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. Obama = words ; Hillary = action

    This is hardly a 'negative' ad. It's factual. He knows when they actually sit down and talk about the issues - she obviously knows more. He's all words; she's actually a proven change maker, and has substantial things to back up her words with.

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

    Some of the comments here actually raises the critical point. Who is Obama and what is he all about??? What is behind that facade??? What can he really do for the American people struggling to make ends meet, new jobs, access to universal health (plan that he does not have), energy resources that are badly needed, definite plans for ending the war, trade, lowering the deficit, etc, etc. Can he really change the ways of Washington??? Is this some kind of a magical spin??? Some of his plans it seems have been borrowed from Hillary's ideas of solutions!!! I think some of you are right to say that debates showed his lack of substance on the issues that our country faces. He much rather speak in front of crowds, talks about their dreams, inspire people and bring people to wish for changes that really look very promising but reality check is can he deliver. I'm sure many would agree that he has been given a free ride by the media and his negatives has been downplayed since the very beginning. Vote for the strongest and most qualified-–Hillary '08.

    February 13, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  3. t

    new flash to people who keep on using the media bias bs. The New York Times has the same headline in their blog section and as far as I can remember they endorsed Hillary.

    February 13, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    This isn't negative ad, its calling Obama out for hypocracy. The guy talks about new beginnings and being fair and doing things different. Yet he is pulling the same stunts other candidates have done in the past. He doesn't do well in Debates because he can't go head to head with Hilary because she knows more about everything and that hurts him because it shows he will not be ready on day one. His numbers are weak in Wisconsin and he knows that if he debates he will lose. So much for giving people a fair choice.
    Obama has been big on lofty rhetoric but the reality is he can't deliver because he doesn't know how to do things, his inexperience shines through. Obama attacks Hilary's voting record because the reality is, after only 4 years in the Senate he doesn't really have one other then on Iraq so he can't be held to his record.
    Come on Obama, step up debate real issues and ideas with Mrs. Clinton and then let Democrats choose who will be a better President, not who gives prettier, feel good speeches. Its about the issues dumbie.

    February 13, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  5. molly gonz

    Definite presidential material for sure...what a breath of fresh air!

    Obama 08

    February 13, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  6. Laksh MD

    I agree with John. I heard in CNN most of the white men are supporting Obama. Yes because are they afraid of a Women prseident? Women is no way less to any male President. Look at Indhira Gandhi. She was great and did great things to India. Look at Benzir Bhutto. How she was brave, intelligent and gave herself to the country. Shame on you men who is not supporting Hilary since she is a Woman! John is right they all enjoyed everything economy etc when Clinton was President. Now they are talking ill about Clintons. It is so shameful. Don't elect another George Bush. Elect someone who is experienced and can deal with the crisis that we are in.

    February 13, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  7. Jake, California

    What a pathetic way for Hillary to look for attention...
    The people of Wisconsin have TVs and they have seen all the 18 debates Hillary. They will see more for the Texas and Ohio showdown. Why do you want to debate every other week? We need to go out and meet our voters and tell them the issues face to face in their communities and living rooms and get person with them. You are the establishment Hillary, we don't have time to give you free air time...

    You raised $10million recently and loaned yourself $5m more..use that to run your campaign[negative or positive]. We'll not go on air just because you want attention...go talk to your voters if you want attention...

    'we have other businesses to take care of '

    February 13, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  8. judeaug

    HMMMM, a debate would just be free advertising for Clinton. Since she doesn't have the funds that Obama has, she has to find "free" publicity. I have never, ever, given any money to a campaign before Barack. I fully support him and hope that more people realize we need change, not the same Washington DC crap.

    February 13, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  9. Alex- New Jersey

    Clinton does well in debates, her strong suit is her ability to deliver details in a short amount of time. They both have detailed plans, however Obama is not as skilled as Clinton in giving that kind of information in short bursts. Plus now that Obama is the front runner Clinton can take bigger swings at him personally especially in a debate. Which may make him look weak if he stays positive, or goad him off message.

    Giving Clinton debates is like letting her throw hail marys down field, I don't see why Obama would want give anymore her chances then he has to.

    Two debates is fair enough IMO. She will get her chance to swing for the fences and take him down. Really all this ad says to me is she doesn't believe she can do it in two debates.

    February 13, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  10. JP

    To "Where's the Beef"

    A $4,000 tax credit is not worth .25 on the dollar. A deduction would be closer to that. Deductions lower your taxable income while credits reduce your tax dollar for dollar. Get it right.

    February 13, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  11. Franklin

    i knew it ! she said she wouldn't come out and fight dirty on the Michael Baisden show but now that her back is up against the wall she and sleepy Bill are like wild tigers. I hope the ignorance that they're preparing extend comes back to haunt them. Hillary is an ego maniac and she's molded Bill quite well. You can see the emotion being uptight masked by that "I love you all" bull**** smile. If the Hispanics don't get it they just never will. The Clintons are underhanded people. I pray Obama doesn't allow the ignorance to move him.

    February 13, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  12. YesWeCan

    "Im ready from day 1" bla bla bla.. every day.. who cares! battle tested.. yeah uhuh.. for an america that was 15 years ago.. times are different, things have changed.. clinton is just more of the same old, her fake smiles, laughs, clap clap point point rallies, and all that..you can see the nastyness written in her face especially after the obama sweeps. we need something different.. he might not have the experience but id rather have someone in office who is fresh n new to tackle problems in ways that are more than just old political habits.. its a new world out there and america is low right now it cant get much lower. the time is now!

    OBAMA 08
    Yes We Can!

    February 13, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  13. Valerie

    For those who complain Senator Obama's campaign is all feel-good rhetoric and no substance, please do yourself the favor of visiting his website, where his ideas are laid out in great detail. GREAT DETAIL! Then go ahead and visit the others, in particular, John McCain's, where everything is a 'serious issue' or a 'problem', but no concrete plans are offered to solve these problems...
    We cannot afford to divide over Hillary and Obama when we have much bigger fish to fry in the general election.
    Please, Democrats & liberal independents, stick together.

    February 13, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  14. Joyce

    I still do not understand why Obama keeps hammering the point about Hilary's vote on Iraq war while he accepted an endorsement by John Kerry who also voted for it. Barack, it was a time when everyone was mislead including Colin Powell.

    What I amusing is how Obama actually voted for funding it (knowing what we all know now about that war) and still claims he was against it from day one. Also, how can you bring change on anything if you keep on voting present (133 times in 2 years) in the Senate? Doesn't he have an opinion to either say yes or no? Isn't that what Senators ought to be doing? I find way too many conflicts on where he stands and how he changes positions later on. Truly, I just can't find substance in him. He is nowhere near MLK!

    Please, the situations we are in right now we do not need another learn while on the job President. We need a decisive, problem solver hands on President. And that is not Obama. Maybe in 8 years when he has more practical know how, etc...to back up his rhetorics. But not now. God help us.

    February 13, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  15. cv

    If Hilary is in the solutions business, so after 35 years of experience, where are the results?
    America doesn’t need the Clinton's in power once again. It is time to change. It is time to united America. Something that the Clinton's can not do. It time bring back hope for all Americans. The Clintons have been in power and we know where we end up.... Bush also came in power and we are aware of where will end up.
    Let’s change America!!!! Lets change.. Event the world around us is looking for something new in America. The Clinton's should give up and let Obama stand up.
    Obama seems to be a man that World including USA needs at this time. He is intelligent, he can unite Americans.
    I find my self supporting Obama and know that, if God is with him, no matter what the Clintons are saying, Obama will be the next President of USA.

    February 13, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  16. MM in TX

    Some Obama people keep saying that Obama's plans are all spelled out on his website.

    And that is supposed to prove that he actually has the tenacity and ability to make these written plans real? Plueeze. The Republicans don't play that way.

    Obama's statement that he would unilaterally attack Pakistan if he had actionable information on Al-queda is perhaps one of the stupidest things that I've ever heard from any candidate. Great...start world war III why don't you. This is the person that you Obamabots want in office?

    February 13, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  17. Sue

    If you Obama lovers at CNN think this is negative, wait to you see what the Republicans have in store for him if he is the Democratic nominee. He will be exposed for what he really is and there won't be anything you can do to stop it.

    February 13, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  18. SOS

    Let me get this right. A negative ad is when someone says that another person will not debate???
    Has this world gone stupid.
    He does not want to debate because the polls show he does not do as well and he does best with Caucas's.
    His "RALLY THE CROWD" appeal draws in the people and energized the voters without brains.

    She likes debates as the polls show she does the best with voters in this arena.
    Get real people. You bash for not reason and give pointless reasons for situations.
    And Dude, I am in the Military, dispite what you all think, following a muslim is a problem for many. Are you people so out of touch with this world that you think his logic works.
    Dudes get a brain...

    February 13, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  19. Felicia


    Here they come, "BillHalary" the mudslingers. The Clinton gang are in trouble and it is time to watch your back Barack, they are two of the best when it comes to playing dirty to get their way. I hope the American people are wiser than the foxes.

    February 13, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  20. Obama support in Iowa

    Sorry Hill, can't stop the Omentum

    February 13, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  21. Christopher

    Carol – 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!

    Are you serious? Which rock are you hiding under? If you check the polls and exit polls, the uneducated (hopefully not you) are voting for Hillary, not Obama. Obama is doing really well among those with, at least ,a degree.

    Hillary is getting those with high school or less. Probably it is time for you to go back to school, Carol.

    February 13, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  22. S.S

    Hillary is not a mud-slinger, she is the victim of mud slinging. Isn't it fun to scapegoat a smart woman?
    Will Obama be able to stand up to it as well as Hillary is when the guns turn on him?

    February 13, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  23. Cuacus = Peer pressure fest!

    You now what cheery positive happy go lucky candidates do for this country? Nothing but turn it into a mirror of the Carter administration. We all remember how great that was! I loved just how bad we were during those years. Wake up people. Who cares about whats positive and whats negative. I could care less. I care about results, not uplifing speeches. She was right, don't crucify her for telling the truth. I'm finding Obama supporters to be a little weak between the ears.

    February 13, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  24. Carl H.

    Please explain to me how this is a negative ad. Only Obama and CNN would say that an honest distinction is negative.

    February 13, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  25. Carolyn in St. Louis

    What gives Senator Obama – afraid of the big, bad lady Senator – don't blame you – she knows the issues and might show up all of your "it's going to be a wonderful world" speeches......educated voters know how it works in Washington and all your rosey dialogue will never get rid of the bipartisan divides!
    Women for Hillary!

    February 13, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
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