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. Paula

    Let the politics begin. Hillary should continue to focus on the issues during her speeches and use any commercial time to reinforce those platforms rather than reduce her campaign to negative ads. I am really disappointed...

    February 13, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  2. wycliffe

    Hillary choose to stay in the sun shine state of texas and avoid the cold weather of wisconsin. the only way to make up for that is to go to the television debates

    February 13, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  3. lorina

    Inviting Obama to debate is hardly NEGATIVE, voters deserve to hear the issues

    February 13, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  4. Samantha, Davie, Florida

    We need another debate like hole in the head. What we need is an interview, tougher than Katie Couric's asking Obama what his change is all about. All I hear about is hope and change. I'm afraid Obama's afraid to commit himself to positions and policies because he's afraid people won't like them. Obama told Katie there wasn't enough time. Well, give him the time and make him tell us what he's going to do. Maybe he doesn't know and that's a problem.

    February 13, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  5. Anthony

    Cliton's done. She's a fine second choice, but more Americans would rather have a fresh start rather than a recycled version of the first Clinton administration.

    On top of that, Obama stands a much better chance at beating McCain. Democrats recognize that.

    February 13, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  6. AC

    one debate a week? Sounds like a recipe for OD'ing the american pubilic. Two debates within one month are enough.

    With the momentum shifting, and new campaign managers in the Clinton Camp, expect alot more of this. I just hope they don't hamstring and divide the democratic party so much that they aren't able to defeat the GOP in November...

    February 13, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  7. stan pitts pa

    i just think she is desperate and she is trying to distract the voters in ohio and texas who need to attend obama stump speeches and get to meet him, i think she should release her tax receipts so we see where she got the 5 million to loan her campaign, she has said she would release them only after the campaign/election, when its safe, whats she got to hide? why doesnt she think the American people ought to know about her campaign money sources now, she cannot be trusted!

    February 13, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  8. Lee

    He does not want to debate because she will kick his tail on talk of issues and what really needs to be done. he is a fluffy speaker with no substance. Show some balls and debate the woman one on one. There has only been 1 debate so far between the 2 of them and she smoked him – no wonder he is too chicken to debate again.

    And yes, she has to "go negative" because voters are listening to the fluff and she is trying to say are yall getting this – you care gonna put a 1st grader in the white house – make him debate and see if the substance is REALLY there.

    Come on chicken Obama debate the woman.

    February 13, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  9. Against CNN

    Hey CNN! How about posting some anti- King Obama comments for once out of a year and a half?

    You Obama supporters are super insane. McCain gets my vote if this numbskull gets the nomination.

    February 13, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  10. bryce beamish

    He would prefer to give speeches because he has a campaign to win. The Clintons can't seem to figure out why Obama is winning. It's because he's running a smart, organized, powerful campaign.

    I used to say that I would be happy with either Clinton or Obama in the white house, but Hillary's horrible attitude and completely misleading and sometimes false attacks on Obama have made me despise her just as much as the right.

    I'm voting for Obama, and I don't care what the Clintons come up with to try and derail his victory. I know it wont work.

    February 13, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  11. Dave, MN

    Go Hillary! America is on this feel-good ride with Obama, but his plans are incomplete and unrealistic. (not that anyone has heard about any of them from him) Fight fire with water and douse his figmental flame. We could just fill all public offices with good speakers, but then there would be that small issue (we know how Obama hates those...) of running the country!

    Hillary '08!!!

    February 13, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  12. LeftCoast Tim

    Kinda makes Hillary look like a "desparado". The long and the short of it is this....there isn't a dimes worth of difference between the policy proposals. The only differences are personality and style.

    February 13, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  13. SJ

    Here we go again. Hillary dares to say something negative (but true) about Obama and the media (especially CNN) jumps down her throat. If tables were turned and Obama spouts off about Hillary they would say he's needs to clear the air.

    He did refuse to the debates (not one reporter questioned that) but we all know the reason why. In a debate he has to answer questions on things he not experienced in while speeches are one-sided without being put on the spot.

    Shame on him, shame on the Obamaites for believing without questioning.

    February 13, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  14. Carol

    Going negative over a debate when she herself was refusing to do one.

    Haven't we seen enough debates? I know I have. Fact is, she is afraid of the people meeting Obama one on one. They will find out he is not all fluff as the Clinton supporters like to claim.

    Barack has been an "elected" official LONGER than Hillary. And where she likes to tell you what you want to hear, Barack had actually delivered in Illinois and Senate because he can bring people together. Not sit there and roll his eyes like Hillary does every time a republican speaks.

    February 13, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  15. Sal in Phoenix

    He's smart, he knows he can really screw-up in a face to face debate..I'm shocked that so many people are backing him..I'm sure John McCain will chew him up and spit him out if he wins the nomination because of his lack of experience...Heaven help us all if he should happen to win the election..I'm sure it will take him a year to figure out what to do first...He knows he's over his head, he should bow out now because if he wins and screws it up, we'll have another Republican administration back in office.

    February 13, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  16. kathleen, illinois

    Old Politics, as usual. It is good in the beginning to debate.He
    Let Hillary have her way with two debates, Obama does not
    like to trash anyone's character but he can definitly win a debate
    with anyone. He keep's his cool. The voters are tired of candidates
    trashing each other. I vote no to Hillary's request to debate in every

    February 13, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  17. Micahel Guinn, Ventura, CA

    When all else fails, go negative. That's the Washington way! It's time for real change now! Yes, we can.
    Obama 08!

    February 13, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  18. Latoya

    She wants him to debate her because she's running out of money and needs the free airtime.

    February 13, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  19. NotFooled

    She will pull it in 24 hours and say, "That is not what the people want." But still get all the press. Kinda like ... hmmm... a Republican. I wonder why.... she used to be one!!!!!

    February 13, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  20. Nate H, Kentucky

    Clinton has gone on the attack now. she has no firepower left. her campaign is falling apart around her and she has successfully pissed off her campaign managers to the point that they quit. I think history is going to be made with a female president eventually as is should be but it will not be Hillary. Obama has taken her base becasue he is not self centered like her. I hope she can scrap up herself and give us a better run next time. She needs to step aside and let Obama focus on beating McCain now.

    February 13, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  21. vm


    Release your tax records.
    Release White House records from your first lady days
    Release the donor records from Clinton Library Fund and Charities..

    Then we'll have something to debate about..

    February 13, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  22. Christoph

    This is a great example of why I'm supporting Barack Obama. The negative ads and other forms of this kind of spin are a real turn off.

    February 13, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  23. Susanne T

    Why won't Obama debate? He knows his strength is in the oratory not in answering questions. Personally I am looking for answers and not the whooped up fervor that Obama is riding the crest of now. Hopefully some of these front running bandwagon jumpers will analyze the situation and will demand to hear more substance from Mr. Obama. All the wonderful eloquent speeches in the world ain't gonna solve the problems that face this country.
    I do not feel this ad is going negative. It simply is stating the truth. Mr Obama knows that he is vulnerable to being exposed for the lack of a true plan. With All his catch phases and crazed groupies he can try to hide from the truth, Hillary Clinton would be the best choice for us Democrats.

    February 13, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  24. Regular Gonzalez

    I'm starting to think we should take a page out of Turkey's book and outlaw public apologies or congratulations, because apparently as long as they're allowed, they're also required.

    February 13, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  25. Bendskin

    Obama needs more time than Hillary to get the people to know him.
    Everybody on this planet knows Hillary very well. She should give him a chance so that people no voting for him at least got a chance to know about him. I recently switched to support obama when I heard about the mess happening inside the Hillary campaign. I just don't see how she would manage this country if she cannot manage a simple campaign. Obama campaign has totally revolutionized the way politics run in this country and if we don't like his race or gender, we should at least give him a round of applauds for that.

    February 13, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
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