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. let's be real

    George in Texas. Amen to that. Those few lines meant more to this thread than anyone else's comments, even mine.

    Wake up people. The media has dominated you since Day 1. Obama the underdog? Nope. The media was just waiting for a Clinton slip ala Bill Clinton, and voila! "Comeback?" I think not.

    As for anyone who remembers the football analogy, Clinton SHOULD be the Giants and Obama should be the Patriots. She took the early lead, lost it, and well... you get the rest.

    February 13, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  2. RightyTighty

    What Hillary needs is a new slogan. Hey!! How about this one..

    “In Your Heart You Know she's Right”

    Ha Ha!!

    February 13, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  3. beware

    if someone does not want to talk, is hiding something. Beware people!
    be careful whom you blindly follow – like sheeps ........like groupies on concerts, like people who do not have mind on their own....like you, maybe?

    February 13, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  4. Justin

    Barack doesn't want to debate her because he knows that debates are one of her strengths and one of his weaknesses. Every debate so far Hillary has shown up well prepared and Obama consistently says "um" before he speaks. I see why he declined because he doesn't want to get clobbered before the next primary.

    February 13, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  5. Pete - Chicago

    Is anyone still watching these debates? 18 debates is enough. I guess there will be at least two more. Will Mike Gravel also be invited? I hope so.

    February 13, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  6. Carole

    Hillary has certainly taken a lot of guff and she is still standing. If he can't ake the heat – got out of the kitchen. By the way – the shoe is on the other foot now – he is one needing the Superdelegates – I bet they are ok now hey!!


    February 13, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  7. HP Boston

    He tied Clinton to Republicans like GOP candidate John McCain and President Bush, saying Washington is a place “where politicians like John McCain and Hillary Clinton voted for a war in Iraq that should've never been authorized and never been waged — a war that is costing us thousands of precious lives and billions of dollars a week…” He also linked Clinton with President Bush, saying their economic plans were ineffective.

    Obama shame on you, so very negitive! McCain and Clinton did not AUTHORIZE war..BUSH DID!


    February 13, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  8. stephen

    Obama= Inexperience.
    Clinton= Experience.

    He does not outline what he intends to do on day one. Obama will bring everyone together.........PLEASE TELL ME HOW!!

    Clinton has told America what she will do on day one for weeks. Is anyone listening???

    Clinton 08

    February 13, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  9. NYC

    Why is it that the Hillary supporters are jumping on the "he needs to debate 100 more times before the convention" debate when he's said he's going to debate at least two more times in the next 3 weeks? Is that not enough?

    And why won't any Hillary supporter explain to me why she refused to debate her opponent for her senate position when he continued to beg her for more debates? Why is it she demand more debates to fit her liking but the other person can not if it's not conducive to her? I don't understand it. Seems like a double standard.

    February 13, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  10. jenna

    we need to go back to debates... why??? we need to know what our canidates plans are, we need to know them, negative? i don't think so. what if we have another 9/11, are we going to get a long zen speech or a real,level headed leader. i am sick to death of cnn, msnbc and fox news praising obama and giving him excessive air time for his zen speeches. i have turned off my tv and started aerobics. i have some control over my own life now. as far as obama's plan?????? i have read his web site and i am amazed that he barely discusses issues during debates. i appreciate his efforts but i am not as impressed by him as his followers. GOD blessyou all.JENNA

    February 13, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  11. Sandy

    I think this ad is brilliant. Why is Obama afraid to debate Clinton? And for those of you who think that Clinton supporters are somehow not informed, stop. I have researched both websites thoroughly. I am not opposed to Senator Obama, I am for Senator Clinton. Folks, you have no idea what the Swift Boating Republicans will throw at Obama. Senator Clinton has seen it all. She knows how to fight it off. Senator Obama will be like a sitting duck. Senator Clinton does have real solutions. Senator Obama has some, is developing others, but I'd like to hear more. A debate is a really good format and they have only had one between just the two of them.

    February 13, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  12. Boomer 4 Obama

    The Clintons go negative in Wisconsin? Now that's cheesey!

    February 13, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  13. Ella

    Obama wins hands down in any debate against a woman who says abolutely nothing of any substance. Always talks in circles.

    February 13, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  14. Walt, Belton,TX

    I don't blame Obama. Everybody knows Hillary and Slick Willie are master debators!

    February 13, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  15. lorina


    February 13, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  16. Ryan

    Alot of people are influenced to vote for hillary because her husband was a good president and i disagree with that

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

    What is the point of a debate? He's ahead of the game.

    February 13, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  18. Robin Wagner from ct

    cry baby cryyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy hill cryyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy

    February 13, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  19. Kyle Columbia SC

    THIER GOES TO KARL R. STYLE OF POLITICS THAT I AM SICK AND TIRED OF!!! Hillary if you win the nomination I will campaign like hell against YOU!!!

    February 13, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  20. JohnS

    Lots of speeches; where is the beef? Lots of request for facts, where is your sense of RESPONSIBILITY?

    Debates only allow Hiilary to sit next to a gentleman. Your responsibility is READ, and RE-READ the position papers of these folks. It could be that the Hillary supporters (plus McCain) simply cannot read!!

    February 13, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  21. Stacy in AL.

    I think Hillary is at a point where she has to pull any trick out of the hat to create a positive situation for herself. In the process I think that she is hurting herself more. I have not heard her thank any of the voters from the states that she has lost and she is starting to play the race card like everyone else. She states she didn't expect to win Lousiana b/c of the black population, well its not just blacks voting and when I watched Obama speak last night I saw more whites than any other race. I think she needs to show a little more gratitude and call it like it is.... A loss.

    February 13, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  22. Jonathan

    Going negative is a sign of being desperate. Who likes negative attacks???

    February 13, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  23. ABG

    It is clear when watching Obama answer spontaneous questions, he is not as smooth as when he delivers a speech. I would not want to debate either if I did not have specific solutions. Much better to show big crowds & speech clips than answer the tough questions. He must have great confidence that America responds more to spin than substance. After 8 years of Bush doing that, why would any Democrat vote for the same?

    February 13, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  24. matt hardeman UK

    by the way-



    February 13, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  25. Braxton, Atlanta

    I think this is merely the beginning of Clintions more competative campaign. She will definitely come out on top if this continues.

    Today it's that he won't debate with her, dissapointing his own supporters in Wisconson. Tomorrow its that he is not fit to lead our country because he does not have the capacity to answer questions on his feet. We need a president to lead the country not another president who takes orders from his advisors. Shouldn't Obama be helping his mother who doesn't have running water, rather than trying to be the president of the US. Fix your own problems before you try to fix others'.

    February 13, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
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