April 16th, 2008
09:34 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 4/16/08

Tonight, the last Democratic match-up before the Pennsylvania primary.  Sen. Hillary Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama debated in Philadelphia and by the second question Obama had to explain, yet again, just what he meant when he told campaign donors at a San Francisco-area event 10 days ago that small-town Pennsylvania residents are "bitter" over their economic circumstances and "cling" to their guns and religion.  Who won?  Who lost? And what impact will it have on the primary next week?  The best political team in television will dissect the debate for you.

And we’re continuing our series on the top contenders for the White House with Sen. John McCain.  It’s an in-depth look at the presumptive Republican Nominee including what drove him to attempt suicide.

 Plus, tomorrow there’s an unprecedented custody hearing in Texas.  What will happen to the 416 children removed from the polygamous compound?  Anderson’s going to talk to a spokesman from  FLDS and a former member. 

We’ll be blogging for two hours tonight.  We’ll start posting comments at 10p ET and stopping at 12a ET

Filed under: Live Blog
soundoff (602 Responses)
  1. Sue

    Silly season it is-who cares if he's wearing a flag pin or not. What Americans should be concerned about is their respect and status in the world. Their vision for their country and dealing with the real issues like lack of health care for 46 million Americans while billions of dollars is spent in Iraq.
    Sue Canada

    April 16, 2008 at 10:31 pm |
  2. Jo Ann, Ohio

    Anderson, I don't think Obama had a choice, he was forced to wear the flag pin. It would have been political suicide to refuse it or stuff it in his pocket don't you think?

    April 16, 2008 at 10:31 pm |
  3. Megan O. Toronto, ON, Canada

    Maybe there should be a debate where issues are written on pieces of paper and they get pulled out of a hat and that is all that is debated....if someone gets off point, they loose time or something. I also wish we heard about more then just Iraq, the economy and healthcare. All very important but there are many other topics that I have no idea where the candidates stand and I watch EVERYTHING that is on....so if I as someone who watches has not clue what is going on and I can't even vote, what about the many people who only watch the clips on the news and can vote

    BTW – can you tell I wish I could vote LOL 😛

    April 16, 2008 at 10:31 pm |
  4. Joseph Kowalski, North Huntingdon, PA

    Obama is correct. A flag pin does not make someone a patriot and it has, to some extent, become a false symbol of patriotism. G.W. Bush wears his flag pin as he signs legislation cutting funds to help veterans.

    April 16, 2008 at 10:31 pm |
  5. Slater

    Honestly I felt that obama was getting the edge by the media as well. I was for Hillary, but she is drawing negativity to herself.

    I have heard Anderson state on more than one occasion that Hillary has been invited to be interviewed on 360 and she has either declined or not responded. She has to put some good positive campaigning out there or negativity will come back.

    April 16, 2008 at 10:30 pm |
  6. Shane, Kentucky

    Hey Jean and EJ I'm a member of the unemployed club too. At this point I don't really care if Hillary or Obama wins. I'll vote for either one. The Republican agenda is flawed. They keep pumping money out into the world, and have lost touch with the average American. It's obvious from the housing bust and Bear Stearns that there has got to be some regulation. I say tax the greedy corporations.

    April 16, 2008 at 10:30 pm |
  7. Angela C

    I can make up my own mind about what was said at the debate. You bring people on your show and they give their opinions. I watched the debate and don't agree with most of the stuff Candy and David are saying.


    April 16, 2008 at 10:30 pm |
  8. Janice

    I think that Hillary did a great job at the debate. As politicians go, Obama is a bunch of hot air. I wish the media would leave Hillary alone and let the people decide who needs to be the next President. The media has beat up on her since day one. Obama has been given a free ride by the media.

    April 16, 2008 at 10:29 pm |
  9. Maureen T

    Haven`t we moved past the fact that Barack Obama didn`t wear a U.S. flag pin. He is proud to be American!

    April 16, 2008 at 10:29 pm |
  10. mona

    @ shane I agree with you; in PA the company that make mint candies is closing shop and moving to mexico. Myself I'm bitter; gas prices are soaring and today my boss said we have to wait for 6 months for review for raise.

    April 16, 2008 at 10:29 pm |
  11. xtina, chicago IL

    just because your candidate didn't perform well doesnt' make the network "biased"

    April 16, 2008 at 10:29 pm |
  12. Brian Persaud

    I wonder where Anderson stands on the candidates. I know if he ever revealed that his show would turn into AC180, but it would be interesting to hear his thoughts after meeting so many candidates and experts, and having a seemingly more informed standpoint than the average person.

    April 16, 2008 at 10:29 pm |
  13. Mary H. St. Louis, MO

    Good evening Anderson, Erica, AC360 staff and bloggers.

    I have to admit that I turned off the debate to watch the American Idol kickoff show. It sounds like the debate got ugly... Darn.. I should have stayed tuned in to it.

    April 16, 2008 at 10:29 pm |
  14. Teresa, Kent, OH

    @ Jean M. : I'm with you. Enough of the mudslinging. Let's hear what ANY of the candidates can do for Joe and Jane Average. How can they get us jobs? How can they not raise taxes? How can they get us out of Iraq safely? HOW???

    I think this whole campaign has taken a sickening turn and I believe with all my heart it is due to the MEDIA RATINGS game. : (

    April 16, 2008 at 10:29 pm |
  15. Sarah, Atlanta GA

    It's a pin, who cares who wears one or not???

    April 16, 2008 at 10:29 pm |
  16. DeniseGA

    The debate was horrible

    Slighted in Hillarys' favor.

    They spent most of the time bashing Obama!

    April 16, 2008 at 10:29 pm |
  17. Peanut

    The amount of money someone makes (i.e. Clinton) is not an indication of how "elitist" they are–it's a mind set.

    April 16, 2008 at 10:28 pm |
  18. janet

    If you could answer this question for me...
    Do you truly believe this has been a negative campaign? I've only been voting since 1980, and I truly don't believe this has been negative compared to past campaigns. Thanks.

    April 16, 2008 at 10:28 pm |
  19. Kim in Texas

    Janet: I agree about FOX news providing fair coverage of Hillary. Who would have ever thought THAT would happen? And I agree that MSNBC and CNN are riding the same propaganda wagon for Obama – just like they did with Bush. And we all know how that administration has turned out...

    April 16, 2008 at 10:28 pm |
  20. Susan

    CNN, Have you read the 5000+ comments about tonight's debate on ABC's blog? You should! ABC has taken a deserved beating after tonight's BIG TOP DEBATE. Charlie should be preparing his apology for tomorrow night's news right now. Please keep this in mind when preparing your debate material. The people have spoken and they're voices are getting louder.

    April 16, 2008 at 10:28 pm |
  21. Linda

    JoAnn, Obama said at the Compassion Forum that he does cling to his religion. He never has it was wrong, he just said that's what you do in times of hardship. Cling to that which is familiar and dear to you.

    I haven't watched that debate yet (West Coast), but it's interesting to see the responses.

    April 16, 2008 at 10:28 pm |
  22. Alys

    patriotism should not be measured by how many flags you wear on your clothes.

    April 16, 2008 at 10:28 pm |
  23. Megan Dresslar

    Oh really?
    Obama never wear label flag pin............. oh, I saw Obama haven't wear label flag pin......

    April 16, 2008 at 10:27 pm |
  24. Sahira

    What does wearing a flag pin has to do with solving our problems?

    April 16, 2008 at 10:27 pm |
  25. Terry, Texas

    There is a difference between acknowledging wealth and pretending that you don't have money.

    April 16, 2008 at 10:27 pm |
  26. Jo Ann, Ohio

    @Yen: I am not even necessarily a Clinton supporter, but fair is fair.

    April 16, 2008 at 10:27 pm |
  27. Brandi down the bayou.

    Erica, I can barely see your head poking up on the webcam, but I got a great view of the crew guy. lol I think he is cold too!

    April 16, 2008 at 10:27 pm |
  28. ericacnn

    It's interesting the stories and events that keep coming back in a campaign. I believe a lot of that can be attributed to blogs and a more active cyberspace... what about you?

    Also, do you think all the activity online hurts voters; does it make it more difficult to get the truth about the candidates?

    April 16, 2008 at 10:27 pm |
  29. Terri

    The most surprising thing about the debate tonight was when they were talking about raising the cap on payroll tax. I think it should be raised, people who make the least amount of money payroll tax on EVERY dollar and those who make above $97,000 don't. I just don't understand that????

    April 16, 2008 at 10:27 pm |
  30. Joseph Kowalski, North Huntingdon, PA

    Whether we like it or not, whoever wins in November, the United States is going to remain in Iraq for some time. There is no way we can "responsibly" leave without leaving Iraq in a state of chaos.

    Any promises by candidates about leaving Iraq is their wishful thinking or pandering to voters.

    April 16, 2008 at 10:27 pm |
  31. Slater

    Patriotism, very important issue to me. What is with Hillary and the negativity?

    April 16, 2008 at 10:26 pm |
  32. Judy from NJ

    The debates should stick to the issues that are important to the American people. We really need to address the economy, war, healthcare, education. Who is the media really listening to? Why are they focusing on nonsense issues? Overall, I was disappointed in the ABC debate; the anchors were clearly biased. They made a very negative impression.

    April 16, 2008 at 10:26 pm |
  33. Judi Smith

    So Hillary is damned if she does or damned if she doesn't? If she had been wishy – washy like B.O. is most of the time she would have been put down by your media people for that. At least she has a good direct plan. Those reporters on your show tonith are unfair and mean to Hillary.

    April 16, 2008 at 10:26 pm |
  34. Sunae, Jacksonville, Fl

    I don't wear a flag pin what's the big deal?

    April 16, 2008 at 10:26 pm |
  35. carmen

    Hillary has not been wearing a pin either and nobody every asks her

    April 16, 2008 at 10:25 pm |
  36. Mary

    CNN – we are still waiting for as in-depth a coverage you gave on Race and Politics to Gender and Politics. Why can't you explore the issue of gender bias which is so rampant at your own organization? Where have you gone Ted Turner?

    April 16, 2008 at 10:25 pm |
  37. Gary

    Talk about missing the question. Sen. Clintion was asked the polls show a concern about her "trust and honesty", all she could answer was I am many things but I'm not "dumb". Ok, so we can't trust you or what???

    April 16, 2008 at 10:25 pm |
  38. Billi

    I know David is not a Hillary fan but I guess he must really be upset about Barack's lackluster performance tonight – he keeps criticizing Hillary. Why aren't you Barack fans there telling us how great Barack did? Is it because he didn;t do well, maybe????

    April 16, 2008 at 10:25 pm |
  39. CaseyJPS - California

    ..AND I don;t care about lapel pins!!!

    April 16, 2008 at 10:25 pm |
  40. Jo Ann, Ohio

    Neither candidate can give a definitive answer about what they will do in Iraq. They don't know what the conflict will look like next year and they cannot just disregard what the generals on the ground will advise them to do.

    April 16, 2008 at 10:25 pm |
  41. Sarah, Atlanta GA

    The polygamy segment sould be interesting. Can't wait to see it.

    April 16, 2008 at 10:25 pm |
  42. Kevin Leo from Jonesboro, GA

    I loved watching Hillary attack Barack over his comment that he would love to increase the payroll tax threshhold above the current $97,000. She is sticking up for her S109 million while Barack is looking out for woking class Americans who will be dependent on Social Security in the years and decades to come!

    April 16, 2008 at 10:25 pm |
  43. Kathy

    EJ Ohio, I thought that also. I think I must be poverty level.

    April 16, 2008 at 10:25 pm |
  44. Cynthia

    She had an insider in George Stephanolous(?) and probably knew the questions in advance.

    April 16, 2008 at 10:24 pm |
  45. Zenta, New York, NY

    It seems Mr. Obama still has not made a clear statement about "bitter" comments. And recently, he has avoided making comments for a lot of things not confortable to him.

    April 16, 2008 at 10:24 pm |
  46. Brian Persaud

    As long as we change the direction I'll be satisfied. I don't think Obama or Clinton are going to snap their fingers and make the war go away. But as long as its not "open ended", as Gergen put it, I'll be a lot happier.

    April 16, 2008 at 10:23 pm |
  47. lydia MA

    I thought the role of jthe press and moderate debate was to see beyond the day to day fairly uninformed opinions of the general public and pose questions about pertient and complex issues of the day. What we have have now is a lot of stories about the process and word parsing.

    This debate took the low road. What made this primary season exciting was that for a few months the candidates actually spent some real time talking vision and/or policy. Its back to the grime ..which gives one little reason to vote

    April 16, 2008 at 10:23 pm |
  48. Christine

    I really will have to let CNN (oh boy) and the bloggers fill me in on the debate. I had a hockey game to watch and cry over.

    April 16, 2008 at 10:23 pm |
  49. Jean Meyers, Atlanta, GA

    I used to make $15/hourly. Right now I'm unemployed and on the brink of being homeless. I'm a member of the "Walk It Off" healthcare plan, so getting sick or injured would break the piggy bank for me. I started going back to school because I couldn't get a job that pays $6.75 a hour for being "overqualified". And I know there are people worse off than me. What I want to know is what policies do the candidates have that can help people like me?

    April 16, 2008 at 10:23 pm |
  50. Yen

    I thought Hillary Clinton did a better job answering the questions tonight. I guess the analysts disagree with me.

    April 16, 2008 at 10:22 pm |
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