And another version of Obama's distaste for the last debate..........
Obama questions Democratic debate's relevance
RALEIGH, North Carolina: Senator Barack Obama on Thursday delivered a mocking critique of Wednesday night's Democratic presidential debate, telling an audience here that the 90-minute session with Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton exemplified the problems with Washington by not focusing on issues that truly matter to the American people.
"They like stirring up controversy and they like playing gotcha games, getting us to attack each other. And I have to say Senator Clinton looked in her element," Obama said. "She was taking every opportunity to get a dig in there. You know, that's all right. That's her right. That's her right to kind of twist the knife a little bit."
At a town meeting Thursday in North Carolina, where he arrived to campaign in advance of the May 6 primary, Obama seemed intent on seeking to quell any political fallout from the debate in Philadelphia. Throughout much of the ABC News forum, Obama was on the defensive, tackling questions about his patriotism, understanding of small-town America and his association with the incendiary remarks of his former pastor.
"That was the roll-out of the Republican campaign against me in November. That is what they will do," Obama said. "They will try to focus on all these issues that don't have anything to do with how you pay your bills at the end of the month."
With a wide smile, and a sarcastic tone, Obama sought to brush aside criticism about his performance in what he said was the 21st debate of the presidential nominating fight.
"I will tell you, it does not get much more fun than these debates. They are inspiring events," Obama quipped.
"Last night, I think we set a new record because it took us 45 minutes before we even started talking about a single issue that matters to the American people. It took us 45 minutes!"
"Forty-five minutes before we heard about health care. Forty-five minutes before we heard about Iraq," he continued. "Forty-five - 45 - minutes before we heard about jobs. Forty-five minutes before we heard about gas prices."
While many admirers of Obama have aggressively assailed the debate's moderators, Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopoulos, Obama did not mention them in his remarks Thursday. Instead, he focused his ire on Clinton.
"Look, I understand that because that's the text book Washington game. That's how our politics has been taught to be played," Obama said. "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 or the presidency than you've got to expect it."
He told the audience that he intended to let the criticism roll off of him. As he spoke, he made a dramatic gesture of wiping off his sleeves and dusting off his dark suit.
"That's what you got to do," he said, drawing loud applause from the audience. "That's what you've got to do. But understand this, that is also precisely why I'm running for president - to change that kind of politics."
After Obama's opening remarks, a woman in the audience asked how he intended to forcefully challenge Senator John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee.
"It's a little hard to do with a fellow Democrat. I'm trying to show some restraint. I won't have as much restraint with the Republicans," Obama said, adding: "That's the debate that I am really looking forward to. I am confident that that's the debate the American people are going to want to have."
"What they are going to figure out is who is the person who can lead this country and actually solve problems,' 'he added. "We've been going through this politics - tit for tat silliness - for decades now."
Obama questions Democratic debate's relevance - International Herald Tribune