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. eric

    Its a lost race for the Clintons... I hope she would get up this time at 3 am and not forget to answer the phone as she did with the Bosnia issue.. At 60 we tend to forget things and contracdict ourselves.. just like Bill and Hill.
    I would not trust anyone for President who can confuse snipers shots three times when she recounts the story to make a judgmental call at three am. Would she have to lie or what......?

    Clinton .. pleave drop out... John Mccain may just charge you and your husband for perjury... your trade mark or MO/..

    April 23, 2008 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  2. Chad from NYC

    she won...a whole 6 delegates....well wake the children and call the neighbors! (read : sarcasm)

    April 23, 2008 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
  3. raul

    I am not trying to downplay the fact that Hillary won a significant state; however, can anybody even mention Obama is having to fight Hillary and McCain at the same time? Do you even remember the last time McCain said anything negative about Clinton? I don't think so.

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

    and she did all this under sniper fire in bosnia while Bill met with interns...

    Hillary 08

    April 23, 2008 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
  5. Michael

    Foreign experience is a must for ANY president. Treaties aren't negotiated on "hope and change"

    Well, I hope George H. W. Bush is listening, because on that logic he should have absolutely trounced Bill Clinton in '92. I have to imagine that every time he hears the Clintons extol the virtues of experience over hope, he thinks he's crossed over into the Twilight Zone.

    April 23, 2008 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
  6. JWK

    I am born and raised Western PA, I am sorry for the voters in this area, they are uneducated, small minded and bend to the sway of fear. Clinton is the only president in the history of this country to be FULLY IMPEACHED for being a liar.....it's a shame that they give the guy clout running around drumming up fear and making up accusations... my apologies for my ignorant fellow citizens.

    April 23, 2008 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
  7. Michael

    "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."

    That proves it, Hillary IS a terrorist.

    April 23, 2008 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
  8. mike

    The Times is so right. While she deserves credit for a hard fought win, it is clear that she will stoop to any depth to try to win. This means tearing down her opponent and party if necessary. Using 9/11 and images of Bin Laden is a disgusting display. Her willingness to use dirty tactics has been exposed and will no got over well in next two states.

    April 23, 2008 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
  9. FHD

    looks like the one stupid in PA is Bill W.
    PA people showed how smart they are. They saw substance and they vote for it.
    Go Hillary, you will win!

    April 23, 2008 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
  10. Pablo

    Jay in Kansas, you do know that treaties are negotiated by "sniper fire and standing next to your husband for 8 years as he shook the hands of world leaders."

    April 23, 2008 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
  11. Karen

    New York Times is right. And the reason she got so many votes-one word, PREJUDICE.

    April 23, 2008 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
  12. lt

    She had a big advantage from the beginnig , but did she realy won? Even her dirty slamy mouth did not damage Obama hard enough. He is still standing strong. Last year he had only 14-20% in PA and now jumped to 45%. I don't know about you, but to me it looks like a victory.

    The problem is that those who vote for Billary are less educated so they don't know better. It is easy to maniupulate them and she is good at that. Those voter don't make an efford to find out who that woman behind cute smile realy is. They are ready to believe any crap she says.

    April 23, 2008 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
  13. jayjayaye

    An old French saying translates as, "God says, take what you want, but pay for it." Take heed, Mrs. Clinton.

    April 23, 2008 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
  14. Jane

    National Polls Barack Obama 51% Hillary Clinton 41%

    She will get her butt kicked in NC. Good for the NY Times!

    April 23, 2008 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
  15. Chuck

    Talk about "silly season!" Pretty darn bad when the media starts to whine because they can't have their way.

    Hill Yeah!!!

    April 23, 2008 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  16. NEBRASKA

    There is no way Clinton will win! Keep dreaming. Many Americans will vote for MCCain over Clinton.

    April 23, 2008 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  17. Tobias

    The negativity was started by the Obama camp from the very beginning. It is unbelievable that the press hasn't caught on to this but they have always been for Obama so it's really not surprising. But the people know the people know what's going on and that is why Senator Clinton won tonight. She is the far superior candidate and she is the only one who can win in November. Vote smart, vote Clinton.

    April 23, 2008 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  18. arv sinha

    I am a registered democrat. But recent tactics by Hillary Clinton, make me want to vote for McCain, if Obama does not get the nomination. What a shame.

    April 23, 2008 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  19. paddylou

    I am glad that the New York Times has the fortitude to reveal the truth . I would rather have an honest candidate than one who constantly attacks her opponet while lying about dodgeing Bullets to win a campaign.

    April 23, 2008 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  20. Sean E - MO

    Keep the spirit alive! It's time to reinvent Washington, DC. I gave $100 to Obama tonight, I hope you have something you can give to keep the spirit alive and bring hope to our future.

    April 23, 2008 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  21. Moderate

    NY Times calling Hillary negative? Thats the pot calling the kettle black! Then media slams Hillary at every chance, while they heap rose petals on their golden idol Obama. Well guess what. He lost by double digits. GET OVER IT!!

    Hillary or McCain 08

    April 23, 2008 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  22. Bryan-New Oxford, PA

    i'm just curious if any of these people who are such staunch Clinton supporters looked at the stats and wondered why college graduates...i.e. EDUCATED PEOPLE...voted for Obama and high school grads and dropouts....i.e. UNEDUCATED PEOPLE....voted for Clinton...hmmmm could it be Central PA's tremendous track record of racism??? I really wonder??

    April 23, 2008 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  23. Tee

    When it comes to financing, Obama can spend more money on ads and things, he beats her every month in campaign financing! The amont of money doesn't say much about the candiate, because how many of us actually see every ad from the candidates. If she was winning by large numbers, I would be bothered but she isn't........look at how many pledged delgates she gets to his, it isn't !much mor

    April 23, 2008 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  24. Philadelphian trapped in Texas

    The Times is to be congratulated for not attempting to justify and re-qualify their endorsement – a decision that made sense when they published it in the dawn of this campaign. Today both candidates are sullying themselves and need to look to the "real" campaign, or whoever wins the intra-party battle will surely lose the inter-party war.

    Unfortunately for those looking for the "knockout blow", a 55 – 45 win in PA does justify Hillary's staying in, even though I'm an Obama supporter. Hillary, Barack, please use the next few weeks not merely to win, but at the same time to convince supporters of your Democratic Party opponent that if you DO win the party's nomination they should be supporting you over John McCain in November.

    April 23, 2008 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
  25. eric from canada

    thanks ny times hat lady she's very angerous

    April 23, 2008 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
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