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. Erin in Chicago

    Her going negative just reaffirms what many already believe about her. There was her announcement over the weekend regarding her losses – those states didn't matter because her husband didn't win them and the voters are just political activists. Wow.

    Also, no congratulations to Obama for his wins?? Truly stunning yet not unexpected. I know I love seeing this behavior from a potential president.

    If Hillary snakes her way to the nomination, this voter will either stay home in November or vote McCain.

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

    This is a perfect example why the country is turning to Obama.
    I was undecided, but now, I am an Obamacan and just donated to his campaign. America knows the Clintons. This is one 'rerun' I can not bear to watch again.

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

    I dont want a candidate who plays rhetorics, without substance. Like going on a rock concert, inspiring, fun, after the show, you wake up the next morning and say, what have i done? the real problems face you that day and if you have a president that is not equipped to solve the problems, this is what happens if we vote for obama. I need someone like HILLARY who puts substance to the table, she is ready to fight and solve the problems on the first day. hope the young people sees this, let us not be carried too much with emotions, let us get real!!!! Vote HILLARY!

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

    Time for Obama to send out another campaign email, "Clinton's going negative. We have to set the record straight. Send $25 now..." and in comes another $5 million in a day.

    She's desperate.

    I can't believe the disingenuous hacks here who claim he's doing a "disservice" to the American people by not debating her in Wisconsin. They've held EIGHTEEN debates and he's already agreed to two more in three weeks!

    Clinton wishes the whole campaign took place on the debate stage where nobody can see how well Obama relates to regular people, but it's not going to happen.

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

    Clinton has proven she does well in debates and she her campaign is slipping, so she wants to debate.

    Obama is filling auditoriums and gaining momentum through appearances, not debates.


    Not surprisingly, Clinton wants to debate and Obama wants to continue his speaking engagements. They are both trying to bring their strengths into play.

    February 13, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  6. Bruce Ross

    WOW... They have had 18 debates so far. They have two more planned within the next month. Can you say desperate? The Clinton campaign is out of cash, out of steam and off their rocker. Unless you have one debate a week, you're running from a challenge? How pathetic. Its pretty clear who's freaking out about losing the nomination. A piece of advice Hillary, if you're going to go negative, try sticking to the issues...

    February 13, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  7. greener678

    Based on previous experience with this exact topic we ALL know how this is going to roll out. Clinton will be labeled a racist by Obama, Obama supporters, and of course the news media.

    I hope Obama knows this won't work in the general election. The more you cry racism the more people that will vote McCain.

    You can't cry your way to the White House.

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

    I will say what no one else is saying. HILLARY IS DOING EXACTLY WHAT THE REPUBLICAN'S WILL DO IF OBAMA WINS THE PRIMARY'S... Frankly, he has not answered those question nor has his record suggested that he is anythng better than a great public speaker. The media has Hyped him up and our public has sucked it in hook line and sinker. Dont get me wrong, I actually like Obama...but thats the issue here. I like Tyra Banks too but certainly wouldnt elect her president.

    If anyone thinks that Hillary is wrong here, they obviously have thrown blind support behind Obama.

    February 13, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  9. PFC Pup

    It's good she went negative....this just shows how desperate she's getting. Didn't she just use $5 million of her own money to support her campaign? I think we all see how this is going to end up. It won't be the last negative ad we see.

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

    maybe someone should ask her in the debates whats the deal with her and old bill's tax returns ha ha see how she likes that

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

    Hillary ENOUGH already. Please. Get out now, for the good of the party. The Republicans are going to do enough trashing soon enough, we don't need the Dems to beat each other up. Swallow your pride and leave the race, for the good of the party and the country.

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

    Hillary Clinton's Wisconsin television ad aimed at Barack Obama is a red herring but Obama will not fall for it. Wisconsin and the other states besides Texas and Ohio are "foregone conclusions" but not for Obama.

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

    I find the debates to be very, very boring. They're only useful to the media pundits to keep their 24 repetitous newscycles going. And Art H., you need to listen more closely to Obama's stump speeches, he is both inspirational and specific. People have to be inspired and engaged. But more importanly, Obama makes it clear that a democracy requires the participation by all citizens. For example, he has a plan to help middle income families with their children's education but he's also going to ask the students to give back to the community. That's what I really like about him. He doesn't have this gimme mentality where the government keeps giving like an eveready bunny while the citizenry sits back and takes and takes. In his health care plan, he also emphasizes wellness, prevention, and early intervention. It means that Americans have to be good stewards over their health ad their children's health. He has a plan to address predatory lenders but he also expects people to be good stewards over their finances and use their credit responsibly. In others words, he's asking Americans to share in the responsbility for the change they want to see. That the big policy and leadership difference I see between Obama and Hillary. To me, it is a HUGE difference.

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

    These are the signs of a desperate candidate – one who's team is leaving her, one who has had to dump $5 M of "her own" money into it just to say on the air, one who has lost the last 8 states in a row. This is a candidate who is trying anything to stay in a campaign that is going down the tubes in a hurry.

    Desperate times, desperate measures.

    February 13, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  15. SG

    Sounds like a desperate Clinton ploy to rack up free air time. She needs to occupy Obama so he can't campaign on the ground and she knows it. The more time he gets on the ground with voters, the more votes Clinton will lose. Things are trending away from her and the only thing she has left to show are her true, petty colors.

    February 13, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  16. Mirambo

    Clinton has now realised that Obama is more effective in delivering his message to the American people than she is. I think she is confusing methods with objectives.one debate, a million debates wouldn't matter people are smart enough to make sound judgement based on what they hear from the candidates not how they look on tv.

    February 13, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  17. Terry

    I am glad she is finally drawing attention to Obama's preacher-like storytelling and pep talks. This man has no plan. Haven't the American people had enough of flying by the seat of their pants? Maybe we should all start singing the "Sound of Music" or "Camelot" and then maybe a magic fairy will show up and fix this mess we are in.

    February 13, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  18. Wise Constituate

    Why does Hillary believe that just because she has committed campaign over-kill, Obama should bow down and debate so she can get some TV time. She is also trying to seat the delegates of MIchigan and Florida after the rules were set. You can't change the rules just b/c you are not winning. We don't need this type of candidate representing the people.

    February 13, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  19. mkdusa

    Bush, Clinton,Clinton, Bush, Bush, Clinton?????......NO THANKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 13, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  20. John Y from Des Plaines IL

    I guess the tears didn't have a lasting effect so know she has try the wicked witch approach. Can you say LOSER?

    February 13, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  21. AJ

    Obama refuses because he has nothing to say in a debate. The man is not capable of anything but spouting platitudes. If he's not smart enough to debate Hillary, how is he ever going to deal with other world leaders.

    If Obama gets the nomination I think that an movement needs to get started, "Democrats for McCain"

    February 13, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  22. Erik

    I'm so sick of these debates. enough is enough! Why does Hillary keep calling for them.

    February 13, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  23. Stevo

    I think the solution in this case, is for Obama to give a speech in Wisconsin, in relation to many of the issues that Clinton claims he has no substance on. (which he does in fact have detailed plans) That would be a good slap in the face.

    February 13, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  24. Ed G

    I'm an Obama supporter but I give Senartor Clinton credit – she is hitting above the belt - no low blows here.

    The only two people who can ensure an end to the Bush-McCain policies are Obama and Clinton - they need to continue to make their cases without pulling one another down.

    February 13, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  25. t

    Thats the most bogus commecial to play in Wisconsin because he is spending every day but one in Wisconsin leading up to the 19th. He does better when he is able to interact with people because he is likable and sincere. Why get a way from that. Do your own research if what both are not saying enough for you right now. Its called being an educated and informed voter.

    February 13, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
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