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. Educate1st,Post2nd

    I'm ready for the HRC supporters to actually do some homework and research 1st, before posting. Most have probably never been to Obama's website, most probably don't know that Obama has more elected experience then Senator Clinton, and most certainly don't understand that we've had 18 debates thus far. I support all Obama supporters to continue to educate themselves, remain positive, and let the cynics be cynical. We don't need negative folks in the movement, as they only TRY and bring us down. I think the country has seen enough of that, and we're ready to move forward with the next President of the United States, Barack Obama.

    February 13, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  2. Nancy A Frank

    When I first heard Obama I was inspired by his speaking style.
    He really is a theatrical and inspirational speaker.

    However, the theatrics become less substantive with time.

    The United States has real problems and serious issues to resolve.
    We need someone who rolls up their sleaves, works hard, reads, and actually evaluates the recommendations from advisors before making a decision.

    I am tired of the big talkers that do little work. Thats great on stage, but not effective when real problems need to be solved.

    This may be why Obama's strategy is to avoid the debates. He knows when challenged the theatrics will break down.

    This is coming from a voter who was leaning towards Obama. However, the more I see him the more I see he is alot of HAT, but no CATTLE!

    February 13, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  3. David in Indianapolis

    it would seem that Hillary feels the time spent engaging candidate debates is time for Obama not spent in critical battleground states eroding her voter base. The underdog always wants a series of debates with his or her opponent , to slow or stop the momentum they've generated from primary sweeps. I agree with the prior blog entries. The winner gets to dictate the terms.

    February 13, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  4. Les

    If anyone has every seen a Clinton – Obama debate, then they have seen her repeatedly attacking Obama without really talking about the so called "issues." If you are a Clinton backer and this is your main point of dislike for Obama, then you need to reanalyze your position. She is petty during debates and definitely not there for the people. She says things like she is the only one with a "universal" health plan. Well, Obama could equally say that he is the only of the two candidates with a "national" health plan. Can you tell me this? Are there any Americans on Pluto that need health insurance? Come on, get off your high horse Clinton and give up!

    February 13, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  5. HP Boston

    McCain criticizes Obama for 'lacking specifics'

    OH my goodness Obama is the front runner and the Republicans are wanting a real debate. Better pony up Obama and get with the expert Clinton and bone on up on some debate skills. You need lesson Obama and here's Johhnnneeee.....

    February 13, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  6. matt hardeman UK

    WOW 18 debates?! so what?! you're electing a president,

    shows how much thought some of these obama people put into this process...

    HUGELY telling in my opinion.

    February 13, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  7. And everyone said he was different.... HE IS.

    Jill: Obama couldn't be further from GWB. If you think GWB is a great speaker, you are deaf.

    February 13, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  8. MARK

    SHE'S NEVER BEEN BROKE I DON'T THINK ONE DAY IN HER LIFE, SHE SAID THAT SHE'S TALKING TO PEOPLE AND SHE'S OUT THERE, SHE MIGHT BE BUT IT'S ONLY FOR ABOUT 2 HOURS AND AFTER SHE LEAVES IT'S NOTHING TO HER. CAUSE SHE HAS MONEY, WHY YOU THINK SHE NEVER GOES TO EVERY STATE AND TALK SHE JUST GOES TO THE STATES THAT SHE LIKES AND EVEN IF OBAMA DOESN'T THINK HE MIGHT WIN HE'S STILL IN THAT STATE CAUSE THERE'S REAL PEOPLE THERE AND HE STILL LIKES TO SEE THEM AND LOVE TO TALK TO THEM. WHY IS SHE IN TEXAS AND THEY DON'T VOTE FOR ABOUT ANOTHER WEEK. SHE WANTS A DEBATE, FOR WHAT HE DON'T HAVE TIME TO PLAY, IT ABOUT THE PEOPLE NOT HER SHE'S NOBODY

    February 13, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  9. Penny S

    I am so tired of negative crap politics. I makes the person saying the things look like a child and I will never vote for a child to run my country.
    I think that we should be acting like adults and showing this country that it is time for a grown up to be the president. No more republican "stay the course" or "my way"
    Lets show everyone that a democrat is the way to go.
    Being a woman does not give Hillary the right to spout negativity about her running mate. Grow up. I bet she taught her daughter the old saying "if you can't say something nice don't say anything at all. "
    It's time to take her own advice.

    February 13, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  10. Charlotte

    Anyone but me notice the people standing behind Oprama in the new Rallys are all white. Where'd all the blacks go?
    I can not believe the Opama fans are soo stupid. Take away Oprah, and his transparency is evident. If Michelle dosen't have to vote for a democrat, if it is not her husband, why should I? Her interview was very informative, he snores and leaves the butter out, and she won't vote for a democrat except Barack?

    February 13, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  11. HookedonPolitics

    Old Billary is just desperate - everyone already knows her message. But this is the bottom line - the majority of the people want CHANGE, and Billary is 1990's news.

    February 13, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  12. PB

    GO HILLARY GO!! Obama doesnt want to debate because he is horrible at debating and no one really knows where he stands on the issues, its a fact folks. Im so tired of all the same old talk from him, hope and change, hope and change. What kind of change? This is coming from someone who is taking endorsements from insiders in Washington D.C. Please, give me a break!

    February 13, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  13. MDFLA

    Obama is merely parroting the words of a great speech writer. He has a knack for a strong delivery, but the speech writer won't be living in the white house. Also, he needs to stop summoning the style of one of our greatest oraters, ML King and develop his own. His habit of imitating MLK when he speaks is tiresome and transparent but most of al, phoney. I liked him in the beginning until it became clear that he merely had a great speech writer and a greater skill of mimickry. That will carry him only so far.

    February 13, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  14. matt hardeman UK

    IF YOU CANT DEBATE OR ARE SCARED TO YOU SHOULD NEVER EVER BE PRESIDENT. remember bush anyone?

    February 13, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  15. Sandy

    If Hillary is tHIS nasty as a candidate, I would hate to see what she would be like as President. Oh wait, I did see, she was co-President when her husband was in office. Of yes, I remember the nightmare.

    February 13, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  16. Where's the Beef.

    A Tax credit for college, $4000 per year is equal to about .25 on the earned dollar, It is not a deduction, it is a tax credit. Therefore Obama will let you have about $1000.00 per year for tuition. That would not cover the bill 25 years ago.
    On the other hand a 2% Loan will allow you to obtain the funds you need, and a National Service payoff plan gives you the way to pay it back, and still earn enough wages to live on.
    One plan is smoke and mirrors, the other offers a complete step by step way to get a secondary education.

    February 13, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  17. Sandy

    Maybe we'd prefer to hear Obama's inspiring speeches instead of Hillary's pat answers to the same questions for the 19th time!!!

    February 13, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  18. Lasierra

    Hitlary is running out of gas.... cry now!

    February 13, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  19. George - Texas

    This site is a joke. If these are the people Obama attracts, I am ashamed. And you should be too.

    Be kind to Hillary. She has real solutions for real problems. That's refreshing.

    February 13, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  20. Chris Texas

    andeveryone blah blah guy.
    Obama has been negative towards Hillary a few times. This Ad isn't negative. It's simply saying (Obama will not debate, why?). It's because he can't.
    Obama is a great motivational speaker
    he is (no) president
    Which Obama supporter can pursuade me to vote for him here in Texas in March. Tell me why I should vote for Obama over Clinton when so much needs to be fixed. (O, and don't tell me to watch him at one of his pep rally's) i've seen him, and i'm not impressed. He's as bad as Huckabee. Sits and tells me stories. Little fairy tales of what he would do, but doesn't actually tell me how.

    February 13, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  21. Jay

    I don't think it is really about debates (which I don't think are nearly surefire wins as the clinton camp would hope) I think it is about keeping obama tied up with debate preparations rather than out doing what he does best.
    ----------–

    Yeah, speak nonesense without foundation as per usual.

    February 13, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  22. d

    Please do not use religion to support your candidate.

    He is not a SUPERIOR BEING, NOR MLK, NOR JFK... he has been promoted to run for election, specifically on Oprah show.

    GO HILLIARY !!

    February 13, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  23. Les

    "Only economic plan that freezes foreclosures." huh? Well, I have news for the Clinton campaign, there is one other group who wants to freeze foreclosures, it is called the Bush administration! Yeah, you might want to read the news before airing attack ads.

    February 13, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  24. Jorge from California

    Wow... she is saying that Barack don't want a debate in Wisconsin.... and what about her.... she is not even Campaigning in Wisconsin! She made it clear states that she can't win don't exist!!! and she does not care and their voice does not matter... for her the whole country is NY, CA, NJ, NV, and... she is trying to get Texas to join the rest of HER country.... But she is getting desperate! because she knows that she can't stop a Movement, she can't stop the voice of 25 states now... she knows that she can't buy votes!!!
    She should step down now!!!! for the heath of the party!! she lost all of the things that she said she had: she lost the popular vote, the latino vote, the women vote, the delegate count! (even with the superdelegates) She is DONE!!!!

    February 13, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  25. Chris

    I guess no one remembers the campaigns leading up to the 2004 General election. THOSE were negative.

    This is simply Hillary grasping at straws. If 20 debates won't be enough, will 21? I think she's got bigger problems that one more debate won't solve.

    February 13, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
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