April 23rd, 2008
10:26 AM ET
12 years ago

NY Times slams Clinton's 'negativity'

 Clinton celebrates her Pennsylvania victory with Gov. Ed Rendell.

Clinton celebrates her Pennsylvania victory with Gov. Ed Rendell.

(CNN) - Fresh off her victory in Pennsylvania, Hillary Clinton is facing a stinging rebuke of her campaign tactics from her hometown paper, The New York Times.

In the paper's Wednesday edition, the editorial board which endorsed Clinton's White House bid earlier this year says the New York senator's "negativity" is doing "harm to her, her opponent, her party and the 2008 election."

"The Pennsylvania campaign, which produced yet another inconclusive result on Tuesday, was even meaner, more vacuous, more desperate, and more filled with pandering than the mean, vacuous, desperate, pander-filled contests that preceded it," the board writes.

The paper finds fault in Clinton's latest campaign ad, which includes an image of Osama bin Laden, and asks, "Who do you think has what it takes?"

"Mrs Clinton became the first Democratic candidate to wave the bloody shirt of 9/11," they write, adding that it is a tactic that is "torn right from Karl Rove’s playbook."

"Mrs. Clinton does more than just turn off voters who don’t like negative campaigning," the editorial also states. "She undercuts the rationale for her candidacy that led this page and others to support her: that she is more qualified, right now, to be president than Mr. Obama."

The paper also says Barack Obama deserves some of the blame for the negative tone. "He is increasingly rising to Mrs. Clinton’s bait, undercutting his own claims that he is offering a higher more inclusive form of politics."

But the editorial makes clear the paper thinks most of the blames lies with Clinton. "If she is ever to have a hope of persuading [superdelegates] to come back to her side, let alone win over the larger body of voters, she has to call off the dogs."

soundoff (917 Responses)
  1. OR for Obama

    I agree with the article wholeheartedly....don't fret though Pennsylvanians.... out west we will get it right.....I can't find anyone in Portland, Oregon that is voting for Hillary. And many, like myself, are so turned off by her negativity that we will joyously vote for McCain if she were to get the nod. Go Barack! Si Se Puede!

    April 23, 2008 01:24 am at 1:24 am |
  2. Steven Schwartz

    The US and the world is at a critucal juncture. We desperately need statesmanship and the hope it engenders, and I'm not seeing it. The race becomes more disappointing every day. Walter Cronkite, please run – I'm tired of always having to select from among mediocrity.

    April 23, 2008 01:24 am at 1:24 am |
  3. Chris

    Considering Clinton had a 20 point advantage going into a state that fit her demographic perfectly, it's pretty sad of her camp that he was still able to cut her lead in half... all while going through 3 controversies and have Hillary/Mcain and ABC debate after him. Not bad for a nooby going up against the huge Clinton political machine. Have you noticed she doesn't have to defend herself much from past skeletons? It's because Obama's not as negative and she's not the front runner so she can basically say whatever she wants without much backlash. Obama's image would look bad in voters eyes if he went after the person in "second" place – so he has to focus on McCain more and get double teamed in return.

    That sad part about that this whole thing is dividing the dem party (don't believe me? some 27%+ in her camp say they won't vote for Obama in a general election... that's straight up brain washing of directing people against the REAL enemy – McCain... and 17%+ of Obama's camp is saying the same thing – probably in response or dislikes to the Clinton "brand")

    April 23, 2008 01:24 am at 1:24 am |
  4. TC

    I think some of you may be missing the real issue hear. It's true Obama out spent her but the same media you are critizing gave her more than ehough compensation in all their attacks on Barak. so stop whininning like losers and little children in the playground. We need to realize that come the fall the same media is going to try and knock Clinton and /or Obama's head off!
    It's time we focus on teh big picture!! Obama / Clinton 08"

    April 23, 2008 01:24 am at 1:24 am |
  5. Xman

    In '92 I voted I voted for Bill with great hope. From '96 until now I have been a Green Party activist. I'm now hoping for Obama, but afraid Clintons still represent the true shrunken soul of the Dems, really not so different from the Rs. No, I'll never vote for McBush, but I won't ever vote Hillary Rove Clinton either.

    April 23, 2008 01:24 am at 1:24 am |
  6. dwest

    You're kidding. What about the other side trying to label Bill Clinton a racist......and using that strategy to divide us in ways that it will take generations to heal. As a white woman who with African American cousins, I wonder how many of you can turn a blind eye to the fact that the Obama campaign has used race to divide us. I have spent a lifetime trying to bring people together and now I find even lifelong friends beginning to feel uncomfortable talkiing about race. How do you explain that? I haven't sat in any churches lately where we were taught hate and resentment.

    April 23, 2008 01:24 am at 1:24 am |
  7. Andrew

    HAHAHA....

    I've had enough bias news. Usually when someone wins a contest the first thing they release is "Candidate wins state".

    This is nonsense. The NY times has found someone more Liberal and ahead in Obama, so have switched sides.

    April 23, 2008 01:24 am at 1:24 am |
  8. mrsing

    How is it that blue collar workers voted for her when her husband was the one who signed NAFTA and shipped their jobs overseas esp. to MX? Aren't these blue collars the same people who would like to see southern border closed off to illegal aliens taking jobs and driving down wages? Hispanics voted for her, right? Are these the uneducated voters they're talking about?

    And how is it that pious Catholics voted for Mrs. Pro. Choice NOW Crowd? Don't these Catholics follow their holey pope and religion tenets? Catholics are hypocrites; they probably are the ones having abortions.

    The fact that Mr. Casey supported Obama didn't mean much to these Catholic hypocrites!

    April 23, 2008 01:25 am at 1:25 am |
  9. DB, San Francisco

    Is PA a testament to the sad fact that negativity and fearmongering work? Sadly, I am beginning to think so. What started out as an invigorating primary between two strong candidates has turned into the kind of politics we have sunk to in this country. With her victory, Clinton will continue what works, and that is slandering her opponent. Obama, too, will likely go increasingly negative. To what end? A split party and ammunition for the Republicans?

    April 23, 2008 01:25 am at 1:25 am |
  10. Rob

    Will check back with you in 2 years PA see how your doing with those new jobs after the Columbian Trade deal is signed. Bill has received how much from the Columbian government so far? Oh yea $800,000.Not to worry ,they don't mind if he just keeps it and forgets the whole thing.When will people wake up!!!!!

    April 23, 2008 01:26 am at 1:26 am |
  11. Drew

    Billary will be Bush's 3rd term. GO BILLARY!

    April 23, 2008 01:26 am at 1:26 am |
  12. Shannon, Charlottesville, Virginia

    It's about time the media spoke up about this. I've seen some Clinton supporters who have more hate for Obama than love for Clinton.

    April 23, 2008 01:26 am at 1:26 am |
  13. jack

    I am sick and tired of CNN AND now NY TIMES, If it this its that fault and if it that it is this fault.

    April 23, 2008 01:26 am at 1:26 am |
  14. Retta Crawford St.Louis

    Congradulations..Hillary and thanks Pennsylvania . $$$ didn't put Obama above her and its the vote that counts. Seems the ball is now back in our court. We are in it to win it!!!!!! Yes we can. You should have seen the faces as the results can in early by Obama's supporters here at Drinking Liberally in St.Louis. Let's go on for more victories HillaryClinton.com We got more states to win and join in the excitement.

    April 23, 2008 01:26 am at 1:26 am |
  15. Carmen

    This was a symbolic win for Hillary. However, mathimatically, it will not help her win the nomination. This was her last chance at the numbers game. Barack has secured the nomination.

    April 23, 2008 01:26 am at 1:26 am |
  16. Serge the DEM

    I applaud those who decide to stick to their candidate out of loyalty, and it seems it was enough to let Hillary keep her lead in PA. But She needed to win BIG and she didn't.

    She was 20 points ahead a month ago in PA.. she lost voters. NC will most likely go for him (but at what margin? I expect over 20%).

    Regardless, the ones who are going to pick our candidate will be the superdelegates. I wonder who they are going to vote for? You know who they are going to vote for... still, I applaud your loyalty to your candidate... cheers!

    April 23, 2008 01:26 am at 1:26 am |
  17. Philly Chick

    CLINTON WILL LOSE! I will never vote her into office. EVER.

    April 23, 2008 01:27 am at 1:27 am |
  18. Don Fitzgerald

    It has every reason to slam her! The last couple of weeks I thought she turned into a Republican nominee. That is extremely unfortunate for our Party and for this battered and bewildered nation. It seemed as though I was watching the Pennsylvania primary turn into the election of President Bush and what his minions did to his opposition. I hope she can get back on the high road and I say that sincerely, otherwise our nation is in for, at least, another disastrous Republican term!!!
    SUPPORT OUR TROOPS, BRING THEM HOME, ALIVE. NOW.

    April 23, 2008 01:27 am at 1:27 am |
  19. gerry

    Good for the New York Times for telling it as it is. In spite of her tactics, she still can't win. She needs to win all remaining contests by a 70-30 split in order to erase Obama's lead in elected delegates. All she won, in a state she had a 25 point lead in was 12 more delegates than Obama.

    When the NC, Indiana and Guam elections are completed, Obama will then have a lead of 180 delegates and Clinton will then need to win all remaining contests at a 95-5 split.

    It's like being down 36 points with 30 seconds to go in the Super Bowl. It is not possible for her to catch him.

    Clinton supporters, if they are democrats, should quit drinking kool-aid and ask themselves whether they want the democratic candidate which is going to e Obama, so bloodied that McCain wins in November.

    April 23, 2008 01:27 am at 1:27 am |
  20. Eric-PA

    She has been defending herself from Obama's attacks. Obama has been going negative. The New York Times is a very liberal paper who's in love with the Barackstar.

    April 23, 2008 01:27 am at 1:27 am |
  21. Xavierism

    Yeah? Well I'm disgusted at The New York Times for how they handled the recent story on John McCain. They printed a story that lacked facts. Now they are playing Political Gods? I don't think so. I've lost respect for this so called news paper.

    April 23, 2008 01:27 am at 1:27 am |
  22. Jack K

    Pandering by Clinton...a definite YES. She's been sharing hunting and gun stories in PA. She hated NAFTA in Ohio but prior to that, she touted NAFTA's great success. If I ever ducked under sniper fire (in Bosnia), I think I would remember the details of that day for the rest of my life. Pandering is putting it politely. How about Machiavellian or politically expedient? We do need another common-folk yet Rhodes Scholar/Ivy League type of intellect in the White House again, but without the "slickness".... wait, that sounds like this guy who's an Illinois senator right now.

    April 23, 2008 01:28 am at 1:28 am |
  23. Kathleen

    Go Hillary!!!! He couldn't stop her with 12 million spent. Ouch! Dean and company better take notice. This is a hint of the general in the fall.

    April 23, 2008 01:28 am at 1:28 am |
  24. Robert

    When Clinton rated John McCain above Sen. Obama, a fellow Democrat, she lost me, a former supporter, forever. What other Democrat has ever said such a thing of a fellow Democrat in a primary? It is waaaaayyyy beyond the pale. Should she achieve her goal of wresting the nomination away from Obama, she will rip the party apart and hand the White House to the Republicans for another four years.

    April 23, 2008 01:28 am at 1:28 am |
  25. todd wong

    She now begins her losing streak. It's over. Donate your money to Obama. If diplomacy means lying, then she would qualify.

    April 23, 2008 01:29 am at 1:29 am |
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