Clinton, Obama squared off in Thursday debate

Friday, February 22nd 2008, 4:33 pm
By: News 9


It was a showdown in Texas as the two Democratic contenders in the race for president squared off in another debate.  Hillary Clinton needed to hit a homerun to stay competitive as the two head into the Texas and Ohio primaries.

Hillary Clinton went into the debate in a political pickle, she needed to go after frontrunner barack obama, but attacks could turn off voters.

In one of her sharpest lines of the night, Clinton criticized Obama for borrowing from a speech by his campaign co-chairman and friend, Governor Deval Patrick of Massachusetts.

"If your candidacy is going to be about words, then they should be your own words," she said.

Obama tried to stay above the fray.

"This is where we get into silly season," Obama countered.

Most of the 90-minute debate was non-combative.  The candidates talked about how they would handle Cuba. Clinton said she would not meet with Castro's successor until he implements reforms. Obama said he favors a meeting without pre-conditions.

And Obama again highlighted a position he will likely use if up against Republican John McCain.

"And on what I believe was the single most important foreign policy decision of this generation, whether or not to go to war in Iraq, I believe I showed the judgment of a commander in chief," Obama said. 

Perhaps knowing what's at stake for her campaign come the March 4 primaries, Clinton closed out the debate with this crowd pleaser.

"No matter what happens in this contest, and I am honored, I am honored to be here with Barack Obama. I'm absolutely honored," said Clinton.

Obama has an edge going into March 4, he's up 140 pledged delegates and leads with momentum. But the feeling on the ground in Texas and Ohio is that it could be anyone's big win.