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Clinton and Obama Criticize Each Other in Debate

Posted on 1/28/2008 3:35:00 PM

President hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama locked horns once again on a televised debate last Monday. Held just before the South Carolina primary, the debate saw the two democratic candidates tongue lashing each other to gain an upper hand.

Obama opened the first round by accusing Clinton of saying anything to get elected. Clinton parried easily by stating that it was hard to debate with someone who never took responsibility for any vote he cast. The third candidate on the telecasted debate, John Edwards intervened, accusing both candidates of squabbling. This opening act set the stage for the ensuing debate.

The three candidates debated on a number of issues ranging from the economy, to racial justice and President George W Bush’s economic plan against recession. The telecasted debate saw a lot of personal mud slinging between candidates, such as Obama telling Clinton that he had been helping unemployed workers on the streets of Chicago while she had been a corporate lawyer on the board of Wal-Mart. Clinton was able to parry by stating that she had been fighting against misguided Republican policies when Obama was practicing law and representing his contributor Antoin Tony Rezko in his slum landlord business in inner-city Chicago.

While Rezko is currently facing charges of fraud, Obama is trying to distance himself from his contributor by donating whatever funding he has received from him and donors linked to him, to charity.

The debate was so dominated by the verbal repartee between Obama and Clinton that Edwards had to intervene by saying, "Are there three people in this debate, not two?" Edwards tried to rise over the bickering by telling the two other candidates, "We have got to understand, this is not about us personally. It's about what we are trying to do for this country." As Monday was a national holiday to commemorate the civil rights leader Martin Luther King, the issue of racial equality was also covered during the debate.

Obama needs to secure a win on Saturday’s South Carolina primary in order to bolster his campaign and fend off the winning streak that Clinton has had in New Hampshire and Nevada. The debate marked an escalation in activities by both candidates, two weeks before “Super Tuesday” the day on which 22 states will vote for their favored candidate.

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