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)


    February 13, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  2. Emma

    I guess, Hillory needs to cry a little bit more on tv so that people will start voting for her again......! A a futur President that cries on TV always makes people feel a little more better .........

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

    Finally she's fighting. We all know whatever Hillary does will be painted as wrong by the media so why not? If negative is true, say it! This is the Hillary I've been waiting for.

    February 13, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  4. Linda

    Oh, boy, here she goes AGAIN, cut and run and down and dirty. She learned well from Bill. Stick a fork in her, she's done! What is so sick about this is that she can't understand why she's losing. There's an old saying that God does not like ugly, and what goes around comes around.

    There's no more debates necessary. She has said all she needs to say, and the majority of the people are not interested in hearing another word from her. What really gets me is that I used to defend them. I was a staunch supporter for years. Well, all bad things must come to an end.


    February 13, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  5. Lily in Cali

    BOOOOOO...Hillary stick to "Universal Health Care is a core Democratic Principal". Not for this Dem!!

    Obama '08

    February 13, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  6. EJ

    Run HIllary Run!!

    February 13, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  7. MI Independent

    Obama is all talk and people are so desperate after the Bush years that they will believe anything positive someone SAYS. How about looking at what Obama has DONE – minimal when compared with Hillary.
    The media will not vet this guy, but the republicans will. I did my homework and what I see scares me. NO TRACK RECORD. He uses the same exact rhetoric that Bush used during his first run at the white house "I'll be a uniter, not a divider". Remember, talk is cheap, it's what you do. Obama is an inspirational speaker, not a leader BASED ON HIS MINIMAL RECORD.
    I will not vote for Obama under any circumstances and I think the democrats will not win in November if this guy is carrying the banner.
    I always was amazed at how Americans could vote Bush into office not once, but TWICE. Watching people fall for Obama's empty promises reminds me how gullible Americans are for pretty words. Obama is just a liberal version of Bush. We will never learn.

    February 13, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  8. SANDY

    A couple of observations: 1. I have been reading a lot of blogs over the past few days.....I say the election is over and Obama has won if the number of Obama supporters vs Clinton supporters are any indication. 2. The comments I've read on the Universal Health Care Plan.....who wants the government to mandate how much you pay and make you pay!!!! That is what the Clinton plan does. Obama's plan realigns health care to make it more affordable to all. When I first listened to Clinton talk about her universal health care...she made it sound like it was FREE!!!!! No wonder so many people are using that to base their vote on. 3. I think her ad in Wisconsin is ridiculous....and I believe the people in Wisconsin will think so too. He has debated, he has let voters know the specifics.....now he is trying to get the country pumped up to believe there will be change..nothing wrong with that!!!

    February 13, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  9. Michael

    The Potomac primaries were "fools gold" for Obama and his cult. Over 1/2 of the voters between the 3 states are black and Obama received over 90% of their votes. In "red" states this will be quite different. This is why the Republicans have been so silent. They do have a plan on how to keep the White House – McCain will appeal to Independents like myself, they will attack Obama for being a Liberal, and they will secure all of the "red" states and also pick up California.

    If you don't believe this, you are in for a rude awakening. Only logical ticket to combat this would be Clinton-Obama, but because of all of the underhanded, unspoken attacks by Obama and his surrogates, there is no way there will be a reconciliation between these two. At least NY will have Senator Clinton back, if she is unable to defeat the co-dependency of the liberals towards Obama.
    Please do not be afraid to post this pro-Hillary comment. Your candidate has nothing to lose at this time.
    Thank you.

    February 13, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  10. MARK


    February 13, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  11. Curliss

    Hillary and McCain are the only viable candidates for president. This democrat (plus many more) will vote for the best eligible candidate....if it ain't Hillary....then McCain would be my next choice. Sorry, but Obama hasn't made his case about change for me...there is just no substance and solutions being put on the table. Just talk...

    February 13, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  12. Kevin

    The sheer wash of uneducated wanna-be politicos in America today is almost sickening. Nearly every Clinton supporter on this forum has merely regurgitated the same media spun criticism of Obama...that he fumbles with questions at debates, doesn't have specific plans and speaks in broad generalities, etc. (either that or they are regurgitating something someone else said in a previous post)!!!

    Obviously, these individuals have not watched any of the NATIONALLY TELEVISED debates that have been held between Clinton and Obama. In my opinion, Obama is just as comfortable debating as he is giving speeches and his body language proves it. There is never any hesitation when he gives answers and retorts and he HAS laid out specific plans and ideas regarding issues such as health care reform and tax reform (e.g. modeling the health care system after the same system Congress uses and giving tax exemption to seniors making less than $50K a year), just to name a few.

    To be fair, I haven't heard him lay out any specific plans for getting us out of the debacle in Iraq (Clinton's proposals are murky at best), but there is plenty of time for that. Why do people need such rigid constructs of plans and reforms at this point anyway? Obama will be taken to task in due time for specifics and hard parameters regarding the issues he has yet to expound on. Most of the details would be over the majority of American heads anyway, by the looks of it.

    And here's an idea, as I will borrow a trite euphemism so gut-wrenchingly overused in this forum: how about "WAKING UP" to the fact that REAL political debates are not entertainment meant for popcorn and beer, as much as our entertainment addicted culture would like them to be. They simply provide a common stage where the candiates can stand in contrast for everyone to see; no more, no less. It is the contrast that is important, not the minutiae they quibble over. Voting records, fact-checking organizations, platform pillars, campaign speeches and literature, biographies, third-party editorials, endorsements, personal history, debates, and yes, gut feelings...they should all be taken into account when sizing up a candidate. The resources for this kind of information are everywhere...just take the time to look (preferably somewhere other than CNN.com and Wikipedia). Then make up your own mind.

    So essentially (all you Hillary drones), if you are basing your endorsement of a candidate solely on debate performance and place that much stock in them, then you've got a lot more problems than either Obama or Hillary could fix. Debate that.

    February 13, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  13. edgewood

    lord, folks, do you know how minimal a skill debate is to be president?

    There are plenty of places to read about Obama's stances, to say he is empty on specifics is either disingenuous or ignorant and realistically why would he play into her strength? Should Clinton agree to a series of side by side televised speeches? She is demanding the race be fought on her terms, he has an equal right to reject that. This is not such a big deal. If you want to be trapped in minutiae go ahead, it isn't terribly good for your heath.

    February 13, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  14. JT

    how does a debate help voters make their mind up? if you want to know where the candidates stand on the issues, use your eyes and your brain to read.

    February 13, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  15. get truth guy

    CNN and other media are trying to play unfair games on Clintons whenever Hillary to make the point that Obama is just a "talker" not a "doer". Whenever Obama's people bad mouthing Clintons media just kept quiete or even praise O'people's attacks. This nation media is the worst in the world, they are so biased and they are trying to make a president for American, that's wrong! We should stop them!

    February 13, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  16. Shawna

    Hillary '08 – What a joke...

    I guess we fall down and never get up...

    I am so ashamed that I ALMOST made the mistake of voting for that imposter – riding on the coat tails of her husband's name...Shameful

    You guys better wake up and smell the horse mess...

    February 13, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  17. Laura

    It is totally amazing to me just how vile the Anti-Hillary comments are.
    Chris commenting on her make-up job. I hope I look as good as Hillary does when I am 60.

    Barack Obama is a fabulous orator but that is it! Ideas to help people who are distressed are not going to come from words uttered by former leaders. Sure JFK, RFK, and MLK were all great orators. JFK was only president for 1/2 a term RFK never got a chance to make the changes he wanted and MLK also was cut down in his prime.

    Hillary lived through that era and knew what those men stood for. Obama like Caroline Kennedy heard stories about these men. So again more is needed to make the changes.

    Lay off attacking either candidate. Debate so people can make a truly informed decision not based on rhetoric but substance.

    February 13, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  18. john

    They have debated 18 times already and two more are scheduled. Clinton is also running out of money and more debates would be free publicity to help her stay in the news.

    I was an early supporter but she has turned me off with failing to acknowledge losses. After the last seven years, we need a president that will tell us the truth and can display a grasp on reality.

    Now these negative ads just show her to be desparate. Its sad really.

    February 13, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  19. ruby marshall

    Mind you people, Hillary is the only one who could criticize Obama so it will made publicly-known. The media will never post any negative news about Obama, nor asked him any negative questions because they also believe and respected him, they admire him with his Charisma and unproven ability to face the negative criticsms of the public..All we can see and hear about Obama is his hope of change, his repetition of Speeches (which he masters enough to inspire people)...Do you think this qualities he have will be enough for him to face and tackle the job of being the President of a Powerful country??
    If after his inaugural address, another 9/11 will occur, do you think he is ready for that??????THINK AMERICA..THINK AGAIN!!

    February 13, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  20. Jennie

    The Clintons are like an incurable disease that just won't heal no matter what medicine you use. This woman and her husband has lied and been exposed regarding their lies yet they still believe in their sick minds that what they say are true.

    When she wins she thanks her supporters. When she loses she immediately leaves... not a care in the world to thank her supporters. And yes it's different when she allows someone else to give her thanks for her. When Edwards and/or Obama lost any race, each one of them still faithfully gave THANKS to their supporters. Unfortunately two common words that she knows nothing..."thank yo".

    February 13, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  21. Ramirez (Texas)

    Hilary is claiming to be the “’solutions business””. But it looks like she is the worse solution business.
    Just imagine ( Bush father +B.Clinton + G.W.Bush+ H. Clinton +Jeff Bush) = more than 40 years with the same families?
    No, Oh!!! God Almighty, help us and change the history and the world.
    If Obama is your candidate, please help him to win.

    February 13, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  22. Joyce

    February 13th, 2008 2:11 pm ET
    Sandy I completely agree with you. This about sums it up. It's not about hating Obama, it's about facing facts.

    "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 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  23. Mabuka

    Unlike most dumbified american who sit on their couch half alive fresh off their latest reality or game show. I listen to both Obama and Clinton speeches. Obama does lay down ideas and inspiration in broad strokes...that is what he should be doing at this point in the campaign. What is on display is his judgement, intelligence, integrity, and vision.
    Clinton on the otherhand..is absolutely pathetic..catering to whatever crowd she speaks to. Her speech in El Paso was one of the worst I've ever heard. She practically promised a govt supplied taco bell on every corner to creat more jobs, handout after handout was promised...she is last person we need in the white house. She is now beginning to distort the facts on her healthcare plan vs Obama's. His is far more sensible...she failed her big chance years ago...and what experience does she actually have...what has she actually done...why is it that her voting base is down to the least educated of society and people who barely undesterstand english if at all??
    I'll take clear vision, integrity, intelligence over corruption, liar, old news, phoney...I'll vote Obama...

    February 13, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  24. Michelle

    Universal Health Care means even if you don't want it, you will have to pay for it. If you don't pay, there will be a consequence. How would you like your wages garnished for something you don't want?

    What would be nice is if my current healthcare premiums would go down a bit. Now that's change!

    February 13, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  25. Lili

    I have to agree with Sen. McCain in that Obama is all about
    rhetoric, not specifics. Anyone can give a pretty speech. He
    reminds me of a Snake Oil Salesman...talk, talk, talk, but never
    saying anything. I just don't understand how the american public
    can be so gullible. Obama is a 1 term senator with no experience
    in foreign affairs and he talks about uniting this country and I'm not
    even sure about that. I would rather give my vote to a candidate of
    substance and experience not just another talking head.

    February 13, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
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