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. leonel

    So much talk about big states. Is the rest of the U.S exlcuded? Yes Hillary won Penn. congrats! However I am displeased by how she seems to discount the votes of other states as if they are not important. Every vote matters in the United States and over all big state or small the votes for Obama out number the votes for Hillary.

    Lets put money spent, negative ads, and accusations aside. The people's votes clearly say who should be the Democratic nominee.

    April 23, 2008 04:54 am at 4:54 am |
  2. Roland

    The exit interviews and these comments confirm that the supporters of HRC are bitter racists who would rather destroy the Democratic party by electing a Republican in November if they can't have HRC. It is shameful that the Democratic party is being held hostage by these political terrorists.

    Look at the results of the polls! If HRC wins, most Obama supporters will still support her, as the Democratic candidate. Most HRC supporters are so filled with hate that they refuse to support Obama as the DEMOCRATIC candidate. Shame on all of you.

    Sadly, it looks like we are going to have McCain as president and it is Hillary Clinton and her supporters we will have to blame for it. Pathetic.

    April 23, 2008 04:54 am at 4:54 am |
  3. Rod

    Yes Obama has turned negative, or else he would have been steamrolled by a kitchen sink.
    The math is the math, she can't win! This was her last stand.
    I used to support whoever got the nomination, but since Texas and Ohio all the way to today. I can't support her any more, what a sad day for Democrates.

    April 23, 2008 05:00 am at 5:00 am |
  4. aware

    Hillary 2008 and 2012! 🙂

    April 23, 2008 05:01 am at 5:01 am |
  5. Bitter in Texas

    Well, well, well......the New York Sen. won PA by only 10%. I've just about had my belly full of her negative campaining. If she steals the nomanation, I'll be looking for someone else to vote for in November. End of story......End of the Clintons!

    April 23, 2008 05:02 am at 5:02 am |
  6. Tom

    As a true Reagan Democrat that watched the Democratic party minimize Gen Wesley Clark at a time that Iraq was clearly front and center (while the party chatter for weeks focused on gay unions, sorry but not as important an issue as the Iraq war in my opinion)...it is clear that this is a party hell bent on self destruction. If there is a way to lose this thing, the Democratic Party's will figure out how. All of you people who are choosing to back a candidate that is trying to change the rules mid stream to fit her agenda are as clueless today as you were in 2004. You are going to get exactly what you deserve.... A fragmented party that implodes on itself.

    Stupid is as stupid does!

    April 23, 2008 05:07 am at 5:07 am |
  7. George

    Good for the NY Times. The Clintons have been playing the nastiest of divide and conquer politics ever since New Hampshire. They have been skillfully pandering to racial/ethnic bigotry. Bill Clinton in his arrogance started believing in his "blackness" until one too many benign racial insult alienated the black community. The next target became the Hispanic voters, and now her most reliable "ace in the hole", the White Blue-collar Workers. The Clintons fully understand that these White Blue-collar Workers are less culturally and socially evolved and than their white-collar counterparts and are therefore more likely to be influenced by racial stereotypes. White Blue-Collar workers are more likely to vote for a White Republican John McCain than a Black Democrat. The Clintons are calculating that Black voters will remain loyal to the Democratic Party if she becomes the nominee. Wrong – Black voters, with their hopes of seeing a Black man elected President dashed, will stay home on election day. Hillary Clinton cannot win in November without carrying the Black vote.

    April 23, 2008 05:08 am at 5:08 am |
  8. Antoine

    Let's see. She gained 6 delegates, some victory. Hillary is trying to make it where if she doesn't win, then she would rather see Obama lose. Thats a terrible. Thats why I just sent Obama some more money. The Clinton's are divisive. Obama had to spend money in order to just be in the race. He's been up against the Clinton mystique the whole race.

    April 23, 2008 05:10 am at 5:10 am |
  9. carla

    I thought a few weeks ago, she was polling 15-20 points ahead of Obama and she won by 9. I wouldn't say that was great since PA was considered her stronghold. Plus I think her negative campaigning probably did have an affect since she was using nasty but effective techniques that Karl Rove would use.

    She might have won the state, but as a Dem who liked both candidates, I have to say she's turned me off her.

    April 23, 2008 06:05 am at 6:05 am |
  10. Mike

    I am trying to read all these positive comments about Hillary, but unfortunately, there's a gunfight going on outside that's got me distracted.

    April 23, 2008 06:08 am at 6:08 am |
  11. DonnieJ

    What an exercise in futility . . .

    April 23, 2008 06:10 am at 6:10 am |
  12. Anonymous

    The truth is that Clintons are not striaght forward. Did anyone sees how she was pretending to sound reconciliatory after all the negatives in are campagn. Forget the antics the educated people know whom to vote for: OBAMA. Period.

    April 23, 2008 06:12 am at 6:12 am |
  13. Cory

    Actually, she has so soured me that I'm going to actively campaign against her. And if she doesn't win the Democratic endorsement I'm going to actively campaign to see she is no longer the Senator form New York. I think we need to tear off her mask so we can see it's Liebermann under there. And this is from someone who voted for her husband, twice. She and McCain would be taking us down a very dark road, indeed.

    April 23, 2008 06:16 am at 6:16 am |
  14. joe

    As negative as clinton may be, it pales next to the poor performance of the media in this long primary battle. the coverage is increasingly informing us more about the media - and its faults - and less about the candidates and the issues every day.

    April 23, 2008 06:16 am at 6:16 am |
  15. Ernest

    Better late than never. For so long the media seemed to wink at her "kitchen sink", "scorched earth", extremely negative, unfounded, profoundly disingenuous tactics and comments, such as "there's nothing to base that (Obama being called a Muslim) on, as far as I know". Everyone acted as if "all's fair in love-n-war", so may the best dirty trickster win.

    Even if you accept that the ends justify the means, both the ends and the means are mean and nasty with her. And the focus seems to be on the entertainment value in the media. "Look! The haggard, shrill lady is making a comeback against insurmountable odds! Never mind the Nixonesque methods, get some comments on lapel pins and third-party quotes taken out of context!"

    A wrong turn and a sad new low on the path toward democracy.

    April 23, 2008 06:17 am at 6:17 am |
  16. Sal T.

    Hillary Clinton is consistent: She and her husband will do anything –anything– to get elected. They will point to the "sins" of Obama when she has committed them all: She has complained that the press is too hard on her, she has made up stories about her "dangerous missions", she has pushed NAFTA while accusing Obama of secretly supporting it. She has cast doubt about Obama's religion by saying "I have no reason to doubt he is not a Muslim –as far as I know."
    She has damaged and bruised the likely candidate for the Democratic party, doing the work for the Republicans.
    She has played dirty politics "a la Karl Rove" while accusing Obama of the same.
    She is dirty, dirty, dirty.
    There is no way I am voting for her.

    April 23, 2008 06:17 am at 6:17 am |
  17. Fred Johns

    Just think of all the women Bill will have when he goes back to the White House. Remember he is just entertaining, it is not sex.

    April 23, 2008 06:19 am at 6:19 am |
  18. Erik - Dallas, TX

    At this point I can't tell if Sen. Clinton is a Dem. or Rep. She is desperate and is willing to destroy Sen. Obama, the party and whoever else just to win. Is this who you want as president? Let's see what happens when her past is exposed.

    April 23, 2008 06:20 am at 6:20 am |
  19. Lou - NH

    And she did all of this with a popular govenor, 100 plus maayors and the whole democratic machine in PA. Let's know the facts as least. Pa really wasn't in play to begin with. This race is over. The press just doesn't want to admit it. It's too good for business. In a few days enough superdelegates will go to Obama to negate PA. Now let's finish this process and move on. HRC will go down in history as damaging her parties chances for a clean sweep in the General for her own good. Good job NY Times, tell it like it is.

    April 23, 2008 06:20 am at 6:20 am |
  20. Larry

    Hillary is the 'comeback kid.' She is also the candidate that won't go away...................

    April 23, 2008 06:21 am at 6:21 am |
  21. douadavid

    Wow! Finally , people knew the true and dark side of Obama and vote d for Hillary in my State of PA. If Hillary doesn not win the primary , all my freinds will vote for Jonh Mcain in the the general election because Obama play a racist card. Go Go Hillary.

    April 23, 2008 06:22 am at 6:22 am |
  22. Mike C

    Hillary claims to ready on Day One which fails to explain why she is behind in the race on Day 121. If she's such a great leader, why is she trailing in every category... popular vote, delegates, campaign cash.

    April 23, 2008 06:22 am at 6:22 am |
  23. Chuks

    Much ado about winning. Why not give credit to whom it is due. Obama deserves credit for closing the gap with Clinton in Penn. Everyone knew Clinton was going to win. Obama did great by proving the pro Clintons wrong that he was not going to be disgraced by a wide margin as they had hoped. The Clintons (Husban & Wife) are liars. Obama is a great personality contesting against husband, wife and daugther and still winning all the way both in fund raising and votes. It is time for America to leave color and race behind and vote for reality. God bless America.

    April 23, 2008 06:22 am at 6:22 am |
  24. Mark

    Old Racist White People Prefer Clinton.

    April 23, 2008 06:23 am at 6:23 am |
  25. Jimmy SC

    I wish the people of Penn would have figured out who this woman really is and put an end to this thing! What has changed? He is still too far ahead for her to catch up. Although, I will give the Clintons some credit... They do know how to lie, cheat, and steal! Guess thats her plan now! COME ON SUPER DELEGATES, PLEASE END THIS THING BEFORE SHE DOES SO MUCH DAMAGE THAT WE HAVE G.W.B.'S CLONE IN THE WHITE HOUSE!

    April 23, 2008 06:23 am at 6:23 am |
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