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. Ana

    Hillary is having a hard time accepting that she's a loser, her won people are quiting on her her husband's 1992 manager campaign
    backs Obama. HELLO!! Hillary it's time to wake up and smell the coffee. America has had enough of the Clinton's.


    February 13, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  2. Josh of CA

    The Obama camp knew that he is not a good at debate, it is showing his lack of substance. That's why he lost bigtime in NH and CA.

    Definitely they will try to avoid having debate as much as possible.

    If he is losing in a friendly debate, what more in a no holds barred debate against the GOP. I think McCain will definitely beat him in the debate.

    February 13, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  3. Kelley

    EVeryone knew that eventually Hillary would have to resort to negative ads, she is losing because of her policies, and persona. I have watched every debate and I believe the majority of the people in this country has as well. She wants to slow down his momentum. Every candidate has had the opportunity to put out their policies and the country is not buying hers. I think the people of America are tired of talk, we want action and I believe Barack is the one to deliver.

    February 13, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  4. Texas Latinos for Obama

    Most of the debates have been useless. I don't need to see another sparing match. I want Obama, who I support, to present his policies in more detail and Hillary to touch on the subjects that she's been advoiding. I want to know the goals of all these policies. What is our goal in Iraq and how do these policies better America in the future??

    February 13, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  5. Michael, Torrance, CA

    Start with: I'm not a Hillary fan or an Obama fan. That said, when I do listen to Obama speak, all I hear is change, change, change. Nothing of any substance, what's going to change, how are you going to change it? Obama is a dynamic speaker but he really needs to begin to spell out to everyone exactly what he plans to change and how he's going to change it. I have a feeling that his plan for change is going to involve the federal government running multiple healthcare and welfare programs. Not a good idea! If you think that the federal government running programs is a good idea just have a really good look at the federal employees the next time they check your luggage at the airport.

    February 13, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  6. Caimon

    Obama, please debate the issues facing this great nation. I'm sick and tire hearing your message of change without substance. It's becoming repetitive without substance. I need to hear you talk on the issues that concerns Americans. If it continues like this, I am going McCain.

    Obama, you are running to be President, not a motivational speaker. The issues will need actions not words. Where you stand?

    Eight years ago we heard the same message of changing Washington from George Bush, look where we are today.

    February 13, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  7. CB Hernandez

    Sounds like she is in "desperation mode". And if she tries to steal the nominee position by swindling Obama out of super-delegates, she's not getting nor does she deserve my vote.

    February 13, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  8. Bernard

    Dirty Tactics and negative campaigning from the Clintons, say it aint so...

    February 13, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  9. Deni

    I didn't see the ad as negative it really spoke to some cries of the American people

    February 13, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  10. Liz Wetzel

    When are Democrats going to learn their lesson? Majority of the voters are still christian or catholic. Republicans would cheer on the candidate that they its easy to attack later. Ask yourself why are they not attacking Obama now? WHY? They did this to Lieberman. The same reason why they dont like McCain is because he is Catholic.

    WAKE UP DEMOCRATS, dont get swayed by popularity contests that can be controlled by the media. We need to take charge of the White House to save us all from this mess. ANd you dancing around with the weakest candidate later, youre just going to give the presidency again to the republicans. PLEASE take back your logic. Stop listening to the paid media.

    February 13, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  11. Mr.B

    Hilliary just wants to stop the wave.......you can't stop this tidalwave....America Is Ready...Obama 08

    February 13, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  12. Alek

    Hilary is just begging to get the free air time because her campaign is much shorter on cash to get paid air time.

    February 13, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  13. Obamlican

    True sign of a campaign in trouble – ask for debates.

    February 13, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  14. Colony 14 author

    I'd live to see an actual DEBATE between Hillary and Obama, and then between the democrat nominee and McCain. But there hasn't been a real debate in American politics since Lincoln-Douglas, and I suspect there wull never be one again. What they now call a debate is simply candidates taking turns reciting their talking points. They're not worth watching. But if there were an actual debate, I would venture a guess that McCain could clean the clock of his opponent.

    February 13, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  15. Mia

    Clinton has no positives. That's why she's running negative ads. She chose not to debate on MSNBC because of distasteful remarks. Rightly so, but now with a campaign that is in financial trouble, she's trying to make up for it by scheduling a debate in Wisconsin. Sometimes, Ms. Clinton, when you take the high road you sometimes take monetary risks. I'm sure that's goint to take some getting used to for you. Don't expect Obama to play the Good Samaritan and give you some free air time.

    February 13, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  16. Susan

    I for one am tired of the debates. What can we learn in the debates that we haven't already? I would like for both of them to have more Town Halls so that they can really talk in a substantial way about policy directly to voters.

    This seems to me like it's Clinton's way of trying to get more free air time when her campaign is running out of money.

    February 13, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  17. Keisha

    Hillary is now upset that the U.S citizens are not voting for her. There has already been 18 debates, does she really feel as though another one will finally make people vote for her? No, most people have already made their minds up and now is the time for the candidates to meet with the citizens. We (citizens) need to express our likes, dislikes and concerns and she needs to do the same! Yes Clinton has recommendations of things needing to be done in the United States, but does she have the backbone to follow through with it, or will she just sweep it under the rug like other situations that she has been through in the past? Personally I think that Obama is right, now he needs to interact with voters, and this may be why he is winning so far!

    February 13, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  18. adewumi

    Debate does not establish competence, rather it is programmes and past record.

    February 13, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  19. Kelli

    Cheap shot Hillary. If her campaign has stooped to this level, then it's over.

    February 13, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  20. Scott

    I think the people of Wisconsin have a right to a debate between the candidates and Obama should be obligating that need. On this point, Hillary is correct. Obama must continue to use all mediums to get his message across and debating Hillary should never be refused, its a sign of weakness and fear.

    February 13, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  21. Jim

    NO more "debates" PLEASE! How can any more be constuctive at this point?

    February 13, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  22. Kevin

    Hill, Hill- the attack ads don't work! They are counter-productive! Think! Learn!

    As as aside, I state again: I am a yellow dog Democrat. Have been since Ronald Ray-gun. But if Hillary Clinton is the nominee, I will stay home on election day.

    February 13, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  23. nobillary

    Enough debates.Let' just vote and get it over with.With the candidates that are left anybody but Hillary would be an improvement.

    February 13, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  24. Frank Esper

    Yet another Debate? The point being? I kinda have to start believing that HIllary doesnt need the debate as much as she needs free TV time

    February 13, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  25. Bob, DC

    Sick of the debates. Same old arguments over the same old issues and there really aren't any that many differences on the major issues between the two candidates anyway. Maybe the initial Iraq war support might be the biggest difference. They can watch replay on youtube if they want to.

    February 13, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
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