphere of the primary, the statements and exchanges between Clinton and Obama were unusually acrimonious. The debate came as the two campaigns continued to complain about dirty politics and disenfranchisement of voters in last Saturday's Nevada caucuses.

Obama suggested the Clintons were both practicing the kind of political tactics that had alienated voters.

"There was a set of assertions made by Senator Clinton as well as her husband that are not factually accurate," Obama said. "I think that part of what people are looking for right now is someone who is going to solve problems and not resort to the same typical politics that we've seen in Washington."

Clinton countered: "I believe your record and what you say should matter."

Edwards, who badly trails his two rivals, tried to stay above the fray while pleading for equal time.

"Are there three people in this debate, not two?" he asked.

"We have got to understand, this is not about us personally. It's about what we are trying to do for this country," Edwards said to applause from the audience.

Hillary Clinton, who was close with the Walton family, served on the Wal-Mart board from 1986 to 1992. In 2006, her Senate campaign returned $5,000 to the company's political action committee while citing differences with company policies.

A blind trust held by Clinton and her husband, the former president, included stock holdings in Wal-Mart. They liquidated the contents of the blind trust in 2007 because of investments that could pose conflicts of interest or prove embarrassing as she ran for president.

Chicago real estate developer and fast food magnate Antoin "Tony" Rezko was a longtime fundraiser for Obama. Prosecutors have charged him with fraud, attempted extortion and money laundering in what they allege was a scheme to get campaign money and payoffs from firms seeking to do business before two state boards.

Obama's campaign said Saturday it was giving to charities more than $40,000 from donors linked to Rezko. In 2006, when charges against Rezko were made public, Obama gave $11,500 in Rezko contributions to charities.

Often speaking over each other, Obama and Clinton bitterly complained about each other's legislative records. Obama questioned why the New York senator had voted for a bankruptcy bill that she later said she was glad hadn't passed, and Clinton criticized Obama for voting "present" on dozens of occasions while a member of the Illinois legislature.

"Senator Obama, it's hard to have a straight up debate with you because you never take responsibility for any vote," Clinton said to loud boos. "On issue after issue, you voted present ... Whenever someone raises that, there's always some sort of explanation."

Obama accused Clinton of playing loose with the facts and saying anything to get elected, while Edwards joined Clinton in criticizing Obama for the "present" votes.

"Why would you over 100 times vote present?" Edwards pointedly challenged Obama. He said he didn't simply refuse to vote on controversial bills in Congress. "It would have been safe for me politically ... but I have a responsibility to take a position even if it costs me politically."

Obama said most of his present votes didn't have political consequences but were because of technical or legal concerns.

"Don't question, John, that on issue after issue that is important to the American people, I haven't followed. I have led," Obama said.

"Present" votes are common in the Illinois legislature, and they have the same impact as a "no" vote. Legislators use them for a variety of reasons, from registering doubts about a measure's legality to avoiding a firm position.

With the holiday honoring the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., as a backdrop, the candidates also addressed questions of racial equality.

Clinton and Edwards compared their records on helping to alleviate poverty, while Obama was asked if he agreed with the famed black novelist Toni Morrison who dubbed Bill Clinton "the first black president."

Obama praised the former president's "affinity" with black people but also drew laughs.

"I would have to investigate more, Bill's dancing abilities and some of this other stuff before I accurately judged whether he was, in fact, a brother," Obama said.

"I'm sure that can be arranged," Clinton joked.

The two-hour debate was sponsored by the Congressional Black Caucus Institute and CNN.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/democrats_debate

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Bravo to Obama for taking it right back at Hillary's campaign. Some people questioned (in the comments) as to why Obama brought it up in the debates, but if he doesn't do it then, when should he? The Clintons want to be back in the WH, and understandably so, but they are really taking the gloves off and going after Obama....not because he's such a terrible candidate but because Hillary wants to win. Fair enough in these primaries. Whichever candidate comes out victorious will be stronger for it because it's going to fierce in the general election. :)

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Bravo to Obama for taking it right back at Hillary's campaign. Some people questioned (in the comments) as to why Obama brought it up in the debates, but if he doesn't do it then, when should he? The Clintons want to be back in the WH, and understandably so, but they are really taking the gloves off and going after Obama....not because he's such a terrible candidate but because Hillary wants to win. Fair enough in these primaries. Whichever candidate comes out victorious will be stronger for it because it's going to fierce in the general election. :)

I'm glad the gloves came off. This is how it'll be in the general and it's important that the nominee know how, and be comfortable with, fighting low down dirty.


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Bravo to Obama for taking it right back at Hillary's campaign. Some people questioned (in the comments) as to why Obama brought it up in the debates, but if he doesn't do it then, when should he? The Clintons want to be back in the WH, and understandably so, but they are really taking the gloves off and going after Obama....not because he's such a terrible candidate but because Hillary wants to win. Fair enough in these primaries. Whichever candidate comes out victorious will be stronger for it because it's going to fierce in the general election. :)

I'm glad the gloves came off. This is how it'll be in the general and it's important that the nominee know how, and be comfortable with, fighting low down dirty.

This is going to be a fun election year.

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Bravo to Obama for taking it right back at Hillary's campaign. Some people questioned (in the comments) as to why Obama brought it up in the debates, but if he doesn't do it then, when should he? The Clintons want to be back in the WH, and understandably so, but they are really taking the gloves off and going after Obama....not because he's such a terrible candidate but because Hillary wants to win. Fair enough in these primaries. Whichever candidate comes out victorious will be stronger for it because it's going to fierce in the general election. :)

I'm glad the gloves came off. This is how it'll be in the general and it's important that the nominee know how, and be comfortable with, fighting low down dirty.

This is going to be a fun election year.

Indeed. I hope the Republican nominee can go head to head with these guys (they were both very aggressive) and then we'll have ourselves a Jerry Springer show.


Man is made by his belief. As he believes, so he is.

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Bravo to Obama for taking it right back at Hillary's campaign. Some people questioned (in the comments) as to why Obama brought it up in the debates, but if he doesn't do it then, when should he? The Clintons want to be back in the WH, and understandably so, but they are really taking the gloves off and going after Obama....not because he's such a terrible candidate but because Hillary wants to win. Fair enough in these primaries. Whichever candidate comes out victorious will be stronger for it because it's going to fierce in the general election. :)

I'm glad the gloves came off. This is how it'll be in the general and it's important that the nominee know how, and be comfortable with, fighting low down dirty.

:thumbs:

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Bravo to Obama for taking it right back at Hillary's campaign. Some people questioned (in the comments) as to why Obama brought it up in the debates, but if he doesn't do it then, when should he? The Clintons want to be back in the WH, and understandably so, but they are really taking the gloves off and going after Obama....not because he's such a terrible candidate but because Hillary wants to win. Fair enough in these primaries. Whichever candidate comes out victorious will be stronger for it because it's going to fierce in the general election. :)

I'm glad the gloves came off. This is how it'll be in the general and it's important that the nominee know how, and be comfortable with, fighting low down dirty.

This is going to be a fun election year.

amen :thumbs: nothings better than watching pig wrestling.


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Nader to decide soon on possible presidential run

MONTREAL (Reuters) - Consumer advocate Ralph Nader said on Monday he will decide soon on whether to make a another bid for the White House in 2008, eight years after playing a key role as a third party presidential candidate.

"I'll decide in about a month," he said in an interview broadcast on CBC Radio's Daybreak show in Montreal.

"What I'm deciding on right now is whether we can get enough volunteers, enough financial resources to overcome the huge ballot access obstacles..." said Nader...


Man is made by his belief. As he believes, so he is.

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Nader to decide soon on possible presidential run

MONTREAL (Reuters) - Consumer advocate Ralph Nader said on Monday he will decide soon on whether to make a another bid for the White House in 2008, eight years after playing a key role as a third party presidential candidate.

"I'll decide in about a month," he said in an interview broadcast on CBC Radio's Daybreak show in Montreal.

"What I'm deciding on right now is whether we can get enough volunteers, enough financial resources to overcome the huge ballot access obstacles..." said Nader...

Oh man! Get Nader and Bloomberg both in there. What fun that would be!!!

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It was a good debate and Obama hit back to Clintons.


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Nader to decide soon on possible presidential run

MONTREAL (Reuters) - Consumer advocate Ralph Nader said on Monday he will decide soon on whether to make a another bid for the White House in 2008, eight years after playing a key role as a third party presidential candidate.

"I'll decide in about a month," he said in an interview broadcast on CBC Radio's Daybreak show in Montreal.

"What I'm deciding on right now is whether we can get enough volunteers, enough financial resources to overcome the huge ballot access obstacles..." said Nader...

oh dayum can it get any better? more splits for the liberal vote :thumbs:


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USE THE REPORT BUTTON INSTEAD OF MESSAGING A MODERATOR!

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It would be wild if we saw 3 truly viable 3rd party candidates. I fully expect Ron Paul to run on a a libertarian ticket. If Nader and Bloomberg both join, it could get interesting.


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It's embarrassing. We're going around forcing democracy upon others and setting ourselves up as the example other countries are supposed to watch to see how to run things and our candidates act like, as someone has already mentioned, a couple on Jerry Springer.

I kind of liked Obama (a little) before but I don't even like him anymore. I hope neither of these two BABIES win because I'd be embarrassed and scared for my country to be run by talk show guests.

They can't even focus on the real issues that we need to know in order to make an informed decision because they can't stop squabbling like little children. Instead of "Vote for me because I can do this and that and here's my plan" it's "Vote for me because the other guy did this or that" :rolleyes:

My husband, who is not familiar with democracy at all, saw that debate (his first ever) and I couldn't have felt more ashamed. He just laughed and asked "is this what you want the rest of the world to be like?"


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