Reaction Comments to Obama-Clinton South Carolina Debate Sunday, January 21, 2008
The Congressional Black Caucus and CNN hosted a debate in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina at 8:00 pm EST. Participants were Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards. The debate, chaired by Wolf Blitzer, had an unusual format; for the last forty minutes the candidates sat down and the debate took a much more casual tone.
One week after agreeing to tone down political attacks, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama’s dialog got ugly.
Obama, Clinton spar on Reagan; Edwards accuses other candidates of taking money from big drug companies; and more …
Obama defends “Fairy Tale” comment and claims that he isn’t fiscal responsible; Obama’s Walmart attack on Hillary Clinton; Obama: sometimes I can’t tell who I’m running against; Hillary Clinton “clarifies the record” Republican ideas were bad ideas for America; Hillary Clinton: I was fighting against those Republican ideas when you (Obama) were practicing law and representing your contributor, Rezco, in his slum landlord business in inner-city Chicago.
Former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle:
“The Clinton attack of “incredible distortions” is similar to what he has seen Republicans deploy.”
“It destroys the party ultimately.”
Senator John Kerry:
“The truth matters, but how you fight the lies matters even more. We must be determined never again to lose any election to a lie.”
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich:
Senator Obama did a very good job of standing up for what he believes in, but I think he has the problem that the Clinton’s are gradually crowding him in to a corner … and it will be very interesting to see whether or not he can break out, because if they can reduce him to being just another politician, I think she beats him just by sheer muscle and the size of the Clinton machine … In some ways in getting into that kind of verbal wrestling match — while it shows that he can stand up to her — [it] also reduces him to just being a politician. So I am not so sure that the Clinton’s weren’t quite satisfied with that exchange.
Newt Gingrich on Hannity & Colmes Sunday January 21, 2008.
… if you’re a normal American worried the economy, worried about your family, worried about health care, worried about educating your children; you just watched two politicians go at each other over stuff that is political.
Watching two strong personalities get involved in a mudfight diminishes the process of picking a president. It doesn’t expand it.
I think the Clintons are deliberately maneuvering Barack Obama into reducing him to being a normal politician … If they can drag him down to fighting on their level, even if he fights well, he ceases to be the kind of golden optimistic figure of a better future.
It’s discomforting … but a good evenly matched give and take.
Congressional Black Caucus Institute [Myrtle Beach Debate Official Site]