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. Jason

    Of course he wont debate her, every time he talks about the issues he falls flat, Obama is about hype and not substance.

    February 13, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  2. Rafel

    That was predictable. Couldn't even wait a couple of days.

    February 13, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  3. Tiffany

    That's a very good ad, actually. It's not really negative in the sense that it is attacking, but it makes it appear that he is trying to dodge being questioned, which I would say is a perfectly fair point to make as he did turn down the debate there (which I'm sure would be quite upsetting to a lot of Wisconsin voters there, especially since I saw posts by more than one resident stating Clinton didn't care about them because she was in Texas yesterday or in general campaigning in states that had voting dates after theirs). He also doesn't answer questions at his rallies anymore. He just gives long, emotional speeches (I know, I attended one).

    She has a good ad team on this one.

    February 13, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  4. Bukky, Baltimore

    Is that desperation i smell? I guess shes back to attack mode..

    Obama has agreed to two debates. What has she not said in tha past 18 debates and cant say in the upcomming two debates?

    She wants to debate everyweek so she can get free airtime.

    February 13, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  5. Tom

    Fair enough Hillary – you can certainly argue that Obama should debate you more often. The real question is whether you would debate him if you were the front runner and I am pretty sure the answer would be a resounding no! A good political strategist would tell you to avoid a debate at all costs and continue to deliver your message to anyone that will listen. Such are the joys of being a front runner – control and power. Sorry you don't have either Hillary.

    February 13, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  6. Dionne, NY

    Senator Clinton wanted all of these debates because she is running out of money. Senator Obama agreed to two so I don't think it is fair that the Hillary camp is exploiting this. Sore losers!!!!!!!!

    Obama 08' 12'

    February 13, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  7. Anne Marie

    I say you go girl. You portray it as negative. I portray it as telling the truth. Let's talk issues. Let's stop talking about how popular someone is, or who is Oprah supporting. Who cares. The United States of America, needs a real leader, with real answers to the issues. Hillary Clinton is the leader we need right now. Not someone who is basing their campaign on wishful thinking. She's been there, she's been in the trenches, and she's the best hope for our country at this time. Again, I say-YOU GO GIRL.

    February 13, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  8. Anthony Bozeman

    Clinton is desperate now. It's obvious. She'll do anything, say anything, make up anything to try to win. It's disgusting. It's sad. It's the politics of the past.

    February 13, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  9. obama 08

    Clinton refused to debate in NY when she was running for Sen., but I guess that's ok since no rules seem to apply to her (i.e. Michigan and Fla., not debating, etc.) She just wants free TV time because her campaign's in trouble. How can she run the country when she can't even run a campaign? Barack has already proven by his campaign alone that he can bring people together. The people's voices are being heard and not the voices of Clinton's special interest groups and lobbyists. Go Barack!!!

    February 13, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  10. Ryan

    Well, for starters they have already had well over a dozen debates, so I'm not sure what Senator Clinton is aiming to prove here. Both candidates have made their stances on the issues very clear. Additionally, I find it almost laughable that she is criticizing Senator Obama for refusing to have another debate (two more scheduled by March 4) and saying that "Wisconsin deserves to hear BOTH candidates..." yet, she is in Texas right now? What happened to running for President of ALL 50 states!? Or is it now all states that maybe I might win in?

    The only reason Senator Clinton is asking for these debates because her campaign is sputtering and it will provide her with free airtime and take Senator Obama off the campaign trail for a day. Very disappointing.

    February 13, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  11. Dennis

    So, Hillary is swiping at Obama for not debating in Wisconsin when she won't even campaign there? Last time I checked, she was ignoring Wisconsin and was concentrating on Texas and Ohio.

    February 13, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  12. norman

    And maybe Clinton is too busy running negative campaign ads to notice she is 8-0 in recent contests and that people are getting annoyed with negative campaigning and constant partisanship.

    February 13, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  13. Josh from WI

    What do you expect from a negative person.

    I was at an Obama rally and he DID answer questions- VOTERS QUESTIONS not HIllary's.

    Obama has my vote!

    February 13, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  14. CMR

    Way to go Hillary!!!
    Listening at Obama is listening at Fidel Castro. Watch out people!!!
    I am from Cuba and believe me we cubans have been living from 'hope' speeches for almost 50 years now yet getting LOTS of dissapointments.
    Obama as President? I don't think so.
    Obama as Snake Charmer? That's more like it!!!
    My advice, keep it REAL and vote for Hillary!!!

    February 13, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  15. Lewis youth voter

    nice Hilary. nice. desperate much?

    February 13, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  16. Shaun Dakin

    Let me say that I've been a loyal Clinton supporter from the start. I voted for her in Virginia yesterday.

    But. It is essentially over.

    Whether or not Obama debates her about policy (health care) no longer matters.

    Yes, delegate counts, count.

    But, momentum and emotion are moving Obama forward like no one else in this critical election year.

    Obama simply has the ability to emotionally connect to voters, both Democrats and Independents. And that is key. And that is why he is winning.

    You win by winning.


    Shaun Dakin
    The National Political Do Not Call Registry

    February 13, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  17. Susanna

    There have already been countless Democratic debates covering the entire gamut of issues. Hillary wanting a debate every week is just another sign that her candidacy is weakening. Obama will debate her twice and will bring it both times, but now I fully expect her to attack and distort his record and positions as much as possible in and out of those debates. Until now, I had mostly admired the fact that both candidates had run a positive campaign, thanks to Obama's early pledge to change the way campaigns are run. Predictably, Clinton is no longer interested in the high road as it no longer serves her interests.

    So thanks, Senator Clinton, for being so predictable. This negative ad serves only to further highlight the differences between your character and Senator Obama's.

    February 13, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  18. Mike

    Ask Bill to give it his best shot in Wisconsin. That should do the trick!

    February 13, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  19. Thomas

    Don't blame me.. I voted for Clinton!

    February 13, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  20. George T

    Now I think the first few debates were good for us voting folks. Why? Because we got to know the candidates better.

    However, now, I think we all have a clearer if not better grasp of what each candidate stands for and their platforms.

    The last thing we need is more debates NOW. I think once Obama and Mccain have secured their nominations-then bring it on and bring it often!!


    February 13, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  21. yepthatsme

    Obama hates debates because he has to talk in his own words instead of a speech writer.

    February 13, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  22. Nisreen

    Desperate times apparently call for desperate and pathetic measures... give me a break Hillary. Is this what your latest campaign managers and advisors told you to do? Maybe you should fire a third one this week....? You are going to lose more than you can ever hope to gain with negative ads. Shame on you.

    February 13, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  23. debates

    totally agree.more debates are needed.hope they can debate before Wisconsin.

    February 13, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  24. Nick

    Obama knows that he is not strong in the debate forum, that is why he is not willing to put himself out there. It's a shame – you can wow a crowd with pretty words, but if you aren't able to explain the nuts and bolts of your positions, how do you expect to lead this country?

    February 13, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  25. Miss H

    this is getting interesting!! love it

    Obama '08 – Join the movement, Obama for President

    February 13, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
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