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. TOH

    Ok Senator Clinton, this approach doesn't accomplish the purpose of a debate to term that it's not debatable to have a dialouge with Sentator Obama. I highly concur with the Obama Senior Campaign Manager statement "we will not be dictated by the Clinton Campaign." I wonder what would be the issue if she had won 8 straight races and was appearing to be termed the 'frontrunner.' Keep the race professional, leave the boxing gloves out of the race among the party; save it for the republicans!

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

    Funny how Hillary has to stoop so low. Real face comes out of desperation and the more i see her, the more i like obama. People who can see thru her know what's she's about and those that can't don't know how to see thru people.

    February 13, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  3. Wayne

    Going negative wont work. The issue is Hillary is out of money and debates translate into free tv time. The distortion is Hillary's healthcare plan does not cover everyone. A mandate just means that they will garnish your wages. So people that get the penalty wind up with less money and still dont have health coverage. The only true universal plan is one that you dont have to pay. You just walk into a hospital and any ailment or injury is taken care of. The government pays from our tax revenue. We mandate auto insurance in Cali..but many get tickets for driving with out insurance. We mandate drivers licenses..but people get penalized for driving without a license. Hillary is a weaker candidate because she voted for the Iraq war. John Kerry voted for the war as well and you saw what that did for his presidential bid.

    February 13, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  4. lisa

    Educate yourself! She did participate in 2 debates in NY against Tasini during the re-election...how many did Obama do during his re-election- oh, thats right, he's so new he hasnt sought re-election yet. Definite Presidential material!

    February 13, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  5. JC, Hot Springs, Arkansas

    CNN is favoring Obama. It's obvious.

    February 13, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  6. Walter

    "... goes NEGATIVE.. is another false interpretation of the facts by CNN.
    Clinton is doomed if she does, and doomed if she doesn't. If she attacks Obama on his record, CNN and the Obama camp will interpret it as her playing the race card. If she doesn't , she allows CNN to continue to give Obama a "free untested ride" to the nomination. And Obama knows the aforementioned.
    Paradoxically when Obama fouls-up, these same CNN journalists will neatly imply that an African-American could not make the cut.

    It is great to know that few people take Blitzer, Anderson, Dobbs and other CNN correspondents' reporting seriously. The fact that the CNN political team has to keep saying "the best political team on TV" clearly shows that they all doubt their own credibility: if one is the "best" one does NOT have to keep reminding viewers of that quality– it shows. Viewers are sensible enough to know what's "best" from what"s highly "biased."
    The problem is that viewers have no parallel alternative source to CNN.
    All viewers need is a fair, transparent presentation of the facts - no speculation or interprepation. This would be a "fair" practice of journalism. EX: Blitzer did not have to say Obama got 63% of the vote in Virginia, and Clinton got ONLY 36%. His Feudian bias is clear by his frequent repetition of the word "only."

    February 13, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  7. Christion, Dallas TX

    All you Hillary supporters go to his website and READ his detailed plans for this country. Your 'No Substance' arguments have no substance.
    P.S: Did u watch 60mins last weekend? talking about hot peppers...... gimme a break!!!!

    February 13, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  8. Bobert

    How this a negative ad;... it's fact... OBAMA won't debate

    OBAMA is a slogan
    CLINTON is a cause with issues and solutions

    CLINTON '08!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 13, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  9. Dem of NJ

    Obama to his supporters is like alcohol to a drunk party. The more the better. Just remember there will be a morning hangover.
    Every party will have an end.
    Every bubble will eventually burst.
    How long does it take for a child to understand Santa Claus is not real?

    February 13, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  10. Tired

    The debates are getting useless. Questions have been stupid without merit, providing no insight to anyone's viewpoint.

    I'm tired of the debates, yet I'm drawn to them like a fly...

    I'm curious who the audience is for these debates since they are all run on cable. Last I checked there are still a lot of people without cable – or do we not care about those people.

    Please end the madness and teleport me to next January – I'm so tired of this process...

    February 13, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  11. S Carey, Sacramento, CA

    Yo, Hillary - how about you recite for us some of the details of your so called solutions. Haven't heard much of any substance from you, girl friend. At least Mr. Obama lights the "fire in the belly" which is crucial to achieve change - the country must believe, be inspired and be behind the candidate. Unfortunately, you have a remarkable negative in that category. Quite frankly, there has been as much substance from the Obama camp as there has been from yours. Just making the accusation "don't make it so!" MANY of us are all very afraid that your candidacy will lose the big one for us, my dear. Your politics are just more of the same old song.

    February 13, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  12. Twice beaten, Infinitely shy.

    My spider sense tell me some of HRC's political sqare wheels are blogging here.......i have counted like 3. U can just tell by what they write. There is a negative AURA about her that was suspect b4 SC primaries, but very obvious thereafter, especially with old Bill playing HANNIBAL Lecter for her made it all complicated. America dosent need these type of minds running the free world in 2009 and beyond.....They will attract more enemies. I can see her just going " Hmmm I wonder what would happen if i press this RED button under my desk.......hmm i hope it goes to Japan,i cant stand sumo westlers!!!!!"

    OBAMA 08

    February 13, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  13. Thats Right

    That ad was right to the point. I am undecided....and the one think I do not understandis why so many people blindly support Obama? I have listened and read many of his speeches and looked at his record and I just dont get it. He does not say anything of SUBSTANCE. Just a lot of cliches' and sympathy talk.....and what is real change anyway? If we were to look at his health care proposal that would be no real change at all.....Clinton seems to have the upper hand there......Iraq....huh?.....At least Clinton KNOWS everyone and has more respect there then any other politician except Bill.....I hope the Media bring out the issues.....because it was the distaste of issues that got Bush to make such Blunders.....VOTE SMART....this is not a popularity contest in school.

    February 13, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  14. JLT

    Look who's talking.

    I was leaning towards her but the more she flaps her mouth, the better Obama looks to me.

    February 13, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  15. Jessie

    haha!!!!!!!!!!!!This is funny......everyone knows Obama does not have any substantial thing to say except "Yes, we can!"

    Can he use this slogan to save US???????????Shame on CNN !

    February 13, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  16. Yes we can!

    Hillary should have debated with George Bush and his administration 100 times befores he agreed to send our troops over to Iraq to fight a war that has killed more than 4,000 of our soldiers, caused us trillons of dollars, killed innocent Iraquian civilians, which resulted in our sucky economy. Obama need to debate with her and do just as McCain did to Rommey....keep asking her for the tax returns, where is she comming up with 35 years experience in the white house, and more importantly, can she admit that she made a terrible mistake in voting for the war....yes we can!!!!

    February 13, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  17. Amanda

    Just to draw attention to those of you saying that Obama no longer answers questions at his rally: There was one in Alexandria, VA over the weekend where he answered questions. If he didn't answer questions at your, get over it. You can probably find the answer on the extensive list of plans for each issue that he has posted on his website. Learn to read.

    Also, we should be proud to be Obama supporters, not ashamed. We're supporting the candidate who has not resorted to mudslinging and negative campaigning. Clearly she's taking the wrong route because his positive campaign is working!

    The best thing about these's negative ads is that the comments coming from the Republican nom are going to be easier to handle during the national election. He's stayed positive through all her attacks, and continued to run a successful campaign. Thanks for that Hillary!

    OBAMA '08

    February 13, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  18. I. H.

    I don't get it, doesn't Wisconsin people have television? I have seen a few debates between them and the last was on CNN which aired a couple of times.

    February 13, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  19. Laksh MD

    Yes. Hilary is correct. Obama would like to give speeches without substance which media and people are calling Inspirational. He needs answer questions not in a general way as he always does. He needs to anwser questions with Specifics. This is not a negative ad. This is what really Obama is. Currently he is giving speeches without substances and answering questions in general and not specifics. Hilary is absolutely right here. Media don't call Obama speeches as inspirational vs no substance.

    February 13, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  20. Bre'

    How many times can they debate the same issues? Hillary's strength is in debates, Obama's is with the people. I am sorry she doesn't have what it takes to connect to people but she should stop winning whenever she doesn't get her way.

    Who wants a weak woman for President. She would probably make a great commander and chief if she would stop acting like a spoiled brat.

    Bre'

    February 13, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  21. GBB

    If you think she's talking in circles, you're simply not listening, or just don't want to be open minded enough to really hear what she's saying. Everything she has put forth in her plans she gives very specific details about as to how she will accomplish things, down to where the money will come from. Unfortunately, for some people it's just too much detail and info. Would you rather hear a lot of empty pretty words. As for Obama he has copied many of her ideas that she had first. He's not ready and if he gets in you all will get what you deserve again, another inexperienced president. If you think we couldn't say anything truthful & negative against Bush, wait til you've got Obama in the White House.

    February 13, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  22. JKT

    You want to know their positions? Stop being lazy and read!

    The information is available on their respective websites.

    We don't need snide commentators, and staged audiences, the onus is on "we the people" to learn but we've become complacent and want everything handed to us while we stare at the boob-tube.

    Go out to their websites, click on the ISSUES links and read.

    February 13, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  23. Nick

    I am a Ron Paul supporter, but atleast with Obama we will have new blood. The Clintons are shady and corrupt. They are the same old garbage.

    February 13, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  24. MD

    Oh please Hillary , first you're losing now you're whining . What is NEXT ? You gonna cry again ?

    We've seen 18 debates .. and Hillary never answers a straight question just more policy wonking .

    this ad is pitiful but it reflects on you Hillary not Obama

    February 13, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  25. Mir

    How exactly is this a negative ad? Please explain. She's saying he won't debate and he won't. For someone, Obama, who believes in accountability and who wants to represent all the citizens of our great country, he needs to be visible and accountable. I completely disagree with this spin. It's about time CNN starts reporting the issues of substance and not the issues of speculation and divisiveness.

    February 13, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
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