Clinton calls for free-for-all debate

April 26, 2008 2:27:25 PM PDT
Hillary Rodham Clinton Saturday challenged her opponent to an unmoderated, nearly free-for-all, Lincoln-Douglas-style debate. Barack Obama's campaign says it's thinking it over. Clinton talked about her idea during a stop in Indiana. The New York senator says she wants it to be just the two of them "going for 90 minutes, asking and answering questions." She says she and Obama can "set whatever rules seem fair."

Clinton has been pushing for more debates, as Indiana and North Carolina's primaries creep closer. She says she's suggesting the head-to-head debate because of Obama's complaints over the questions from the last debate.

Obama, who was also energizing crowds in Indiana, has charged that the debate focused too much on political trivia and too little on real issues.

The more open style of debating where each side presents an argument gets its name from the famed debates that took place during the 1858 U.S. Senate race in Illinois between Republican Abraham Lincoln and Democrat Stephen Douglas.

Both rivals were focusing on Indiana Saturday, with Clinton bringing along popular Sen. Evan Bayh and talking about reviving the industrial economy.