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. Damon

    She only wants debates because she needs the free press. Her campaign is on the verge of being broke and is self-imploding....and now with this ad she's trying to turn the tide with the shot at Obama. Why doesn't she just be honest.

    Please...how can she manage the country, when she can't even manage her own campaign.

    February 13, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  2. Wayne

    One more thing:

    If Mr Clinton had done his job during the 90's – keeping Bin Laden and his cave dwellers in check, instead of allowing them to flourish, we would not be going through what we are going thru today and my Twin Towers will probably still be standing tall.

    February 13, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  3. Wert

    What does she expect, for him to re-answer all the same questions over and over? This is simply a cheap ploy to smear and to try to get free airtime because her campaign just is not taking in the money she needs.

    February 13, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  4. YES_WE_CAN!

    Debates are her only recourse. She's low on money.

    She knows the only way she can catch up now is to win every race by 20 points from here on out, and that's not likely. So she's trying to throw rocks.

    I'm fairly sure Barack's ads didn't go negative when *he* was 25 or more delegates behind.

    This will not make you more likable, Hillary.

    February 13, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  5. Waaaiit a minute

    what a sore loser!

    February 13, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  6. b.jones

    is itme or is that the lames ad you have ever heard she sounds like a child.... and that's not debatable....lol

    February 13, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  7. Hypocrisy fighter

    For everyone who would like to know what the CLINTONS are ready to do to get the nomination just WATCH:


    This video is a clear statement and should be an eye opener for the last HILLARY supporter.


    February 13, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  8. Jeff Dickey

    Hillary is beat. The only way she gets the nomination is to have the Superdelegates pull the nomination away from the people's delegates and that would spell disaster for the Democrats. She should pull out and allow Obama to start concentrating on beating McCain in November.

    February 13, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  9. SDA

    I voted for Barack, however, I am not against HIllary. She is a great candiate and would make a great president. With that said, I think everyone knows the real issue is that Hillary is running out of money. I don't blame Barack for refusing to debate as often as she has suggested. They have already debated SEVERAL times. America should know the issues by now. I am very clear on where each candidate stands on Healthcare, the war, the economy, etc. because they have said it OVER and OVER. Hillary should stop trying to bully Barack into another repetitive debate and raise more money or take out another loan.

    February 13, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  10. Karen

    Clinton's negative tactics will backfire...she runs low on money and expects Obama to debate her weekly. She loses contests and says Obama won because of his large "African-American support". Does she not realize they only make up roughly 13% of the ENTIRE population. It's not just blacks voting for him...everyone is voting for him. As for the Shuster comment...it's very hard to listen to someone say something about your child and his choice of words were a bit stinging for a mother...then again...she did have breakfast with a superdelegate and is calling others. Still doesn't justify the comment though.

    February 13, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  11. Obama

    Less debates, more cowbell.

    February 13, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  12. jason

    If you look at this you see each candidate's strength- Hillary does well in debates and Obama knows it. Likewise, Obama does well with energizing people in a one-on-one fashion...and Clinton knows it. Each candidate is trying to exploit their strength, unfortunately for Hillary Obama can block Hillary's strength by refusing to debate, but HIllary can't block Obama from talking to people.

    Coming from a supporter of Hillary....here's a message to Obama: convince me and others like me in a debate that you will be a better president, and you essentially have the nomination. You have not done such thus far, and while you have an energized people behind you, us handful that still are not convinced may prevent you from getting enough delegates to win the nomination...and we know who is favored if it comes to the superdelegate vote.

    February 13, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  13. kathleen, illinois

    Hillary says she doesn't do well in caucauses. Therefore she wants
    debates every state if she can have her way.Obama agreed to two.
    He doesn't think a debate would be the best way he can connect with the people. A debate is where she can trash Obama. She wants debates because she think her health care plan is better than his.
    I do not believe that. All we have to consider is WHO WE believe as as a character on values and principles

    February 13, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  14. cathy

    Exactly what I thought would happen – claws are coming out. This will not work ! Your campaign is falling apart, and getting nasty will not change that – the Obama movement is too strong!
    Good bye Hillary and Billary!

    February 13, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  15. Texas

    Obama cancelled MSNBC's debate.. not Hillary...

    I guess Obama has nothing more to say other than "I have a dream"
    Wonder if that is enough for him to pull out a win in Wisconsin and sweep the rest of the states?

    I hope the voters are that gullible 🙂

    February 13, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  16. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    Both of these second-tier lawyers and first-rate politicans remain the death wish of Democratsin November, when either one will lose to McCain. In the final seconds before casting their ballots, voters will ask themselves "can I trust him/her" and decide they'd rather have an aging militarist with a bad temper than a leftist buffoon who can't deliver much more than empty hopes.

    February 13, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  17. Melissa

    I'm surprised that I keep being surprised, and disappointed, by the Clinton campaign and Hillary Clinton particularly. I started with a predisposition towards Hillary, as a woman with the first real chance to become President. I attended a live event for her in IA with a lot of eagerness, and was surprised, and disappointed. I keep wanting to be able to support her, but her unwillingness to acknowledge Obama's accomplishments, the fact that she does not Congratulate him or attribute his wins to his abilities rather than just demographics, Bill Clinton's and now her negative attacks... each time, I am disappointed.

    If Hillary acts as President as she does as a candidate, then I do not think we can afford to have a commander in chief who ignores or belittles our "rivals," or uses any means to achieve the goal.

    February 13, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  18. Unknown

    Obamination against Mccain...then, you supporter's are going to be HOPING and DREAMING that you could've CHANGED your minds...the Repubican's ain't a MOVEMENT!...you might as well say, go Mccain!!

    February 13, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  19. Aillyn

    Hillary just drop out please. No one likes you.

    February 13, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  20. Banko

    Hillary refused to answer qestions in IOWA because she was inevitable. Desparation, calls for desparate actions. We had eighteen debates already. What else does she want to prove?
    The clock is finally ticking for the Bush/Clinton dynasty.

    February 13, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  21. bob

    Hillary is approaching a critical point in her campaing, she has become desperate and has no other choice but to get in the mud and go negative with her ads.

    February 13, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  22. J. McCaskill, MS

    Go Hillary.....Obama wins means nothing, because the states he has won primarily go Republican in a general election no matter who is running. However the toss up states like TN, AR, & FL were all won by Hillary Clinton. She will havea good month of March and April. She will be the next President.

    Hillary Clinton 2008

    February 13, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  23. train

    Hillary...Hillary... She will do and say just about anything to win. We do not need you to force us to buy health insurance, we have brains too. Obama has not gone negative this whole campaign, i have lost track on the number of times the Clinton machine has made negative statements. Hillary you are old politics your time is over!!!!!!

    February 13, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  24. Lorenzo

    There she goes!!!!!!! and here comes Obama!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 13, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  25. David, Silver Spring, MD

    My goodness. She's not even in Wisconsin! While her campaign runs ads attacking Obama, she's off in Texas or wherever she's drawn her next line in the sand. Meanwhile, Obama is in Wisconsin, talking to voters, explaining his platform.

    Here's a TV ad for you: While Barack Obama is in Wisconsin meeting voters, Hillary Clinton is in Texas, dismissing Wisconsin as a "small state." Maybe she'd prefer to run TV ads from out of state than have to face Wisconsin voters in Wisconsin.

    February 13, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
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