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. patrica denny

    I been trying to understand why CNN who is suppose to carry the news, not under dog a campaign with their smart remarks. The Clinton sure in the HELL did better the BUSHS. So BILL did mesh up with the young girl, BUT that was Clinton business not ours, INSTEAD money was wasted on something that was not our business, who authorize it, THE REPUBLICANS, the holy then now people, hide in the closet and throw mud

    February 13, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  2. Doug

    Even the most die hard Clinton supporters would have to admit that Obama has run a masterful campaign. He's demonstrated better organizational skills, better political skills, better fund raiser, you get the idea...

    Hillary's scorched earth policy will not work. All of her experience certainly isn't being demonstrated in how she is running her campaign. Doesn't bode well for how she might run the Country.

    February 13, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  3. Virginia voter

    I can't agree that the ad is negative. And I'm an Obama supporter.

    February 13, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  4. Julie-Albuquerque

    Contrary to what some commentators might say, Clinton is not acting desperate in airing a new tv ad. She's doing what she should have done in the first place – expose Obama for what he is. Obama does his negative "marketing" of Clinton by truely being the hypocrite that he is – on one hand, he's sweetly complimenting Hillary, but between the lines, he's throwing her to the dogs. At least Clinton is being more honest.

    February 13, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  5. Kelly

    Sen Clinton makes a good point. The people of Wisconsin deserve to see a debate on what matters to them and what they will do specifically to help them.

    February 13, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  6. Cody S. - Montgomery, AL

    Desperation is a stinky cologne...

    February 13, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  7. Kat, Huntington, West Virginia

    he has debated her before and lost every time-no wonder he is afraid!

    February 13, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  8. Peter

    Michael you fail to realise BLACKS are people too!

    February 13, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  9. hillary supporter

    Barrack can't debate just Hope.
    He talks about Hope only... Hope we can, but Solutions we need ; Only Hillary is tested to provide solutions and has sound plans

    February 13, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  10. MR

    To all my Hispanic brothers and sisters stand up and be accounted for. Understand that Obama is for you and the entire country as a whole . Don't let her fool you down in Texas, she's counting on your vote going her way. Don't be afraid because Obama is Black. He knows how to get it done and he doesn't only care about Black people but White, and Hispanic and all people as a whole. Think why are so many different people from all different races puttting their trust in him. We can't all be wrong....... Think about it........

    Please stand up and let the government know you truly matter. Vote for Obama, and watch things change for the better.......... Show them Hispanic people matter and we don't want the same old mess either.....

    February 13, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  11. TomE

    My God people, if you'd bother to go to Obama's website he has VERY detailed policy ideas for nearly twice as many issues as the Clinton campaign. People who claim that Obama has no substance need to do some actual research and stop lying to themselves and voters who actually bother to hold opinions they research themselves rather than get spoon-fed by a particular campaign.

    February 13, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  12. Tunrayo

    This latest Clinton ad just shows how desperate she is getting. Hillary should read the book "The Knowing – Doing Gap". I think the candidates have done enough debates already, they should focus on how to execute the issues they have both eloquently addressed. We know what each candidate plans to do in the White House now – so they should stop talking, its time to act!

    And more than anything we don't want to see any more political attacks such as the one Hillary has just launched.

    February 13, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  13. MM in TX


    No one is endorsing HIllary on the basis of her performance in debates, but rather on her substance and intelligence. The contrast between Obama's answers regarding healthcare and Hillary's answers were astonishing. Obama had simply no clue.

    Also, the media really needs to call Obama on his repeated statements that he did not "vote for the war". He has made that statement repeatedly. I'm not referring to his stating that he was "against the war"...but rather when he says "I did not vote for the war." Hell of course he didn't vote for the war. He was in Illinois watching "Da Bears" on TV. He was not a member of the senate so he could not vote.

    February 13, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  14. get truth guy

    What a single thing Obmam has done? why suddenly he can change everything? use your braib, not your illusion created by media.

    February 13, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  15. calvin

    Mrs. Clinton had better be careful to not demonize Obama too much. If she does that and wins the nomination then she may just lost the general election. She may lose it because She can not get into the white house if Blacks do not got to polls for her. One thing I can say about the black community is we can say or do negative things about each other all day long but when others are saying negative things about blacks that are unjust and are not true. Then that will cause tensions to rise. Blacks might sit out the election. I know I will. She needs to black vote.

    February 13, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  16. ChangeForGood

    Clinton seem to think that people are not smart enough to understand her motive for seeking more debates. I think she needs to practice subtle and suave politics and not that predictable old style politics. We may not all be as smart as Hillary, but we have heard enough of what we need to know to make our choice. Most of us don't want to hear again and again the same arguments in the name of debates – we have already made up our minds. I am 200% sure that she would say the same thing and refuse debates if she is leading or gaining momentum. Let me also add - even if Clinton does better in the debates and establishes herself to be more qualified, I will still vote for Obama, because I like him as a person. What are you going to do about it ?

    February 13, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  17. Tex'un

    Can somebody describe Clinton's extensive foreign policy experience–without referring me to her website? As I recall, she voted for the Irzq invasion resolution without reading the intelligence report that dissuaded several other Democrats from supporting it.

    February 13, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  18. Dave Ayers

    Its not a Negative Ad! It's a Ad for Truth! Obama will not go head on with Hillary in Debating! Why? What is he afraid of? Answers! He has no Clear Answers! He lacks the Experience to Debate! And Obama has not been consistent in Debating, if fact he's probably doing the right thing by Avoiding them at all cost. We all avoid doing things we know we are not good at or at least lacking the knowledge of one thing or another. So we avoid doing those things, it's Human Nature. I will personally Start a Website for those Democrats who strongly believe that Obama lacks the experience and if he were to be the Nominee, my Website will Promote a "NO VOTE" ! That is, come Election Day those who Supported Clinton, would just Stay Home! Or if they feel the need, cross Party Lines and Vote for the Republican Candidate. Sorry, I want someone who has the Experience over Popularity. And if you look at CNNs' Polls, in every State Obama's Experience rating by those who Voted for him is very Low! Some lower than 20 %! So those Voting for Obama, are saying they don't care about Experience, they just like the his talk of Change. What Change Obama? Debate with Clinton and lets find out! Chicken?? Bacck, Bac, Bacck!

    February 13, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  19. Sharon

    To me, Hillary's been kind of a bulldog in debates. She butts in on other people talking and when they tell her she had her turn, she keeps on talking. To some people that shows skill. I think it's kinda rude. In the last contentious debate, Obama had to turn into Hillary to defend himself. and Edwards won the debate, because he was the only mature one.

    Debates make good reality tv. I suppose those things are popular these days. They're just not my flavor.

    February 13, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  20. Dee from Texas

    I can't understand why Hilliary thinks she is the best to face McCain. She and Bill have so much garbage for Republicans to have fun with, besides – why didn't she and Bill think of all the things they want to do now 8 years ago when they were in the White House. They had opportunities to fix health care, expand on health care and a choice of not inflicting NAFTA – they didn't.

    February 13, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  21. Judy Durall

    I want Hillary in the White House. Obama is too green. I am so sick of hearing of "Change", we all want change from the last 7 yrs. But, the years before Bush, was not all that bad. Why don't we hear more about that. If Obama wants change why doesn't he explain what and how? He is sounding more like Jesse Jackson all the time. Also, why does CNN give him so much coverage?
    Thank you for letting me comment.

    February 13, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  22. get truth guy

    What a single thing Obama has done? why suddenly he can change everything? use your brain, not your illusion created by media.

    February 13, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  23. Janice

    There have been eighteen debates so far and two more going to happen. How many is enough?
    Listen close...don't miss it...history is being made...if you listen close you can hear the chanting...Obama...Yes we can...enough said 🙂

    February 13, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  24. Solomon Baba

    Its very hard to fanthom the true picture of human beings when they are succeeding but very easy to know their true picture when loosing. Hilary has done a great job but I think the change Obama represents is more needed in America now as he shows to be the best change agent. Going negative on Obama can not in anyway help Hilary to change the heart of voters as they can not be dissuaded by just mare expression of negative thoughts by Hilary.
    Voters know what they want already and i think going by the results so far, that is far more of a clear message that Obama is the guy.

    February 13, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  25. Mary- Lawrence KS

    Maria- thank you for the link on information regarding Rezko. I am very worried, as you are, about this...... actually the many issues that aren't being reported on or researched. Even if the media manages to hide this issue during the primaries, it will come out as the case is revealed.

    As I have said many times....

    Both candidates have made mistakes..... both have admitted that. I don't believe there are many politicians with clean hands.... just because a politician hasn't been caught doesn't mean they aren't guilty of something. The notion that our President must be perfect is perfectly naive.... our decision for the next President effects the entire world..... not just our small universes that we live in.

    Obama should answer to the people during his campaign for these issues and for misrepresenting his relationship with Rezko. It will come out sooner or later and he should take the opportunity to explain it before it is explained for him in ways he cannot defend.

    I still believe that Hillary-Barack bring the promise of:

    Hillary- hard working, determined, experienced and ready

    Barack- positively idealistic, determined, semi-experienced and will be ready.

    We need them to partner up.... not tear each other apart. That goes for all Dems.... stop tearing each other apart. WE CANNOT AFFORD ANOTHER REPUBLICAN ADMINISTRATION. I have (2) boys that I do not want to have drafted in a future war over oil and ego.... we need to improve the United State of America..... we need to be the the United Democrats of America.

    February 13, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
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