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. Dave

    Ya, she did what needed to be done. If Obama and his cult can't handle the heat, go home to AFRICA!!!!!!!!
    HILLARY 08

    April 23, 2008 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  2. Janice Hough

    Buyer's remorse from tne New York Times?

    It's about time.

    April 23, 2008 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  3. Tim in NY

    Unfortunately, she is going to see this as a ringing endorsement of the Rovian tactics that eeked out a win for her in PA. I think we can expect nothing but more of the same and worse from Mrs Clinton.

    Mr Obama needs to remember that staying above they fray and taking the high road brought a lot of voters to him in the first place. His 'new kind of politics' was a change for the better. Now he's sliding into the mire that Mrs Clinton feels so at home in.

    In the end, if the negativity persists I think we will see voters who were inspired to come out for the Primary stay home. Whomever the Democratic Nominee is, they need to seem to be a new, kinder, smarter and more stable politician or we will see a 12 year Republican Reign.

    That idea kinda puts it in perspective, doesn't it.

    April 23, 2008 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  4. Bayou Joe

    So much for non partisan reporting. The New York times owes the supporters of Hillary a big apology. The liberals don't get it, we don't want Obama in the whitehouse.

    The next time NY gets hit by Osama Bin Laden call on the Obama crowd to come to your aid.

    April 23, 2008 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  5. Heather, New Zealand

    At some time in the past one of your Presidents decided to adopt the moniker of "Leader of the Free World". Now I hear that Hillary Clinton will "obliterate" another country. Those of us who live in the free world would like to be able to vote for Mr Obama. Unfortunately we can't so its up to you Americans to remember to look outside your borders when electing your next President. The incumbent has been a disaster for the free world.

    April 23, 2008 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  6. KP in CA

    Did you expect anything less from this tasteless lying candidate? Don't be fooled she wants to win no matter what the cost is. If she will slap the face of her home state with that commercial, what do you think she will do to the rest of USA? She will sell her soul to the devil to become President, if she hasn't already!

    April 23, 2008 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  7. 58 old white ladies for OBAMA

    WHEN YOU LACK INTELLECT, HONESTY AND INTEGRITY,

    NEGATIVITY FOR SOME WILL DO.

    April 23, 2008 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  8. greenfun

    He dumps unbelievable amounts of money in the state and loses by double digits–still can't pull off a big state. Pennsylvania chose SUBSTANCE over speeches. YIIPPPEEEEEEEEEEE

    April 23, 2008 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  9. Dustin

    Unfortunately, Senator Clinton has to focus on the bad things about him because the media won't. They point out every flaw she has, and seem to blow by the fact that his own supporters can't name legistlative accomplishments of his.

    He out spent her in general 3 to 1 on advertisements (many of which were negative)

    She still won.

    Why can't he win?

    We need a winner.

    (PS Electorally she would have him beat in a general election)

    April 23, 2008 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  10. Eugene

    The editorial listened today...and chose.... their words well. The Times is probably now having serious buyers' remorse over their endorsement of Sen. Clinton.

    April 23, 2008 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  11. Interesting

    And they are important?

    Please, they need to shut up and be quiet and let both of them rumble.

    April 23, 2008 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  12. john a white man for truth, peace and harmony

    Too late to call her on bluff you liberalistics paper! White racists Penn have made their minds known and I think they will lose. Penn can go to hell all those illiterate racists because they are evil.

    Thank you Penn for making the race close though even when you have losers that are crazy not wanting a black man. We must WIN this WAr against racism and illiteracy. Thank God the Penn nightmare is over because Obama will make up the difference after IN and NC.

    And please don't get me started on the money he spent for the Penn race because this is a man running against a well established name like the Clintons to make himself known.

    April 23, 2008 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  13. USAF Sr. Airman

    Well let's see... she is still lacking popular vote and delegates. How in her mind she feels she in entitled to the nomination even though she is behind is beyond me. Her tactics are career suicide.

    April 23, 2008 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  14. Nick F.

    Clinton wins by 10% in PA where the demographics favor her, but if she won every remaining contest by the same margin (fat chance) and the 311 undeclared superdelegates also go for her 55% to 45%, Obama still wins handily on the first ballot. Simple math. Her campaign is broke, and she faces Indiana (where she could at best win a close victory, and North Carolina where Obama has been ahead for months in the polls. She is a spent force. Its time to back Obama and win in November.

    April 23, 2008 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  15. kingsley

    Hilliary need to be investigated. maybe she is on Karl Rove payroll with Mcsame.. The super deligates are all bills friends who are waiting for her to multiply her wins so they can come out and endorse her.

    April 23, 2008 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  16. Mike in PA

    I can't believe people are still voting for her. I apologize for the poor judgment here in my state.

    April 23, 2008 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  17. Kyu Reisch, Radcliff, Kentucky

    Bill W PA, your State voters are smarter than Obama and his supporters, you are stupid and blind, they know what they are doing but Obama and his supporter, you don't know what are you doing.

    April 23, 2008 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  18. Indiana Adrian

    What about Obama's negative campaigning in PA?!?! of course if this were Obama's victory, CNN would not be posting this. The media will only acknowledge her win for so long before they remind us who they want to win.

    April 23, 2008 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  19. KLJ

    This is what I just wrote to the NYT:

    I will be canceling my NYT subscription tomorrow. To pretend that Clinton is the one evading real discussion of the issues is almost too much to read...And to sustain the myth that the Obama campaign has not been equally negative, spare me! Can you really believe that the thought of an Obama presidency does not strike fear into many hearts? He's an inexperienced, arrogant, untried first-term senator with a clear aversion to making hard decisions. Sorry NYT you've lost me...(not because you're being "mean" to my candidate - boo-hoo - but because your journalistic/editorial instincts seem off-base)

    April 23, 2008 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  20. HoMnn

    If Hillary wins, then that could mean 8 yrs GBush Sr, 8 yrs Clinton, 8yrs Bush Jr. 8 Yrs Clinton II, thats 32 yrs of presidents from two families, Ridiculous , No,

    April 23, 2008 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  21. MJ

    The ad had nothing to do with scare tactics. What is it that the Republicans will use against the Democrats in November? They will make the statment that the Democrats are weak on National Security, and they will be right if we condemn Hillary Clinton for posting an ad such as this. We need to take a clear stand that the Democrats will not back down from these events. BTW, the ad had a quick glimpse of Osama bin Laden, it also had imageries of Katrina, etc. Let's start focusing on how to make the party stronger, than condemning one of our own. Stop whining, and grow a pair. What do you think the Republicans will do to you in the fall!!!! NY TIMES, no wonder the sales of your paper is down 26%.

    April 23, 2008 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  22. Obama 08

    Congrats to Hillary. Still, I will never support her.

    April 23, 2008 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  23. ABPA

    GO!!! HILLARY!!! PA CAN SEE THAT OBAMAS "HOPE" IS NOTHING BUT A EMPTY SUIT . HILLARY 08 ALL THE WAY

    April 23, 2008 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  24. matt

    Clinton backers will cut off their nose to spite their face. They don't care if the democratic party goes down in flames in November if their candidate can't win. She has NO shot at the nomination – but that doesn't deter her or her supporters from slinging as much mud as they can. McCain and the repugs couldn't possibly be happier.

    April 23, 2008 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  25. bertha

    Hillary should quit. The media is in bed with clintons. From Texas to PA for six weeks, Obama had a very bad media coverage.
    Go obama. You have all what you need. She netted small delegates win and the media is not saying this and it is not ready say she already lost.

    April 23, 2008 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
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