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. Voter apathy

    It is obvious from reading all of the above comments that this prolonged primary season has completely divided the Democratic voters. Over the last few months all the comments have gotten increasingly angry. The issues have taken a back seat to questionable campaign tactics and character attacks. People are writing comments for effect without really checking to see if they make any sense.

    Three months ago I knew who I was going to vote for in November. Now I really just don't care anymore. All of the bickering...in the media, between the candidates and especially HERE...is making me tired. I am sure that I will still exercise my right to vote in November. It is just unfortunate that I will find myself choosing the candidate that I dislike the least instead of the one that I admire the most.

    April 23, 2008 03:30 am at 3:30 am |
  2. Diana Hamilton

    Why are all of you Hillary supporters blogging on our website? Are you seeking more ammunition for her to fire on us with?

    April 23, 2008 03:30 am at 3:30 am |
  3. Jim, Indiana

    Who cares what the press says! We the voters decide who will be the nominee!!

    Go Hillary!!! On to victory in Indiana and in November!!!

    April 23, 2008 03:31 am at 3:31 am |
  4. Tony

    Obama is the first Presidential candidate in history to have to vet his minister. Hillary runs around playing the sex card and injects the race card where Obama has not.

    The Clintons just love to play "victims" and the "sympathy" cards. They have made careers out of making people feel okay as victims because they want to be seen that way too, even though they are the first $100 million "victims" in history.

    People love to ignore the Commutations for votes of 16 convicted terrorists and 4 hacidic Jews (according to Time in 2001) to get Hillary her Senate seat. People love to ignore her sniper lies, her emails proclaiming Obama as a Muslim, her photos slipping to Drudge, and her making the campaign about anything BUT the issues.

    Hillary's Rove-like tactics are exactly why this campaign isn't just about the Presidency, but the soul of the DNC. Have Democrats become simply left wing GW/Roves? Or do they really care about the people?

    April 23, 2008 03:32 am at 3:32 am |
  5. Diana Hamilton

    Keep hope alive Hillary. What a joke. She only hopes she snows you long enough to get herself elected. She and her hubby are an embarrasment to decent Americans.

    April 23, 2008 03:33 am at 3:33 am |
  6. Vig

    NY Times – another bunch of cry babies. All's fair in love and war and this is a fight to the finish. My advice to Hillary, now that she has definitely found her voice, is to not waste her breath on Obama, but rather talk about the issues and her agenda when she becomes President. The voters know all about her. It's Obama who seems to be still a little too on the surface, too glib, too puffed up, too full of himself.

    April 23, 2008 03:33 am at 3:33 am |
  7. Kristine

    Sorry to those moving to Canada,
    The times are correct, it is not flatering or fair for a woman to conduct herself in the way Ms.Clinton has, by slandering another, and I don't like Hillary's lies either but think about it . If you move to Canada you won't be getting a Social Security Check , Voting for McCain is not the answer . Doesn't he want to end big government , which entails Social Security checks. Listen up??? Don't get even by voting for a Republican, your only hurting yourself.

    April 23, 2008 03:33 am at 3:33 am |
  8. where have all the honest people gone

    i do not like hillary clinton. her behavior seems like the stereotypical politician. lies and half truths, misleading statements about her promises, using terrible tactics that i would've thought anyone in her party would avoid after seing them used in the other party. she even used intimidation and bribery to destroy a former campaign contributer's business and life all because he had a former crime record, who has tried to fight back in the courts. i wonder how the trial is going. i don't know if the other remaining candidates are any better. many of the ones who dropped out of the primaries seemed better, at least in their behavior and voting record.

    April 23, 2008 03:33 am at 3:33 am |
  9. A.J.

    Congrats Hillary ! In spite of voting democratic presidential candidates for last 4 times, I am tilting towards McCain. Hillary with background of just as a first lady and a senator of NY does not convince me enough to lead the most powerful nation in the world. Many things are still unknown during Clinton whitehouse years. Mr Obama on the other hand, with being lawyer and smooth talker can not take on as dem nominee. Something about this guy doesn't feel right and he would be exposed to something just few days before Nov 4th and will ruin him for good.
    McCain is my choice being less of three evils !!

    April 23, 2008 03:35 am at 3:35 am |
  10. VA

    It is amazing to me that the media is more interested in a fight than seeing what is in front of their eyes.

    Hill and Bill could give a rat's butt about the Democrat Party. They will destroy their "beloved Party" to make an argument for the White House.

    Polls show that 52% of her people said they will not vote or vote for McCain rather than Obama. Who do you think is responsible for that?
    One answer Hill and her divisive style of politicals.

    Super delegates can't give her the nomination. If they did this party is done and it will have far reaching and long lasting implications for the Democratic Party. Do you think all these new Dems will just follow the piper for politics as usual after being inspired by the idea of change. The only thing about Hill in the White House that reflects change is her gender, Nothing else.

    But back to the point...Hill and Bill have deepened the dive in the party based on the idea that super delegates will ignore all the people that have voted and hand the nomination over to Hill and Bill.

    She's run an incompetent and disorganized campaign, planned to sail to a nomination by Feb 5, sided with the Rep nominee against another Dem, whined about the press picking on her because she's a woman, insinuated that Obama was Muslim on 60 minutes, oh and using the 9/11 fear ploy a 100% Republican strategy, defended Bill as her husband spewed racial garbage comparing Obama to Jesse in South Carolina, and told people behind closed doors that he's not electable. She expects superdelegates to give her the nomination. The idea that that is her strategy rather than earning it. Tearing down her opponent then turning around in the same sentence and saying "see he's not electable" is ridiculous.

    I say to you if she is the nominee I will walk away from the Democrat party and not just for this election but for any in the forebeeable future. I will be an independent or a Republican before I would trust the Democratic Party again.

    I don't believe I will be alone. Hill has to know this but not care. All that matters to her is that she get what she's wanted since she tied her wagon to Bill...the oval office. And all Bill wants is to continue is legacy and get back in the White House. Let's see Bill in the White House with no official role...oh yeah that's an attractive thought.

    Gee it will be like Bush/Chaney never left.

    If I had a daughter the tactics she's employed...win at any cost is not something I would want her to learn.

    April 23, 2008 03:36 am at 3:36 am |
  11. Thomas J.

    Unbelievable that the Clintons resorted to Rovian fear-mongering tactics. From starting off a neutral independent, I was dismayed by the Clintons negative campaign tactics after Super Tuesday, and that approach has continued unabated. But to drop to this level of hypocrisy and underhandedness is just plain shameful.

    I would not be able to vote for Hillary in any future election, should she somehow get the Democratic nomination this year or in the future.

    But the worst problem for her maybe the forthcoming patent infringement lawsuit from Bush and Rove over those ads. I wonder if anyone has placed them side by side for comparison ... ?

    — Thomas J., Corte Madera, California

    April 23, 2008 03:36 am at 3:36 am |
  12. Sun Chakravuth

    I believe if Obama win and go on to win the presidential. Then Mr. Obama would represent the world not just American. But both Mr. Obama and Mr. McCain is a very good. The United States would be bless to either one of them to be the President. Mr. McCain also could represent the world for American with his real experience in real hard life. The quality of the leadership is the one who been through alot in life. Which mean the life that fear factor making fun for millions of poor peoples actually doing it to survive.

    April 23, 2008 03:37 am at 3:37 am |
  13. Barack

    ok let me put in this way.

    Basketball game, 4th quarter, 2 mins left, Team C is down by 20 points. Does team C have any right to fight to the end? sure, of course. But the problem is that after team C made 2 free throws ( give the credit to them), they start to claim that now they have the momentum, team O can not close the deal , all the other 18 points they were down is not the critical points. that two free throws they made is bigger than any other point. So they pretend that they are the winner! or we just go to the OT as we just made 2 huge FTs.

    Logical?

    April 23, 2008 03:37 am at 3:37 am |
  14. Who can America trust?

    JOB LOSS
    HOMELESS
    HIGH GAS PRICES
    WAR

    WHO CAN AMERICANS AND OUR MILITARY TRUST?

    A President candidate who remember landing under sniper fire in Bosnia in March of 1996. In her retelling, she was sent to places that her husband, President Clinton, Could not go because they were "too dangerous." ( Mrs. Clinton cannot blame the news media or video reports)

    Will history show how Mrs. Hillary Clinton defended her role in Northern Ireland peace process?

    What happen to the jobs Mrs Clinton promise to Upstate New York?

    WHEN ALL OF THIS IS OVER WHO CAN AMERICA TURST?

    April 23, 2008 03:37 am at 3:37 am |
  15. Apollyon

    AS of the last commercial from Hillary, I am on that band wagon. I caucused for Hillary here in Iowa. I changed after all the racist garbage from Bill, and since then I have done nothing but defend the idea that we all have to come together no matter who wins?
    That is dead in the dust now. The question is… are we going to have a two non-alternative candidates for the Presidential election? Hillary is now running to the right of McBush on foreign policy? This white-middle age-construction worker has had it with the Clinton's. I will work tirelessly to get her defeated in the general if she gets the nomination. AND I will move to New York if she ends up running for the Senate again, just to remind everyone what a racist, (Bill), Lying, (Hill & Bill), Backstabbing, (remember what she did to Kerry?), fear/war mongering, (Hillary last week & her new ad), Self-serving, (again Hill & Bill), traitors to their Party that THEY really are. I wouldn't p**s on them if they were on fire at this point. Maybe Hillary can buddy up with Lieberman…

    April 23, 2008 03:37 am at 3:37 am |
  16. Sammy

    Did anyone get the comments Hillary made about Iran and Israel in interview last week and MSNBC today? When asked she said that if Iran nuked Israel, we would nuke Iran. That was policy in this country for decades against the Soviet Union so the idea is nothing new. However I am not sure it has ever been applied to any other enemy, at least publicly.

    I want to know what her Democratic colleagues in the House and Senate and the superdelegates think about that hawkish position considering their attitudes towards Bush and his own Iran aspirations. Or put another way, if Bush had come out and made the same exact statement I am sure Hillary would be all over him before you could say "war monger". I will be curious to see if the Time adds that to their article.

    April 23, 2008 03:38 am at 3:38 am |
  17. rick

    Give me a break. A win is a win and stop being bitter. If you had something to say..you should have said it before you felt defeated. Obama is full of air and people are being to realize that he really doesn't have any solutions. Listen to his speech tonight – a lot of complaining about the past and what we have done in the past – but Obama never offers solutions because he has none. At least Clinton gives you a clear picture on what she plans to do and change on day one....I'm still waiting for Obama. He acts more like a rockstar than a politician and that is his own fault.

    April 23, 2008 03:39 am at 3:39 am |
  18. elie

    REPUBLICANS WILL WIN THE VOTE IN NOVEMBER. screaming people dont bite, whether its a she or he, or a black and white democrat tv show!

    April 23, 2008 03:40 am at 3:40 am |
  19. Dean

    Thank you, NYT, for having some backbone. You endorsed her so that eliminates the potential "obama skewed" argument. Everyday she is becoming more and more like a monster. It's time to Mike Huckabee her and focus on who really matters: John McCain

    April 23, 2008 03:40 am at 3:40 am |
  20. Educated4Obama

    If Hillary can count her time in the white house as experience. Can Chelsey claim those same years in her run? Anyone who trusts a shady power hungry and characterless Hillary needs to really take a look inside themselves. Do you really trust this woman? She has no integrity. Do you really want her representing us to the world in these times?

    Obama has integrity and morale character and is a man of the people, not the lobbyists.

    April 23, 2008 03:41 am at 3:41 am |
  21. Ito, Yokosuka Japan

    Why does Hillary Clinton remind me of Howard Dean in that photo? Is she the second coming? Haha...she is a loser AND a poser. I pitty the suckers that donated to her cause and their money will end up paying for the interrest she made on a loan to herself.

    April 23, 2008 03:42 am at 3:42 am |
  22. Jill

    As a military member I am EXTREMELY offended that Hillary continuously "misrepresented" the truth (a.k.a. LIED) about being under sniper fire in Bosnia. She expects to be our Commander in Chief, but is willing to say that we didn't do our jobs and put her in harms way when we in fact did not–all this to make herself appear to have lived through "a war" experience. WHAT AN INSULT to the men and women serving who were willing to lay down their lives to protect her if needed.
    She can make cute little appearances on Late Night Talk Shows...aw, how cute is that? Hillary has a sense of humor. Great for her! That doesn't prove she's leadership material. One HUGE component of a good leader is integrity, which I now question. She lost whatever respect I had for her.

    April 23, 2008 03:49 am at 3:49 am |
  23. Ray Melnik

    Clinton is my Senator and for the last 2 elections I pulled all my local levers and refused to pull hers. What she has done lately concretes even more my opinion of her and now her husband as well. She will do anything to win including hand the election to McCain in the fall by creating his commercials against Obama for him. Never before have I seen such vile and negative attacks from a Democrat against a Democrat. I am going next to donate to Obama’s campaign for the 8th time. If the tables were turned, Obama would have dropped out for the good of the party. If the party hands the nomination to Clinton after all our donations and efforts it will destroy the Democratic Party without a doubt. She has no chance of winning fairly and from the will of the people, so conniving, deceiving and promoting the politics of fear as the Republicans have made into an art form is the only way she will win. If that happens, Election Day I will be staying home, as will all of the new mobilized voters.

    April 23, 2008 03:49 am at 3:49 am |
  24. TF

    I grew up in a south Philly row home, an Irish Italian section. My father used to bang on the walls of the row home we lived in yelling to the nabors who were African Americans the "N" word to shut up because they played there music loud. They were the only black people on the block. Over time I learned that that type of attitude was not right, thank god for my mother. This country will come around once all the old racist die off. My father died when I was 13, he drank himself to death at the local corner bar. The last time I saw him in the he was yellow because his liver could not clean his blood any more. I can only hope this is the fate of the rest of the white yellow coward racist that remain in this country and PA. Vote Democrate if you poor bastards want to live an extra few years.

    McCain will not save you.

    April 23, 2008 03:50 am at 3:50 am |
  25. Pat

    Downright scary that Hillary might become president. Her voting record has been more Republican than Democratic. I'm not shocked at the numbers who believe her lies. She's not even good at them. Her bobblehead body language gives her away. She's another puppet of the Bilderberg crew and will do their NWO bidding. Her sheeple supporters will follow her right to the guillotine.

    April 23, 2008 03:52 am at 3:52 am |
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