February 13th, 2008
02:00 PM ET
13 years ago

Clinton goes negative in new ad

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/02/13/art.clintonad.cnn.jpg caption=" Clinton is taking aim at Obama in a new TV ad."]

(CNN) - Hillary Clinton is taking aim at Barack Obama in a new Wisconsin television ad for not agreeing to participate in a debate there.

"Both Democratic candidates have been invited to a televised Wisconsin debate," an announcer says in the new 30 second spot. "Hillary Clinton has said yes. Barack Obama hasn't. Maybe he'd prefer to give speeches than have to answer questions."

"Like why Hillary Clinton has the only health care plan that covers every American, and the only economic plan that freezes foreclosures," the announcer continues. "Wisconsin deserves to hear both candidates debate the issues that matter. And that's...not debatable."

The ad is Clinton's latest attempt to put Obama on the defensive over his refusal to debate the New York senator more than twice between Super Tuesday and the crucial March 4 primaries in Ohio and Texas. Clinton, who has been widely praised for her debate performances this campaign season, had proposed one debate a week after Super Tuesday.

The Obama campaign later agreed to two debates - one in Ohio at the end of the month, and a CNN/Univision debate in Austin, Texas next week.

The ad is also a sign the Clinton campaign is still aiming for a strong showing in Wisconsin next Tuesday, despite the fact it is devoting much of its resources to the Ohio and Texas primaries a week later.

Responding to the ad, Obama senioir adviser David Axelrod said, "We've debated 18 times, we're going to debate two more, but we've got other business to do here in terms of meeting voters face to face."

- CNN's Alexander Mooney and Chris Welch

soundoff (1,010 Responses)
  1. Chris Christian

    Sounds like desperation!

    February 13, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  2. Astute Political Observer

    If the Clinton campaign is still trying to claim the Change mantle, I don't think negative ad strategies will do her any favors. I think many Americans would like to move foward in America's political culture instead of being bound to witness political strategies of the past. Even more so, this recent attempt seems like an act of desperation instead of a candidate standing up for what she herself believes in.

    February 13, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  3. Zeke

    Shut up! Go and debate with Bill. She's a phoney and everybody knows it.

    February 13, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  4. Momoh Vandy

    I love the Clintons and I would like them to remain positive but going on the nagetive will work not in their favour but against them. So please remain calm and work hard.

    February 13, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  5. Carla

    So since there isn't a debate she decided to skip that state altogether? Maybe I read it wrong, didn't she go straight to Texas?

    February 13, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  6. Cindy

    Hillary Clinton needs to stop attacking Obama's campaign and focus on her own – it does nothing to see one candidate attack another's character or ethics in order to win the race. If she wants more voters then Hillary Clinton needs to persuade the public on what she will do for American and Americans – not point the finger on what the another person is/is not doing.
    She is acting completely like a child placing attacks and blame on another when she should be analyzing her own character and campaign.

    February 13, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  7. Swede

    After yesterday's win for Obama I was wondering how long it would take the Clintons to go negitave with there advertising.
    Now we know..

    Go OBAMA

    February 13, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  8. Kathy

    How is this negative?? More CNN spinning. Clinton is telling the truth. Obama doesn't want to debate. He knows he doesn't do well against her in a debate. Also, the reason she won't do MSNBC is because they insulted her daughter.

    February 13, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  9. Joseph

    Obama has become increasingly specific in his speeches. Hillary is the one that has begun to emulate Obama in hers.

    There have been several debates since this process began, frankly, there isn't a need for any more. The candidates positions are out there for everyone to see. You can go to YouTube and watch the last debate. What is having the same debate over and over again going to help? It's not like their positions are changing.

    February 13, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  10. Okra Mouth

    They have had 18 debates, the Carlifornia debate was supposed to be the last one. 18 debates is enough.

    But, the Clinton campaign now has LITTLE money......
    ......so she wants free air time. She proposed 4 more debates, and Obama accepted 2.

    What does she want again? Wants Obama to debate her everyday?

    BILLary Clinton, learn HOW TO LOSE, with dignity.

    February 13, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  11. Please be careful

    Watching Obama speak at Madison brought me back to my days of watching Bobby Kennedy speak when I was a student at Michigan State. He inspired hope. You could see it in the eyes of his listeners. He also talked of combatting Washington bureaucracy and special interests. With Obama sounding more and more like "Martin Luther King" oratory, I fear he doesn't end up like Martin or Bobby This country doesn't do security all that well. (I hope we have learned from history. )

    February 13, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  12. Rohit

    Obama should counter with an ad which says "We have had 18 debates and we are going to have 2 more in next weeks. However, since Mrs. Clinton wants questions to be answered, here's America's question to her: Why do you refuse to make your tax returns public?"

    This will put her on defensive and change the issue from debates to tax returns.

    February 13, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  13. Katie

    Hillary going negative? Really? Could it be? Just another reason I support Obama.

    February 13, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  14. Sandra

    Let's debate about your tax returns Hillary. Want to talk about that? Hmmmmm?

    February 13, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  15. Angie

    Just in from CNN, Puerto Rico governor supports Obama!!

    Yes he can change the world!!!
    Go Obama!!! 08

    February 13, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  16. Flem

    Put a sock in it, Hill. There have been more than enough debates, with most of them just re-hashing old stuff...nothing new. Clinton just wants the free airtime. Well, Shrillary...looks like you PAYIN' for this (negative) media time. It'll backfire, don't worry...and Wisconsin will be Obama's as it should be.

    Hillary, Queen Of All Liars: RELEASE YOUR TAX RETURNS!!!

    February 13, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  17. Brian

    20 debates is not enough???? Why doesn't she get off her high throne and meet the voters face to face!

    End the Monarchy! Return to Democracy! Obama '08

    February 13, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  18. los angeles

    American voters want changes, youthful, energy, new politic….this is what they see in Obama…i think the Clinton need to change in terms of old style to a new style…in terms of clothing, like a youthful hairstyle or color style…this will definitely appeal to more voters for a 'new' president. They do not want to see the old Clinton. If Clinton make the changes, Obama won't have the same momentum. Clinton is loosing the appeal and charisma if she deliver the same style of political and outlook.

    February 13, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  19. Brandon

    gee it's kind of funny that CNN made no mention of Obama's campaign spreading false flyers about Hillary's healthcare plan, similar to the Harry & Louise ads that were put out in 1994 when she tried to get universal healthcare. It's funny but not surprising that CNN has chosen to only target Hillary. What a wonderfully fair country.

    February 13, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  20. Cindy

    *sorry meant to say America and Americans!

    February 13, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  21. Tim

    Clinton should go as negative on Obama as she can because nobody has done so. Everybody has been holding back on going negative on Obama. What does Hillary have to lose if she did? Somebody should go negative on Obama because he don't hold back when he wants to go negative on other candidates. Oh I forgot, if somebody goes negative on Obama they will be labeled racist.

    February 13, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  22. Phyllis Williams

    Is that the best she come with....

    After 18 debates, the results are what we see now..........

    She shouldn't push the envelope, because Obama could bow out and not give her any debates.................

    She is the one that needs Obama's participation right now, so why spend resources on negative ads.............

    C'mon Maggie Williams.............

    February 13, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  23. Texan

    The tide is turning. A seemingly invincible Clinton is now reduced to running attack ads in Wisconsin. She can't even gracefully congratulate Obama on his hat-trick victories over the weekend and yesterday? The Clinton campaign is totally going negative, defensive, and rude. It leaves a bad taste in one's mouth. As a former doubter of Obama's chances, I see his star rising and hers crashing to Earth. New York will welcome back its Junior Senator, if that's any consolation.

    February 13, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  24. Chris, Middletown, CT

    Will the real Hillary please stand up....(for anyone who believes her....check out Obamas website for the "answers" you seek....) and btw....what is Hillarys position on licensing illegal aliens nowadays?? (we know that her mandated healthcare plan insures them)

    February 13, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  25. Gobama

    Huh!

    Hilary must be in love with Obama, yes? lol

    There has been 18 debates already.

    That has to be the real reason Hilary wants to SPEND SO MUCH TIME with the man; she is desperate to bask in Obama's glory! lol

    Bill Clinton is yesterday's news. Obama is the new alpha male with world enchanting influence; and Hilary Clinton cannot resist a man with oomph! lol

    February 13, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
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