Hillary Clinton: No Wimps in the White House

ABC News' Eloise Harper Reports: Hillary Clinton thinks the White House is no place for wimps.Stepping up her criticism of her rival's performance in ABC News' primetime debate on Wednesday, Clinton, D-N.Y., told the FOX affiliate in Philadelphia, "I know he spent all day yesterday complaining about the hard questions he was asked. Being asked tough questions in a debate is nothing like the pressures you face inside the White House. In fact, when the going gets tough, you just can't walk away because we're going to have some very tough decisions that we have to make."When pressed, Clinton continued the criticism, adding, "When the going gets tough you can't run away. And it's going to be tough going to deal with these hard problems; getting out of Iraq in the right way, turning the economy around, getting universal health care, ending our dependence on foreign oil. The special interests are going to be a lot tougher than 90 minutes of questions from two journalists and we need a president who is going to be up there fighting everyday for the American people and not complain about how much pressure there is, and how hard the questions are."Sen. Clinton echoed her earlier comments to FOX in her first event on Friday."Some of you see that debate the other night?" Clinton asked the crowd in Randor, Pennsylvania. "Well, I know that some of my opponents' supporters and my opponent have been complaining about hard questions. Well, having been in the White House for eight years and seeing what happens in terms of the pressures and the stresses on the president, that was nothing. I'm with Harry Truman on this: if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. I am very comfortable in the kitchen."

Watch the VIDEO HERE. The Obama campaign didn't waste any time in refuting Clinton's claims."Considering the fact that Senator Clinton sat on stage at the last debate and complained to all of America that she always gets the first question, her blatant hypocrisy here is stunning," Obama campaign spokesperson Bill Burton said in a written statement. "But if she'd rather spend her time talking about the same distractions and divisions that Washington is obsessed with, that's her business."The candidate himself -- both literally and figuratively -- tried to brush off the debate on Thursday."She was taking every opportunity to get a dig in there, that's her right to kind of twist the knife a little bit," Obama said at a town hall in Raleigh, North Carolina, on Thursday."That's how our politics has been taught to be played. That's the lesson that she learned when the Republicans were doing that same thing to her back in the 1990s, so I understand it, and when you're running for the presidency then you've got to expect it."Obama then paused, brushed both his shoulders, and then bent down and brushed off his knee amid thunderous applause from the audience. "That's what you got to do," Obama laughed, "That is also precisely why I'm running for president to change that kind of politics."Bill Clinton also got in on the act on Thursday. The former President said he didn't see his wife "whining" when she's taken some tough political shots on the presidential campaign trail."When I watched that debate last night, I got kinda tickled," Clinton said at an American Legion Hall event in St. Mary's, Pennsylvania, "After the [debate], her opponents', oh, the people working were saying, 'Oh this is so negative, why are they doing this.' Well they've been beatin' up on her for 15 months. I didn't hear her whining when he said she was untruthful in Iowa or called her the senator from Punjab.""And, you know, they said some pretty rough things about me, too. But you know, this is a contact sport. If you don't want to play, keep your uniform off," Clinton told a loudly cheering crowd. In her interview with FOX, Sen. Clinton insisted, "We were both asked some pretty tough questions and that's part of what happens in a debate and in a campaign."Obama called the first half of the debate "tit for tat silliness", and both senators seem to be growing tired of the exercise, having meet 21 times on the debate stage over the course of the campaign."We've now had 21 (debates), and look, I mean the previous three, you know, we did very well, so it's not as if we don't know how to do these things," Obama said on Thursday. Obama has not yet committed to a proposed April 27 debate in Raleigh. Clinton has said she is willing to debate in North Carolina."Can I say that I've been through, what 23 of these debates?" Clinton told FOX on Friday. "And as I recall, I was asked some pretty tough questions in nearly every one of them. That goes with the territory, having been inside the White House, I know the pressures inside the White House, I know how hard it is every single day."ABC News' Sunlen Miller and Sarah Amos contributed to this report.

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