Video: MSNBC Democratic Debate from Cleveland, Ohio – 2/26/08

Here is the entire video of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton debating on MSNBC from Cleveland, Ohio on February 26, 2008. It was moderated by Brian Williams and Tim Russert from NBC News.

It’s in 9 parts on YouTube, they should advance automatically:

Here’s a report from Breitbart:

CLEVELAND (AP) – Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama clashed over NAFTA, health care and the war in Iraq Tuesday night in a crackling debate at close quarters one week before a pivotal group of primaries. Charges of negative campaign tactics were high on the program, too.

“Senator Obama has consistently said I would force people to have health care whether they can afford it or not,” said Clinton, insisting it was not true.

Responding quickly, Obama countered that former first lady had consistently claimed his plan “would leave 15 million people out … I dispute that. I think it is inaccurate,” he said.

The tone was polite yet pointed, increasingly so as the 90-minute session wore on, a reflection of the stakes in a race in which Obama has won 11 straight primaries and caucuses and Clinton is in desperate need of a comeback.

Clinton also said as far as she knew her campaign had nothing to do with circulating a photograph of Obama wearing a white turban and a wraparound white robe presented to him by elders in Wajir, in northeastern Kenya.

The gossip and news Web site The Drudge Report posted the photograph Monday and said, without substantiation, that it was being circulated by “Clinton staffers.”

“We have no evidence where it came from,” Clinton said, making clear that’s not the kind of behavior she wants in her campaign.

“I take Senator Clinton at her word that she knew nothing about the photo,” Obama said.

Leave your comments below, how did they both do?

  • Jesse Bramhall

    I thought Obama stood his ground very well. I thought Clinton attempted to act tough but came across immature in many of her comments toward the moderators and Obama. Oddlly though, I did think that Russert and Williams singled her out on several issues. I think the fact that she questioned their credibility as moderators changed the tone of Russert when he asked questions and he came across almost like an angry dad.

    All said and done I thought it was a good debate, much better than the CNN debate, though I’m partial to NBC.

  • Jesse Bramhall

    I just wanted to add by the way that even though I thought Obama won the debate, I did think Senator Clinton had a good moment when she said she’d take back the vote to go to war if she could. That was a good move on her part in a critical moment. We’ll see if it came soon enough.

  • Charles

    Well, all in all, I think this raps it up for Barack Obama. He is becoming more presidential everytime I see him. Not that Clinton is so much worse, but Obama just has that something special about him. He has a certain calmness about him which is very reassuring. Also, he expresses himself very clearly and just looks very sharp on all matters presented to him. His track-record is one shining shield on which he can be lifted upon. As a European (Holland) looking in on all this I feel that after this last confrontation between the two, Obama just is the better candidate all around. It must be therefore President Obama! (I can not see McCain get around or surpass Obama in anyway, safe being a warhero and great American ofcourse).

  • Michael

    Clinton clearly won the debate over health care– Obama made some stumbles here.

    I think both candidates did not believe the rhetoric they both gave on Israel. Obama used to be supportive of Palestinian rights, but apparently now is pro-Israel. I presume Clinton is the same way– and there is probably no space for Democrats to advocate differently.

  • jackieaxe

    Hillary came off as winey, mean and an opaque feeling of entitlement. Obama stuck it to her when he pointed out she takes credit for all the “good” that came about from the Clinton years, but something “bad” such as NAFTA, well, Hillary claims PRIVATELY she was against NAFTA. I’m not big fan of either candidate, but I wish Hillary would just go away.

  • Tim

    First of all Im a republican, and will be voting john Mccain in the general election.

    I thought Obama won the debate. Clinton I think showed some very clear moments where she was trying too hard. She appeared frustrated and flustered many times. I have an HDTV and even noticed her face getting red at some points and I felt like she just wanted to jump obama with some of the stairs she would cut his way.

    I really do not feel comfortable with hillary clinton. I think there is alot that sits under the surface with her.

    I think Obama came across much more in control, relaxed, and was more of a genteleman. Clinton continually talked over obama, and especially overthe moderators. She is such an arrogant bully. Even on a male/female basis- She is just so unnatractive to me. I do not want to have to see her and listen to her for 4 years. I would vote obama in a heart beat over her.

  • Avi

    Whant to see a republican debate? please sign the petition and letter to Senator McCain and

  • Babs

    From Webster’s:


    Main Entry: de·nounce
    Pronunciation: \di-ˈnau̇n(t)s, dē-\
    Function: transitive verb
    Inflected Form(s): de·nounced; de·nounc·ing
    Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French denuncier to proclaim, from Latin denuntiare, from de- + nuntiare to report — more at announce
    Date: 13th century
    1: to pronounce especially publicly to be blameworthy or evil

    Main Entry: 1re·ject
    Pronunciation: \ri-ˈjekt\
    Function: transitive verb
    Etymology: Middle English, from Latin rejectus, past participle of reicere, from re- + jacere to throw — more at jet
    Date: 15th century
    1 a: to refuse to accept, consider, submit to, take for some purpose, or use b: to refuse to hear, receive, or admit : rebuff, repel c: to refuse as lover or spouse
    2obsolete : to cast off
    3: throw back, repulse
    4: to spew out
    5: to subject to immunological rejection

    Ok, he denounced Farrakhan as WHAT? I didn’t hear him denounce him as anything, and he surely did not want to reject, cast off, spew out, or throw back until his back was to the wall.

    Good for a laugh, but Hillary was correct there, there is a difference. Obama stutters and waffles too much with his words.

  • It is not a beauty contest to be president. I wish people could be more objective about Obama and realize he is an attractive candidate but lacks true stamina, experience and forsight. I have to disagree about Clinton over speaking people, if you look closer at the times she did that with Obama he was clearly trying to interject his comments long before she had finished hers. I see an immense biased begrugging Clinton for not allowing Obama to interupt her and speak out of his turn. Does anyone else notice how Obama’s facail expressions when he is not speaking. He often throws his nose way up in the air as if to once again say I am better. He doesn’t show any class or regard to other candidates, I think he comes off childish always saying I am better. In the land of the written word, as Obama claims to be so enlightened, SHOW don’t TELL. Something I have yet to see of him. Now come on people lets not make the same mistake again by choosing someone who has absolutly nothing to prove he will deliver for us. Remember one thing on March 4th, George Bush told the country when he was elected he would disengage America in foreign interests and adopt a more domestic approach in leading. Just keep that in mind when your eating up all the empty rhetoric Obama is using to skate into the White House. Let’s make the next candidate earn our vote. And he has not done that people,

  • Noah

    One of the things that I found appealing about Obama in this debate is that he actually answered the questions asked of him (such as the Iraq hypothetical). Ive noticed repeatedly that Hillary constantly skirts questions with misdirection, a trait Obama thankfully lacks.

    Overall her strategy seems to consist mostly of spouting attack lines; consistently showing nothing but the emptiness of her own rhetoric. Ill take hope over spite any day.

  • Michael

    Babs, Obama clearly answered the Farrakhan question– two-fold.
    He began by answering Tim’s question “I have been very clear in my denunciation of Minister Louis Farrakhan’s anti-Semitic comments. I think they are unacceptable and reprehensible.”

    In a follow up answer, he then said, “I have been very clear in my denunciation of him [Louis Farrakhan] and his statements.” So it was the man and what he said that he denounced.

    Hillary’s point was to cast doubt on a sensitive issue, and in effect, smear Obama. This was not a productive point– and clearly, from Obama’s reponse, it was not an issue for him (“Hillary, if reject is a stronger word than denounce, fine. I denounce and reject.”)

    This is spin talk. Your dictionary definitions splice negatives in an unproductive manner.

  • Monica Ramos

    By stating, “Let’s make the next candidate earn our vote,” do you mean earn our vote by at one point voting for the war, by at one point supporting President Bush?

  • Stephanie

    In response to the comment by Silvia, how can one say that Senator Obama doesn’t show any class or regard to other candidates when in fact the Ohio debate clearly portrays Senator Clinton as the immature and disrespectful of the two. Nevertheless, in the land of the real world one has to say “I am better” or else it would be pointless that Obama is running against Clinton. To make one final remark, when one refers to Obama as childish, isn’t it fair to say that Clinton’s mockery of Obama is far more childish than anything he has ever done.

  • AN

    I have a similar impression of Obama when Clinton is talking. I think some of his expressions, particularly amusement, are disrespectful and immature. I notice that Cliinton lives up to her finer reputation as a great listener and people connector. For example, she looks very intently at Obama when he is speaking, acknowledges with her body language in a conversation, and I can see her doing the same with others. Just as those who know report. (see website, “the hillary I know”) I think Hillary would be a great president.

  • Babs

    Michael, you say “Babs, Obama clearly answered the Farrakhan question– two-fold.” He did not “clearly answer” much of anything, especially the Farrakhan issue. He danced around it until his back was against the wall and had no other choice but relent to the pressure. The quotes you post are accurate, and out of context without the bumbling, stuttering, stalling, and word play that were also a major part of that discussion. Hillary’s point was valid. Denounce and reject are two different things, and the question that was asked of him directly was “do you reject”, a simple yes or no would have answered that. He chose to dance, and lost. That’s the very nature of debate, is it not?

  • Michael

    AN – I agree with the difference in body language between Hillary and Barack. Throughout almost all of these debates Hillary presents herself as very poised and attentive when Barack and others speak, and Barack’s face is stern and his body language a bit rigid when he is supposed to be listening to her.

    Babs – in your earlier email you said, “Ok, he denounced Farrakhan as WHAT? I didn’t hear him denounce him as anything…”

    I was giving you the object of your transitive verb. He did denounce Farrakhan on two issues.
    He did not wait until his “back was against the wall,” to say the quotes I gave. His very first response was to denounce Farrakhan’s words and stance.

    This was very much unlike a Hillary move, where she is asked something and she does not give a clear indication, so she has to pressed by the moderator two or three times (and then by other candidates) to give an answer, such as in the case of the driver’s licenses issue.

    I believe Obama decided to one-up Tim by not simply rejecting, but denouncing (which for me IS the stronger word). You want dictionary references…here is the thesaurus entry for “denounce” courtesy of

    Synonyms: accuse, adjudicate, arraign, blacklist, blame, boycott, brand, castigate, censure, charge, charge with, criticize, damn, declaim, decry, denunciate, derogate, dress down, excoriate, expose, finger*, impeach, implicate, impugn, incriminate, indict, inveigh against, knock, ostracize, proscribe, prosecute, rap, rat*, rebuke, reprehend, reprimand, reproach, reprobate, reprove, revile, scold, show up, skin*, smear, stigmatize, threaten, upbraid, vilify, vituperate

    Antonyms: commend, compliment, honor, laud, praise

    Synonyms: adios, blackball, brush off, burn*, cashier*, cast, cast aside, cast off, chuck, decline, deny, despise, disallow, disbelieve, discard, discount, discredit, disdain, dismiss, eighty-six, eliminate, exclude*, heave-ho, ice out, jettison, jilt, junk, kill*, nix*, not buy*, pass by, pass on, pass up, put down, rebuff, refuse, renounce, repel, reprobate, repudiate, repulse, scoff, scorn, scout, scrap, second, shed, shoot down*, slough, spurn, throw away, throw out, thumbs down, turn down, veto

    Antonyms: accept

  • Babs

    Michael, it comes down to a simple difference of opinion between us in this instance. I believe reject is the stronger word. The question was “do you reject” and he chose not to. Your thesaurus pastes back that up, Obama said the two words were the same. They are not, as proven by both my webster’s definition and your list of synonyms – reject does not appear under denounce, nor vice versa. We both have exceptional interpretive skills, we simply interpret this performance by Obama differently, and could debate the issue until the cows come home. No points earned on either side here, so I say lets call it a push and move on. =)

  • Michael

    Push it is, Babs.

  • Teric

    I believe in Obama’s stance on healthcare 100 percent. Hillary’s plan is one that would mandate insurance to all, which I believe is not a good solution. And yes, I see Obama’s body language during Hillary’s arguments…but I see it as being CALM and COLLECTIVE. Obama seems to allow his opponent the limelight until his turn without any funny facial expressions or unnecessary attention calls. Hillary nodds her head during moments when she shouldn’t. Its a ploy to seem open to Obama’s statements….but we all know thats not true. OBAMA ’08!!!!

  • Babs

    LOL Jennifer! That IS hilarious!

  • kentuckywoman

    I think Hillary needs to be less emotional in the way she sort of “flies off the handle.” The bit about the order of questions, SNL, etc., are not relevant and she appeared whiney.

    BUT, all in all, I think she did a much better job of sounding decisive and knowledgeable. She sounds much more like a leader than does Obama.

    What cinched it for me was learning that he’s been Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee since the beginning of 2007 – over a year – and hasn’t called even one meeting! When Obama took charge of the European affairs subcommittee in early 2007, he didn’t lead a single policy hearing on any of the topics in the panel’s jurisdiction: missile defense, counterterrorism and concern over the waning commitment of European countries to NATO.

    Hello? That doesn’t sound very “presidential” to me. What a squandered opportunity to rebuke the Bush administration, wasted!

    His excuse that he didn’t have time because of his decision to campaign for president is not acceptable…. What will he do in the third year of h is first term, when he will be once again actively campaigning?

    Who will “take over” his presidential duties at that time? Or will he just leave things sit until “he has the time” to deal with them?

    It makes me very, very uncomfortable to have such an obviously naive and inexperienced individual as my president. I have grave misgivings regarding his ability to lead.

    I’m also disturbed with his voting record. He refuses to vote on so many, many issues…did you know that he even refused to vote to extend the Education Act of 1965?!

    He’s just not the caliber of individual we need as a leader. If he should get the nomination, which I hope he doesn’t, McCain and the GOP will chew him up and spit him out.

    And then, God help us all.

  • Michael

    Why do we use the word’ whiney’ for Hillary Clinton, and we say “complain” for the male candidates? I never heard this verb used for Dennis Kucinich or Bill Richardson, who in my opinion whined a lot about being excluded. Just a thought…

  • nzpudding

    Kucinich and Richardson were whiney

  • Pablo

    I agree with Micheal, I am an English major the word denounce has a lot more weight and negative connotation. You can reject money.. does that mean money is bad? To denounce is to accuse Farrakhan of being wrong, to reject Farrakhan would be to simply say you don’t want their support. The reason Obama “chose to dance” is because as he clearly stated, you cannot reject something that is not being officially offered. Farrakhan simply stated his support for Obama as a member of society.

    The fact that Clinton interrupted shows how insecure she is, she felt that Obama had too much time on the air stating his case. She even changed the tense she said that Tim asked he he would… Tim asked do you, not would you. People should listen carefully before stating their opinions. Obama finished gracefully by says that he denounces and rejects, it made Hillary look foolish, just like she did in the video mocking Obama. She was not having fun… she was mocking him, and his campaigning approach which is much better then simply pointing fingers.

    Obama 2008 – Change You Can Believe In

  • Babs

    And people should think carefully before assessing another person’s reasons and attitudes. I am for neither Obama or Hillary, while you are, on the other hand, very biased in favor of BHO. And if you believe in his “change”, you’re deluding yourself. The only things he’s bothered to change in his career so far is his stories. I think his campaign slogan will soon change to “that was a mistake”.