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. molly gonz

    Grow up little boy?? What is he supposed to do, just sit there and take it? She hasn't had to deal with much of that because he has run his campaign with the utmost diginity..something she is sorely lacking. Grow up little boy...that is sooo laughable!

    February 13, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  2. June for Hillary

    IOne of the pundits on MSNBC finally told the truth. He said every time he asked Obama's supporters to name one of Obama's accomplishment in the past that earned their support, those people just said "ugh,.." couldn't name a thing. That should tell you what kind of supporters Obama has. So sad. I am scared for the future of our country. Eight years of Bush is bad enough, we cannot afford to gamble for another four years. Please be practical and come to your senses and vote for Hillary has positioned herself well with solid plans, policies and goals to bring our country forward!!
    I have a lot of dreams and hope, but I need Hillary to make them come true as she is a doer and workhorse.

    February 13, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  3. Jeannie

    Instead of creating advertisements about Obama and his unwillingness to debate her every week, Hilary needs to worry more about the message she is sending to the American people, when she dismisses every state she looses in, as not being important! She needs to dump the negative lash outs against Barock and concentrate on a more positive, caring message towards the people of this country.

    February 13, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  4. IMO

    So Hillary is trying to reach voters on the network's dime. We've had so many debates already. Obama said he had 10 states to hit in 10 days, and not much time for the umpteenth debate she wants. Why doesn't she just run a campaign on her merits?

    February 13, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  5. JIMBO

    Obama would rather go on Oprah..she won't ask him any real questions because he doesn't have the answers. She would just jump up and down on the couch and gush how wonderful he is and how she toured with him and how he speaks so well etc etc etc .... and he can just stand there and smile... It's gotten him votes so far but will it last ? I doubt it... The Republicans love him because they are going to have a blast when they start to Swift-boat him. Something they cannot get away with with Hillary..

    February 13, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  6. James ( Independent )

    Clinton's got one big problem that they just can't get past. The "CLINTON'S" have Zero Credibility , and every time they try to go negative or point fingers at another person for any reason , they have four fingers pointing right back at them.

    She can go negative all she wants , she can send Bill the attack dog out there , and the end result is , the more they use these tactics , the more it hurts her.

    See the Clinton's are in this thing for one reason and one reason only ( Personal Power ). The American people can clearly see that , and that's why she will never be President.

    February 13, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  7. Trev

    Not all negative ads are created equal. I have not problem to them if they are true (or can be argued by reasonable people). The Clinton ad seems to fall into this category. Obama is more comfortable with scripted speaking than he is with debating. Nothing wrong with that. It is also the case that impartial observers have suggested that Hillary's plan will cover more people. I like Hillary better on the ISSUES. This is where she needs to go.

    February 13, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  8. Kat Williams

    Go get him Hillary...it is about time someone stepped up and challenged him.

    February 13, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  9. Joe

    Please go to Barak's website if you want some specifics. Everyone says there are no specifics, but there are, that's just a myth. He has a 48 page plan that is downloadable as a pdf. Beyond that you can simply gooogle several articales and interviews where he gets into plans and numbers.

    When he first started his campaign, he was criticized as being too specific. Now he is being criticized (mostly only by Hillary) for being too vague. Boy, it's hard to point out faults in his campaign, isn't it? Maybe there is a reason for that?

    Obama 08

    February 13, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  10. Dr Michael Addison

    Mr. Obama has debated Mrs. Clinton enough. Obama needs to show himself to the people. Its one of his strong points. I expect Mrs. Clinton to continue to seek more debates because she learns from Obama how to improve her compaign. It appears to me that the N.Y Senator is using Obama's speeches for herself, unless she has hired his speech writers. Just a thought.

    February 13, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  11. Brian G

    No more debates! But I would like to hear some concrete plans, including what, how, how much and how soon!

    Example: "I (insert candidate's name) will support a comprehensive health care plan costing US$ xx,xxx,xxx,xxx specificially aimed at preventative and recuperative helth care for children under the age of xx. Such plan will included free immunizations for all childhood diseases, low cost prosthetics for handicapped children and a 2 fold increase in physical therapy clinics in each state."

    Just an example, but substantive words. Not the general or 300,000 foot view of the situation. REAL ANSWERS TO REAL PROBLEMS!

    February 13, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  12. Charlie

    So "confused" hasn't heard both Obama and Clinton talk about the issues? Where has "confused" been the past 6 months? What issue does "confused" need clarification on? Clinton and Obama have debated more times than anyone in the history of presidential debates.

    February 13, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  13. Bill

    Read the issues! Both candidates have details on their web sites. If you can't read then you should not be allowed to vote!

    Trying to force debates is just a ploy to minmize Obama's face time with the voters which is where he is truly winning the nomination!

    February 13, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  14. paul

    You think this is funny?–that is your problem–you all treat this like a big party--to me,Obama is just a big joke--" a big fairy tail"

    February 13, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  15. George from Minneapolis

    I personally dont need to see anymore debates to hear the candidates say what they have already said .. again and again...

    if you as a citizen dont know what their positions are on issues after so many debates already.. more debates wont make it clear for you..

    of course hillary wants to debate everyday... that way obama cant be out speaking and touching people all over the country... sorry hillary...you get 2 debates thats it... you better make the best of them..

    i love hearing obama speak and personally enjoy watching him shine in debates (he is so sharp and funny) but, his campaign knows what they are doing.. the movement would not of swept through the country if they were not very very smart.

    obama's campaign is run better than hillarys.. from the bottom up...and he is a more attractive candidate.... its a fact...

    hillary and her supporters are desperate... a debate every hour wont help her, because at the end of the day.. she is still hillary clinton and he will still be barack obama... she still will come up short...

    February 13, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  16. Mr. Los Angeles

    She's pulling the yellow belly card; great move!
    When they were here in LA, the politico.com person asked Sen. Clinton to state the differences between her and Sen. Obama's campaign (health care financing, iraq, economy). She replied with the most unsubstaintial statement i've ever heard by a politician other than our lord and savior Bush himself. She drew no constrast at all. When Sen. Obama was asked the same question, he did not rumble on how excited he was to be in hollywood and the support he's been getting from American citizens. He got to the point, and it was clear and concise!

    I DO NOT want to hear another lop sided debate like that ever again in my life. He completely addressed each issue, while she hammered around the bush.ha. Not impressive at all.

    Why debate win your views are becoming less and less substantial to the American people?

    February 13, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  17. Kerry

    What else is there to debate? I thought they had their last fight before Super Tuesday. A true knock out with a delayed impact. Now she wants to debate again. No HILLARY- you should have taken your punch when you had the chance.

    Use all that doe on attack adds until you break the bank!!

    February 13, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  18. Susan

    I get so tired of hearing people say Obama is talk, talk,talk. They need to get off their butt and go to barackobama.com/issues. It's all there. OMG heaven forbid you lazy slugs would take some personal responsibility for actually doing some research rather than depend on 30 second sound bites.

    Hillary..I have one thing to say..desparate people make desparate choices. This ad is pretty desparate and we don't buy it.


    February 13, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  19. leslie

    I certainly feel as if Hillary is desperate!!! She has already been president of the U.S.

    America wants and needs something different. She only hopped on the bandwagon of change when she saw how well it worked for Obama.

    Unfortunately she doesn't represent complete change but more of the same. She is now attacking and that's a true sign of desperation. She is running scared now and I wish she would just give it up!

    February 13, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  20. Where's the Beef.

    Exactly what has Obama done?
    In 2 years in the Senate he is listed as the most Liberal Senator in DC. That dog won't hunt.
    The wispering sound Obama keeps hearing is his campaign tires in the General Election.

    February 13, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  21. Shey

    Perhaps we need more debates because it's going to take them to get the message through to Clinton supporters what 'change' means, what Obama's 'message' is, and where he 'stands' on the issues.
    You see, 18 debates hasn't been enough. A website FULL of information isn't enough.

    Can we say "dense'? There's no other explanation for it. Anyone who doesn't understand by now.....is simply being willfully ignorant.

    Now, on to the next subject...

    February 13, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  22. And everyone said he was different.... HE IS.

    Gee "And everyone said he was different........" , looks like you've stuck to the talking-points of others and did no research of your own! What would change under Obama's health care plan? At least $2500 saved for your health insurance a year. Don't be so ungrateful.. 😉

    And paul: Obama isn't crying like a baby, CNN is just reporting factually that Hillary is putting up these ads. Obama hasn't said a single word. If you notice with your brain and not your emotional-knee-jerk-reactions, you will see he consistently takes the high road and has not ONCE complained about his opponent's tactics, and he doesn't use them himself either. He ignores them and moves ahead talking directly to voters.

    February 13, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  23. John Smith

    Finally, Hillary goes back on the attack and sticks up for herself. Obama has been criticizing her since Super Tuesday. This is not a negative add, it does exactly what the Obama campaign has been doing... mentioning the differences between Hillary's detailed plans versus Obama's "hope" that things will go well. Hillary is back!

    February 13, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  24. Susan, St. Michaels, MD

    For Hillary......
    Well Ms. Thang.....you can't just stop forclosures. Those are legal and binding contracts. Law suits galore will be filed. The banking industry will win that one. Listen to someone who has been a mortgage banker for 15 years. Barack was right in the last debate when he said that forcing the industry to freeze rates would likely cause a rise in interest rates on new mortgages.
    Here is why...long term interest rates are market based (10yr t-bill and mortgage backed securities) and that is why they are subject to change at a moments notice. The markets will perceive this as HORRIBLE news and that will drive interest rates up. GET EDUCATED!!!!!! BARACK IS!!!! This man knows the economy, the law, security, etc, etc, etc.

    February 13, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  25. jill

    Campaign web sites are irrelevant – both candidates need to talk what they post.

    If Obama can't talk in detail, he's a lot like Bush, a former cheer-queer who mobilized people with his charisma and now can't even be president with a whole cadre telling him what to do.

    Go figure – Obama is NOT progressive.

    February 13, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
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