TRANSCRIPT: Hillary Clinton Calls For
Lincoln-Douglas Style Debates
Hillary Clinton made the following statement today at a “Solutions for America” event in South Bend, IN calling for Lincoln-Douglas style debates.
“But what I think the people of Indiana deserve is a real one-on-one debate where Senator Obama and I right there in Indiana discuss these issues.
“Now I have accepted the debates that have been offered, and actually Indiana has a debate commission which kind of organizes this, makes sure it’s fair and that nobody gets any special advantage. I’ve said I’ll be anywhere anytime in order to debate because I think the people of Indiana after having wandered in the wilderness of American politics for forty years deserve a debate.
“Who knows, we might even carry Indiana in the fall if we start with a good debate right here.
“Unfortunately Senator Obama has not agreed yet and he’s turned down every debate that has been offered. So here I have a proposition and my campaign sent his campaign a letter today. You know, after the last debate in Philadelphia, Senator Obama’s supporters complained a little bit about the tough questions. And tough questions in a debate are nothing compared to the tough questions you get asked when you’re president and you have to answer them and make tough decisions. And they complained about the moderators asking tough questions.
“So here’s my proposal – I’m offering Senator Obama a chance to debate me one-on-one, no moderators.
“Just the two of us going for 90 minutes asking and answering questions. We’ll set whatever rules seem fair. I think that it would give the people of Indiana, and I assume a few Americans might tune in because nearly 11 million watched the Philadelphia debate, and I think they would love seeing that kind of debate and discussion.
“Remember that’s what happened during the Lincoln-Douglas debates. We’ve had four debates between Senator Obama and myself. That’s all we’ve had since this whole campaign has gone on, we’ve had debates when other candidates were in, but just four between the two of us. Lincoln and Douglas I think had something like seven or maybe even eight debates in the space of 60 days, traveling around Illinois just standing there debating. I bet John Bratemus probably knows all the facts and probably could quote what each of them said.
“I think that would be good for the Democratic Party, it would be good for our democracy and it would be great for Indiana. So I am hoping that we’ll be able to get that scheduled and hold it before the May 6th primary. Because I think this country is sure worth debating about its future. I think the issues we face are sure worth discussing. I want the American people to be part of that discussion.”