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. MT

    There have been many debates and I'm sure many of us know where the candidates stand at this point. Your either for Obama or Clinton. I support Obama because he does get it. He understands that there needs to be a change in government and with the help of his supporters (America), he has the experience to organize and make a difference in changing everything from our economy to medical care.

    Look at what he's done with his own campaign and its success against HRC. You can't do what he did by lacking substance, this is a cerebral person with sincere, real hopes and dreams to better our nation. We are in a new era, the Clinton's and the Bush's can no longer hold us captive to their corporate interests any longer...May the best candidate win.


    February 13, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  2. molly gonz

    One more thing..I think all you Clinton supporters need to take a second look at her healthcare plan...pretty scary. It may cover everyone..but at what cost to everyone????

    February 13, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  3. Millie watson

    hey does anyone know where you report unfair reporting standards, in relation to elections specifically? this is getting really out of hand

    February 13, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  4. Paulette

    Gov. Ed Rendell of PA is a bonehead caveman politician. His remark concerning Whites not supporting Obama because he is Black isn't anything new. One would think though that a present day governor would think twice before voicing such a divisive opinion about the wishes of the people of this nation. His thinking is still set in an old paradigm that the nation is desperately trying to shake.

    February 13, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  5. Judy

    If the pundits were doing their jobs objectedly and asking Obama hard questions there would be no need for this ad that is not negative.
    Everyone is afraid they will be called racists if they disagree with him.

    February 13, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  6. Harvey

    against CNN....I agree with everything you said

    February 13, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  7. eva

    Is Obama getting a "promissory notes" signed by the Independents and the Republicans that they are going to vote the same way(for him)
    in November's General Election???

    February 13, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  8. Tiff

    Clinton going negative may ultimately hurt her. She's not even campaigning there, but she "wants to debate?" yeah right. And when Obama was down, he didn't run negative ads. Desperation does not win votes. And she shouldn't be surprised...why would Obama be looking to debate often when he's leading?

    February 13, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  9. Thomas

    Once again, Hillary people, look at the websites and form an opinion, by the way, 8 years in the Senate adn 8 years as a first lady, no Healthcare reform, why is it all of a sudden she will get it done now? Barack might have a liberal leaning (he is Democrat), he has worked across the aisle in both Illinois and the US Senate. That is the Change he is talking about. Working together not fighting the Republicans, just like HIllary has said she is able to do.

    February 13, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  10. TJ

    All the negative comments – this is why I am an independent voter. Stop with all strident and mean-spirited comments. Just support your own candidate and quit acting like five year olds in the school yard taunting each other. Nana Nana boo boo – oh my gosh – grow up already!!!!!!

    February 13, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  11. Rod

    Her ad does point out one thing to me. Obama is about 1000 times better at making a speech and motivating everyone versus her cackle of garbage that she spews when she speaks.
    She is done.

    February 13, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  12. Scuggy

    I think Clinton and Obama should debate the Constitutionality of electing the spouse of a former two term US President to the Presidency. If Hillary is claiming she garnered vast experience as the "First Lady" to the point of proclaiming her ability to be "Commander in Chief," then has she not already fulfilled this position? Does she possess experience as the US President, which essentially bars her from running the for Presidency, again? If her experience is not as extensive, then why is she arguing that Obama lacks experience (coincidentally, Obama has more experience in this primary season than Bill Clinton when Bill ran in 1992).

    February 13, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  13. R. Thomas

    One more point, for those of you out there blabbering about Obama specifics, you enrage me!

    You are here "participating" in a political discussion but you don't take the initiative to do your homework? Morons!

    Is it because you just don't want to know? Anyone who wants to learn the specifics of Obama's plans for the country issue by issue, can (always could) go to his website and get extensive detail. When your ready to know the truth...go here: barackobama.com.

    But many of you don't/or won't...lemmings, lemmings, lemmings. Don't knock him if you haven't bothered to do your homework.

    OBAMA 08





    OBAMA 08!!

    February 13, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  14. Bob

    Clinton should ask the same question that Mondale asked Gary Hart "Where's the Beef?". Just talk won't do. You can skip votes and vote "present" in state legislations, but not as a president. He is obviosuly scared of debating HRC on specifics. Obama is a big talking liberal who is going to give in to terrorists demands. He thinks he can sit down and have a civilized discussion with Ahmedinajad and people like him. It shows how naive he is.

    February 13, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  15. Fran

    Let me get this right. I'm supposed to vote for Obama because he can be better on foreign policy because he has poor relatives around the world? Sorry, I'm voting for substance over slogans.

    Go Hillary.

    February 13, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  16. Tim

    No substance? I can't believe Hillary supporters keep parroting that back about Obama. He's been as specific if not more so in his speeches than she has. Neither have explained every specific detail of their plans, you have to do the research. When you do you'll see Obama's plans are more responsible and attainable.

    To suggest that Wisconsinites haven't been paying attention and that's why a debate is needed is just insulting. We have TV and get national networks. Really, we don't all sit in bars and raise cows and eat cheese. We invented the progressive movement 100 years ago and have the most open primaries in the nation. We're not stupid or uninformed and having a debate in Madison or Milwaukee is just like watching it in any other city. Hillary would do better to get out and shake some hands and meet people on the ground, but then again, she'd rather run a weak tv ad and campaign in Texas.

    February 13, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  17. rodger

    So is it not okay for a candidate to make a true statement? I hate to say it but she is totally right for running the add. This is not a kiddie game this is a contest between adults. If we can not point out differences or speak the truth, then how will the people know the difference between teh candidates? Obama is a great inspiring speaker that I agree, but I also agree with Hillary Clintons TV add....

    February 13, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  18. Amy, Kazoo


    I watched the CNN debates with Obama and Clinton. I liked both overall. But yes, he DID fumble, it seems harder for him to reach his words in that format. Clinton does better in that setting. When he gives speeches, his flow is better, the pressure is off and he succeeds at his goal. In her speeches, she's much more scripted, not flowing as well as she does in debates. There are obvious differences between these two as far as that is concerned and it's ok to be better at one and not the other.

    February 13, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  19. nyindependent

    Can someone please explain how wanting to debate your opponent is "fighting dirty"......?

    What a joke!

    February 13, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  20. DancinQueen66

    Obama's health care plan leaves out 15 million people, and when they have to get all their medical treatment in the emergency room, the cost is 10 times that of someone with insurance coverage, and is paid for with your taxpayer dollars anyway. It is much cheaper to pay for the insurance coverage up front.

    Hillary's health care plan covers everybody, has many more choices, and is subsidized based on income, so everyone can afford it. If you are low income, your health insurance will be 100% covered by the government. If you are at the low end of middle income, you will only pay a small percentage of the insurance. If you are middle income you will pay about half of the insurance premium. You will only have your wages garnished if you can afford health insurance but refuse to get it.

    Get the facts straight!!!

    February 13, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  21. Anthony

    I don't understand why so many people think Clinton has performed so much better than Obama in debates. As a political science major, I'm pretty sure debate performance is measured by the bounce either candidate receives the short period after. By the looks of Obama's winning streak, I believe the American people have shown he won the debates. This is a sad ploy by Hillary to hurt Obama's momentum, but it won't work, because what Hillary hasn't realized is that Obama's supporters are 100% dedicated to him. And to think, I was beginning to feel sorry for her.

    February 13, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  22. Brandon

    Obama has lacked specific plans in all of his speeches. It's no surprise that he doesn't want the debates. He'd much rather talk about Hope and Dreams, WHERE'S THE REALITY? Yeah, those types of speeches will energize the crowds and we all like to feel warm and cozy but there is nothing warm and cozy about the problems facing our country. What will he do when McCain brings up the same points Hillary has been saying for months? The media can't ignore and call McCain negative for bringing up valid differences as they have with her. I'm a Hillary supporter and diehard Democrat but will have a tough time giving Obama my vote if he gets the nomination.

    February 13, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  23. Hubris!!

    Pride comes before a fall! Obama is getting a little cocky! He has to avoid debates with Hillary because he needs to get schooled quickly. He will have to have more than an empty suit and a motivational message to knock off Hillary or McCain on substance!

    February 13, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  24. Eli

    What is NEGATIVE about this ad, it told the truth. I can not understand why the Obama supporters are so mean spirited on their comments and blogs. The Democratic party looks and sounds like it has been split, and that means we will not win the WHITE HOUSE in the fall. Look on these comments on any issue and you will see that the dreams that OBAMA says he stands for of UNITY, CHANGE, and HOPE are not what his supporters stand for. They are dividers, just read the comments on any of these issues on the Polictical Ticker. I dont see how any person would vote for Obama after they read these comments from his supporters.

    February 13, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  25. James

    I'm glad she went negative and called Obama out on it!!

    Hillary 08!!!

    February 13, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
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