AUSTIN, Texas - Democratic presidential rivals Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama debated in Austin, Texas, Wednesday, taking up Cuba, healthcare and their records in office.
The 90-minute debate, aired by CNN and Spanish-language TV network Univision, came after Obama's string of primary and caucus wins this month -- and less than two weeks before Texas is scheduled to hold its primary March 4.
The debate began with a disagreement over when the U.S. government should hold talks with the new Cuban leader following Fidel Castro's announcement that he wil not run for re-election.
Obama said the United States should engage Castro's successor almost immediately. Clinton said she would meet with the new Cuban government "once it demonstrated that it truly was ready to change."
The two candidates traded barbs over their rival's records and experience.
"I offer a lifetime of experience and proven results," Clinton said. "It's now up to the people of Texas, Ohio and the other states ahead."
Obama has sought to paint the New York senator as part of what's wrong with Washington.
"The problem we have is that Washington has become a place where good ideas go to die," he said. "They go to die in Washington because too many politicians are interested in scoring political differences rather than bridging differences get things done."
© 2008 United Press International. All Rights Reserved.