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. Inga , British Columbia

    Why are Obama supporters so mean spirited and nasty with their comments.?
    Could it be that deep down you know that his critics have valid points when they question his abilities.?
    Motivation and hope make for wonderful speeches, but a reality check should make you expect experience , competence and worldly knowledge of your next President , otherwise you have the same of the years with Bush..!!!

    February 13, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  2. Rex, Toledo, Ohio

    Ahhh the brainwashed & the blind minions rejoice behind their goddess, Hillary, even as she falters.
    Far as Hillary going negative, I don't think so. She's been negative from the beginning. She is what negative is about. I long for the day when I see real Hillary Clinton tears.

    February 13, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  3. Kentucky

    I'm sure that campaigns in years to come will refer to Bill and Hillary's negative approach as "Clinton ism". What a terrible thing to be remembered as the underhanded players of politics!

    February 13, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  4. trying to figure it out.

    I am leaning more towards Obama than Hillary, although I think Obama may be a tad bit too intellectual for voters come a debate against John McCain. That said, I am not a copy editor, but I will suggest that the title of this article is purposely inflammatory.
    As a 22 year old white male watching this selection process with interest, I can't help but point out that the media is staying away from criticism of Obama while at the same time being very critical of Hillary. I have to say that I think that is because going after the black man would result in cries of racism, and yet the woman is fair game. The popular news media's portrayal of Hillary and Obama speaks to larger issues in our society – namely, public expressions of racism should be stifled as that is the PC thing to do, but gender issues are fair game and women should stay in down their place.

    February 13, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  5. cecil

    Hello America;

    Sarah L, Fayetteville, AR February 13th, 2008 2:08 pm ET

    Just because Obama is inspirational doesn't mean that his platform lacks substance. He is every bit as detailed–if not more so–than Hillary on the issues. Just because you don't see it in a short 2 minute TV segment and Stump Speeches doesn't mean it's not there. All of his plans are readily available to people who will take the time to read or listen.

    Thanks Sarah

    Key "take the time" Everyone here has access to a computer.
    I'm so sick of this "but where does he stand on the issues cry"

    Obama 08

    February 13, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  6. John Adkisson

    If that's all she has for a "negative" attack - she's really in trouble! Haven't Wisconsin voters watched these two debate a couple of dozen times?

    February 13, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  7. steve

    I think Obama should ask why the Clintons have not released their tax returns. The Clintons claim to want openness and debates but not when it is about them.

    By the way specifics for the positions of each candidate are on their web site.

    February 13, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  8. Nicole, Renton WA

    Once again, if Hillary is the Democratic Nominee, this Democrat will vote for McCain... and I know I'm not the only one.

    She's back to the negative campaigning while giving endless excuses and counting out the importance of voters in the majority of our states (including mine)... anyone want to give me one good reason why they think this woman can bring people together to get things done?

    She and Obama have very similar ideas a proposals on almost every issue – most of which I agree with – but I see her Presidency as a waste because if she can't get this 25 year old, white female, college educated Democrat to consider her, good luck with the rest of the demographics!

    OBAMA '08!!!

    February 13, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  9. David

    It is a laughing stock. let her go negetive. this will help Obama. American people are smart and they understand what is happening around.

    February 13, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  10. Denise

    Once again, CNN is taking clear choice to who they want to see as the next President. Look at ALL their posts and you will see what I mean. I used to work for CNN and I am ASHAMED.

    February 13, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  11. Mike

    Sen. Obama takes the debate with Sen. Hillary please; otherwise you will be though as chicken. On the debate, please tell us what are your changes and how to make changes and what are the differences between you and Sen. Hillary. If you can convince us, everybody will support us, otherwise your changes are nothing, empty change and cheating voting languages.

    February 13, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  12. AJ

    I am an Obama supporter and CNN doesn't post my comments either.

    February 13, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  13. Tan Cole

    The military has an issue with excuses. They view them like buttholes. Everyone has them and they all stink. The Obama campaign is stating that they have already had 17 debates and are complaining about two more. As a Commander in Chief you are required to talk to world leaders one on one and you are not going to talk to their people only on special occasions due to national security. To me this is a clear sign of weakness for Obama. He does not want to debate because he has no substance and a huge lack of experience. I am sure that Jack Kemp would have no problem debating. He stated a quaterback is always ready!

    February 13, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  14. A.B., Warner Robins, GA

    If you all would use the time that you are using complaining on this blog about Sen. Obama's "lack of substance" and go to his website, you would see were he stands on issues. But I guess it is easier to whine about it. As far as debates go, Sen. Obama has been debating ever since he announced for president and there two more debates scheduled. What more do you want?

    February 13, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  15. Mary- Lawrence KS

    Why do people continue to say Hillary is broke? Have you seen the kind of money both of these dems have been able to raise? We could have them give their money to help pay off some of our debt to China.... now that would be a change in the right direction. Honestly people... money isn't going to be an on-going issue for either candidate.

    I SAY AGAIN....

    Why can't Dems see the opportunity presented? We could have Hillary in office for potentially 8 years and Barack in office for the next 8 years. Why can't we embrace what each of these people can bring to the table. Hillary 2008 & 2012; Barack 2016 and 2020.... 16 years to accomplish the Dem changes that this country needs.
    People on one hand say Hillary is old Washington but on the other say she really doesn't have experience.... which is it? Barack will be great given some time and opportunity. Come on Dems..... wise up and stop letting the hype determine our party.

    February 13, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  16. CWU

    Hillary needs to show EMPEROR OBAMA IS NAKED. This is going to be as memorable as Howard Dean's scream.

    February 13, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  17. Carol

    I keep saying it over and over again. The people of Florida and Michigan are not going to go unheard. They will be counted in the end, and Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic nomination for President. Its also so sad the the Obama camp, is taking advantage of all the uneducated 21 and under group. I think they feel like their voting for American Idol! Obama says nothing better than anyone I've heard in 30yrs. How sad for the Democratic Party to allow this circus, they know darn well that this man is not qualified at this point in his career. As for the better educated backing Obama, obviously not. How can a person make an educated decision about someone who says nothing. No one can tell me that this man does not have dirt in his past, I sure would like to know. You can't bring anything else out about Hillary, its all been said. I guess the Democatic Party just wants to allow Oprah to have her day, oh I'm sorry I mean Obama.

    February 13, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  18. Darrel Kent

    Clinton's only hope at this stage is for continuous debate and negative ads. She needs the debate time because she cannot afford the marketing dollars....she needs free air time. She also needs a forum to put forth her misleading and duplicitous plans and programs. Her hope is to capture the uneducated laity. Those with any intelligence or independent thought can see right through her duplicity and empty promises.

    Her strongest statement seems to be one of experience. That being the case, she is making a statement for McCain rather than against Obama.

    Her only experience has been in gaming the system to get what she wants. She has no business being the Senator from NY. She went there specifically to take advantage of a weakness she could parlay into a national stage. No other state or opportunity would have listened to her or given her the chance.

    She needs to step down. Her time is over. Her policies are old-school business as usual and crony driven. The fact that she is credited with building the best political machine the Democrats have seen for a long time says it all. She is an insider wanting personal glory and cares not a wit about those of us trying to make a living on a daily basis and supporting our families as best we can.

    It amazes me she has been able to get this far. When her primary constituency seems to be the poor and uneducated, one should question why that is. These folks are followers, easily led, and do not take the time to think things through to their logical end. They are simply looking for handouts and are hopeful Clinton will find some for them. They will be sorely disappointed, as they always are, should she get elected.

    February 13, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  19. Lorriane Butler

    This is an election, isnt it?

    February 13, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  20. June

    If Clinton was leading now as of 2-13-08 and has the momentem, she would not want to burn her time for debate either.

    She does not come across being as sincere as Obama. Have you heard Obama's speech in Wisconsin!! Awesome.
    Now he is more comfortable as a front runner, so he speaks his mind even better.

    February 13, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  21. Gary

    It is amazing to me. The media characterizes an ad as negative and the public accepts that characterization as fact. If you listen to the ad, it asks reasonable questions and is factually correct. It is an appropriate issue to raise with the voters of Wisconsin. Many in the media apparently prefer to focus on nonissues rather than play a more constructive role in forcing clarifications of the candidates' positions on substantive policy matters. We have had enough platitudes and generalities from political candidates. It would be nice to get the actual substance of their differences instead of generalities.We don't need another leap of faith in picking our next president; we continue to live with the consequences of presuming someone capable only to find out how ill-suited they are for the job. How about we do our best to find out ahead of time?

    February 13, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  22. leah

    People please. George Bush has been in office for almost 8 years. He claimed to be experienced. Well we see how that has turned out. When Bill Clinton was asked about having experience to be President he said you learn on the job. Let's give Barack Obama an opportunity to be president. Atleast he won't owe any "special favors" to anyone by taking money from special interest groups. People are always afraid of change. He's doing something special. We don't need the government to fix everything. I really believe that he will inspire people to actually care about America again and work together to get things done. That's the only way it's going to happen. The working folks in this country are going to have to get off of the couch and get out into the community and work. I like Hillary but enough is enough. She will owe too many people favors if she were to be elected. It would be the same thing all over again. No one wins but special interest and the wealthy.
    Barack Obama 08!!!

    February 13, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  23. Roger Miller

    Obama .. bought his home for $300,000 less than the asking price where as Rezko bought the land next door on the same day for full price ... doesn't it seem a bit shady ... Was Rezko subsidizing Obama? Talk about honesty ...

    February 13, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  24. Rhonda

    In honor of this negative ad today I will make another contribution to Barack Obama's campaign for CHANGE.

    February 13, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  25. Andrew

    How is this negative? It is just stating the facts!

    February 13, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
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