State News

N.C. Officials Encourage Obama to Participate in Debate

Posted April 15, 2008
Updated April 16, 2008

— North Carolina's governor and two legislative leaders have written letters to Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, encouraging him to debate Hillary Rodham Clinton later this month in North Carolina.

Gov. Mike Easley said in a letter dated Tuesday that Obama's participation in an April 27 debate will tell voters in North Carolina that their vote will count and their voice is being heard.

"Your commitment to participate in this event will give North Carolinians their best opportunity to hear you and Sen. Hillary Clinton discuss important issues, from education, our economy and our nation's role in the world, that face our nation today," Easley wrote.

Easley is a Democratic superdelegate who has not committed to either candidate.

In a letter dated Wednesday, Senate President Pro Tempore Marc Basnight and House Speaker Joe Hackney said a debate would show North Carolina residents that their votes matter.

"Your participation underscores your message of change and hope, in which people who have been previously disenfranchised from the political process can now come to the table and break bread," Basnight and Hackney wrote.

Obama previously proposed to debate before the Pennsylvania primary April 22. But the North Carolina Democratic Party scheduled a 90-minute debate for April 27 in Raleigh, and Clinton has accepted that date. The debate would be the first moderated by CBS News anchor Katie Couric.

“Senator Obama has debated Senator Clinton more than 20 times already and is looking forward to debating her again (Wednesday) night," Obama spokesman Dan Leistikow said in a statement. "Our campaign also agreed to a date for a North Carolina debate, while Senator Clinton agreed to a different date. We’re still determining whether the new date will work for our schedule. In the meantime, however, Senator Obama is looking forward to speaking with North Carolina voters and answering their questions when he returns to the state on Thursday."

North Carolina's primary will divide 115 delegates among the candidates.


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  • niall Apr 16, 2008

    But whatelseisnew, the cheap shots are my favorite part...

  • whatelseisnew Apr 16, 2008

    The DEBATE: I would like to see a real debate. Pick 2 to 3 major topics. Then they actually get in deep to each topic and have a debate with each other. Only other rule: no cheap shot stuff.

  • whatelseisnew Apr 16, 2008


    One of the good laughs I got was that tape of Senator Kennedy trying to say Senator Obamas' name, and he kept saying it wrong, trying to correct his mistake and then sort of butchering the name again. Sometimes you are must further ahead, when you stumble on a name or a word to just keep moving on and pretending you did not stumble.

  • doodad Apr 16, 2008

    bullet, I agree. Hillary is dishonest and will DO ANYTHING to get elected.

    Polls are used to affect public opinion. Regardless of what they suggest, a lot will happen between now and November. I don't care for dirty politics either.

  • bullet656 Apr 16, 2008

    doodad-the real polls do, so as you say get over it.
    You don't make a good point. Of course people have a right to form their opinions. How come you're criticizing me if you don't think people should criticize? I was just standing up to what I think is dirty politics. I just don't think Hillary will win (and again the real polls show she won't). I don't have a problem with most of her policies, just her. You say obama is a fake, and maybe he is, but at this time it is definitely more obvious that Hillary is. There's a whole lot more cases of her outright lying or distorting the truth over the past few months.

  • doodad Apr 16, 2008

    bullet, what difference does it make?

    People have a right to form their opinions and vote for whom they choose without the CRITICISM from the opposition.

    I don't like Obama because he is a fake. That is my opinion. Get it!!!

    Read enough of these comments from all articles related to Obama and maybe you will discover the POLLS here don't support your candidate.

  • casp3r Apr 16, 2008

    It is the name his mom and dad gave him, stop whining !!!!!!!!!!!!! geez

  • bullet656 Apr 16, 2008

    and did you notice he referred to Hillary Rhodam Clinton as just "Hillary" in the post I was referring to? You act like a child, its obvious the reason behind what you do, but you make excuses anyways.

  • bullet656 Apr 16, 2008

    wolff-. act as if you didn't already read my post explaining why I, and others, object to it. Using his middle name twice in 2 sentences while you're obviously talking negative about him gives you no room to say you're not using his middle name without some hidden goal in mind. Please show me where Hillary's middle name is used twice in a two sentence post. I think Hillary Rhodam Clinton is a liar. I think Hillary Rhodam Clinton will say anything and do anything to get elected...nope, sounds kind of weird, doesn't it.

  • wildervb Apr 16, 2008

    tmedlin, I'm sure you will be listening to the debate tonight if you plan on voting in the Primary.