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. JB

    Why do you Hillary fans think she has the right to demand more debates? She is not the one who sets the rules, and, the only reason she is doing this is because she is out of money and needs the air time.

    If you want answers look them up. They are available!

    We do not need more debates. Obama has never hid from a debate. It is true she is a bit better at debates. But if you don't agree with her message or the delivery of her message, it doesn't matter if she debates better.

    She will lose to McCain if she gets the nod. The polls prove it. The 48% negatives that she has proves it as well. If you want McCain, vote for Hillary. If you want a dem, vote for Obama.

    February 13, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  2. Dominique

    I HATE the media! Whatever happened to unbiased reporting. Is it really "NEGITIVE" to say that someone refuses to debate? Let the viewers decide rather than CNN creating an opinion!

    February 13, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  3. Alice

    Obama debated Clinton ONCE one-on-one, and, um, he, um, did very, um, poorly. All the other debates he's referring to were NOT one-on-one.

    He will not be able to refuse to debate the Republicans without looking like he's totally unfit for office. Hmmmm.....if the shoe fits......

    Will he tell foreign leaders to check out his Website for his positions if they want to talk to him one-on-one? Or maybe he'll just pout and turn his back on them? Hopefully, McCuckoo will be there to bail him out again.

    Hey! I have an idea! Why don't we vote for Obama's speechwriter? You know, the person who wrote that incredibly brilliant speech that we've all heard so often that we know it by heart? The hope, change, unity, yes we can one. You know – the ONLY one.

    February 13, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  4. Ratgurl

    "Muzhik February 13th, 2008 12:36 pm ET

    I wonder if her health care plan mandates coverage for the homeless and, if so, how she will enforce such a mandate. She can't garnish non-existent wages and their transient lifestyle makes it difficult to track them. Will the several million homeless just not be counted?"

    Hey Muzhik – that's some funny stuff right there! Oh yeah, and what about the JOBLESS? Whose wages will be garnished – their spouses?

    February 13, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  5. Christine from NJ

    Hillary is like a bully trying to goad Obama into a fight. Not gonna happen – he has the momentum, the money and is chipping away at Hillary's base.

    February 13, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  6. Pragmatic Voter

    I have been a democratic voter since I began voting over 20 years ago. I have never voted Republican, but if Obama is the candidate, I will have to go for McCain...

    February 13, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  7. Gary

    I see a lot of Obama supporting saying refer to the Obama website if you want to know his issues on things. Thats not political campaining. Thats letting something else talk for you.

    When you go to a job interview and the employer asks a question about your job history, do you tell him to look at your resume if he wants to know, or do you describe in detail about it. I really think the Obama website with written well, but Obama needs to back up whats in there, otherwise he's just all smoke and mirrors.

    He better get used to debating too, because he'll get no sympathy from McCain should they end up cross-debating each other.

    February 13, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  8. Mary C. Christian

    She is verging on pathetic now. Hillary Clinton's arrogance and lack of respect for the American electorate is what is killing her campaign. Sen. Obama is willing to go straight to the voters of Wisconsin to let them know his positions. Mrs. Clinton doesn't even have the integrity to acknowledge the Democratic voters in the last eight contests or the next two upcoming contests because they aren't important enough to her. How can we believe that each and every American will be important to her if she were to be elected.

    February 13, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  9. Jesus Rodriguez

    Maybe we should have a Monica vs Hillary debate! Or better yet an oil wrestling match...no no what am i thinking...that would be gross!

    February 13, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  10. Michael

    Could anyone's desperation be more delicious? Clintonism, with all its vulgarity and gracelessness, is over.

    February 13, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  11. Emily Coletta

    Look at Hillary squirm! Ha-ha!

    OBAMA '08.

    February 13, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  12. Jeanine from New York

    Remember.......when your good....there is no need to be negative towards the oppostion.....someday politicians will get the message that people hate that, don't tell me how bad you think the other guy is, tell me what your al about....it's a desparate attempt to try to get Obama to respond to defend himself, and he doesn't have to respond. They have debated many times. He is busy doing his thing, and doing it well. He has the momentum now, and I don't think he can be stopped. He is a great speaker; he is smart, sincere and tells it like it is. He has been upbeat and positive and quite frankly after the pounding that just took place, I guess this is the only way to respond. mmmmmm....does someone else need to be fired?
    PS....by the way......here is how I see it....McCain for President

    February 13, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  13. Sam

    It's downright silly to say Obama hasn't talked about issues. If all you watch are the speeches on the nights of conventions, than ALL the candidates give their stump speech. If you want to know where they stand on the issues, you have to check their smaller speeches, their voting records and their websites. Obama has made himself plenty clear. Some of you just refuse to listen.

    February 13, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  14. Colleen

    My foremost observation from these comments is the overwhelming hatred, not dislike, but hatred Obama supporters have for Senator Clinton. I find this particularly interesting because I don't get the sense that the candiate himself (Obama) espouses such hatred for any of his colleagues in the senate – so why the loathing in the eyes and torches in the hands of his followers. Ok, I get it, you're angry she voted for the war – believe me I am too. But is that reason to hate her with such intensity? Let me also remind you that 76 other senators voted for this war too – yet Obama supporters don't seem to want to burn them at the stake, nope, just Hillary. If there's any cause for hate in the political sphere, hate Bush! My point in all of this is that I don't think Obama supporters really know why they hate Hillary Clinton and that's a problem given their fervor. Maybe its because so many of them are new commers to politics and haven't been through an election before, so they don't realize that the best way to support your candidate is vote, not burn their opponent in effigy – a lesson seasoned participants in the democratic process know. Think this hatred through, think about the message it sends to your kids, think about the message it sends to young girls specifically. In short, think before you write and speak.

    February 13, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  15. Jeanine G

    Great point Kevin from Alaska!

    Okay Billary Boosters, if the annointed lady is so magical in debates then why is she losing?

    More debates are just her way of getting free advertising, and it is HIGHLY DEBATABLE that she will get anywhere with them if her "message" hasn't made a dent in 18 previous ones.

    February 13, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  16. JB

    And for you Hilliots claiming she has (here comes her slogan) "real solutions for real problems", I would like to hear them. Her solutions that I have heard, "I am for licenses for illegals", "nope that is not what I meant". . . . . . blah blah blah.

    And why is it OK to run with her slogan, and not OK for Obama to have a slogan. At least he has kept to one slogan. Hers change when her polling numbers change. Now it is all about latino's and the poor. Forget all the caucus states and those primary states she lost. They don't matter!!

    February 13, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  17. jim of ohio

    obama supporters are like those little animals out in the plains who all gather together at a certain time of the year and run for the cliffs and then jump off, they cant think so they all destroy themselves. if the blind lead the blind, they all fall in the ditch. open your eyes before it is to late, obama never, ill change to mccain before i would be that stupid. jim of ohio

    February 13, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  18. Obamacan

    Time to say good-bye Hillary. Although i wouldn't be surprised if you try to hire lawyers and have the delegets count in FL and MI.

    Evil has a new difinition folks

    February 13, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  19. And people claim he is different........

    For those who claim that the information is on Senator Obamas website..........I have read it – so perhaps you folks could answer this question:

    What is 'change' when millions are uninsured now and under Senator Obamas healthcare policy millions will be uninsured then? What is change?

    And what is 'change' when his gladly accepts endorsements from the Kennedys and Kerrys who – oh by the way – voted for the war? What is change?

    And money from PAC? What is change?

    And what is 'change'??? I can tell you; when the power goes out and the telepromters don't work anymore. That is when change will happen because then, and only then, will Senator Obama not have a script to read from!

    PS – CNN can you please post my comments. I have a couple others that are just sitting there waiting for someone to review........:-(

    February 13, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  20. Sam

    No avoiding, just a man busy trying to get his message across to the people. You obviously haven't been listening to the last few debates. You can go online and review those if you wish. I would rather see a debate between McCain and Obama anyway. The Democratic issues have been debated, over and over. Go to their websites. The voters for the past several caucuses and primaries have made their decisions. Overwhelming in favor of Obama. Desperation I think on the Clinton's side. Sad, but they are who they are.

    February 13, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  21. calvin

    Welll you know they say the uneducated and the old and senile make up Mrs. Clinton backers, and I truly believe that true. Just look at all these unintellectual responses from these Billary heads.

    February 13, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  22. Mike


    Hillary will win Texas in a landslide – win Ohio and win Pennsylvania. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised to see her pull out Rhode Island, Vermont, Wisconsin and Hawaii.

    There is no way in hell Obama will beat McCain. Hillary can but Obama cannot.

    Only Democrats will find a way to screw up their chances this election term and they did it. Obama is such a WEAK candidate. I can't wait to see the Dems get their behinds kicked!

    OBAMA, TRY TELL A VETERAN WHO WAS CAPTIVE FOR YEARS ABOUT "HOPE". While you were in your diapers "Hoping", he served our country honrably.


    JOHN MCCAIN 2008! (Only Hillary can beat him, but the Dems are far too dumb for that – that is evident by them electing Obama).

    February 13, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  23. John, California

    Obama doesn't want to because he always looks inexperienced when debating her. He doesn't have the experience and it shows in his superifical answers which are basically the talking points he memorized. Hillary, on the other hand, has been working on the issues for many years and has a thorough understanding of them, which will allow her to develop the plans to move this country forward. She will continue to make effective change, while all he will do is talk about it.

    The average voter in Wisconsin may not have been paying as close attention to the prior debates because their primary is only happening now. Wisconsin is now tuned in and they deserve an oppportunity to hear the candidates debate.

    February 13, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  24. matt

    I agree with most of you. Obama does not need to debate in Wisconsin. He is there right now getting to know them as well as them getting to know him. If they have some questions for him they can ask. However, as I said, he is in Wisconsin and where is Mrs Clinton? She is here in my home state of Texas. So you tell me who is running and who is scared. If a Wisconsin debate is so important to her, why is she not there right now. I will tell you why, because she does not think Wisconsin is important and knows that Texas has much more to offer her. So is this really about the American people to her or is it more about her and winning. Obama is not dumb. He knows how important it is to win Texas. Yet, he still knows that every vote counts and that although he will not earn as many delegate votes in Wisconsin that is up for grabs in Texas, he still realizes that the people in Wisconsin are just as improtant as people in Texas. This tells me that he is not discounting anyone and that everyone is important. He could be out here right now trying to win over the hispanic vote that will more than likely go Clintons way but he chooses to go to Wisconsin and talk to the people face to face.

    You go Obama. We are behind you and support you 100%

    Obama 08, we will prevail!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 13, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  25. Kimberly

    You can really tell when someone gets desperate. They start bad mouthing the opponent. Hillary has kept it kinda clean thus far, why get nasty in the end. I was leaning toward voting for her, but now I don't know.

    February 13, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
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