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. JohnS

    Hillay wants a debate so that she could sit next to a decent, strong, and handsome young man. Debates are frankly useless; do your RESEARCH and read the position papers of these candidates and you can avoid broing debates!!!

    February 13, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  2. Joyce

    I still do not understand why Obama keeps hammering the point about Hilary's vote on Iraq war while he accepted an endorsement by John Kerry who also voted for it. Barack, it was a time when everyone was mislead including Colin Powell.

    What I amusing is how Obama actually voted for funding it (knowing what we all know now about that war) and still claims he was against it from day one. Also, how can you bring change on anything if you keep on voting present (133 times in 2 years) in the Senate? Doesn't he have an opinion to either say yes or no? Isn't that what Senators ought to be doing? I find way too many conflicts on where he stands and how he changes positions later on. Truly, I just can't find substance in him. He is nowhere near MLK!

    Please, the situation we are in right now we do not need another learn while on the job President. We need a decisive, problem solver hands on President. And that is not Obama. Maybe in 8 years when he has more practical know how, etc...to back up his rhetorics. But not now. God help us.

    February 13, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  3. CPrescott

    CNN, your tabloid headlines are a persistent disgrace. A few weeks ago when Obama was running very barefaced negative ads filled with twisted advertising decrying Hillary’s health care plan, your foul spin only recognized the impudence of the Hillary camp to question your anointed prince. When Obama boldly bent the facts in the pre Super Tuesday debate, your coverage of these details was bland and vague.
    Hillary’s criticism is frankly right on. Obama would rather deliver unchallenged oratories in front of bright lights and keening crowds than answer difficult questions.
    This is just the latest indication that CNN is no longer a reliable news source. You are in service to this bizarre Obama religion.

    Gilbert, AZ

    February 13, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  4. ARundle

    HIllary wants more debates because she can't afford to advertise. Why should she get to dicate the Obama campaign's schedule? We've seen enough debates to know that Clinton and Obama basically agree on almost every policy issue there is; the only disagreement I can see is that Hillary wants to punish people who don't buy health insurance and Obama wants to make health care affordable for all Americans. Ok, we've heard it; no need to debate any further.

    If Obama wants to spend his time with actual voters, its his business.

    I knew Hillary would go negative again. Hopefully, she will get the same reaction she got in South Carolina. Do we really want a president who can't learn from past mistakes?

    February 13, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  5. Yosef

    Come on people. Don't you want to know How he is going to change things?? I do. How is he going to alleviate the mess left by Bush?? Telling me that he grew up poor and that republicans whisper in his ear, is not going to cut it!!!

    Debates are not for showing the person, they are meant for the candidates to give detailed plans on how they are going to fix a certain problem. This way it is recorded and they can go back and show the candidate every thing that she/he promised..
    Remember the: READ MY LIPS, NO MORE TAXES.

    February 13, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  6. wycliffe

    HILLARY has started the negative campaigns again very soon she will go SEXISM, RACIAL. If she really cares about Wisconsin why is she not there to meet the voters.

    February 13, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  7. Bwamkip

    She can as well tell people on ralies what she want.It doesnt have to be a debate.We are tired of old same politics.We want something new bigger and better.She desparately need media attention.She can get a free one by winning big.The wind of change is here to stay.Obama for President.
    Kila la heri Barack

    February 13, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  8. Robin

    Why is "hitting the mark" negative? I want answers too!

    February 13, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  9. pbj

    Adversity is when character becomes apparent. Tough times for Hillary - and she immediately goes negative.

    February 13, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  10. Nick

    Hillary is running low on money so why should he give her free airtime when he can run adds in more markets than she can? That is why he is in the lead now, because he is smart. Hillary is getting out foxed at her own 35yr game. No more dedates.

    February 13, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  11. terry

    Wow! Hillary is desparate.

    February 13, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  12. servius jean

    why Obama has become more stronger in since after his wife comes out ,and Clinton clinton keep on loosing eventhought Chelsea and Bill Clinton pushing her to the limite.

    February 13, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  13. Adam

    Hillary Clinton's campaign is hurting and so the attacks begin. I have not seen or heard of a negative ad by the Obama campaign towards Hillary Clinton. Obama has agreed to do two upcoming debates. Even when the Obama asked Hillary to publish her income tax reports she refused but you didn't see the Obama campaign spitting out negative ads about it. Hillary's campaign is stretching, the American people can see that she is desperate.

    Obama '08

    February 13, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  14. Phil from VA

    Clinton's desire to have as many debates as possible has a pretty clear motive to me. The best way to get anyone to listen to her is if she is beside Obama. She needs him there so people will actually be watching and caring. He has all the momentum, excitement, and support. Whatever he does people watch and listen. I am a Republican, and I stop and listen when I can catch him speaking. Last night when Clinton started her speach I had to mute it, then my wife made me change the channel. The truth is the only excitement around her campaign right now is about Obama beating her. He brings the excitement. She needs an audience.

    February 13, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  15. Myrna

    Wisconsin Does NOT want to see or Hear Hillary anymore than we have to... !! The woman does Just NOT get it ! I am glad that they are NOT having a debate here, Most folks work here for a Living, and they are sick and tired of her whining !!! No ONE here has the time and Energy to Listen to her Clap, and Point, and Put on that Phone Smile.. Enough Hillary !!!!! I Personally have had enough debates to last for a while... And I am sure the good folks of Wisconsin Have as well.. !!

    February 13, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  16. Karen

    Day One (of this campaign) has come and gone, and you were't ready.

    February 13, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  17. Chuck

    Not sure why Hillary is complaining. We have a Democrat Senator in my state of MA who every 6 years gets re elected, and never debates or answers any question.

    And the Boston media never challenges him on it.

    So Mrs. Clinton, what you complain about is what your party stands for. It is only wrong if it effects you.

    February 13, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  18. Justin

    Maybe she'd prefer to work on securing her next job instead of doing her current job back in the senate. Why was she one of only 2 senators to not vote for telecom immunity?

    February 13, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  19. michael, ny

    If you vote for Hillary, she will praise you. If you dont, she will call you names.
    She called Iowans names,
    She called caucus goers names.

    If you vote for Obama, he will thank you.
    If you dont vote for him, he will say he did not get enought time to make his case to you; which means, he still respects and values your opinion.

    If I were you, I would rather go for Obama because in the end I get to keep my dignity regardless of how I vote.

    February 13, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  20. Steve

    How many debates does one need? If the people of Wisconsin have not listened in yet on the 18 previous debates or the one tonight or the other that is coming up, they probably are not already interested. Maybe each voter in Wisconsin can have Clinton and Obama come directly into their living rooms and do a song and dance for them.

    February 13, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  21. JB Hull, IA

    What could they possibly have left to debate about?? They've debated 18 times... don't you think they've covered all the relevant issues by now?

    February 13, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  22. Holster Hugger

    Hillary had a "health plan" when Bill was running for President. Is this the same plan that bombed then???? Does she describe this so-called plan? She couldn't get the plan going before, what makes her think she can now? More rhetoric from a Clinton!

    February 13, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  23. Edward

    Where did this idea that HC debates better than Obama come from?

    February 13, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  24. Brian Crean

    It's a bit sad to see Clinton change her strategy so many times and in so many different ways. Should elections be only about scheming and strategizing no matter what the cost? Doesn't how you win say as much about you as whether you win?

    Perhaps Obama's character and consistency are finally sinking in with the voters around the country? Perhaps people are realizing that how a candidate runs for office is an indication of how that candidate will hold office.

    I think that this is what Obama means when he says that it is time for a change and a time for a new kind of politics. It's not just about changing from Republican to Democrat. It's about changing away from cleverness and toward character.

    February 13, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  25. Tim Sunderland, Rancho Cucamonga, CA

    Well, this was expected.

    Clinton's request for more debates has little to do with debates, but more to do with keeping Obama off the campaign trail, which is where he is strongest, and trying to get herself some free air time with the networks (because she can't afford to pay for it). Meanwhile Obama's cash on hand will allow him more advertising.

    Two debates is enough, and in fact it is probably too many.

    I am sure the Hillary camp expected this campaign to be a cakewalk. They are now running low on cash because they grossly underestimated their opponent.

    Hmmm. Is this the kind of leader we want in The White House?

    February 13, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
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