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. Jules

    I agree with many here- 20 debates are almost too many as it is. We've seen them, heard them, and we do not want the voters to be so sick of them that they start tuning them out all together. One of them will still have to debate MCCain numerous times, and we don't want to tune people out before then.

    February 13, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  2. Nick

    Any student of history will have learned that the media makes a president. I am concerned that by all indications CNN is on its way to making an Obama ticket. I support both Clinton and Obama; however, I would love to see a future in which the media is not so clearly biased. Take a look at these news stories. What are your reactions in reading each story about the candidates. I even found myself in favour of Obama after reading all the headlines on CNN.com; however, I disagree with many of his policy ideas and have been a strong Clinton advocate since the rumour mill began over four years ago. CNN, please pull your bias out of your reporting. This election season the American public needs to hear the facts and vote based on their individual needs. We do not need to be involved in a media-hyped pissing contest that does not even exist.

    To the candidates. Listen to your American constituency. We want a Clinton/Obama Ticket regardless of who gets to sit behind the desk.

    February 13, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  3. Ron, TX

    After 18 debates, just one more is really going to make or break the bank, Clinton?

    Yeah, right Hillary. How about you stop being so deceptive to the America public? You wonder why people don't like you? Anyone... ANYONE look at this ad. Tell me it from an objective point of view, is it not negative and misleading?

    Maybe Obama should put out an ad that says "Why does Hillary want to send Bill to Wisconson? Why doesn't Hillary come to Wisconsin on her own two feet to talk to the people? Is she too busy frolicking in Texas and Ohio to speak with the voters of Wisconsin?"

    Of course, Obama wouldn't put out an ad like that, because it's NEGATIVE and people are sick of it!

    February 13, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  4. sw

    This is not negative! Speech can be write by others, debates will really show how much you have inn your own mind. I believe a lot of people can give the same kind of speech obama is giving, if not better.

    February 13, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  5. Janinw

    There has already been too many debates. Why should Obama debate her more? She is obviously getting desperate, and i hope that negative ad backfires badly. If anyone hasnt learned anything about the two candidates from the previous trillion debates then i doubt they would learn anything from another trillion debates.

    February 13, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  6. Bitter Old Hillary

    Hillary Clinton is a sad bitter old lady.
    She is not going to win against Obama.

    February 13, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  7. Jether J.

    Hillary Clinton knows that she does not have the funds to run ads has she wishes so, she wants to have air time in the form of weekly debates.

    That's ridiculous political move. Obama's campaign knows this and that's why he needs to focus on the voters and have press releases detailing his planned policies.

    Obama '08!

    February 13, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  8. miss

    She wants to debate because:

    1. She is losing. She thinks a debate will help her.

    2. She doesn't have enough money to do anything else.

    February 13, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  9. Clinton or McCain

    What is negative about that? It's the truth! All Barack wants to do is repeat his "change, hope, unity, hope, unity, change, unity, change hope, yes we can" speech over and over again. We all know it by heart already – !

    At least a debate would give him an opportunity to say other words.

    For me, it's either Clinton or McCain – Obama is not an option for me.

    February 13, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |

    If you are losing, you would want to debate as much as possible. Obama don't be pressured into more debates. Hit Texas and Ohio running.

    February 13, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  11. slw

    I totally agree with Derwood. As for ART H., " Where's the Beef", your stuck in the Mondale years. Don't you watch cable? We have had plenty of debates.

    February 13, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  12. Rob

    I really do not see this as a negative ad, it is simply the truth. I am a Clinton supporter, however I do not believe she will be able to beat Obama. He is great at rallies, and very thin on actaul substance. But the public is a mob, and the mob mentality has set in that Obama is somehow more qualified than Hillary Clinton. Obama should remember one thing, mobs are fickle.

    February 13, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  13. Lois Bravo

    I have Mexican friends in Ca telling me that they received voice messages in Spanish advising them that if they voted for Obama he would help them help them become Citizens of the U.S. Wouldn't this come under the title of "Selling your country out for a vote"?

    February 13, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  14. allison

    As a long time democrat, I would rather vote republican than for Obama. I think he's nothing but an arrogant used car salesman.

    February 13, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  15. C.E., Minnesota

    She just wants more debates because she is too broke to be on TV without it being a free debate sponsered by someone else.(She doenst have to pay to be in a debate). Why should Obama be suckered in to these shouting matches with her on national TV. So she can throw more false allegations at him.

    Hilary if you want to be on tv so bad use your own money

    February 13, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  16. ryan

    So as soon as Hillary slips behind she has to go negative, thats nice. Shows her real side.

    February 13, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  17. I love America

    Hillary Clinton refused to debate her credible primary opponent in 2006 when she was running for re-election to the Senate.

    This proves she is a hypocrite.

    She is also a liar because she said she supported the DNC's rules regarding Michigan and Florida. Now she wants those delegates counted even though her opponents were not able to campaign there.

    February 13, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  18. zoey

    Look debates are fine, but 20 is enough. Anyone that doesn't know where these candidates stand on the issues is either living in a cave or doesn't know how the internet works. and nobody on these message boards has any excuse not to know where these candidates stand, go check it out people. Educate yourself instead of showing everyone how intellectually weak you are. Anyone with a sense of fairness can plainly see that's she's pulling a stunt here, which is fine, but we don't have to buy into is hook line and sinker.

    February 13, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  19. pat

    voters wake up cant you see this a ploy by the republicans to get obama against mcain . they know they can beat obama, no experiance again a season senator, he ll eat him up, colon powell is going to be his running mate, very popular person, also very knowlageable its a sure win. on the other hand hillery could beat that ticket, they didnt want her to win , she would inturn have sentor john edwards on her tickert . an i dont think the republicans want that its a sure loss for them. this nonsence about her not being up to the task of beating john mcain is pure nonsence . texas an ohio you need to vote hillary to save our country.

    February 13, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  20. Barbara

    The title of this article is misleading. The contents of the ad is not negative, it simply asks a question.
    It is a crime to ask Obama a question?

    February 13, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  21. No Mas

    No more debates please. We know where you both stand, to the left of McCain and that is not where our country is today, nor where it is going. The 60's will not return to this country. McCain will bulldoze either one of you in the Fall. Go McCain save our country from these fools.

    February 13, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  22. Susan

    We have had enough debates. Hillary just wants free TV time!

    February 13, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  23. Matt


    Obama won't debate because he doesn't have any clear plans onwhat he will do as president. The American people deserve to hear what each candidate will do, not just vague terms like "hope" and "change."

    Shame him until he caves Hillary!

    February 13, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  24. Grace

    This is an act of desparation. Democrats have already made up their minds. For the sake of our party we are going to support Borack Obama. Hillary is just pure drama and we Americans are tired of it.

    February 13, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  25. SlapStick, Florida

    For all of the folks who are talking about him making speeches and thats all that they are seeing needs to visit his web page. Stop being lazy. He has it laid out if you care to read.

    Clinton is showing her true colors and she is MEOWing again. My mom went through menopause and let me tell you, I would not have wanted her in the White House during that time period.

    February 13, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
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