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. Sí se puede.

    Yup, it figures that she would go negative. She has nothing left and is desperate. It's over Hillary. Just give back the money from your donors and go home.

    February 13, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  2. Unknown

    Oh, God....here come's Oprah again! Oprah, I love you honey but go home. You and Kennedy got Obama is fame, quit swaying the votes from the American people. I think we can make up our own minds!!
    Stop abusing your power!

    February 13, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  3. Will, Nyc

    This 'Obama is all speeches and no policy' meme is getting old. Just because Clinton is an uninspiring orator does not make Obama weak on details. If you're too lazy and unmotivated to go to his site to get detailed policy info, don't hold it against him. His speeches get people interested and fired up about politics again. Hillary, not so much. But that's a weakness in her candidacy, not in Obamas. Stop being so intellectually lazy.

    February 13, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  4. changing times

    Art H you can find the beef if you decide to read. Surely you're not relying on speeches to make a decision are you. Obama's website is user-friendly and easy to read. I encourage you to go there if you truly want to know where he stands.

    Read his book "Audacity of Hope", you'll learn, not only on where he stands, but what he's done: helping educate students as a constitutional law professor for 10 years, fighting for the average person as a civil rights attorney and changing laws as a Illinois state legislater for 8 years. It's undeniable to those who want to know and who take the time to investigate that he's quite brilliant and has the leadership ability to turn this country around

    February 13, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  5. Eric-Houston TX

    I'm still amazed that not once has a debate moderator asked either candidate what their position on Affirmative Action is.

    February 13, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  6. Joe

    Clinton going negative again is just a sign of desperation. If you really want to see where the candidates stand on the issues just go to their website and read what they have to say. Obama's Plan for Change in America is 70 pages long. Clinton has similarly detailed plans. We don't even get 1% of that detail in these superfluous debates. Do you RESEARCH people, instead of complaining for more TV sound bites!

    February 13, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  7. matt

    Yes!!! Finally she is putting him in his place!

    February 13, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  8. Carolyn

    Mr. Obama needs to answer pertinent questions regardless of who asks them. Sure you might see him as a potential friend that you could go and have a drink with, wasn't that supposedly the same appeal that got the current President elected? We should expect more, question more, want more answers before we vote for any of these politicians. If we expect any less, then we shouldn't act surprised when they turn out to be mediocre. Reporters should be doing more investigative journalism we have enough entertainment news.

    February 13, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  9. Jim

    What more is there to say? Senator Clinton should be positioning herself for a leadership role in the next Senate or begin focusing on re-establishing her base in New York to retain her Senate seat.

    This type of ad says one thing only – "All hands on deck, we're at risk of our ship sinking quickly."

    February 13, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  10. Mary

    Hillary’s TV Ad should have said “I want FREE air time because I just recently found out that I was INCAPABLE of running “Financially” a Campaign. Hope you don’t expect me to do better if I am president”

    …..then she could have added “by the way, if you do not vote for me, I will give the usual excuse why I lost and why your state is unworthy. That is, it’s a small state, it’s a Red state, its a purple state, too many activists in your state, to many immigrants in your state, your state doesn’t represent the electorate”

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

    I dont think it is NEGATIVE rather, it is a threat, 'you come to debate me' or else I will go to AIR Ads... WOW...

    February 13, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  12. Kay

    An act of desperation, IMO. Debates are sound bite opportunities,. HRC is only looking to twist Obama's words in negative ads against him as she has done in the past. How many minutes do you have to answer a question WELL during a debate? Honestly, we don't get complete answers during debates anyway. Debates are not forums where policies are well discussed. Can you use 90 seconds to properly DISCUSS a policy? What can you say in 90 seconds? Jumping around questions as HRC does during debates without providing direct answers to questions is only a PR move, IMO. IF HRC wants a good debate, let the organizers pick one topic or two and give each candidate 10 minutes to elucidate on the topic. Then we will know who is the better of the two. Obama is wise. How many debates does she want? They have had 18 (eighteen already). As if the 18 debates were excluded from Wisconsians. Cheap shot Hillary! Good job Obama.

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

    I think going to the public and expressing your views is much better than only taking questions from individuals.
    So, no to too much of debates! we need your out there to convince us.

    February 13, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  14. Tim, Northern VA

    How many debates can we have? We have had 18 and have 2 more on the schedule (TX and OH debates).

    She is DESPERATE.

    February 13, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  15. Yvonne, Waynesville, MO

    This sort of behaviour is exactly why Hillary Clinton lost my vote. That's right– she lost a voter who initially supported her. This sort of political speech is bad for the party, bad for the election and bad for the nation. The time for slice and dice politics is over.

    We cannot build a nation on top of the bodies of those who disagree with us. I am disgusted by these tactics.

    Senator Clinton, please stop.

    February 13, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  16. Kevin

    Of course she is going negative! That is the Clinton style and should be no surprise to anyone....in the end it will hurt her the most.

    February 13, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  17. Kirk

    Well I see it as foolish to agrue about debates. They only serve to give people more to analysis. She curled her hair, he said "was" instead of "is" ... look they will not even talk to each other... blah blah blah.

    I'm Canadian, we don't get this kind of stuff. They have three debates, one in french, and that satisfises us. Usually its the messages they get out in local bingo halls and high school gyms thats important.. maybe we should focus more on what they say to people and no each other....

    February 13, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  18. Donny

    If you think that pointing out that Obama doesn’t want to debate is negative then some of you need to reevaluate Obama's campaign tactics. And please- If you are going to post- SPELL CHECK!! That's one thing wrong with this country- where is the intelligence? Oh, it's on Clinton's side...something you won't get from reading or watching CNN/Obama's Campaign Television Station.

    February 13, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  19. Tony

    Since when Hillary wants to debate and does she really have something to say? She was insisting that all states voting before Ohio and Texas do not matter, and moreover she was dismissing the results in all the states that voted after super Tuesday.

    February 13, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  20. Katherine

    I don't see another debate at this point as being instructive. I've watched probably 15 of the previous 18- I can't think of anything they need to cover in a new one. It'll be just hashing out the same old stuff. Let the campaigns do what they need to do to meet the voters.

    February 13, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  21. Monty GOP Delaware

    WOW!!!!! That was fast.....

    I guess then is when the fun begins for Hillary......

    February 13, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  22. Rick

    THAT is negative?

    Biased much, cnn?

    February 13, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  23. Rachel F.

    This is sickening, the people of Wisconsin and more generally, the people of this country are sick of negative campaigning, as we saw in South Carolina. This just shows how desperate the Clinton camp is after Obama's sweep.

    February 13, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  24. Lori

    Clinton is showing her true colors! this is exactly what we are tired of in these Washington washed up players. Anyone who is not tired of watching these debates (is there anyone??????) can feel free to breathe life into the yourtube archives. I am also tired of these comments saying that CNN biases Obama. They are only stating the facts and what ppl are voting – Obama 08!!!!!!!

    February 13, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  25. Mattie

    Clinton doesn't even display the common sense to acknowledge the states that she didn't win. She has turned her back on the African American cimmunity that she claims to care about, Now her focus is on the Hispanic community that she hopes is not really watching close enough ti see what she is doing. She does not care at all about the direction that this country is going in. She only cares about getting votes and will do whatever it takes to get them. Oh, I'm sorry...we woke up.....

    February 13, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
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