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. volk

    Good for her. Anyone can talk in circles, look polished and smile but still never answer the hard issues. If he can't face her what is he going to do when he has to face the world.

    February 13, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  2. Nik

    Obama and his campaign are well aware that they stand no chance in a debate with Senator Clinton. Over and over again, Clinton has successfully drawn distinctions in these debates and has highlighted Obama's inexperience and accomplishments (lack of). Debates emphasize that we should vote for a candidate not based on rhetoric, but vote for a candidate who can actually get things done.

    February 13, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  3. Dennette

    I actually thought it was a good Ad not negative at all

    February 13, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  4. Mike

    A tiger can't change their stripes. Same old, same old...

    February 13, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  5. Damon

    Political tactics 101 – hide your weakness by attacking your opponents strength. Hillary wishes she could bring inspiration and hope in the same measure as Obama. Instead she offers the same old monotone speach with an occasional tear. Bill should have spent more time helping Hillary in this area instead of some of his other activities.

    Obama is out meeting the people of Wisconsin and when it's time to debate again it will happen...with record viewership.

    Obama be ready! Detailed but concise, charming but tough, defend quickly (the attacks will come) but stay on the high road! We need you!

    February 13, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  6. Ryann

    That's just bad timing.
    When all the media is talking about is how Obama has finally taken the lead, all Clinton says is, "Well, he's not playing fair! I wanna do more debates and he won't do it!" It makes it all too easy to picture her as a whiney 4-year-old stomping around about she wants a popscicle.

    February 13, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  7. Jim

    Hillary's plan to ignore the upcoming and previous primaries in hopes of Ohio and Texas is reminiscent of Rudy Giuliani. We all saw what happened to him.

    Now she's spewing out attack ads? We all saw what happened to Mitt Romney....

    February 13, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  8. Joe2

    Clinton lost the campaign when she could not get off Bill's shoulders, and Bill got into the gutter of negativisim; most unfortunate situation.

    This bad turn of events, shows that you have to earn the electorate on your own. In addition, before the primaries, Cliton did not go out and make herself available to the people or the press.

    Now, to further compound campaign erros, her copycats of Obama's campign issues, clearly show she has lost the tactical initiative; I do not think that she will recover.

    An astonishing downhill plunge, for a shoe in candidate; who just three months ago was seen as the next Pres!

    February 13, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  9. RLC

    She's looking desperate!!! I guess thats all Billary has left in her treasure chest of "politricks." She has to go negative and nasty to get everyone's attention. The country is no longer interester or listening to what they (Hilly and Billy) have to say any more.

    They can stop packing for the White House, they already had their bite a the White House apple, they don't get a second one!

    Go Barack!

    February 13, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  10. David, Dallas Tx

    Put another way, Hillary claims that 20 debates aren't enough for the public to decide who to support–the public needs 22 debates to make an informed decision.

    If she hadn't mismanaged her campaign finances into the red, she could afford to buy air time instead of having to beg for free debate time.

    Obama is being generous by giving her two more opportunities for free air time. He can do that because all the momentum has been sapped from her campaign. She's no longer a credible candidate.

    February 13, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  11. Waaaiit a minute

    I am glad she is going negative actually. That will definitively back fire. She went negative with Bill Clinton as her # 1 pittbull, it back fired! Then she pretenting to be a uniter when she was the clear front runner. Now that she is losing big, she is back on the negative. I dont think voters will fall for this.

    February 13, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  12. Fay Zeman

    Why would Obama debate when he gets CNN running free ads as News Media, He can't debate, nor can he make decisions, thats why he sat on his hands in the Ill. Senate and didn't vote over 100 times out of 400. His idea is, if you dont vote you can't be wrong. Ha. Shame on CNN for pretending to report News, when they are trying to iinfluence people to vote for a particular candidate. Most untrusted news media.

    February 13, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  13. An Agnostic Democrat

    If we haven't bought it by now, Hillary, going negative ain't going to make the sale!

    Much Love,
    A Wisconsin Voter

    February 13, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  14. Fran

    How on earth is this negative? You Obama folks still expect a coronation.

    February 13, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  15. Al

    May be the reason she doesn't want to debate on MSNBC is because of their negativity towards her campaign. Don't back down Barack and you won't seem to be weak. I still believe Hillary to be the most experienced candidate for the position. Barack is a first term senator!

    February 13, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  16. Svanbasten,

    Well, we all know where Mrs Clinton ends up when she decides to go negative... These are the last kicks of a dying horse...

    Stay Positive..

    February 13, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  17. Ryan

    Wow, I went to Mexico once, I guess I have foreign experience now, maybe I can be president too, I want change and hope, look at me I am Obama!!!!! Wake up people, Obama has been negative on the campaign trail this whole time, so get a life!!!

    February 13, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  18. Unsure

    LOL, I see Hillary is back to being Hillary...they have debated 18 times, now is the time for Obama to be out meeting people and building his supporters. I think the voters are more interested in meeting him than seeing him on tv debating the same issues because she's broke and doesn't have a strong ground team.

    February 13, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  19. NM Independent

    Ok who do you want in a White House someone who can DEBATE with the rest of the world or someone who can meet with others to try and be on common grounds as a LEADER?

    I vote the latter! WE need a LEADER NOT A DEBATOR!

    February 13, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  20. Joanne K Eller

    I can not understand the people of our country. Hillary Clinton has far more experience than Obama. There are many women who have run their countries and have been succesful at it. CLINTON IS A BRIGHT {RHODES SCHOLAR} and is very capable at running our country. Every President has a body of people behind them to help guide the right way to go. Why do they keep bringing up the fact that her husband was president and did not want two Clintons in the White House? What about having two Presidents with the name Bush in the White House.?

    February 13, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  21. linchristi

    As a democrat, I would want debates. I still am holding out for Hillary because i dont see what Obama is defining. Again, it is all about the issues and their plans. Still to this day, i have not seen any substance just inspirational speeches. I want to know how he is going to make the changes..

    February 13, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  22. Hope08

    The funny part of it... Hillary doesn't need debates. Under the microscope her "experience" doesn't look nice and her health care plan is a disaster.

    February 13, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  23. David Jones

    I'm not surprised @ Hillary for stooping this low!
    A loser always whins!

    The Billary durty politricks are back again!

    Shame on Hillary!

    GO OBAMA!!!

    February 13, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  24. Jon, Lantana

    CNN is crazy once again...How is it negative to point out the truth? The debates are how people decide and is more democratic then tv ads......he wants to skip em cause he doesnt have enough time to prepare.....you shouldnt have to prepare. Get rid of the speech writer and hes not as much of an inspirational person.

    February 13, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  25. John

    Economic plan to freeze foreclosures? Hmm looks like its time to go get me a 5 million dollar house and wait for the government to bail me out.

    February 13, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
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