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. Mike

    CNN, that isn't negative ad! It try to encourage Obama to go for the debate. Sometimes I think CNN workers are anti-Hillary. Common be neutral !!

    February 13, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  2. CP

    Hillary is grasping for straws. She'll say or do anything! Hillary and her supporters are always talking about Obama gives good speeches. Well apparently she does too because all this talk of experience that she has and she still has not accomplished much of anything! Yeah she had a hand in getting children healthcare but how long has she had all of this experience? Let her tell it 35 years. Personally I don't know if I have 35 years or Hillary for that matter, to wait to see if she is able to accomplish what she says.

    February 13, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  3. sivananthi

    I think that Hillary Clinton should go after OBAMA more....
    Because he has come so far witout any form for resistance or serious questioning...

    February 13, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  4. KM

    She's only stating the obvious. It is suspicious as to why he did not want to do more debates- probably because you can't rehearse in front of a mirror like you can with a speech. OBAMA 08!! Can't wait for the country to fall apart thanks to inexperienced voters and a bunch of empty promises.

    February 13, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  5. Sick

    I can only under stand this type of despiration.

    GO OBAMA!!!

    February 13, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  6. Josh

    Considering there has been about 18 debates, the most in the history during a primary, I do not see what need things or ideas could from another debate.

    I love how Hillary tries to manipulate this issue when really it is a non-issue. People know Hillary Clinton and the more Sen. Obama is out on the campaign trail and presenting his ideas and beliefs directly to the people, not just on a TV screen, he does much better and Hillary does worse, so why even play to her strengths?

    Obama 08

    February 13, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  7. Destinee

    This is exactly why Hillary shouldn't win: we don't know Hillary. She changes with the wind; one moment she's likable and voting one way, the next moment she's a completely different person. I can't stand her.

    February 13, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  8. 4Hillary

    Debates are his weakness. His "I have a dream speeches" will not pay my bills, grow the economy, stop the foreclosure mess. We need someone who can walk the walk... he only knows how to talk the talk.

    As for the debate in TEXAS .....CNN lay off the silly questions to Hillary. We need to hear them tell people what they stand for and what PLANS they have to get this country back on it's feet.

    February 13, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  9. suzy

    do you blame her after what they said???
    catch up on your news.

    February 13, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  10. Brian

    Didn't Hillary learn anything from Iowa and South Carolina: Going negative does NOT work... WE, the people, do not want negativity... in fact, this sort of plays to Obama's strength of "Change and Hope"... simply put Hillary, we are tired of negative attacks!! You had your turn at health care reform in 1993 and could not deliver... it is time for someone else to take a stab at it (not sure if I want that to be Obama or McCain yet, but it is not you) .

    February 13, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  11. Means and Ends

    This is nowhere near as nasty as it will get now that the Clinton campaign is starting to feel real pressure.

    February 13, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  12. SC

    I see nothing negative in Clinton's ad.
    She is absolutely right.

    February 13, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  13. Mike S., New Orleans, LA

    One debate a week? Why not root canal surgery once a week instead?

    February 13, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  14. Hans

    I think this is a strong decision strategically by Obama. Why give Clinton that much exposure in one evening while he truly takes the time to stump in Wisconsin and really talk to the voters. Clinton is simply looking for an easier way to try to drum up some support without actually having to do the leg work. Sounds somewhat familiar to current elected official in the White House.

    February 13, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  15. Sue

    the messiah does not need to debate...he does not want to interrupt his free ride...........

    February 13, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  16. fair

    I don't think that is go negative. That is stating a fact. Why CNN has to be so biased against one candidate?

    February 13, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  17. Alecki

    Obama is avoiding a debate because he can't do it.
    He has nothing to say.
    He is a false profit.

    February 13, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  18. Naz

    Obama should not ignore the many states who are left to decide. After speaking with democratic voters in PA, there are many who are still undecided and require as much information – especially through educated debate – as possible.

    February 13, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  19. GB

    Don't get Cocky Obama people.

    Hillary 08

    February 13, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  20. Marie

    Yeah, a debate a week is totally not a lot to ask, and no one would get sick of watching that. And I'm sure it has nothing to do with needing free TV time.

    February 13, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  21. Kemic

    When will the Clinton campaign realize that we ain't falling for it. Don't insult our intelligence. The Clinton campaign is going broke and she needs the free airtime, which Obama is not obliged to grant. The same old tricks just don't seem to work any more.

    February 13, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  22. Not Given

    Wisconsin voters are educated enough to know this is BS

    February 13, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  23. JRE

    The dream ticket has to be Obama/Huckabee. That way, when the American people are fast running out of Hope, we'll always have a Prayer.

    February 13, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  24. Carol

    I wish she would just drop it; do her thing and stop trying to blame others. Bill did most of the damage when he came out critizing Obama. He who is without sin, should cast the first stone and Bill isn't the person who has a clean record.

    February 13, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  25. Annie O

    Gee. Does the Clinton ad mention the fact that under her plan for "universal health care," the government would garnish the wages of people who are unwilling or unable to purchase health insurance?

    February 13, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
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