April 23rd, 2008
10:26 AM ET
11 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. Cha

    If Hillary squanders her money and campaign, whose fault is it.
    If she had money she would spend too.

    April 23, 2008 01:47 am at 1:47 am |
  2. Jesse

    let me get this straight: Hilary shows that she's tough (Iran, nuclear war, Israel) and Barack criticizes her for empty words and hollow talk. Meanwhile, he threatens to invade Pakistan, and half the Abercrombie-and-Fitch wearing college students set their bongs aside to vote for him. I'm black, a man, and a Democrat, and I think the double standard is ridiculous. At least Hilary has done something in her career.

    April 23, 2008 01:47 am at 1:47 am |
  3. Jerome, FL

    Congrats to Hillary, but she will only gain a few delegates maybe 10. People please wake up! The republicans are backing her everywhere they can, now, because they know who they want to run against. And we know they won't cross over for her in November, so I think Dems need to wake up and smell the coffee, the longer this takes the worse it if for the Democratic party, Hillatry is only destroying the party and making it "less able" to defeat McCain in Nov. Look at her negatives, she is the one motivation the Republicans need in November because they know old John is a Bob Dole in waiting.

    By the way how is she more electable when she cannot even win more delegates in her own party when she had 8 years to plan? Super delegates will see right through this.

    WAKE UP!!!!!

    OBAMA 08!

    April 23, 2008 01:48 am at 1:48 am |
  4. X-MAN

    Lets keep it real, Pennsylvania primary results according to the demographics was based on racism. Western Pa. is sheep like and should read a book or two. Their vote was based on skin color and nothing else. The older voters should be a little more openmided. Their vote will hurt themselves in the long run. Obama programs really benefited them more so than Hillary. The freeworld needs Obama to bring about some peace to the earth. Western Pa. is not ready for an African American president.

    April 23, 2008 01:48 am at 1:48 am |
  5. Marc-Eugene, Oregon

    I don't buy they argument that Obama should have done better because he outspent the Clinton Campaign 3 to 1. She had most of the democratic political establishment backing her beginning with Governor Ed Randell. Having all those democratic politicians out pounding the pavement for her more than made up for the advertising money he spent.

    April 23, 2008 01:48 am at 1:48 am |
  6. ash

    all the ad spend in the world won't convince racists to change their minds

    April 23, 2008 01:48 am at 1:48 am |
  7. Pasnat

    I'm glad the NY Times called her on this. She's been fighting dirty and has the look of desperation about her. I can just imagine her camp jumping up and down and foaming at the mouth every time Obama says something they can twist into an attack point.

    Do they really think that Obama hates America and strictly follows the teaching of his lunatic fringe priest?

    Do they really think Obama is out of touch with and looks down on the common person?

    Do they really think Clinton has the type of experience that would give her the edge over Obama in the event of a national emergency?

    No, they don't, but they sure fall all over themselves to press their misguided points.

    Shame on Hillary for following their terrible advice.

    April 23, 2008 01:49 am at 1:49 am |
  8. mike

    YES,
    OBAMA SPENT 12 MILLION ON ADS, NOT TO WIN BUT TO BANKRUPT HER. AND IT WORKED!!!. SHE SPENT ALL HER MONEY EVEN IF TONITE SHE GETS 4 MILLION IN DONATIONS, SHE STILL OWES MARK PENN 5 MILLION AND ANOTHER 4 MILLION IN UNPAID BILLS!!!

    CAN'T PUT FUEL IN THE PLANE W/O ANY MONEY, DEAREE!!!

    April 23, 2008 01:49 am at 1:49 am |
  9. W. J. Godfrey

    Willy from Canada:

    As I have said before, if the Democrats want to win then, Clinton is the only choice!

    April 23, 2008 01:50 am at 1:50 am |
  10. Cindy t

    Obama ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 23, 2008 01:50 am at 1:50 am |
  11. Marc PDX

    What a quandry! The inexperienced Obama has now driven off his map of the known political world and appears to be driving on a flat tire. And now, with a blowout victory in Pennsylvania, the unlikeable and truth-challenged Billary appears to be the more likely candidate to defeat McCain in November. But she's too far behind to catch up. What to do? What to do?

    April 23, 2008 01:51 am at 1:51 am |
  12. Hotred

    wow. why does the press insist on painting clinton as the loser after every victory? i understand why obama does, and i guess his posse need to as well.

    if you look at the primary map the only states that obama won were some square states in the middle of the country, lousiana, mississippi and alabama..um...not impressive. and hardly representative of what the country wants.

    April 23, 2008 01:51 am at 1:51 am |
  13. Andrew

    The 'Times' should consider retracting its endorsement. The twisted personality and the dishonesty shown by Senator Clinton (and her husband) can't possibly be what the 'Times' anticipated when it endorsed her candidacy.

    April 23, 2008 01:51 am at 1:51 am |
  14. Peter Damoah-Afari

    The fact remains that Obama is still the choice; he got about the same delegates as Hillary in PA. We should also not forget about the fact that, the so-called blue-collar voters don't form any meaningful number in the remaining contests and Hillary Clinton is going to face the sounds in the coming weeks. Finally, it is not only blacks that vote for their candidate, whites also did the same yesterday....so the racial politics is not attributed to only blacks.

    April 23, 2008 01:51 am at 1:51 am |
  15. peaceful

    Hillary used 911 and Bin Laden to scare up votes. Pennsylvania fell for it. The rest of the country won't.

    April 23, 2008 01:51 am at 1:51 am |
  16. A Group of Asian American

    I am so so so happy. Go Hillary Go!!
    We all support you, we have faith in you. no mattter how Media try to pull you down. How many Obama supporters try to paint you as a liar.
    We knew you will be our good president. Go Hillary Go!!!

    April 23, 2008 01:51 am at 1:51 am |
  17. Ferguson Smattering

    Clinton 'should' have won Pennsylvania by a landslide... but she didn't. Obama made inroads into most of the voter groupings, and stayed very much alive. The negativity Clinton espouses leads to a headstrong but pyrrhic advantage for a candidate with as much baggage as she carries...

    Every bit of Hillary's 'push' makes Obama stronger and more insulated.

    She could learn a lot from him.

    April 23, 2008 01:52 am at 1:52 am |
  18. fay

    she won Penn only by going negative. Obama has millions of stuff to throw at her but he just doesn't want to harm the party. After all what she did she win? he's still the frontrunner and she will never catch him up. All penn officials were campaigning for her so, it was not surprising to win. Obama also won 10% of her 20% lead.

    April 23, 2008 01:52 am at 1:52 am |
  19. NO-CLINTON

    No to negativity
    No to fearmongering
    No to lies
    No to spin
    No to mismanagement of Campaign money

    Our Founding Fathers built this country based on the principle of Honesty, Truthfulness, Justice and Honor. And not based on spin.

    OBAMA '08 & '12

    April 23, 2008 01:53 am at 1:53 am |
  20. Bob

    Remember that the NY Times endorsed Clinton. If your home town paper that endorsed you is telling you stop the negative attacks, you might want to pay attention.

    April 23, 2008 01:53 am at 1:53 am |
  21. Hotred

    p.s. since when is obama "positive"? the fact that he uses negative attacks while expounding against them in his speeches, shows what a hypocrite he is.

    April 23, 2008 01:53 am at 1:53 am |
  22. Jodie - Canada

    I don't think it matters whether or not Clinton won tonight. As usual, Clinton and her advisers are thinking on the fly and not planning ahead.

    She is going to keep campaigning and fighting for the Michigan and Florida Deleagtes to be seated. Truth be told if they are seated, the likelyhood that the Democratic party is going to let their delegates affect the ultimate outcome of the race is almost nil (if they are seated, they will be seated in at most, a 60-40 split). If they are seated, it is going to give Obama the number of delegates he needs to win the race anyways.

    April 23, 2008 01:53 am at 1:53 am |
  23. LEJOY

    DESPERADO. YES, SHE MUST WIN AT ALL COST. MICHAEVELLI. THAT'S WHAT SHE IS. I DON'T REALLY CARE IF SHE GOES BACK INTO THE WHITE HOUSE. SHE'S NOT GOING TO BE MY PRESIDENT. SIMPLY GETS ON MY NERVES. HOW POWER-HUNGRY CAN THIS FAMILY GET? WHO WILL BE THE NEXT PRESIDENT AFTER HER? I GUESS, HER DAUGHTER WILL RUN IN 2016.

    April 23, 2008 01:54 am at 1:54 am |
  24. Avis, Richton Park, IL

    The New York Times endorsed Hillary Clinton and they still slamed her. This isn't bias, this is the media finally telling the truth!

    No one should be surprised Hillary won PA. There are some parts of PA that would just not vote for a black man, even though he's white too.

    The only surprise to me was the fact that Barack was able to cut her lead by over 20 points down to 10 points. Hillary was ahead in PA by over 30 points.

    Barack will continue to win other states and then the nomination, so I'm not worried about that. I am worried that people will still vote for someone who's dishonest and willing to twist words to win (ABC debate). And if their able to do that, then we'll end up with another Bush like president and we haven't learned a thing!

    April 23, 2008 01:54 am at 1:54 am |
  25. Raphael Houston Tx

    This should be the NY times headlines:
    "Obama was Thumped in Pennsylvania even though he outspent Hillary 3 to 1 and campaigned for 6 weeks."

    Texas- Ohio-Pennsylvania: Three HUGE wins in a row.

    Lets add up the electoral votes that count. Obama only wins states where it does not matter.

    Go Hillary

    April 23, 2008 01:54 am at 1:54 am |
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