Fireworks Fizzle as Debate Begins – Candidates Defend Recent Gaffes

The fight for a win in Pennsylvania’s Democratic primary has been blazing a trail across the state for weeks, but the fire seemed to burn out when the two candidates took the stage at the National Constitution Center. The debate between Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama took a subdued, respectful tone as the two focused on the need for the party to come together to beat Sen. John McCain in the general election.

Neither candidate, however, would say they would take the VP spot if they lost the primary and neither would agree that if they won they would sign the other on as VP.

The first half hour of the debate was focused on recent criticism of Obama’s comments about “bitter” Pennsylvanians and his pastor’s much-discussed comments from the pulpit.

Clinton was just asked a question, via video from a voter who said she lost his vote over her misstatements about her trips to Bosnia.

Both candidates were put on the defensive, admitting they misspoke.

Obama was just asked about wearing an American flag pin – he is not in this debate but put one on yesterday. He said he loves this country and his story wouldn’t be possible anywhere else. This is the kind of “manufactured issue” he said his opponents are making that don’t get to the important issues.

Gina Passarella, Staff Reporter

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