April 28th, 2008
01:52 PM ET

Should Obama have accepted another debate?



FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Lincoln-Douglas made it famous...a debate with no moderator...but it doesn't look like it's going to happen between Obama and Clinton.

With just over a week to go before the Indiana and North Carolina primaries, and the two candidates running virtually neck and neck in Indiana, Clinton wants to debate Obama in both states, as a means of picking up votes in a race that he currently leads overall.

She says that she will debate him any place at any time, adding that it could even be done on the back of a flat-bed truck. He would probably prefer to run over her with a flat-bed truck at this point. She called over the weekend for this less-restrictive style of debate which got its name from a series of debates that took place during the 1858 U.S. Senate race between Republican Abraham Lincoln and Democrat Stephen Douglas.

She says that voters in Indiana would "love" to see that kind of debate and that it would be quote "good for the Democratic Party, it would be good for our democracy, and it would be great for Indiana." unquote.

Barack Obama has declined–saying that there will not be any more debates between now and the May 6th primaries. There have been 21 debates and Obama says he would spend time quote "talking to as many folks possible on the ground, taking questions from voters." unquote. But that's probably not the real reason. He's ahead...and the front runner traditionally would rather sit on the lead than take the chance of doing something stupid in another debate.

Obama's campaign has said repeatedly that most debates have offered little new information.

And he criticized the line of questioning in the last debate in Philadelphia earlier this month saying that it was more about "gotcha games" and "stirring up controversy" than the issues.

Here’s my question to you: Should Barack Obama have accepted Hillary Clinton's invitation to a Lincoln/Douglas-style debate with no moderator?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Mac from Nova Scotia writes:
Why should he accept another debate? She is running behind, trying to get more free air time and trying to call the shots for both campaigns. That is pretty "elitist" for someone who is in second place.

Andy from Fairfax, Virginia writes:
Of course he should accept the offer to debate. He would have a chance to answer all the questions that revolve around him and his candidacy. With Clinton, we all know what we are getting. Obama is still a major question mark. There is too much unknown about him. I cannot get comfortable with Obama and the countless issues that keep coming to the surface. You want my vote? Explain yourself!

Jan from Knoxville, TN writes:
No, there have been enough debates already. Hillary just wants to catch Obama in some type of gaffe so she will have something new to complain about on the trail. What I'm looking forward to is when Obama debates McCain.

Elena writes:
Uh, yeah he should have. But he didn't because he's frightened after his last pitiful debate performance. The first time the media asked tough questions, he couldn't answer and he was a deer in headlights. He said let’s get back to the issues. That's funny because he's never on the issues. His speeches are rarely about issues and all he does is repeat "hope, change,” and old school politics.

Debbie from New Jersey writes:
Why should he Jack? History shows only the loser wants the debate. Obama is ahead in popular votes, delegates, number of states, and likeability. Why should he waste his time with Hillary? She's the desperate one.

Filed under: Barack Obama • Hillary Clinton
soundoff (365 Responses)
  1. Anne

    Why should he? Clinton wouldn't accept at least two requests for debates when she was running for senator. Obama has the same right to refuse as she did.


    April 28, 2008 at 1:55 pm |
  2. Rosalynd Florida

    No, absoultely not! Clinton is loosing just like Mike Huckabee was when he suggested a Lincoln-Douglas type of debate. The Obama camp should just ignore her rantings she will be sent home after May 6. See ya!

    April 28, 2008 at 1:56 pm |
  3. david lambert

    Jack Obama is right to reject this debate. I mean it is a little late for Hillary to say lets debate like old when she has used the other 20 somethings debates to debate in old school style. Plus i cant take anymore of her saying she is more electable when she is losing every aspect. Good for Obama i think he is tired or hearing her say that when she is in second place.

    April 28, 2008 at 1:59 pm |
  4. Adam Mercer Oshawa, Ontario


    The candidate in the lead is never really looking to do a debate because they don't need it. Were the shoe on the other foot she would not touch this either.

    For the voters it could have benefits, except that with no moderator if one of them doesn't follow the rules and format who is going to stop it? I ask this question only because she seems to like ignoring the rules when it benefits her...she wants to seat delegates who didn't even have the option of voting for Obama because it helps her.

    Given that one fact I am not surprised he is a little wary of getting on a stage with her.

    April 28, 2008 at 2:00 pm |
  5. Rick Medina,OH


    I think he should consider that type of debate against John McCain. Hillary would only suggest such a forum in an intra-party contest to taint her opponent for November. I am so ashamed of the Clintons!

    April 28, 2008 at 2:00 pm |
  6. Sue of Minnesota

    No, he does't need to. They had 21 debates. The media and the public has had time to ask question. If it hasn't been asked, must not have been important. He also has Q & A after t\his rallys.

    April 28, 2008 at 2:03 pm |
  7. AndyZ Fairfax, VA

    Of course he should accept the offer to debate. He would have a chance to answer all the questions that revolve around him and his candidacey. With Clinton we all know what we are getting. Obama is still a major question mark. There is too much unknown about him. I can not get comfortable with Obama and the countless issues that keep coming to the surface. You want my vote; explain yourself!

    April 28, 2008 at 2:03 pm |
  8. janice

    No, Hillary is a devious woman, she is looking for another opportunity to exploit the fear factor into Americans, She is a real fighter, she will even get into the gutter to win, what a classy lady. And she wants to represent America around the globe for us.

    April 28, 2008 at 2:04 pm |
  9. David,San Bernardino,CA.

    Jack,obviously,all the question and answer meetings have only been dog and pony shows to this point. I have been waiting for a real debate where a moderator only gives the question and gets out of the way and lets the candidates go at it. No time limit,no gamesmanship,no phoniness. I want to know what their real opinions are and how they really differ from each other. I want real meat,not sound bites!

    April 28, 2008 at 2:05 pm |
  10. David Thomson, Toronto

    No way, Jack! He has precious little to gain, and would simply be providing Clinton the opportunity to score more points.

    The undeniable fact is that Clinton IS far better known, and he needs to get out there and give the voting public a chance to better know him. A debate is arguably the poorest medium for achieving this goal.

    April 28, 2008 at 2:05 pm |
  11. Jonathan in Bozeman, Montana

    I would love to see such a debate. I personally think Barack would absolutely trounce her in such a duel. But, his response is appropriate... right now the Indiana/North Carolina contests are right around the corner. With such little time, I think it's wise to maximize time spent on the ground, talking to voters, and discussing issues first-hand. If there is some breathing room after that, debate away. But I personally hope Hillary has the sense to drop out after that, as her continued delusional bid is doing nothing short of helping McBush.

    April 28, 2008 at 2:05 pm |
  12. Jayne - NH

    No. And what's the big deal anyway? When Clinton was ahead she declined to debate and no one made a federal case of it. When she ran for the Senate she declined to debate. All of a sudden Obama decides 21 debates is enough and he's portrayed as causing democracy to split apart at the seams. The Clinton campaign is short of funds and a debate equals free advertising and a chance to say Reverend Wright in every other sentence. It's not rocket science.

    April 28, 2008 at 2:07 pm |
  13. Karl in CA

    Definitely not. It's just another grand-standing tactic for Hillary and God only knows what she has concocted in her divisive little head this time. Obama needs to get out among the people and leave Hillary standing in the lurch. We can only hope that if he ignores her long enough she will go away, but don't bet the farm on it.

    April 28, 2008 at 2:07 pm |
  14. Kevin Leo (Jonesboro, GA)

    Why should Barack do anything to aid Hillary's campaign?! He has participated in 21 debates, 4 of which were one-on-one with Hillary. He wants to get and campaign directly with the public, which is what his campaign wants to do. Hillary is so broke that she is seeking free media anyway posible and you are playing right into her hands!!!

    April 28, 2008 at 2:07 pm |
  15. Mac in Truro Nova Scotia

    Why should he accept another debate? She is running behind, trying to get more free airtime and trying to call the shots for both campaigns. That is pretty "elitist" from someone who is in second place.

    April 28, 2008 at 2:07 pm |
  16. Ken Mattheis

    No. This is yet another attempt by the Clinton campaign to muddy the waters and cause trouble. After twenty some debates both candidates have answered every possible question imaginable. Unless hell freezes over Obama will be the Democratic Party nominee anyway. The Clinton's continue to try and do as much damage to Obama, and by extension to the party's chances in the fall, as they possibly can. The Clinton campaigns actions are unprincipled and shameful. They should start their own party because all they really care about is themselves anyway. They are a detriment to the Democratic Party. Ken Mattheis – Seattle

    April 28, 2008 at 2:08 pm |
  17. Terri, from TEXAS

    ABSOLUTELY NOT! Debate what????? We've seen enough of Sen. Clinton's tactics; the kitchen sink, say anything- do anything method, mudslinging, repeated personal attacks. ENOUGH already! She hasn't said anything different since Iowa.

    April 28, 2008 at 2:08 pm |
  18. Betty

    Absolutely not! Senator Obama tried weeks ago to get Senator Clinton to commit to a debate in NC, but after 3 weeks, the plan had to be scrapped. I'm dismayed (though not surprised) that the media didn't seem to think that situation was newsworthy, however has run this bit over and over and over...without ever mentioning the fact that he initially proposed it to her and she refused to commit.
    Moberly MO

    April 28, 2008 at 2:08 pm |
  19. Allen Lanai, Hawaii

    While I will not be voting for either of these two candidates, I see this as a last ditch effort by Mrs. Clinton to try and differentiate herself from Mr. Obama. I would think at this point in time most voters know what the candidates are about.

    April 28, 2008 at 2:08 pm |
  20. Joni Williams

    No, I do not think Senator Obama should accept another debate with Senator Clinton. After the last debate who would? Senator Clinton is too busy trying to ruin Senator Obama with with her same old dirty tactics and couldn't talk about the real issues people want to hear. It was quite obvious as she went on about the old issues (Rev. Wright, small towns in PA being bitter and clinging to guns and religion) Now she goes on condemning Barack Obama for not agreeing to another debate. Maybe if she would have stuck to the important issues he would have agreed to 1 more. I believe Hillary Clinton just wants the free publicity since she's running out of money.

    April 28, 2008 at 2:09 pm |
  21. Patricia

    The problem with Sen. Obama debating Sen. Clinton is that Sen. Obama can't debate worth spit Jack. Sen. Obama needs someone with excellent debating skills to help. John Edwards is an excellent debator & I would suggest that the Obama campaign ask for John Edwards for help.
    Palmdale, Ca.

    April 28, 2008 at 2:10 pm |
  22. DAD in Hollis, NH

    No need to accept a debate at this point. There have been four 1:1 debates with Senator Clinton with little real differences being shown. Spending his time talking to people is the best use of the remaining time. Although I would bet Senator Obama would gladly debate Senator McCain at this point in time. That would be worth seeing.

    April 28, 2008 at 2:11 pm |
  23. Debbie,NJ

    Why should he Jack. History shows only the loser wants the debate. Obama is ahead in popular, delegate, number of states, and likability.
    Why should he waste his time with Hillary. She's the desparate one.

    April 28, 2008 at 2:11 pm |
  24. Tracy Indianapolis, IN

    No, they have had enough debates. Besides the last one wasn't a debate it was beat up on Obama night. She is trying to do any and everything she can to win. To bad it's not going to work.

    Obama '08

    April 28, 2008 at 2:11 pm |
  25. Carol c.

    Of course he should not agree. Next she will challenge him to a wrestling match! If the American people do not know where they stand on the issues by this time they shouldn't vote anyway.

    She is hoping to get him up there and jump on his pastor, any acquaintances he has had in the past, etc because she knows he does not want to do that kind of politics! He will hold his own with John McCain but I think he hates to criticize another democrat. Good for him!

    Knoxville, TN

    April 28, 2008 at 2:13 pm |
  26. Candie

    No, enough already. There have been 21 debates and there is very little difference between the platforms of Senators Obama and Clinton. We all know Hillary needs more debates as she has precious little cash to advertise. My only hope is the good people of Indiana and North Carolina put an end to this thing and vote overwhelmingly for Senator Obama.

    April 28, 2008 at 2:13 pm |
  27. Mark

    What in the world for? By now, we know both candidates's positions on just about everything. If the delegate math is correct, we know that Barack Obama will be the nominee. Both candidates have very similar policies positions, so Democrats will, at last, see the country headed in a better direction. No more debates, please.

    April 28, 2008 at 2:14 pm |
  28. Mecca

    Of course, he should have accepted! What is he scared of, the fact that if it's not written, he can't project well? He's unsure and scared because Hillary is much more knowleadgeable on issues than he is and is far more qualified to become our next president! Wake up America, this is not a matter of race or gender, it's about who is better qualified to hold the most important job in the world! We are at a crisis and we need a strong and experienced candidate, not a recently born one!
    Mecca, Puerto Rico

    April 28, 2008 at 2:15 pm |
  29. Bill

    Redding, CA


    Sen. Obama is absolutely correct in refusing Sen. Clinton's "invitation" for this debate. He has allowed her to set the tone recently, has made his mistakes and needs to spend the time reconnecting with the voters. He needs to show that he can "just say no" to her. There is nothing for him to gain from such a debate, and nothing for him to lose by saying "No thank you." Somehow I am reminded of the "come into my web said the spider to the fly".

    He should stay on message, ignore what will surely be coming his way from Camp Clinton.

    April 28, 2008 at 2:15 pm |
  30. gail

    Jack, I like to watch the debates,like 22 million others.Hillary does not need to debate, The Rev. Wright is taking care of everything.

    April 28, 2008 at 2:18 pm |
  31. Bob in Traverse City Mi.

    He should have accepted Jack and went in with bosts fists swinging. He could have started with the travel-gate scandel and moved right on to Vince Foster and Misplaced documents. Then he could have brought up the Whitewater scandel, the last minute pardons, the phantom futures "investments", and of course "Bill" and the Chinese investor/lobbyists. This is the kind of debate Hillary wants and he should give it to her.

    April 28, 2008 at 2:19 pm |
  32. Virginia

    No, we are not going to hear anything we haven't already heard ad nauseum. Hillary only wants free air time because her campaign is bankrupt. Obama is wise to force her to spend more money. She will have to quit sooner that way.

    April 28, 2008 at 2:19 pm |
  33. bill in PA

    A real debate with no moderator, no ads, no external talking head to introduce irrelevant conflict would be great.
    There would have to be a time referee and a place to hold such an event.
    But, it will not happen which is too bad.

    April 28, 2008 at 2:19 pm |
  34. Ann Mack

    No. Barack should not engage in a Bar-room Brawl Like Debate to make himself look less presidential! Besides, Lincoln and Douglas were gentlement with ethics and morals, something the Clintons sorely lack.

    April 28, 2008 at 2:19 pm |
  35. Mark - Asheville, NC

    To the swing (Reagan Democrat) voters, whom he must win over if he is to have any chance of beating McCain, refusing to debate could look like weakness, or far worse, fear. It does not matter that they have already had 20 debates; many voters are just now becoming interested in the election and they want to see the two candidates in a head to head, right now .

    If Obama is reluctant to take on his opponent now, many voters might wonder if he would be similarly hesitant, as President, to take on foreign leaders who mean the US harm. Whether this is fair or not will not matter in November, and he will have to deal with it before then.

    April 28, 2008 at 2:21 pm |
  36. Yve (pronounced Eve)

    Heavens no! The sane democrats are tired of the negativity. Without a moderator there will be cheap shots, constant interruption, and long-winded bravado (probably one-sided). No thank you.

    Obama supporters will continue to support and the same with Clinton. The "fence sitters" should go to the candidates' websites and read their action plans to get detailed information and make a decision.

    To not have an opinion on the remaining Dem candidates these fence sitters must be living in a bubble with a TV as their only source of information?

    April 28, 2008 at 2:22 pm |
  37. SuEllen Adkins-Raleigh NC.

    Sure! why not? If one is in this for the right reasons, then why be shy about exposing your views to the world? Obama is in his political infancy, and if he has nothing to hide, then show us now, before we call him a coward, and assume he is intimidated by a candidate who could never be intimidated by anyone, in our country, or around the world. Hillary is one smart lady, perfect for this time!

    April 28, 2008 at 2:23 pm |
  38. Evelyn - AZ

    No. With no moderator it would be even worse. There would be no-one to reign in her attacks. Could it be that because her campaign is $10M in debt, she's looking for some free advertising?

    I'm not sure why she continues to bring it up. What about the word NO doesn't she understand? Or is the reason much more machiavellian, and she wants to continue to build on her portrayal of him as an unsatisfactory candidate who is scared of her. I don't know if Obama is scared of her, but I sure am.

    Evelyn – AZ

    April 28, 2008 at 2:24 pm |
  39. Jae Bethea

    No! I don't need to hear national candidates debate flag pins, patriotism or the lack thereof, the philosphy of their respective pastors, or any other ridiculous topic that has dominated the public discourse over the last 12 months. It is sad when the American people who are purportedly seeking representatives of government, of , for and by people discussing everything but the people's business or the people's needs are being discussed. Please save us from the circus (oh I'm sorry) debate.

    April 28, 2008 at 2:24 pm |
  40. Jackson

    What's left to debate, Jack? There have been 21 debates so far, four of which were solely between Clinton and Obama. The only thing either camp stands to gain from any more "debating" is yet another stage on which they can air each other's dirty laundry (April 16th, anyone)?

    Rome, GA

    April 28, 2008 at 2:26 pm |
  41. Carolyn-Charlotte NC

    Jack - I don't think Sen. Obama should have another debate with Sen. Clinton. There have been 21 debates, if we haven't heard enough during these past debates, shame on us for not listening or tuning into their differences. Enough already......Let's just wind up this primary and select a candidate to run against John McCain.

    April 28, 2008 at 2:26 pm |
  42. Brian from Fort Mill, S.C.

    Obama doesn't do as well in debates as Hillary, so it doesn't pay for him to debate if he can help it.

    On the downside, he runs the risk of Hillary calling him "Chicken".

    It all doesn't really matter, because unless he loses by a large margin (Indiana is close, and he's ahead in N.C.), he will wind up with the nomination, and then the real games can begin.

    April 28, 2008 at 2:26 pm |
  43. susan v. Mansfield, Ohio

    Obama might call them "gotcha games," but this primary race not just about "what you'll do." It's also about "who you are."

    April 28, 2008 at 2:26 pm |
  44. Michael

    No way! Obama is very right, HRC had her last chance in PA and abused it. Everyone is very tired of that nonsense. 21 debates are more than enough. Anyone who still does not know where any candidate stands can always go to their sites or go to one of there meetings. It is better to meet as much people as possible live, so they can make up their minds finally based on their impressions.

    Empty Drums Makes Loudest Sounds!

    April 28, 2008 at 2:27 pm |
  45. Nuwan Sam

    YES. That would be something new that I would like to watch. It is a different style, a different setting so why not ? They both will have opportunity to question each other. The real question is why Obama suddenly become so scared of debates ? Can he go with that attitude to fight republicans ? I hope Obama would act like a real politician and accept the challange.

    Nuwan from Houston, TX

    April 28, 2008 at 2:27 pm |
  46. Larry in Florida

    I would love to see them one on one. I am leaning toward Hillary because I think she is ready to deal with the politics that go with getting things done. I know we all want politics to change and everything get done fair and square with no glitches. Like Obama seems to put it, Ask and you shall recieve. Just not going to happen. Getting things done takes alot of one on one hard ball and I think Hillary can do that. Put them together one on one and just maybe I and several other Americans will see who can handle the heat in the kitchen.

    April 28, 2008 at 2:27 pm |
  47. Faith, PA

    Yes, his refusal only leaves people wondering what he is afraid of.

    April 28, 2008 at 2:28 pm |
  48. JoAnn in Iowa

    NO, Obama should not have accepted Clinton's debate invitation. She wants a big audience for her negative campaign and she needs some free air time. If people really liked her, she wouldn't have so much trouble raising money. Obama doesn't need to engage her. They have debated enough. What he needs is to get out and meet voters because when people meet him, they vote for him.

    April 28, 2008 at 2:28 pm |
  49. bk

    Yes, Obama should have accepted another debate. There have actually only been 4 debates between Clinton and Obama. The people deserve to know who they are voting for and how much knowledge that candidate has. Obama has demonstrated in prior debates that he is not ready to be the president. He is hiding behind rallys that say hope and change and ducking the questions. ABC is the only one in a debate that has not given Obama a free ride. We would not be in this situation had the media done their jobs from the beginning. The media spent to much time promoting Obama, instead of giving the people the information they needed.

    April 28, 2008 at 2:28 pm |
  50. David Alexandria, VA

    Yes - if it is really a debate. Characterizing the last dozen or so encounters as "debates" is, well, debatable. These media fests have deteriorated into little more than staged press conferences with little or no real depth provided on the issues. The moderators, with a few individual exceptions, have added little except tiredly predictable questions which encourage packaged answers. As voters, we should have a chance to really learn how the candidates feel about issues, how they substantiate their positions, what the implications of their strategies would be across the social, geopolitical and economic landscapes - and how they differ from each other in an interactive fashion. That would be a debate. And Obama should welcome the opportunity to participate. But, was that what Hillary had in mind?

    April 28, 2008 at 2:29 pm |
  51. rosemary

    I am clueless as to why Hillary wants another debate of any kind. Another debate would waste my time and electricity. Voters know where the candidates stand on issues. Most voters know who they are voting for in the General Election. We just want to get on with the process. We want to hear debates between Obama and McCain.

    April 28, 2008 at 2:29 pm |
  52. Howard, Indianapolis

    Jack, why don't we just stop this nonsense and have a debate on
    something of REAL significance, such as why Hillary is still in the race after having lost the popular vote, delegate count, and number
    of states won?

    April 28, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  53. Carole G

    Absolutely not! We can visit YouTube and see all of the past debates. Who needs another one of those. I'd rather have the candidates get to the people.


    April 28, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  54. Rick Jeffrey

    Given his last debate performance and the most recent remarks by Rev. Wright I would have to say no! Hillary is a Policy Wonk and Obama can only be made to look bad or worse. He is ahead and trying to run out the clock or in a prevent defense. He is CLINGING to his narrow lead hoping for time to run out on Hillary and it just may. Hey Jack, I am from the great state of Nevada, like you, and I was wondering how Clinton won this state 51% to 46% but Obama got the most Delegates. Something is wrong with this system.

    April 28, 2008 at 2:32 pm |
  55. Praetorian, Fort Myers

    A debate with no moderator would be political suicide for Obama.

    The man can't function without his 3×5's or a teleprompter. Without knowing the questions in advance–or having his policy notes at his fingertips–he'd be a lost soul.
    Clearly he has shown...that he cannot speak or debate extermporaneously.

    He was wise to not debate her...she'd win hands down.

    April 28, 2008 at 2:32 pm |
  56. m. stanford from SC

    The voters of North Carolina and Indiana could, and probably would like to, evaluate both candidates again-maybe Obama is afraid of that. After all, Clinton is very good when she is speaking from her own knowledge and experience. Obama's knowledge and experience would possibly not measure up well with her's in a "nose-to-nose, eyeball-to-eyeball, no- holds-barred debate" with no moderator. In this case, the best woman just might win! I would be afraid, too, if I were Obama! MS from SC

    April 28, 2008 at 2:34 pm |
  57. mr.singh

    No, the Democratic nominee can have such a debate with McCain. The primaries will decide who our nominee will be for we don't need rehash of previous debates.

    However, what Obama should do is have townhall with regular folk and if Clinton wants to join in that's fine. That way the questions will be more spontaneous. Hillary is banking on formal debates so that she can regurgitate her robotic circular reasoning responses. She thinks she's so good at debating but she's not. The only thing she's good at is her command of english and the flourishes she makes: basically "speeches" which is what she says Obama does.

    When Obama answers it's to engage your brain in logical reasoning to get to a reasonable conclusion so you understand the issue better. That's the difference and that's why when people hear him, they tend to agree with him and vote for him.

    I know this is historic election but really Hillary is no Lincoln! What a joke!!

    April 28, 2008 at 2:35 pm |

    To my way of thinking ,all the debates of both partie should have been this way.We would probably have different candidates running
    for office now.

    April 28, 2008 at 2:35 pm |
  59. Chicago Bob from Illinois

    No. There have been enough debates between these two candidates who are essentially the same on policy. Lincoln and Douglass had big differences and by the way Douglass won the senate race because he told people what they wanted to hear about confronting the evil of slavery which was to leave things as they were. Lincoln was right that a house divided could not stand.

    April 28, 2008 at 2:37 pm |
  60. Mimi in Chicago

    Why? So Hillary can keep bringing up issues that have nothing to do with the issues at hand?
    Don't waste your time and energy Obama

    April 28, 2008 at 2:38 pm |
  61. Pamela-NC (40ywf)

    I get the sense that Obama doesn't want to debate her again because he may not be able to hold back from calling her out on her lies and manipulations of the truth and adding to the in-fighting that is hurting the Democratic party. I feel that is the second reason the ABC debate went poorly for him. I felt he was holding back on tearing her apart. Just in case you are wondering, the first reason it went poorly for him was that they pulled George out of Hillary's back pocket to ask the questions....that way SHE didn't have to talk about anything 'that she didn't want to talk about'.
    I voted w/ my parents early last Monday here in Clayton NC. We voted for Barack and we need no more lies from Hillary and no more debates.

    April 28, 2008 at 2:39 pm |
  62. Terry in Virginia

    Many of the past 21 debates would have been better without a moderator. In fact, the last debate was a debacle due to the moderators, not the candidates. Obama and Clinton are very close on the issues so why listen to an exchange of snide remarks that can only make both Democrats look worse and McCain better in absentia? No, thank you.

    April 28, 2008 at 2:39 pm |
  63. Terrie

    We have heard enough debating already it's time to to just pick a winner in this race and get on with the general election.

    April 28, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  64. Stan Quittman

    No!. Hillary would have no qualms about saying anything, true or untrue to make Obama look bad. He seems to be a gentleman who prefers the high road and would be out of his element in another debate with her. He should do what he does best, which is give inspiring speaches. Maybe enough voters will see the light.

    April 28, 2008 at 2:41 pm |
  65. dieter

    No, because he has not yet learned to be as cuthroat, conniving, and negative as Senator Clinton. This challenge seems like a desperation move on her part.
    Let's just hope that – if indeed she is the one answering the phone at 3 am – she doesn't 'mispeak' ... because of tiredness.


    April 28, 2008 at 2:43 pm |
  66. Patrick Des Moines, IA

    While it would be incredibly interesting I think it'd be terrible for the democratic party. A no-holds-bar with Hillary? All that would happen is Hillary attacking Obama, Obama justifying himself, and when it was all over Hillary would wrant about how Obama never talked about the "issues" and how he was just "talk". It'd hurt both candidates come general election time more then it would bennefit either in Indiana.

    April 28, 2008 at 2:43 pm |
  67. alexa, Lovettsville, Va

    Of course they should debate. That being said, Jack, have been living under a rock since Friday? Does the name Jerimiah Wright ring any bells? I know you are pro-Obama but to ignore the biggest story of the last 3-4 days in your "questions of the day" is even below you. Can you say irresponsible, biased journalism.

    April 28, 2008 at 2:43 pm |
  68. Fannie Butler

    No, Senator Obama should not accept another debate. We have had more debates than necessary. It's time for him to spend time on the ground and get to speak directly to people in states where the future primaries are being held. Truly, enough is enough! There is so much ugliness going on in this country today for which Obama has not really been the instigator. I think people are trying to prove that Obama is wishing for a pipe dream because we're so diverse and so polarized that we will never accept blacks as full citizens because our heritage was built on slavery and may want that underlying factor to remain for as long as we're a country. Sad, but true.

    April 28, 2008 at 2:43 pm |
  69. Carroll Bailey

    Dear Jack – I regret few people would agree with me in Owosso, Michigan. I think such a debate would be a waste of time. All Hillary Clinton wants is another opportunity to lie to the American voters. It is tragic anyone would consider such an immoral person as a Presidential candidate. Hillary will be too busy entertaining guests, who rented the Lincoln bedroom, to answer any telephone calls at 3:00 A.M. in the White House. The only direct line Hillary and Bill Clinton have is to the switchboard in Hell.

    April 28, 2008 at 2:44 pm |
  70. Keith

    Not in a million years. Have the last 7 years been good enough to warrant another 4 years just like them? That is the question voters should ask themselvesif they are considering voting for McCain. McCain is just a repackaged George Bush.

    April 28, 2008 at 2:44 pm |
  71. Mike from Birmingham, AL

    No moderator. No word in edgewise. No way.

    Barack Obama will most likely reach a majority of pledged delegates on May 20th, the night of the Kentucky and Oregon primaries, and this will all be academic. The one-third of the remaining superdelegates he needs to be nominated will be easily within reach at that point. Then, for all intents and purposes, the debate is over.

    April 28, 2008 at 2:44 pm |
  72. Dee, Canada

    He does not do well in debates so best he stays out of them. Hillary has won all the debates hands down and he knows it.

    April 28, 2008 at 2:45 pm |
  73. Erin in Kalamazoo

    Absolutely. As the presumptive nominee–and let's face it, he is–eventually he is going to have to get in the ring with McCain.

    He has far more potential as a debater than he's credited–team Obama should be training him for the knock-out punch that will send Hillary, once and for all, out of the ring! Then bring on McCain!

    April 28, 2008 at 2:45 pm |
  74. Bea

    Here is the narrative for Hillary Clinton: If I can't beat Obama, I couldn't care less if John McCain does. She will do anything to win, the media describe her as a fighter, but they do not say that she is only fighting for herself, not for the good of American people. We all know what are the differences between the candidates , no need for another debate where Clinton is setting the tone, how low can she go. I am very sad to see Clinton legacy got destroyed, being once a big supporter

    April 28, 2008 at 2:45 pm |
  75. Carole in Indiana

    Latest poll Hillary stands a better chance to beat McCain than Obama does.
    She would beat his a** in a debate. then she sould go whip Keith O's a** as well. He would continue to crumble like he is doing now. He is all talk, no substance. If the Super Delegates do not act in the party's best interest and vote for her, then the republicans get another 4 years. Why no question about the new poll Jack?

    April 28, 2008 at 2:45 pm |
  76. Robert Minneapolis,MN

    This is a tricky situation but I would like to see a debate of ideas, no moderators and gotcha questions would only make the person asking look like a jerk. If nothing is settled by the time the june primaries are done, this would be a great way to give the undecided super delegates and the rest of america fresh insight into the two candidates.

    April 28, 2008 at 2:47 pm |
  77. Vickie

    Yes he should, And I would like to see him and John McCain and Hillary have a Debate too. Who do you think will win that one. His last debate with Hillary was bad just think what John McCain is going to do to him. Wake Up American. LOOK WHAT THE ECONOMY IS IN. THE WAR THE GAS PRICES NO JOBS.

    Vickie, Columbia, La.

    April 28, 2008 at 2:47 pm |
  78. Emilia Townsend

    Last time we heard from Hillary, she compared herself with Rocky Balboa. Which one of the two she pretends to be now – Lincoln or Douglas?
    By the way, would you please explain to the viewers the rules of a Lincoln-Douglas debate and ask them how much sense her proposal makes ?


    April 28, 2008 at 2:47 pm |
  79. Ray, Florida

    No Jack!

    Hillary has been setting the agenda and making the rules up as she goes during this race!
    I'm glad Obama refused, It's about time for him to start taking control of this thing ! If he can't do it now then how can he run the country?

    April 28, 2008 at 2:48 pm |
  80. Charles M

    I watched every debate and every debate is the same issue with the same format with the answers. I am done with debates...there have been 21 debates. There is nothing more that I need to hear from either one of them. I am just ready to vote.

    Besides Hillary is starting to sound like Huckabee....desperate!

    April 28, 2008 at 2:48 pm |
  81. mary walsh

    Absolutely not. Why should Barack Obama waste his time answering Hillary's sophomoric questions and dodging her jabs when he can get to know the people of Indiana, one on one, without her interference. Obama needs to take the lead by setting an agenda for the best use of his time. Town meetings, local appearances and allowing the people get to know him are far more productive than a contest of who can put on the best stage performance. He doesn't need that or her. He’s got the money, she's got the need.

    April 28, 2008 at 2:49 pm |
  82. gCs Gonzales LA

    No, no, no, Senator Obama is correct when he said the previous debates have offered little new information and if the nation don't have an idea where each of these candidates stand on the issues, than they never will.

    Besides, Jack Senator Obama is winning and therefore have nothing to gain and everything to lose. On the other hand Sentor Clinton has nothing to lose and everything to gain. If I was in her position I would be talking big debate talk too.

    April 28, 2008 at 2:49 pm |
  83. Milton

    The Douglas – Lincoln debates were good for exposure back in the day and it worked for Lincoln. It made people aware who this guy Lincoln was and it exposed his ideas and rhetoric
    However, after twenty-one debates between Mr. Obama and the Clinton Machine, there is nothing left to expose.
    If there was a twenty-second debate all we the people will be exposed to is rhetoric from the likes of: Howard Dean, James Carville, or James Clyburn and the merits on the issues gained or lost in the debate would be twisted . And we the people would be lost on the issues again.

    April 28, 2008 at 2:49 pm |
  84. Annie in Reno, NV

    I don't blame him a bit for not wanting to debate her again – every time they meet to debate, she mops the floor with him. He can't afford to look any worse than he currently does, as she gains momentum. Face it, she's smarter than he and will do a better job as president. He is, well, he's a good speech reader.

    April 28, 2008 at 2:50 pm |

    No, we don't need another debate, we need to hear details of how the candidates will change the economy, stop the war, provide health care. They should just talk to the people. no debate necessary.

    April 28, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
  86. Rob BC Canada

    No,he shouldn't bother.If he could be assured that the topic would stay on issues important to the country and the actual running of government,maybe,but an unmoderated debate with Hillary Clinton?
    That would be as fair and classy as an Arkansas land deal.

    April 28, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
  87. Tiachi

    No, there have been too many as it is. There views on issues do not differ by much. She is a better debater but he is the front runner. It should be noted that just because you are a better debater doesn't mean that you would be the best person to lead the the country. George W Bush was/is a good debater and we know where that has gotten us!

    April 28, 2008 at 2:51 pm |
  88. jeff

    Trying to chide the leading candidate to more debates is campaign strategy 101. The trailing candidate has nothing to lose, If the leader (Obama) declines, the trailing candidate raises questions. IE what is he afraid of? If he accepts, the trailing hopes that the leading candidate commits some gaffe that they can exploit to the trailing candidates benefit.
    They have already had a recording breaking 21 debates. Enough is enough.

    April 28, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  89. Laurel Jones

    Hillary shows her strengths in debate. Barack shows his strength in direct campaigning to the people. Hillary wants to debate constantly because that puts her in her best light. She's basically using this as a distraction from the delegate math which, regardless of her Pennsylvania win, she's still at a disadvantage on.

    Barack Obama is right to reject debate. We know what these candidates' positions are. As Dean has suggested, the Democratic party needs to get going and make a decision, not endlessly rehash the issues.

    April 28, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  90. Alex

    At this point, the race has become more competitive and it appears that Clinton is turning it around, based on the latest AP poll. Obama has to engage her in a debate and state the substance of his positions and not just rhetorics. Otherwise, he may see her beat him at Indiana anfd come a very close second to him in North Carolina.

    April 28, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  91. Louis

    After 21 debates if the voters still can't make up their minds they don't deserve the priviledge of voting.

    April 28, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  92. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    After the tone of the questions in the last debate, why in the world would Obama subject himself to more of the same? He's better off getting his message out on the stump.

    April 28, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  93. upset voter in TX


    We are trying to pick the next president of the USA. Clinton has gotten the short end of the stick on this whole election. She is out talking issues and he is playing basketball. I think he has been painted the next big star.... Like Miley Ray Cyrus. So maybe he should talk to Huckabee's agent and maybe he could have a big job on the BIG screen. Clinton is out there fighting and really trying and the only one we are discussing is Obama. I don't think I would want my last debate to be left like the one most of us picture in PA. debate.

    Just my 2 cents

    April 28, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  94. Diane in TN

    No!! She is a waste of his and the voters' time and energy. He would be better to discuss his position on issues face-to-face with the voters. He has wasted precious time defending himself on dribble. Now he needs to speak out without interruptions.

    April 28, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  95. Uche, Brooklyn, NY

    Have you not heard about flogging a dead horse, Jack? They had a debate only a few days ago. Hillary knows for sure that there are no more policy differences to highlight. But this is politics and she intends on scoring some points by portraying herself as tougher than Obama.

    April 28, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  96. Alonzo Demetrius, FL (USA)

    If Obama thought another debate would be good for the voters and the country, he would agree to another debate. He is, however afraid of Hillary and knows he can't answer her questions adequately for the voters. He therefore tries not to say anything to the press or to the general public because he has already screwed up so much in his campaign. Why would anyone vote for this unknowledgeable man?

    April 28, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  97. Rick from NJ

    Senator Obama is not accepting a debate because he doesn't have to. They really only had four debates between themselves so it would have been nice. He blew the last one, so why would he risk blowing another one?

    April 28, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  98. Sandra, Louisville, KY

    Of course he shouldn't have accepted yet another invitation. At this point, Sen. Clinton is a loose cannon and will do anything she can to turn the tide in her favor. Sen. Obama has been silent on all of her dirt (Whitewater, Travelgate, Peter vs. Paul trial) because of the the kind of campaign he's trying to run. She has no qualms about throwing her fellow democrat under the bus and giving the republicans talking points for the general election. He's also being smart by not allowing her anymore free air time. She's run her campaign into the ground financially......let her pay for ad time like everyone else!!!!

    April 28, 2008 at 2:54 pm |
  99. Dan (Kirkland, WA)

    I'm sure the New York Yankees would like to replay game 7 of the 2004 ALCS too but do you think the Boston Red Sox are looking for a re-match? NO!

    April 28, 2008 at 2:54 pm |
  100. barb -ohio

    Yes, Obama should debate. He says they have already had 21, but from those 21 how many were before all the controversy of his pastor and acquaintances. He got put on the ropes in the last one and knows he can't "float like a butterfly" out of it. He's hoping he can just brush it off his shoulders as he demonstrated but he can't and as I see it Mr. Wright is just putting him tighter and tighter to the ropes.

    April 28, 2008 at 2:54 pm |
  101. Betsy Baughan

    I think Obama should have a sit down, kitchen table, interactive discussion with ordinary people who would ask the questions and air what's on their minds. Clinton and Obama have already had multiple debates–that often go way off course. Let the people speak.

    April 28, 2008 at 2:54 pm |
  102. Nelson, Knoxville TN

    Jack, Why should he? She is no more an opponent to Obama but a spoiller of the democratic party who needs to be called to order. She refused to debate while running for the Sen. now she finds debate so important after 21. What a polarizer? – thanks to the media who has flatly ignored her plan to "obliterate" Iran rather the media find issues such Rev. Wright who is not even running for any office more important to feed to Americans. I am ashamed of the media in this country.

    April 28, 2008 at 2:55 pm |
  103. gary

    its about time you americans woke up and realized that mrs Clinton is the best candidate/ Obama and hip troop are running scared and knows a debate will make him look bad. Come on America VOTE CLINTON

    April 28, 2008 at 2:55 pm |
  104. MODESTO

    Does Hillary ever realisze that in times when American people are struggling to make ends meet, the last thing they need is a selfish, power hungry politician who keeps asking them to switch on their TV and consume more electricity just to watch her expensive pant suits and big golden hearings? Shame on her. NO more debates, Save more electricity.

    Seychelles Islands
    (Indian Ocean)

    April 28, 2008 at 2:55 pm |
  105. Elizabeth Sexton

    This would be one debate I'd tune into. The candidates actually going toe-to-toe. It wouldn't be about the moderators and if they are being "unfair" to a certain candidate. Maybe it would truly be the perfect forum to see which candidate really is the most brilliant, shining star. Obama needs this as his rock star has lost its luster, shine and twinkle.

    April 28, 2008 at 2:55 pm |
  106. Mike from New York

    Why should he? With already the record number of debates between the candidates than ever before and their policies out in the open for everyone to see, why would anyone want to hear the same thing over and over again?

    April 28, 2008 at 2:55 pm |
  107. realchange

    Of course Obama doesnt want this debate because they would have to focus on the issues. As we all know Obama knows how to rile up a prep rally however lacks tremendously on the issues. As a matter of fact when he doesn't know an answer he claims his policies are the same as Hillary's. Well I ask, where is really the change????????

    April 28, 2008 at 2:56 pm |
  108. Ray in West Chester, PA

    Obama shouldn't accept the debate offer. He has nothing to win and everything to lose. Right now, he feels pretty comfortable making presentations in front of audiences with few questions being asked.
    Clinton needs the debates to trip Obama up.

    April 28, 2008 at 2:56 pm |
  109. Len in Clarkston, WA

    No. We've all had enough of endless chatter about debates where the topics don't concern our futures. Enough is enough. Move on.
    Is it November yet?

    Len in Washington

    April 28, 2008 at 2:56 pm |
  110. Matthew McSheehy

    With Hillary's campaign in the hole financially it only makes sense that she would ask for this. She wants the free coverage and another opportunity to throw more political trash at a man who has shown that he chooses to stay above that type of gutter politics.

    Matthew, Seattle

    April 28, 2008 at 2:56 pm |
  111. Eric, IA

    Obama rejecting her debate offer is just another reason for the public to think that is too soft for the job. While not responding with his own attack ads may be seen as courageous, debating and attack ads are the nature of the beast [campaigning]. As far as Hillary "losing" I think it is too close to call for now a win in Indiana will keep her going just like the 10 point win in PA.

    April 28, 2008 at 2:57 pm |
  112. MMN-Milwaukee WI

    Right now the only way Hillary can remain relevant is by making a lot of noise. She knows the lights are dimming, no money coming in, and soon enough the media will walk away from her. These are the final kicks of a dying horse.

    April 28, 2008 at 2:57 pm |
  113. Flander Annapolis

    She can debate herself: NAFTA, BOSNIA, IRAQ, COLUMBIA, CHINA

    she has taken both sides on these issues.

    April 28, 2008 at 2:58 pm |
  114. Pat, Ky.

    NO!! How can people call that most recent ABC disaster a "debate"??

    We're tired of debates, where the same old topics are brought up again and again.

    This campaign has gone on for too long. They – the candidates and the media – don't have enough new stuff to talk about and I, for one, am getting real tired of what they DO talk about.

    April 28, 2008 at 2:58 pm |
  115. Ida Ward

    No he should not debate her. She wants to get up there and argue and drag Obama down. Hillary should go argue with Bill. She is broke and needs free press. Don't believe the hype. Make her pay for media.

    Ida, Atlanta

    April 28, 2008 at 2:58 pm |
  116. Steve Cohen

    It would serve no purpose. WE have heard over 20 debates and it's the same poilitcal diaheria over and over again. What the party needs is unity, but that can't happen now because all thet (Clinton and Obama) are both too self-serving.

    Steve C
    Laguna Niguel

    April 28, 2008 at 2:58 pm |
  117. Mike in TX

    Absolutely he should have accepted an offer to debate Clinton again. He may be the front-runner, but he is still the underdog in some ways unless he knocks Clinton out.

    April 28, 2008 at 2:58 pm |
  118. Jason

    He is a hypocrite if he doesn't. Newsweek Nov. 12 he said that Hillary is whining about her treatment at a debate because anything goes we are running for the most powerful position in the free world. but since the last debate he has whined and cried and now won't debate her.

    April 28, 2008 at 2:58 pm |
  119. Toni in orlando

    Yes I think he should! This is the Presidency of the United States. This is too important, and frankly in all past debates, Hilary was asked the questions first, which gave him plenty of time to think of an answer, and he started his answers mostly with, I agree with what Hilary just said. He hasnt been tested. For all you idiots that didnt understand Hilarys frustration in the debate where she made a point of asking why she always got the questions first! Thats why!!! Lets put him to the test and see how well he stands up to real pressure.

    April 28, 2008 at 2:59 pm |
  120. DC Insider

    Obama did the political thing by not accepting a debate while leading - but this will further polarize the Clinton base should Clinton not get the nomination

    All the phony big wig Dems (Kennedy, Kerry, Dodd, et al) want this to be over before the convention - they want Obama inbecasue the inside Dem leaders believe they can "handle and manage Obama" But what they fail to realize is that the Democratic base is solidly behind Hillary and they will likley turn to Mccain before they take Obama - I, for one, a long standing MA democrat, will not support Obama – It is Hillary first and them McCain -

    April 28, 2008 at 3:00 pm |
  121. Amy

    I am sure that one can find all 21 of those previous debates on Youtube. We have had enough debates. That last debate was clearly biased and a waste of my time as a viewer. I would not waste my time with another one, even if it didn't have a moderator. No more debates. It is time to get a democratic nominee.

    April 28, 2008 at 3:00 pm |
  122. Silvia Salcido

    He should absolutely accept another debate!!! That way we can hear more on his plans for health care, immigration reform, education, the war in Iraq, job development, tax reform, trade reform.... and on and on. Frankly, I'd like to see how he responds when his back against the wall.... instead of the feathered peacock speeches we've heard for the past 12 months!

    April 28, 2008 at 3:00 pm |
  123. Kel from Auburn, AL

    No. Clinton is fully of dirty tricks. It makes sense for the frontrunner to decline additional debates. He can't risk looking bad in any way. Hillary is desperate and vicious: she would tear him to pieces in a debate (although this doesn't make her a better candidate).

    Obama's being smart and promoting his image of "rising above the fray" by refusing to another debate. After the ABC debate, I really don't care to see another. I don't enjoy hearing Hillary talk anyhow.

    April 28, 2008 at 3:00 pm |
  124. Karen, Idaho Falls Idaho

    If Obama is the "squeeky clean" honest up-front candidate he claims to be, he should not hesitate to debate Hillary Clinton. Putting his views in contrast to hers in front of the public should be more important to him than appearing to be hiding from the recently bad press that he has received.

    April 28, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  125. stacy

    I think he is afraid to because debating is not one of his strengths
    and he gropes for words and answers. He is still a mystery.

    April 28, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  126. Jerry, Seattle

    Hi Jack,

    The only reason that Hillary would want to debate is that she would get a whole lot of "free" air time. Something she desperately needs since she is running out of money for tv ads...

    April 28, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  127. Chris

    Absolutely. Mr. Obama talks about bringing a new day of openness and conciliation to Washington and the world. What better way than to have a non moderated debate where we, the American people would be able to judge them by their comportment, candor, the quality of their questions and the depth of their answers. Doing so is not without risk, especially for Mr. Obama, who is leading by slim margins in just about all primary categories. If he doesn't accept such a debate, however, perhaps his talk of a "new day" will be perceived as just spin for the sake of getting the nomination.

    April 28, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  128. Alex in TX

    If Hillary was so interested in doing what's best for the Democratic party, she'd would have quit by now. She cannot catch up in delegates and if she convinces the superdelegates to overturn the will of the people, she will have destroyed the Democratic party.

    She has no interest in what is best for the Party.

    Alex in San Antonio

    April 28, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  129. Mauri

    Jack, what a fateful act this debate could have been in Obama's favor had he been able to foresee the actions of his religious mentor, Jeremiah Wright. This would have given the Senator the perfect venue in which to refute all that his pastor stands for. You know the moderators (if there were any) would have asked pertinent questions. But Obama refused to discuss issues with Hillary Clinton, and it looks like the chickens have,indeed, come home to roost!

    Sugar Land, Texas

    April 28, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  130. Dan, Chantilly Va

    The last thing America needs is another debate that produces no answers to any questions that matter. People stopped caring about the issues at some point in November, and these debates stopped discussing the issues at around the same time. Would it really help to have another 2 hours of answers to media sound bites and personal attacks? Oh, I know, it will give us another chance to hear Obama say that he has hope, and for Clinton to say she has experience. I'd only watch another debate if it actually involved debate. I want to hear about economic policies, educational policies, and foreign policies. And not just what the candidates will do about Iraq and Iran. I want to hear what they think of the growing tension in the Balkans, the steps to peace between Israel and the Arab world, how we can fix our relationship with Russia. Trouble brewing in the Balkans, Middle East, and Russia. Are we sure it isn't 1908?

    April 28, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  131. Charlotte

    Jack, He would be a fool. He does not do well in debates. You must be able to think fast and he has shown that he is very weak in that area. Without a prepared speech, he is like a duck out of water.
    Clovis, CA

    April 28, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  132. Paul-Scranton

    Yes of course. The situation has changed with all the new revelations (wrightgate abd bittergate) and clobbering Obama took in Pennsylvania. What is he afraid off ...chickens coming home to roost. Theres is no such thing as to many debates. If he cannot stand the heat of the debates...get out of race.

    April 28, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  133. Terrence

    I really don't see the point for another debate between these two candidates. There have been 21 overall and 4 between the two of them. I don't know what more can be said we haven't already heard. I know her phrases by heart and I know his phrases by heart. Let the candidates talk directly to the people they are campaigning for.

    April 28, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  134. Jerry Wilson

    Sure, Barack and Hillary should debate. The two of them have faced off only a couple of times. There just isn't a legitimate reason to deny voters the opportunity to compare the candidates.

    Jerry Wilson

    April 28, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  135. Joshua Schmidt

    I think that it was a good idea for Obama to not pick another debate because the main argument people make is that they don't know him while they feel like they know the Clinton's, since they've been around so long. Meeting people on the ground is something that is very positive for his campaign.

    However, with enough spin, the choice to not pick up another debate could really hurt him with Hillary deciding to play on his fear of her or the supposed existence of.

    April 28, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  136. Tim from Buffalo

    Hi Jack,
    I believe Hillary is pushing for debates because it's free air time for her and even if she has a bad debate it's better than not being on the air at all. Strategically I think Obama is doing the right thing as no new information is going to come out about these candidates. I do wish he'd dig in and let her have it at least once, but with the Clinton loyalists being a significant percent of the democratic party he's opted to be extremely respectful.

    April 28, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  137. Chuck in MO

    Another blatant attempt by her to throw him off his game which is best
    served by him meeting people in person. I applaud him for his
    rejection of this nonsense. Besides if I had to be subjected to yet
    another of their meaningless debates I might go Elvis on my TV set.

    April 28, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  138. Hank in Texas

    Jack, absolutely not, Obama should not debate Hillary again before May 6. After 21 debates, we all know that the substantive differences between the two are minor. Hillary's poorly-run campaign is short on cash and in debt. She needs a debate as a means of free visibility. It would be foolish for Obama, whose campaign is spectacularly well run and flush with funds, to give Hillary that opportunity. Let her supporters put their money were their mouths are.

    April 28, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  139. Maryanne Connecticut

    He definitely should....debates are Obama's "pay no attention to that man behind the curtain" moments: he becomes unveiled....he's a Wizard of Words...only

    April 28, 2008 at 3:58 pm |
  140. Jaime from Rosamond, CA


    I do not see any reason, at this point, for another debate. I have watched many of them (though not all) and after the last one, I have no desire to watch another. If the candidates would focus on the issues, then perhaps, but don't we all know where they stand. I have not liked the way that Hillary Clinton has been running her campaign. I do not like the mud slinging. She masterfully brings up non-issues to divert attention from what is truly important, the issues and the American people.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:05 pm |
  141. Sam NC

    Jack he should not debate anymore with her...They have debated it to death. I was a long time supporter of the Clintons in the past but they are old news and need to step off the stage.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:06 pm |
  142. truth be told

    jack –

    hillary is now grasping at straws and there's no net to support her when she falls, and she will soon fall.

    a debate at this time, just like the last one, is a much needed free air time for her. obama, surrounded by men and women of great intelligence will surely refuse to give her this benefit and rightfully so.

    also, has there been a precedent wherein two candidates for a party's nomination have debated 21 times? enough already.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:06 pm |
  143. Jenny from Nanuet, New York

    No. Clinton refused to debate Obama in NC April 19th. Obama didn’t whine or go on and on about it. Clinton’s like a bully who keeps taunting someone and when he finally hits back she cries, “No fair! He HIT me!” Why should Obama give Hillary all the opportunities a debate can give her? He’s ahead. He should ignore her and attack McCain.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:06 pm |
  144. Jay, Canada

    Why don't they save everyone a lot of time and money by getting a videotape of the Philadelphia debate, and dubbing "Indiana" over everytime one of them says "Pennsylvania", and run that...no one will no the difference; there is nothing new to be said. It's like reruns of M*A*S*H, just not entertaining.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:06 pm |
  145. Carrie, Southern Wisconsin

    What??? MORE debates? PLEASE, make them stop! I'm sick of the Clintons' pouting and their down-and-dirty politics, the endless media spin, and panels of "analysts" constantly telling us how to think. Often it's "much ado about nothing." And it goes on, and on, and on.

    Barack is right: get out among the people and talk about the issues. Voters can make up their own minds and actually converse with the candidates that way.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:06 pm |
  146. wilhemina

    absolutley not. Indiana and NC are part of the untied states, i'm sure they have watched the last 21 debates. why continue beating at a dead horse? and i thibk he is right, thsi debate would be a chance for Hillary to stir some controversy about Obama, not a platform for getting the key issues out. all issues have been debated, now let the people vote

    April 28, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  147. Samuel

    What is not covered is the fact that Senator Clinton herself has backed out of proposed debates. Anyone who has an ounce of common sense, knows that this is purely a political ploy by Senator Clinton. And in Washington and in the MSM, she gets applauded for doing something that does not advance the cause of the American people. As much as I am a Democrat, I love this country must more than a party. It is time that the very best of America is represented. Those who are appealing to the very worst of America and Americans are the truly unpatriotic ones. If Senator Clinton wins the nomination, or even becomes president, this country will be mired in gridlock, political point scoring, paybacks, and gotchas. Which do you think serves the citizens of Indiana and North caroling more: debates, that at times seem pointless, choreograph, and focus on everything but the issue; or, a candidate travelling both states getting direct information from the voters?

    April 28, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  148. Don Devereux

    Done is DONE! 21 debates is obviously at least one too many! Despite rumors to the contrary, the last one was not a series of "tough" questions to Barack, but mindless, tabloid dumb questions. He remained focused on wanting to talk about the issues and the moderators failed to get the message. HRC seems to want to "fight" for any attention and as a desperate gasp at the prize. Rarely have so many primaries "counted" in selecting a candidate. Look at how many primaries for the Republicans didn't "count" once JMcC became "presumptive.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  149. gary charles

    Hey, I am a reformed republican who is all for Obama because he is least untrustworthy politican running. Until yesterday, he did not need the debate. Now with Jeremiah Wright back on front burner, he does need it to show off his stuff. The question isn't who is the most electable; it is who will be the best president in these times when the country has to unite (and grow up)

    April 28, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  150. Justin-Edinburg, Texas

    You can run(from a debate) but you cannot hide (from a debate)

    against Grandpa McCain. He is yet to prove himself as the nominee.

    He should agree to it, so he can prove himself to superdelegates.

    We need a democrat in office Jack, and in my opinion, he is

    highlighting a weakness of his.

    Edinburg, Texas

    April 28, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  151. John, New York

    Sure. I always need something repeated 22 times before I finally get it.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  152. Claire from Texas

    No, he should not. They have been having debates forever. I don't really care to hear either of them speak about everything over again. Clinton wants the free press. They've had their debates. Let the people vote already.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  153. Ben Friedman

    Why not debate? Don't they owe it to all the talking heads on the news channels?

    April 28, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  154. noel from clermont, florida

    No, Barack correctly declined the 22nd. debate. Enough already!

    How does Hillary know what the Indiana voters want – they may just want her to get out of the race! Did she ever think of that?

    April 28, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  155. Susan, Seattle WA

    I don't see what the big deal is about having another debate. Any real candidate for President ought to welcome the opportunity to put forth his or her ideas. I guess based on Obama's reaction, we know who the real candidate is: the one who never backs down, never quits. That's what I'm looking for in my President - a live wire. GO HILLARY.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  156. Barrington of Cambridge

    Jack, no way!

    If he wins, he's mean and DEFENSIVE. If it's a tie, he lost! If he loses, she's making a comeback ... she has the momentum.

    What's the upside to Obama?

    They've already had 21.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  157. Matt Dwyermetecivelek@hotmail.com

    I think he should not fear a debate from his tough opponent. He looks like a wimp when he refuses to debate Hillary Clinton.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  158. Susan Wilson

    I think ABC has killed any future debates for a while.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  159. Susan

    I think Barack Obama should agree to a debate once Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton have FULLY DISCLOSED all of the donors to their Foundation (including the Saudi Family and many many other foreign donors) who have donated at least a half billion dollars!

    April 28, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  160. Bruce

    I think HRC's idea is a novel one. Granted, the two candidates have debated each other many times previously; however, most of those debates occurred last year, when most Americans were not focused on the campaign. Now a Lincoln-Douglas type debate would be quite interesting and there would be no calls of foul on the part of the moderators, since there would be NO moderators!

    April 28, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  161. Jeff Maharaj

    Yes and then went all-out to make her cry. Now, that's what I would call her 35-years of experience.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  162. Susan

    No Obama should not accept the debate.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  163. Andre

    I wouldn't accept a debate if I was the front runner. 22 debates, and frankly I am tired of them. Hillary is short on cash and will use anything or anyone to get free air time. I am so tired of this election now, I could puke and another debate would be the finger down my throat to pull it off. Would somebody just win already?

    April 28, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  164. GMC from Ohio

    In a word. NO!

    April 28, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  165. Mike Loyd

    He is winning, he is calling the shots. Why should he bend to the wishes of the person who is losing? Hillary should get run over by that flatbed truck she talks about

    April 28, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  166. John - Columbus, OH

    Yes – he should debate her at 3 am and the focus should be exclusively on National Security issues!

    April 28, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  167. Lily, Falls Church VA


    The only way Sen. Obama should agree to this ridiculous call for debate is if they use the pseudo names Lincoln and Douglas. Of course the pseudo name Douglas should rightfully go to Sen Clinton since she will say and do anything just to win this nomination. She has no shame.



    April 28, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  168. tim from pa.

    no he should not.what he should do is have a bare knuckle fight with her in a boxing ring and the winner take all.no not really , she would probably clean his clock.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  169. Brendan, MD

    What would be the point? Thay have reasonably similar views on policy – what's to debate about? Just start setting up the McCain – Whoever debates now, because I'd like to see John define some of his vague ideas on Iraq, the environement, the economy, housing foreclosures, gasoline increases, health care; that list is endless.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  170. Bethany in Cherry Hill

    Only if Hillary will explain truthfully her connections with Peter Paul and how she has gotten a "pass" from the judge until after the election.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  171. Ethan

    Yes-what is he afraid of? Especially right now-he needs to project strength. Not a good choice to blow her off.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  172. Mark

    Of Course, Whats he scared of? Don't you think if he though he would of done well, he'd NEVER say no.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  173. Diane W.

    Yes, as long as Obama wears boxing gloves!

    N. Potomac, MD 20878

    April 28, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  174. Richard O'Rourke

    Obama doesn't have the intelligence or moxy to handle debates-that's a well proven fact. He would be out of his mind to subject himeself, again, in front of millions of viewers, to Senator Clinton's superior stature and grasp of what's important to the country.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  175. Kirk (Apple Valley, MN)

    Why not? Debates are televised and more people see the candidates "in action" then when they campaign separately. Is Obama afraid of Hillary? Is he afraid he'll show that he really doesn't have a whole lot to stand on except a lot of hot air? Is he afraid Hillary will show him up for the "man behind the curtain" that he really is? Come on Obama! Show us how much of a man you are!

    April 28, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  176. Beth in NH

    NO, NO, NO. Hillary looks silly and desparate to keep asking when she's been firmly told no. Anyone who hasn't seen enough debates hasn't been paying attention. I don't disagree with most of her policy positions, but I can't stand to hear the sound of her voice any more.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  177. Gwen


    April 28, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  178. Charles NJ

    Of course he should, but he won't because it would expose one of his fatal flaws: he is weak on policy. Clinton is far superior. Obama is crashing in the national polls as noted by the AP/NPR today. Clinton is more electable in the general election over McCain by +9 points while Obama is tied. Obama doesn't want another national audience because the emperor has no clothes.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  179. Roy

    First, they should debate... open two on two would be fairer than the other debates have " comment is just plain out of line. Even for you Jack.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  180. Tammy Turnbill

    Of course he should debate! There have NOT been 21 Clinton-Obama debates. Head to head there have been about 4! All of which were moderated in ways that were bias. I think a good old fashioned unmoderated debate would be nice to see! He doesn't want to do it because of how the last debate hurt him. If he can't handle another debate with Hillary, how is he going to be able to handle the nasty negative campaign against John McCain? Does he expect John McCain and the GOP to go easy on him? He hasn't begun to see a nasty campaign yet! I don't think he is ready for the big leagues yet!

    April 28, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  181. Melissa, NJ


    You didn't read the polls about how exhausted we are from all the debate and the primaries. I think most of the country knows who they are voting for and more than likely that will not change. Besides, Obama made a good point that he needs to work on his weakness which are seniors and older blue collar workers and women. We are not perfect. I commend him for taking steps to address this part of his campaing compared to HillBill who also need to do the same with the youths and African Americans who are not pleased with how the Clintons have conducted themselves with respect to African Americans during the election season.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  182. Ingrid Hasselbach

    No, Obama should not debate Hillary again, they had 21 debates, they have deabated ALL the issues and then some. She just want to
    attack him again, maybe this time she'll reach for the whole kitchen, instead of the sink. It takes a lot of time to prepare for these debates and Obama need to try to close this deal. Hillary doesn't really want to desbate, this is just another he political stunt. Good, Obama is not
    falling for it.
    Hillary doesn't care about the party, it's all about her and her Clinton

    Ingrid, Destin Florida

    April 28, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  183. Amy-GA

    I think the American people would love a debate like this. No scripts, no teleprompters, no notes. What is Obama afraid of?

    April 28, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  184. Barb

    Obama hides his true self, amid the people. Everytime he debates he shows more of the real Obama.
    Obama is a preacher, and it allows him too get people too blindly follow him and this is what will hurt the United States of America.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  185. Joe (New York)

    He should accept Hillary's challenge. A random invite for an unformulated debate should not scare him away, if he is truly ready to lead the nation.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  186. Alice

    yes, what in the world would he be afraid of? an un-moderated debate is what many of us would like to see, real character can be observed, by "we the people" imho.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  187. Keith

    Hell no! This is just another desperate attempt by Hillary to continue to destroy the Democratic Party if she's not the nominee. There's nothing else to be said after 21 debates... no need to keep repeating the same ole stuff.

    Hillary, get over it. You'll have to use your other negative campaign tactics because we're not going to serve Barack on a platter for you to defile and destroy.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  188. Jyoti from New York

    No – absolutely not. Obama should go to the voters, shake their hands and tell them how he plans to help them better their life. We had enough of debates. Frankly, without a moderator, Clinton will not stop talking....That's what she's good at, talking. Facts don't matter as long as she can talk.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  189. Willaim in South Carolina

    Such a debate should be held. There have been 21 so called debates but only four of those were between Clinton and Obama. These were not much more that a press conference staged by questions with canned answers. Such a debate as this would generate more interest and garner a larger audience than any of the others have.

    In a no moderator type of debate, the debaters could raise questions that they thought were germane but would have to consider carefully the implications of the question as well as what the answer may be. This would be very revealing of many things about the participants, both policy wise and personal.

    However this debate will not be. Obama does well when making a teleprompter speech or in a town hall meeting with a friendly audience. However, he does not do well in a debate. He hems and haws, errs and aws and cannot explain his own policies well or in detail. He and his handlers know this would be political suicide.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  190. Wayne

    After 21 debates I understand why Obama wouldnt want to have another one. The Clinton brand still is a strong one. The more he can take questions from actual voters the better off he will be. He's not trying to win Hillary's endorsement he is trying to win people's votes. That being said, bypass pundits, bypass Clinton spin and engage in a dialogue directly with voters.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  191. George Billings

    Yes. I'm always suspious of candiates not willing to debate. Especially when they are ahead.

    Narrowsburg, NY

    April 28, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  192. Marilyn

    H>>l No!!

    April 28, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  193. Mike - Portland, OR

    No. He shouldn't.

    Twenty-one debates is enough.

    Donate the money it would cost to put on the debate to the Katrina fund.

    This is getting silly. The media is just looking for more s**t to stir up.

    Is anyone but the media even listening anymore?

    April 28, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  194. Bill

    Yawn. The only ones interested in yet another debate are the media buffoons looking to one up one another as they "chair" or "co-chair" the debate or Team Hillary, which is desperately trying to claw through the coffin. I hope the Clinton Campaign Coffin can get buried 60, not 6, feet under......

    April 28, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  195. Maryann

    Please not another debate. Who are we going to have as interviewers this time Larry King and Joan Rivers.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  196. alex

    Obama needs a debate like he needs another hole in his head. He has started off the week with Wright's comments and national polls showing Clinton beating McCain handily. Mr. Obama should keep quiet and limp toward the nomination.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  197. Judi Bailey

    There is no need for another debate. Hillary will try to goad him and continue with her lies about who is in the lead in the primaries. I agree, he should continue to meet the voters and discuss the issues with the electorate.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  198. E.C.Rossi

    If he wants to remove the memory of his poor performance in Philly
    he has to accep another debate.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  199. marie

    If the shoe was on the other foot, do you think that Hillary would have a debate. I think not

    April 28, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  200. Candice

    No, I don't think so. They have debated 21 times. At this point in the race it is becoming more of a game rather than what is in the best interest of the democratic party and the American people. I'm worn out and tired of the bickering. Can't we all just get along?

    Aztec, NM

    April 28, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  201. Cher

    Yes, otherwise he looks weak to some.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  202. Ant

    I think Hillary would any opportunity to deceive voters, just as she has done on issues such as NAFTA. She has nothing to lose and Obama has nothing to gain. I don't think he is afraid to debate her; he is using common sense that we need in a leader.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  203. Mark Streamwood Illinois


    Flatbed truck? How about Hillary and Obama going on WWE for real!

    Then Hillary could give him the chair instead of the kitchen sink. Yes, the primary has gotten that bad.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  204. Brayton

    Dear Jack-
    If were Hillary and in a whole, I'd look for any rope to pull me out!

    April 28, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  205. Lisa from Arizona

    Hillary needs to "LET GO, LET GOD" she is losing in delegates, popular vote and Old Fashion Trust. I think she is trying to STEAL the election like someone else we know and we see how that turned out. Hilary "You can't win Rock" Move on....

    April 28, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  206. Shannon from Washington

    In no way should he allow Hillary to dictate this race, as the front runner he is in charge. She is merely trying to desparately save her campaign. He is doing all of us a favor by not allowing her to play more games or waste more time. His townhall meetings are by far much more substantiative than any debate with Hillary. Their positions are nearly identical on every issue and the only differences are personality.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  207. Charles OMalley

    You are such a total male chauvinist pig. Rest assured jack, the day a woman takes over, as President, and it will happen one day, pigs like you will learn an important lesson. Men and Women are equals, and in fact I predict will run the country far better then any of are recent male presidents.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  208. Marcina Henry

    No more Debates!! Tell me why I bought $30 worth of regular gas and got 8.59 gallons. Tell me why the Economy is sinking. I need health care!! No more Debates!!

    April 28, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  209. Papa

    Debate for her to continue attacking rather than talk about the real issues. Obama should continue to talk to the voters who will decide anyway.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  210. ed blair

    I don't believe that he should debate another time. It's always an issue of 'who won', which seems to be the items discussed more than the central concerns of the people they are running to represent.
    The 'winner' would be people who have their concerns addressed and hopefully attended to.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  211. Brian

    No, it would be a waste of time–as the last one proved. 21 debates is more than enough. He would just be hammered by questions about his lapel pin, etc.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  212. less media more issues

    Sure. It would be pure politics, not manipulation but the media.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  213. Jim

    Absolutely not! He is the front-runner. It would be naive to agree to her demands. Let her screech alone.
    Scottsdale, AZ

    April 28, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  214. Holly in NC

    Isn't 21 debates enough????? I would rather see them answer questions from the people voting than answering questions from each other. Hillary will only ask questions unrelated to issues so what would be the point?

    Hillary only wants to debate because it is free publicity and she is running out of money...FAST!! I'll be glad when her commercials aren't aired anymore and this is over so that Obama can focus on the REAL fight...the one against McCain.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  215. Kathleen

    Another debate would be like rearranging chairs on the Titanic. Hillary is still going down. Nobody can save her now, not even a screw up by Obama

    April 28, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  216. April

    No. Why should he? If the shoe were on other foot and Clinton was the frontrunner, she would not oblige him. All Senator Obama needs to do now is "clock-management." Besides, they say the same thing each time. I've watched all of their debates and I know their scripts. We have learned nothing new from these last debates except how biased the media can be towards or against one candidate.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  217. Wis

    He shouldn't debate her. He needs to focus on John McCain. She's just desperate, that's all.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  218. Nancy Houtz, Loveland, CO

    Absolutely Not! Hillary has already proven herself to be so devious and desperate she would stoop to anything in an unstructured debate.
    Dirty politics destroys, so why should he open himself up to more of the same from her? I'm white, 71 years old and disgusted with Hillary!

    April 28, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  219. Rick

    No way. With no moderator, he'd never get a word in edgewise. They had a hard enough time keeping Hillary in check WITH a moderator.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  220. Jubril Siji

    Its not necessary for Obama to accept another debate, any other debate would be counter productive, We pretty much know where each of them stand after 21 debates, the only debate that would interest me now is one in which they debate inside a boxing ring in las vegas with gloves instead of words

    April 28, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  221. Jackie

    Obama won't do that ....he is scared he will look as bad as he did during the last debate...all i have to say....if he can't stand the heat.....he needs to get out of the kitchen and let the woman do the cooking,

    April 28, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  222. Mark Baltin

    Obama would be out of his mind to agree to yet another "debate" with Hillary Clinton. My wife and I have watched the previous 21, and we could probably recite the canned responses and non-responses in our sleep. He and she have appeared together enough times for us to see how they would handle each other, and it would be a lot better for him and us if he spent the time at town halls, talking and listening to actual voters.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  223. Paula

    We have had 21 times to hear them "debate" – if the voter hasn't determined the differences in these candidates by now – they weren't paying attention. It's all making me very tired

    April 28, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  224. Ela

    Of course he should accept the debate. Any debate. Isn't this what he should expect to be doing as a President, debate–with Americans as well as with world leaders? Why not debating? Why leave surrogates debate instead? The debate is going on behind the scenes anyway. Why not in the public eye, on a national TV channel? Let's see what more they have to say. I AM FOR THE DEBATE. DON'T SEE NOTHING WRONG IN THAT.
    Thanks Jack. Have a good Monday 🙂
    Ela in Florida

    April 28, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  225. susan jhirad

    No. There have been enough dust-ups. Let them both speak to the voters, put out their ideas and see who wins.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  226. Christopher Bates

    Yes he should, but he wont do it because he tanks in the polls after debating with such and experienced politician as Clinton. If there was no moderator the chance of learning the real Obama would be greater and he can't risk that.
    Chris B.
    Dallas, Texas

    April 28, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  227. Miatch

    Wouldn't it be nice to have a president who does not make tactical mistakes, just because someone is calling them a chicken?

    April 28, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  228. Kelway from Boston, mass

    NO NEED... we already know that his trying to stay above the nasty politics and do it the right way and she... well, we know that she's trying to do anything it takes, that means changing the rules and even lying through her clinton teeth to try to get the nomination.

    so... NO!!!!... 21 debates are enough. We already know she's a liar, a self admitting liar i might ad, so what else is there to know? NADA!!!

    April 28, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  229. gene

    Yes, just because she whipped him good the last time, being afraid to face him again just proves that he can't take a punch. The news of the day is the Rev. Wright's comments and even if you are an Obama cheer leader, that should have been one of the questions of the day.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  230. Rosie Albright

    I for one am tired of debates that spend most of the time on the negative aspects of the campaign. I want to hear specifics on the economy, the Iraq war, healthcare, viability of social security and medicare as far as the plans the candidates have to take of these issues. I think this is best done by the candidates continuing to talk to the voters. if they want to have talks with no moderators, make it town hall style meetings where the voters can ask what they want to know.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  231. Tired of Hillary

    No way. Hillary is just a bully at this point!! Obama shouldn't be pushed into a free for all with Billary. I am so tired of Billary at this point, she just needs to bow out before the Clinton's lose any legacy they might have had.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  232. Jason

    ABSOLUTELY. There are a lot of undecided voters who would watch, myself included. If his reasons for declining are that he has a lot of work to do campaigning / getting his message out... I can't think of a better way to get his word out than this. Maybe Hilary should debate McCain instead.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  233. Frank in Connecticut

    From the way things have been going for Obama lately, he'd probably prefer a Burr-Hamilton dual instead.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  234. kofi osei

    There have been 21 debates and we all know where the candidates stand on the issues. There is no need for Obama to have this debate. Hillary is in desperation mode and an unmoderated debate would just deteriorate into trying to drag Obama into her gutter-style politics.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  235. Samiul Chowdhury

    Obama certainly did the right thing by refusing. However I think he has been too quiet for while. He should start speaking in public about the issues by himself and offer new ways as solutions rather than ralking about his goals.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  236. Lawrence - Virginia Beach, VA

    Absolutely not, why? Hillary seems to never want to discuss the real issues anyway. Last debate she wanted to discuss issues that meant little to the American people. If the tables were recevered she'd duck and dodge as well, as noted in her quest for the Senate.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  237. Ann

    NO he should not debate Hillary again. If I have to watch another debate about flag pins and Rev. Wright I will move to Canada.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  238. Sofia O'Moore in Cleveland, Ohio

    One thing people keep forgetting about the Lincoln-Douglas debate – Lincoln and Douglas were of opposite political parties. They weren't potentially damaging their own party's chances in a game of oneupsmanship.

    Besides, we the people would much prefer a Jerry Springer-style debate. Haven't they been paying attention? Where are the flying chairs?!?

    April 28, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  239. Ms Sydney Davis

    Of course he should have accepted it. Otherwise, he looks like exactly what he is ... afraid of Hillary Clinton. Duh.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  240. Scott Lindquist

    What a waste of time another debate would be. We've had enough debates. The media is only interested in scandals and gotcha moments to fill their airtime, and Hillary is only pushing this to get FREE airtime. If she wants 90 minutes of national TV air-time, then let her pay the 75 million it would cost. Oh... She doesn't have it? Too bad. She needs to just suck it up and play by the rules, what a new concept for her.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  241. Bill

    No need for another debate. How many is enough? Hillary is almost finished with her new book "We'll Burn the Vllage: to win the election". This story has gone on long enough.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  242. Anita

    Good idea about another Obama debate...wrong opponent. Senator Obama ought to be debating Reverend Wright! Let's see if he's really "opposed" to what his pastor says!
    Anita from Arizona

    April 28, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  243. Sharon

    What is he afraid of? The more we learn about these candidates, the more educated decision we can make.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  244. Jeremy Smith

    Why should he? He's ahead in the popular vote. He's also leading in delegates and he also won more states than Hillary Clinton. So why should he waste his time on another dumb debate

    April 28, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  245. CJ

    Why? Barack does't need another debate. HIllary does. Simply put, NO.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  246. Ruth

    Why should he accept her invitation to debate. He is in the lead numerically and in the polls for NC and IN. She wants to play catch-up and she thinks a debate will her. It won't.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  247. Nisha from Texas

    No, he should just stick to the issues and continue to talk about what is important to the American people.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  248. Abbey

    The only person who wants to "see" them debate anymore is Hillary. These debates are no longer about the real issues. Now it's just about destroying Obama's character. Seriously, I don't want to see another debate between these two. This has gone on long enough. Just let people vote and decide who gets the nomination.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  249. Todd

    Though I know Obama won't agree to it, I would actually love to see them debate in that style. It would be the first debate this year from either party with actual substance.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  250. Ron Feuer

    Yes, there should be a debate without a moderator between these two candidates. So far, we do not know much behind the smoke and mirror rhetoric that Obama is preaching. With Hillary, we do know largely what she proposes to do for change...while not all of her proposals might be roses to one's ears, there is not much left to the imagination. Of course what each says and then does after elected is up to them...but with Clinton, she is more out in the open.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  251. Joy


    Obama has a history of ducking tough issues–that's pretty hard to do in a debate. He's a wuss....

    The public wants to see how he responds in pressure situations. A debate is a good time for them to do so. He is scared, plain and simple. Hillary gets hammered by the press, too. But she is tough enough to handle it. If Obama can't handle a debate, how will he handle foreign leaders....??? I think the public is beginning to see the truth about what Obama is made of. He lacks political courage. This doesn't make him look very good.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  252. Phyllis, Dallas TX

    No, he doesn't need to debate Hillary Clinton. Everybody knows she's broke and a debate would only give her free airtime.

    She is not in the position to call any shots here. She talks tuff and is currently desperate. Just calling for another debate and Sen. Obama rejecting it makes it look like he's hiding.

    However, he will be the democratic nominee and she's just screaming in a crowded room right now make noise.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  253. Shawn

    Very simple. Absolutely yes.

    Debates are Obama's weakness. He fumbles in word and thought unless it's prewritten on paper or a teleprompt.


    April 28, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  254. Ken Franklin

    Obama's decision not to debate is a good one, after 20 of them, we've heard enough. And he's right about their gradual descent into the mud pit where the Clintons' (and a majority of the media) love to draw their opponents. Why would he or we expect that one without a moderator would be any better? Hillary only asks for it to save money that she doesn't have by smacking Barack with her kitchen sink in person instead of running expensive negative ads.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  255. Bri A.

    Why not? The Obama camp has been complaining of unfair questioning, and the Clinton camp has been complaining of unfair media bias. If the two went at it with a few rules and no moderator, it would be a chance to hear where they stand on the issues without interference. I, for one, as a voter, would appreciate that.

    Bri A.
    Kansas City, MO

    April 28, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  256. Derek Drayer

    Voter turnout is still high,the race is still close, and interest still exists. Barack Obama is being a coward and only cheating the people of the democratic party. Here in America, we have debates when close contests like this are being held. Obama is only hiding from what the republicans are going to sink him with. It's better to hear it now, because he can't hide from Sen. McCain in the fall.
    Norfolk, VA

    April 28, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  257. Robert

    It shows that he is scared and if he thinks that he can get away with not debating John McCain he is wrong. Doesn't show us that he is vary confident in what he says. He knows that he can't compare when it comes to Hillary!

    April 28, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  258. Grace

    Yes, I think he should accept. As of right now, I see him as a person who does not do well with unexpected events, only when prepared. As President of the United States (especially when travelling abroad), the unexpected will happen and you have to be fast on your feet. Your response has to be politically correct and you do not always have time to prepare a speech.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  259. Keith

    YES YES YES. Obama and the rest of us were upset that the debate was full of bickering. With no moderator, Obama would destroy her. He is so much smater and well defined that she is and it would show. Everytime Clinton(either of them) speaks the look worse adn worse. I used to think Bill was a great man until i 1. read about him in detail and 2. watched this campaign. Maybe this will be the year for teh 3rd party. (i hope)

    April 28, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  260. chuck

    Barack Hussein Obama is afraid of any more debates because when up against a wall as Hillary Clinton has done at pretty much every debate they have had, would show how inept this man would be at trying to run the country at a time like this. This is not the time for a novice in the White House. He wouldn't have a clue and would have to rely on whomever he appoints to strategic posts. I imagine a couple Governor's will be up to whatever he appoints them to!!!

    April 28, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  261. Christopher Webb

    No. If it were four weeks until the next primary then he should have. Two weeks is not a lot of time to campaign in two states. He has a lot of area to cover in a small time. She knows she is better at debates than he is. It is smart for her to want to debate because he looked bad in the Philadelphia debate. He is leading and it is good for him to preserve his lead.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  262. mary Kelley

    Please do not inflict another debate on the American people.We have suffered thru 21 and that`s enough...Thank you.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  263. Wayne

    He is choosing to not fight someone who cares little about rules. If Hillary becomes the nominee she will not have the luxury of changing the rules to benefit her.

    Obama has played by the rules in every state. I cant say the same for Hillary.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  264. Lynn


    April 28, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  265. Leona

    Absolutely NOT! I have listened to all of them and they ask the same questions or repeat the sound bites blown out of proportion by the media and ask for a comment! No new information comes from them.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  266. Ben Eversage

    No, this is Hillary's strategy to take Barrack off message through attack politics.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  267. tosca

    No. Isn't he getting slammed for not connecting with "the little people"... so he needs to be on the ground connecting with them in a personal way. And now that he's trying to do that, people are slamming him for "ducking" the debate. Plus, he is ahead...he does not need to play her games of feed into her tactics.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  268. Celeste, GA

    No! The candidates have presented everything possible in twenty-one debates . Let the voters of Indiana and NC make their voices heard without another unnecessary debate.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  269. Pam in MN

    As they say, it is the "silly season".

    Enough already with the debates that have yet to prove much of a difference.

    Time is better spent on the ground talking with folks in smaller groups and staying on message, for both concerned.

    Hillary herself denied when asked a couple of years ago. It seems very odd, that her comments on his associations or even the debate issue, are all things that she herself has done.

    If anything he is following the Clinton playbook and they can't stand it.

    OBAMA 08

    April 28, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  270. D Murray-Atlanta

    For those who want another debate because they still don't know who Barack Obama is, my question is this, where have you been for the last 21 debates?

    April 28, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  271. Dee Georgia

    No, I have had it with the idea!
    They are not about the issues. Why does he have to explain anything else to the master. EVERYTHING he says is taken out of context.
    Admittedly some are not learned enough to read through the BULL. So, the news casters and moderators dictate and translate the message they have on their agenda.
    Believe me the Presidential Election is being set to be taken from Obama. Just looking at the hoopla, over Rev. Wright as a means to distract the real issues. Months now the LEADING story has been about Rev. Wright. My question to you: Do you have the same values and ideology of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Lou Dobbs, Bill O'Rielly,

    April 28, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  272. Judy

    Yes. It could help both candidates. Both are equally viewed as potentially problematic by the media. A debate w/ Katie Couric as offerred or the Lincoln-Douglas style would be a bold move.


    April 28, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  273. Edward

    No, Why should he . He has had 21 already. Enough is enough.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  274. Frank

    Obama is in the prevent defense thinking he can run out the clock. He will reach more people with an innovative debate format versus an on the ground, face to face meeting with voters.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  275. Josh Oakley

    I do not think he should accept. All of the information is out there and I am afraid Hillary may use this to trip up Obama in a meaningless way. I used to be a Hillary supporter, but the way she ha been acting lately is living up to her media profile. I believe he should decline.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  276. aletheia

    No. He is at a disadvantage in these debates. She knows that he is a black man and he cannot be too aggressive with her a white woman. He will never win.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  277. janej


    April 28, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  278. Shawn

    Absolutely! What is he afraid of? By declining the Lincoln-Douglas debate offer (which hasn’t been done in a really long time, at least not that I’m aware of), it makes Obama look like a weak candidate.

    He complains if there are moderators asking him tough questions, yet he refuses to confront Hillary one-on-one. I guess there’s no making Obama happy when it comes to answering tough questions.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  279. John

    Yes, he should debate. If he doesn't he runs the risk of looking weak and on the defensive. If he does debate, his expectations will be low. Everyone will expect Clinton will win. If he just shows up and does moderately well, he will beat expectations and look confident. it's a brillant move by Clinton. I predict if Obama does not debate he will lose Indiana.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  280. carl

    Barack has explained himself......over and over....it is redundant to continue...We did not know Hillary either before she showed up at the whitehouse the first time....so what? hillary is desperate......
    enough talk...allow Barack to prove what he says he will do like all his predecessors.... then and only then will we know if it was just talk...he can't do much worse than the prior adminstration....

    April 28, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  281. Ethyl

    Absolutely not. He should not trust anything suggested by the (losing) Clinton camp. Either way he loses. If he doesn't debate, they will say he is afraid. If he does debate, they will pull the same stab you in the back tactics.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  282. Ted Frerking

    Jack – Instead of a Lincoln-Douglas debate between Hill and Obama, how about an Aaron Burr-Alexander Hamilton duel between them? Heck we might get lucy!

    April 28, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  283. Steve in the People's Republic of Maryland

    As Howard Dean said just yesterday that this race is virtually a tie, I think Obama owes it to all Democratic primary voters to continue to debate.

    If he is unable to think on his feet that is something we all need to be aware of. Soothing words and soaring oratory are all fine but if he can't put meat on those bones then he isn't going to be winning any general election. If he can't take the heat well, Hillary apparently can.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  284. Craig, Seattle, WA

    In a word Jack, Yes. Obama has far more to answer for than Hillary and has yet to be fully vetted. Another debate would only go to serve this cause. We already know Hillary, but I really don't think the public really knows Obama.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  285. deacon

    HIllary only wants to debate because she can't afford the tv ads. it free tv for her. she's still in the hole by $3million....a flat bed trick is all she can afford.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  286. rope

    Absolute no. 21 debates were useless for they both said nothing that haven't been said by previous politician

    April 28, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  287. Sue Johnson - Indianapolis

    No we don't need another debate. I know exactly where they both stand on the issues. By insisting on another debate Hillary is just showing her fear of losing in Indiana. I hope she does.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  288. Izzy

    I understand why 'the leader' would rather sit out any more chances to have a less than perfect display in another debate. And, Hillary is certainly justified in offer a debate in any state. Bottom line: Obama makes himself look bad, weak or scared or cocky by refusing. I love to hear them ask each other questions; it would be interesting to see if they could stick to the issues, or if they, like the press, would slip in questions of their characters, integrity, honesty, etc.

    Personally, I think Obama's afraid he'd have another bad showing.

    Palm Harbor, FL

    April 28, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  289. Jennifer Johnson

    No, Obama should not accept another debate with Hillary. She is too full of herself and no one trusts her now because of the sniper lie. Obama should get on with the work he has to do and not be distracted by her. This is an obvious attempt to distract him so that the press continues with its bias towards him. Obama is destined to become President and Hillary would do anything to prevent this from happening. Luv Ya Obama and continue to stand tall

    April 28, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  290. Yolande Michaels

    Yes, Obama should be willing to prove he has the guts & grit to stand up to Hillary. He needs to prove he's not just an "exotic fad" but can really stand the heat of a challenging debate..

    April 28, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  291. Jennifer WA

    Jennifer in Mossyrock, WA

    How many debates have they done now? I really don't think any more debates would really make any difference now. She's just trying to get free publicity because she doesn't have as much money to spend. He should just ride out this next week, play some basketball in Indiana, and let her kill her campaign this week. By this time in two weeks, we'll be talking about Obama v McCain.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  292. Sally

    Senator Obama should absolutely not debate again with Senator Clinton - We all know pretty much what she is going to say anyway. Her "issues" always concern various people who might be supporting Senator Obama or what his past, now retired, clergymen have said (in part) during their sermons. The only current issue I would like to see discussed now is Rush Limbaugh's "Operation Chaos," and how Senator Clinton is getting her votes from the right-wing of the Republican party, which would love to see her as the Democratic nominee.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  293. carolyn

    Absolutely not ! Enough is enough... If I was convinced that Hiliary would get my vote, she would have had it by now... As it is, Obama won my vote from the beginning and will get it at the end ! 22nd debate or not!

    April 28, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  294. Laurie

    Obama doesn't speak in sound bites nor does he provide empty promises like the Clintons. Our country is so used to the instant gratification that many of us are not taking the time to listen to someone who has a more complex point of view. So bravo to Obama for saying no to the debates.

    BTW, I'm the wife of an ER doctor. I have spent a lot of time in the ER and in helping my husband study and prepare for tests. Now, because my husband is an ER doctor, would any of you trust me to do emergency surgery on you?

    April 28, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  295. Rodney N. Tolbert, Sr.

    Grace and Peace unto you,

    Jack, not on your life! Senator Obama is leading! This is a prime example of a desparate candidate. Senator Clinton is looking for a way to win. She need to look no furthere than her Husband, he has systematically destroyed her chance to win the nomination! Because he can't keep his mouth closed.

    San Antonio, Texas

    April 28, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  296. Kim Roberts

    Barack Obama has never taken a risk to stand up – or more importantly – vote for anything that might cause controversy. He has always taken the safe road so that he could become president. This is not a surprise to me. It is what I have come to expect from Barack Obama. He just wants you to trust his words, because his deeds are too few – too safe – to judge him in a real way. He won't debate because he fears himself.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  297. D'Hurieux

    I think enough is enough. Nothing new can be said. I want this Democratic Primary to be over. I am tired of it. Rather than debate I would like more on issues like welfare, education, and how they plan to work with the Republicans across the aisle and what they are thinking about Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea.
    I don't give a rat's ass about their pastors, small towns, or who has more money to spend on ads.The things I want to know are never asked on a debate so NO- not another it is just a waste of time.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  298. dennis


    Short answer: no
    long answer: no way

    April 28, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  299. Cat

    The only thing left for debate between Obama and Hillary is: Will it cause backlash if Hillary wins the nomination through Super Delegates alone? The answer is yes, debate over.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  300. Independent_me

    janej – shut up...or get a hearing aid!

    April 28, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  301. Suzanne from Raleigh NC

    Maybe she can debate on the flat bed with a few shooters in her hand, (because that's presidential) while she pops off a few squirrels with her great marksmanship. If she's had enough shots, she might miss that 3 AM phone call.

    It took 45 minutes in the last debate to get to an issue that wasn't character assassination or pure slander. As an NC voter, I don't need that. Please spare me!

    April 28, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  302. Sam in MN

    Jack, if you can tell me how these two talking at each other with or without a moderator is going to help Americans pay their mortgages, credit card bills and put food on tables I'll support it. My car doesn’t run on talk and my kids can’t eat words.

    Sam in MN

    April 28, 2008 at 4:31 pm |
  303. Collette Young

    No, I don't think Obama should accept the offer of a debate. Why should he? Hillary desperately wishes he would so that he might say or do something to produce more negative press. Let's face it...this train has left the station and snivelling Hillary is not on it. Her and her hubby just won't accept the fact that their years White House years are over. Grow up Hillary!

    Collette in Red Oak

    April 28, 2008 at 4:31 pm |
  304. Sophia

    No, he should not debate her again. It seems obvious to me that what she wants is to throw some other unfounded accusation out in order to take the publics attention away from the issues, and onto something that matters only to people that are looking for another sound bite to loop over the airways. If Obama launches a personal attack on her as she has on him, he knows as well as the Hiliary does that this would be the unwinding of his campaign, for disrespecting her and I am sure that she has already written a slew speeches just to address that event. Why hasn't anyone asked her why she feels that her lie about being shot at should be overlooked as she stated in the last debate, but Obama should be held responsible for what someone else said. And where is her flag pin?

    April 28, 2008 at 4:31 pm |
  305. Ross Douglas

    Obama should debate. To limit debate is to limit democracy. I vote never to limit debate.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:31 pm |
  306. Russell Barrett, Nova Scotia

    Yes. He's running for the biggest / most important job in the United States, and he can not take an hour to sit down and talk to the people who's vote he wants? Its called time management, and if he can't manage that,,, I'd be concerned.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:31 pm |
  307. tara

    NO! Hilary Clinton just wants a showcase to try to make Obama look bad. Its obvious she isn't doing a 22nd debate for all of our benefit! I'd prefer for my candidate to get down on the ground and speak to the people of America. Also, I could care LESS "how" Jeremiah Wright's words can be connected to Obama somehow! It certainly isn't doing anything for the war in Iraq, cost of fuel, the economy or global warming. Enough. All of this fighting is turning away a lot of voters who now are shown WHY they didn't get involved to begin with! Its time for the DNC to step in and say to Hilary Clinton what is written on the wall. Seems to me she is concerned with her next run.
    Clinton is starting to look like that crazy ex girlfriend that just doesn't accept that she's been dropped.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:31 pm |
  308. ReggieW - NYC

    To be honest, anyone that would even watch the debate has probably already seen, heard, or have read, any one of the 21 that they have already done. Not to mention the availability to witness any of them again via Internet, etc. I wouldn't tune into it. A Lincoln-Douglas style debate would only have significance in front of an audience of superdelegates.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:31 pm |
  309. Eric

    Barack Obama needs to show that he is not afraid to shirk the issues and go head on head with Hillary Clinton. If he does not, he is going to be haunted in the remaining primaries and if he makes the nomination, his refusal to debate will enhance the idea that he is not a substantial leader. Unfortunately for him, he is not good on the issues.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:31 pm |
  310. David

    Why? Have the Clintons found more ways to help the Republicans, or can they no longer afford the air time for their negative ads?

    The Clintons are like sore losers who wanrt to make it a best 2 out of three, then 3 out of 5, then 4 out of 7, etc until nobody cares any more.

    Let's just get Obama in the ring with McCain. .

    April 28, 2008 at 4:31 pm |
  311. Dorothy from TX

    Sen Obama should not agree to a 22nd debate. it's rather obvious that Sen Clinton wants free air time. If she has money like her campaign suggests, she can use that to air commercials on whatever she wants to talk about or better still, she can go to Morning Joe of MSNBC. There she will be sure to have free airtime.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  312. Mary

    I would not vote for Mccain if he were the last man on earth. He was casterated by the Republican party, there is nothing left of him but an empty shell.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  313. Eyes

    21 debates is too much. 22 debates adds insult to injury. It profits no one – not Clinton, not Obama, not the democratic party and not the country. End of story.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  314. G. Hale

    No Barack Obama should just ignore the fact she wants another debate – and, maybe, just remind Sen. Clinton how she refused/and also ignored on two separate occasions her opponent's request to debate when she was running for her Senate seat. Thanks Jack, just love your segments.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  315. Mike from Haworth

    Obama is better off without the debate, but the public would be better off with one if it stickes to the issues.

    We still don't know how the war can end, how people can avoid home foreclosures, how Republicans will be brought on board for universal health care, how the government will encourage "green" industries.

    We deserve these three so-so (inferior) candidates because we let the press concentrate on them and thus we lost the opportunity to choose from the more qualified Democrats...Biden, Richardson and Edwards because they weren't "unique" as were a female and a black.

    Let them have another debate and tell us how each would "save" America. Skip the petty things and the negtive things...all three potential nominees seem to have major character flaws. Let us give up on that and hear the platforms they propose.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  316. Jorian

    This is a question that depends on who you are going to vote for. It is clear that Clinton wins most debates so, if you think about it, Obama supporters will not want him to debate. If you are for Hillary like myself, you would want him to take the debate so she could win again and he could lose again. I guess it shows that he is trying to take the easy way out. Hillary is smart to not want a moderator because if she ever gets "stumped" it is with questions from moderators.
    To say i am a Hillary supporter is not really true. These 2 people are so alike, performances on debates are all that separate them. I would love to see Hillary win something, one last time.

    Jorian (D)
    Crystal Lake,IL

    April 28, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  317. Sandy of Goshen, NY

    Who is Hillary kidding? Is this Act VI of a play that has already lasted too long? Even Obama has debate fatigue at this point. Hit the road... Present the issues... Sell your goods to those who have not heard the first 21 debates.
    The next debate should be between the democratic nominee and Mc Cain?
    Enough is enough is enough.... June will not arrive soon enough!!!!!

    April 28, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  318. Jean-Michel

    Hillary has become a nightmare for all Americans. Can someone make her go away. please. She does not care about the party or the country.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  319. Bobe Jua, Nashville

    No. It is not debating anymore. It has boiled down to quarrelling and I am sick and tired of it all. These debates are not about America’s future anymore. The last debate shows they are now about the pettiness and foolishness that has consumed our politics in recent years, and how the media feeds on it at the expense of the poor for its profits. Talk about fatigue, I am so tired seeing these debates and candidates bickering. The media needs to get a life and start showing other interesting stuff.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  320. seth

    i think that Obama should not accepte the hilary clinton' s invitation.because he need time to preparate him primary in indiana,and beacause clinton gonna just talk about him pastor in him mistakes,But not the american probleme,not the imprtant subject,like the war in inraq,the petrole probleme ect...


    April 28, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  321. Lynn from Portsmouth, OH

    No. Hillary Clinton has everything to gain and nothing to lose by debating (yet again!) Barack Obama. In a debate without a moderator, it is quite likely that Hillary Clinto would use the time to attack Sen. Obama over all the trivial non-issues that we are so sick of hearing about. Barack Obama is much better off spending his time staying on message and not letting Hillary Clinton distract from that message yet again.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  322. jma

    If a voter hasn't figured it out after 20-something debates with the same contenders, then they should just stay home and leave the voting to the people who are by now well equiped to stand next to their dem candidate of choice. We already know Hillary is divisive and "untruthful." We already know that Barack will not falter from folks just because he may disagree with them. What more do you need to know??? Get a grip Hil. You have had plenty of time to countlessly say what you stand (or not really stand) for. An other hot air session is just a waste of time.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  323. Reynald, New York, NY


    I think they should do it for us. I've never seen such a debate style my whole life. It would be a great experience. The moderators are the most annoying anyways.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  324. Al


    If she wants Tv time, let her pay for it with that $109 million.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  325. Cynthia, New York

    No. There is nothing more that I need to hear in a debate. Sen. Obama needs to answer the questions posed by the voters in each of the remaining states.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  326. Mary from Chicago, IL

    No more debates!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 28, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  327. lauren

    Jack, I think it's a no brainer. If Obama dodges this challenge, it will only fuel the fire about his electibility and leave the undecided voters to Senator Clinton. I think voters deserve the chance to hear both candidates in a "non media-moderated" event . This debate will be exciting and adds to the historic nature of this competition. The "play it safe" strategy is lame.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:35 pm |
  328. Ronald Holst

    No Obama needs another republican gang up fom Clinton and the moderatoes. Like Clinton need mores super deligates to defect .

    April 28, 2008 at 4:35 pm |
  329. Martha

    NO, Obama should not debate Hillary again. There should be no more debates until the Nov. election. Also, although not on the topic, I believe Rev. Wright is receiving too much coverage. Let us see and hear the candidates in their rallies and town meetings when the PEOPLE are asking the questions.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:35 pm |
  330. Debbie

    Jack – Why should he? He doesn't have her glibness and I think that by refusing to play her tired old game he's demonstrating that it's time to move on. There's a large group of pundits and people that would love to see him "hit back" but why should he undermine his whole message by doing that, even if it could prove partially effective?

    April 28, 2008 at 4:35 pm |
  331. kate

    If Obama doesn't like the way debate moderators posed questions, it would logically seem that he would welcome the opportunity to pose his own and to ask Clinton anything he would like.

    He won't because he knows that Clinton will make him sweat. She is by far the better debater - not the better candidate, necessarily , but if you look at the transcripts you can actually read her plans, clearly, succinctly–agree with them or no. Obama gets far too caught up in how things sound, carefully trying to choose his words, and paying much less attention to the facts and the things that make a debate answer have punch.

    Clinton is taking the opportunity to challenge Obamas professed displeasure at the way the last debate especially was moderated (rightly so) He should have seen this coming from Clinton. Honestly, he shouldn't do it, but it might get him my vote if he did. Refusing to seems like he's hiding from her. I think it's bad strategy.

    And folks, he's not winning. Currently. She handily won their last contest. Try not to forget that.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:35 pm |
  332. Jessie

    From the looks of this Blog the only people more afraid of another debate is Obama's supporters!

    April 28, 2008 at 4:35 pm |
  333. Dan

    Of course Obama shouldn't debate with Clinton.

    The reason is simple. Because Clinton shows how presidential she really is in this setting. I can't figure why, but Obama has a very difficult problem debating. I'm not sure if it is a weakness for him, or if it is because how strong Hillary comes accross.

    This is not a very good strategy, but the best one for Obama at this point, is to run and hide, and hope he somehow gets the democratic nomination.

    Hillary is a fighter, and she won't give up until she loses her constitutional eligibility to run for president in 2016.


    April 28, 2008 at 4:35 pm |
  334. Dorothy

    Obama needs to stand up and participate in the debate process. Yes, there were 21....but the last one put him down and his fear is showing.

    He also needs to stop Wright, just as he stated that McCain should have stopped the NC videos about Wright.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:35 pm |
  335. Ed

    Why not! Every place Obama visits he gives the same "Time for a Change" speech, and he never really articulates how he would solve the numerous problems facing this country, and a "one on one" debate with Senator Clinton without a moderator would be interesting!
    Now that Obama has indicated that he has no intention of taking up the challenge of another debate, that confirms my suspicions that he is "all show and no go"!!!!

    Ed Woodbridge, Va.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:35 pm |
  336. Franklin, Memphis, TN

    No, If I'm forced to endure another debate I'm going to snap.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:35 pm |
  337. Kathy Ludgate

    No, Obama should not accept Clinton's request for a debate, it's simply another opportunity for her to attack his character and fuel the negativity she's already injected into this campaign. If she actually wanted to debate/discuss the issues then it wouldn't be a bad idea, but that would be far to rational for Clinton. Her desire to "debate" is not about issues and the impact on Americans, it's about her winning.. that's not a good enough reason!

    April 28, 2008 at 4:35 pm |
  338. Brian in Laguna Beach

    We should all thank Mr. Obama for declining, I for one would rather chew glass than have to listen to her anymore........

    April 28, 2008 at 4:35 pm |
  339. Kelly, Georgia

    Say what?

    April 28, 2008 at 4:35 pm |
  340. Crystal

    Bill Richardson is an idiot. Why can't talk about Obama's policies? Change isn't a policy. Bringing people together isn't a policy. Obama is all fluff and filler. Bill Richardson is looking for a VP seat. This is sad. Obama is punking the American public.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:35 pm |
  341. Steve in Raritan, New Jersey

    It seems both candidates are playing their role right now.....hers is the one of the candidate that is desperately behind and just trying as hard as possible to bring anything and everything to the table in the hopes that he stumbles. He is the front runner, and with 21 debates already in the past, has absolutely no reason to agree to another. Her attempting to paint him as someone who is "ducking" is incredibly transparent and will only work with people who have already made up their mind that they don't like him. It is an arguement that is just as hollow and outlandish as the one where she is trying to paint him as an "elitist". Sort of like the pot calling the kettle black if you ask me. All signs of the increasing amount of desperation she is feeling as the clock slowly runs out

    April 28, 2008 at 4:35 pm |
  342. Monica Rowlands

    Absolutely not, Mr . Obama has done a brilliant job in these 21 debates . He has shown the people that he has a lot of dignity to be our next president . He has no problems , Hillary Clinton should calm down and learn some good manners.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:35 pm |
  343. Judy Speights

    No, Barrack Obama should not accept Clinton's requests for another debate. We have heard 21 times in previous debates their views on issues and quite frankly, I am tired of Hillary's make believe world of dreams and enhanced campaign tales.!!!

    Judy Speights
    Romance, AR

    April 28, 2008 at 4:35 pm |
  344. John

    Dear Jack,

    No. If the undecided voters of IN or NC can't get to a rally or town hall meeting, then check out the web sites of both candidates. There you will find their plans on how to deal with the serious issues facing this country. From Iraq to health care, it's all there in black and white, with no mainstream media interfering in your desire to learn where the candidates stand!

    April 28, 2008 at 4:35 pm |
  345. Keisha Forbes

    The last time WE ignored the candidate that had the popular vote, WE ended up with George Bush. Enough said.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:35 pm |
  346. Fides from Sacramento

    More debates ?No, No and No !!!! We have heard much from both candidates and people know who is going to be the best nominee to face McCain in november.
    Have a nice day Jack !

    Fides, CA

    April 28, 2008 at 4:35 pm |
  347. Matt Wellson from PA

    Another debate?!!! NO – NO and NO – Hillary Clinton should just to go to hell for the sake of the party.... that is if she really cares!
    Matt from PA

    April 28, 2008 at 4:35 pm |
  348. Mark Schweitzer

    Hi Jack

    No, 21 debates is enough.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:43 pm |
  349. JayCee

    Why?? they have already dicussed the issues numerous times. The only reason for another debate is to play the gotcha game again. Obama is refusing to avoid confusing the issues with sewage. I agree that things about character are very important for the president, but electing the LEADER of the free world and not its CEO as Hillary would have you believe is what we are doing. Leaders set the tone and Obama is setting the tone by refusing to get into the gutter again with Hillary (and her cronies).

    April 28, 2008 at 4:43 pm |
  350. Rich C. in Marietta, GA

    When two people compete and one of them loses they sometimes ask, "Best two out of three?" If they lose again, "Best three out of five?" When you are the perceived "underdog" (behind in the popular vote and seeking the "super" vote) you try and take (or is that "make") every advantage you can to bring up your numbers. Hillary can't help herself . . . so she's hoping America and Barack will.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:43 pm |
  351. md lewis

    please, please no more debates.

    they're just a collosal waste of time at this stage.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:43 pm |
  352. KJ in Redmond WA

    Since the Obama whiners cried foul after the last debate were he was FINALLY aked and had to answer a difficult question, he should say yes to this debate. But he won't because it's the moderators that, by and large, have been his shield from public scrutiny. I think it wold be a great format. Lets see if infatuation stands up to the question of who would be the best and who can actually win.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:43 pm |
  353. Phil Rizzo

    I think Hillary should have a debate with herself. She might find out that her aggresive nature and lying not once but several times about her landing n Bosniai are not exactly characteristcs a lot of people lke to see in a president.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:43 pm |
  354. maxx

    Of course he should'nt. How many debates does she need? Hillary is obviously an old school Washington politician. This is really not about the issues. What will she bring to light that has'nt been previously discussed. Oh i know, maybe she'll explain how she can mis- speak about being under sniper fire. I have to admit i can't understand how someone can mis-speak about a life and death situation. DEBATE THAT HILLARY.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:43 pm |
  355. Georgette Morck

    I don' think Obama should debate Hillary again because the last one was so negative it only makes me dislike her more. Obama wants to talk to us about the issues and she wants to talk about what's wrong with him. I don't want to dislike whatever Democrat wins the nomination so no they should not debate again. Anyone who cannot look at the 3 of them (Obama,Clinton, and McCain) and see which one is the most intelligent, capable and composed must be blind.
    He (Obama) is a wonderful candidate and if we don't elect him then we get what we deserve!

    April 28, 2008 at 4:43 pm |
  356. kelly

    Obama should, but won't accept the debate because, thus far he has slithered his way around answering any real questions. Just wait until he becomes President and we find out who he REALLY is. Then all of America will ask, "How could we have elected this man without knowing him?" Americans are so enamored with stardom, instead of wisdom, that we get what we deserve every time... another con artist.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:43 pm |
  357. Barbara Campbell

    The only reason Clinton can act like she's still in the race is because the media is "enabling" her. Why should Obama give her more free air time? Here we have a Caucasian woman who is willing to go for the jugular, an African-American gentleman who isn't interested in mudslinging, and a shallow media that keeps its advertisers happy by encouraging sensationalism over substance. Obama and the majority of the American people don't want to play this game any longer.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:43 pm |
  358. Tara

    Obama refuses to debate because he is afraid.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:43 pm |
  359. Jerry Jasembo

    Sen. Obama is right to ignore Sen. Clinton's demand for another debate. The Clintons have had over 20 years to talk directly to the America people. Sen. Obama has had nothing of the sort. Frankly, Wolfe Blitzer seems to have become a vehicle for constant nuanced regurgitation of the Clinton's demands and views, and this is not coming across too well.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:43 pm |
  360. Beverly Utterback

    No, Obama should not debate Hillary. She 's a desperate lady looking for any opportunity to attack Obama. She is an actress playing all kinds of roles-I can't beleive that anyone could beleive a word she says.

    Obama has his hands full with the media keeping this Rev Wright stuff going. I'm beginning to think it's all the negetivity from the Clinton campaign has carried over to all the news channnels. It's hard enough for him to campaign against Bill, Hillary,and McCain, let alone having to defend himself against all the controversy that the media keeps playing over and over.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:44 pm |
  361. Jerry in Arizona

    Its a Catch 22. If Obama debates Hillary he may not do very well. If he doesn't debate her, he is going to look weak and afraid. If he can’t handle Hillary, how is he going to handle the world affairs? What a Wimp. I'm disappointed in both candidates, but I had rather sit down and have a beer with Hillary then go to church with Obama.

    Jerry B.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:44 pm |
  362. Ian Duncan

    Nope.........Nothing new to be dabeted about. We already know th e positions of this two candidates

    April 28, 2008 at 4:44 pm |
  363. Andrew

    No, Obama shouldn't debate again. This is nuts.....the Clintons are trying to set him up. Maybe they'll get one of their workers to ask the questions. They make me sick...

    April 28, 2008 at 4:44 pm |
  364. Manny from Phx, AZ

    No way Jack! He has more important things to worry about. Like condeming his Minister for all the hate America speech that he has made. Besides, if you go by the numbers he has the nomination locked up.


    April 28, 2008 at 4:44 pm |
  365. Luke from Sacramento

    Of course he should have accepted the challenge. All previous debates have been a media directed joke with media commentators questioning candidates in a soft, cupcake style format. Maybe if they have a real debate people will get to see something.(By the way if we compare numbers based on the electoral college, the way the general election will be conducted, Clinton is defeating Obama 267 votes to 187 votes.

    April 28, 2008 at 4:44 pm |