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. DMS

    HILLARY WANTS ALL THESE DEBATES TO SAVE HER MONEY, IF I WAS OBAMA I WOULDNT FALL FOR HER DIRTY TACTICS.

    February 13, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  2. 4REAL

    I think Clinton is just showing that in order to beat the heat, show everyone that she can play with her hair and pick her nose. Wake up Hillary, campaign more and let the people see you for what you are worth, not on TV. That is a poor way to beat the system. Sometimes what you say in Debates can be harmful, when you have true intentions. People hear and see what they want on TV but when you are face to face with and audience, they can tell what you are worth. Try it high school debate team girl. Hope you have the right questions to ask Obama so you want be surprise when your Latinossssssssss screw you over.

    February 13, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  3. Evelyn Houston

    Just because someone invites me into their home, does not mean i have to accept. The invitee always has the option of saying no.

    Mrs. Clinton does not set the agenda for Mr. Obama. He has exercised his option to say and to continue with his agenda of reaching the voters his way, on his schedule.

    That she would take him to task for refusing her invitation is childish and, dare I say it, an attempt to control. I am sure, as clever as Mrs. Clinton is, she will find another way to get her message to the voters.

    Mr. Obama is not her conduit.

    February 13, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  4. Len Smith

    Go Clinton, at least there is substance behind you and not a lot of dreaming. Obama doesn't say much, but he does say it well.

    February 13, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  5. David, Silver Spring, MD

    I think it's obvious why Hillary wants more debates. She thinks that if people see her on stage with Barack Obama, they'll like her better. She's hoping some of that Obama magic will rub off on her.

    February 13, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  6. Sahil

    Wow, she is getting desprate now. How sad.. she doesn't deserve the nomination a bit.

    February 13, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  7. Rico

    This ad is extremely misleading in that it implies that her plan "covers" every American whereas Obama's plan gives up on that goal. Hillary's plan itself won't "cover" every American, as if it was some angel coming to rescue everyone, but will force every American to buy coverage. Obama's plan proposes to make health care more affordable and accessible to everyone who needs and wants it, without forcing it upon everybody.

    Both candidates aspire to universal health care, but one of the candidates hasn't forgotten about the American desire for freedom of choice.

    February 13, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  8. Don't kid yourself...it's all rhetoric!

    Ok, CNN. Why can't I seem to post a sensible comment that defends your reporting and urges people to stop focusing on the inane and think for themselves? Too reasonable for you? Yet you have no problem allowing a post that asks god to appoint Hillary president.

    No wonder I avoid cyber-space.

    February 13, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  9. IndependentTurnedObamite

    jimmy velman – Watch watch you say buddy. You sound like one Racist loser.

    February 13, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  10. Bob

    FREEZE interest rates for 5 years would
    1. destroy our economy in 2 months
    2. IS NOT a PRESIDENTIAL POWER (she says she is experienced) WHOA
    3. Banks are NOT OWNED BY THE GOVERNMENT
    4. ONLY HILLARY and HUGO CHAVEZ are communist dictators
    5. WE::::: citizens::::: shareholders:::::
    OWN THE BANKS
    we::::::::::: citizens:::::: shareholders have investments in MORTGAGE BACKED SECURITIES that have guaranteed us a specific rate of return:

    Hillary is dangerous: pathetic dumber than utterly stupid or just another lie

    What most Amercians fail to see is that both sides of Congress are responsiable for the mess we find ourselves in.

    Jobs going over seas..
    Price increases.
    Housing market in it's biggest decline in decades.
    Federal and state governments intruding more and more in our lives.
    And a war that has lasted for years with no end in sight.
    Throw in the torture, lies and half truths, frankly, they all need to be impeached and place on an island where they can talk each other to death.

    Both sides voted for this..

    What most Americans also don't see is the 'political royalty' we have created funded by huge corporations who fund this fiasco..

    Kennedy
    Clinton's
    Bush's

    And a host of 'professional' politicians that is no more than what we overthrew in the late 18th Century.

    We just put a different tag on them.

    We call them 'democrats' or 'republicans'.

    In the meantime, Americans seek out some 'savior' as if Bush or Clinton or Obama or McCain is going to save them.
    The very ones who gave you NAFTA, unsecured borders yet strip search you at the airport.
    The ones who took your jobs overseas.
    The ones who will justify torture and lies in the name of 'freedom' and 'democracy'.

    The very ones, both democrat and republican who have taken our Constitution, circumvented it and made it a thing to be legislated away, excutive ordered away or just ignored.

    As if they, this 'royalty' you have created, has a divine right to do so.
    To lie, manipulate and break our own laws and then scream about 'the rule of law'.

    The very ones who have taken a Constitutional Republic and made it an Empire.

    There is no one going to 'save' you.
    The simple reason is, you keep looking for your solutions from the very people who are giving you the problems.

    February 13, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  11. Bob

    Debate do nothing when just talk about lie special for clinton dinasties

    February 13, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  12. I' m for Obama '08

    Where is Hillary right now? Does she want to debate from Texas? If she wants debate, then she should come to Wisconsin. She can't be in Texas and crying for debate in Wisconsin. It seems she's on the run. Obama has won 10 state in a roll.

    February 13, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  13. rusty

    There will be two more debates between these two, that is more than enough. Clinton is just looking for a way to win a whole lot of votes with a 10 second sound bite from the debate. Obama is wise to be wary, he is earning his votes by campaigning in every state, not ignoring any because they are "not important". Hillary is desperate.

    February 13, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  14. demi

    I think this discussion thread are moderated by unquestionably biased pro-Obama CNN. For a start and as proof of confidence, CNN should take Obama first as their networks CEO and well see it from there.

    FYI, CNN posted entries pro-Obama. But if it is pro-Clinton, CNN will not think twice to allow it.

    Alexander Mooney and Chris Welch, how much did the Obama camp paid you?

    February 13, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  15. Cal Jim 2

    You folks do know that, Obama, is running for president of the United States of America. Right? Not the president of Kenya, or some third world, musliim country. Right? Just checking, because I for one don't want to be, reduced, to living like them, because Obama, thinks more of taking care of them, than us in the U.S. Maybe he should have taken his campaign over there some where! Mrs. Clinton on the other hand will care for the needy of the world. That's a sure thing. We know her. She does, put the people of the U.S.A. FIRST!!! I Think we need to keep a clear head on our, U.S. needs and the needs of Americans First!!! They, (the candidates), also must be able to explaine how to achieve those needs, (in debates), for us to view and hear in order for, us, to make an educated decision. Choose wisely. All of our lives depend on the choice we make. Even a really, good talker, trips themselve up, when people listen, to him long enough. Think back and think ahead. Wake up! Tthis is not a dream. But a bad choice, spent, on a dream weaver, could very well, turn, into a U. S. and World Wide, NIGHTMARE!!! We the People of This Great Country, are smarter than that. Aren't we? Or, are we not?

    February 13, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  16. yl, California

    Hilliary gets plenty of free media! And I just wonder why?

    People, pay attention to how much her images got on CNN & MSNBC. Get your stop watch out and count. How many times for how long. Also, watch how the camera show her. Images are closer? bigger? Front image? Backside image? With clear campaign messages audible?

    Let the news media know that we DO know and we are watching them! Let the slick Willy know that while trying to get payback for favors, American people are not blind!

    February 13, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  17. D. J. stevens

    After reading two of Barack Obama's books, Dreams from my Father and the Audacity of Hope; I feel I know the man's heart. Extremely intelligent, a great orator, and a humanitarian to boot...I believe he is the exact medicine this country needs to lead us into healing within and to begin to heal our damaged image in the rest of the world. I also feel that the more people see him and hear him, people who did not know him before begin to take notice saying "who is this man who is real, genuine, and has such good ideas for our country?"

    February 13, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  18. Courtnie

    Just a little information for everyone:

    The candidate that is perceived to be doing better doesn't want to debate, while the candidate who needs a little help always wants to debate.

    That's the unwritten rule of debates in politics. So if the delegate count were reversed, or the support for Obama wasn't steadily growing, we'd probably hear this same kind of thing from his campaign.

    I'm an Obama supporter, but I don't really find this ad to be "negative". I also find this story a waste of CNN's time.

    February 13, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  19. Mary

    I think people better wake up! Obama has no substance at all.. it is jsut not there folks.. he is as they say and empty suit.. do we want another one in the white house?I think not.
    I am tired of the media pushing this guy.. and the Republicans love it .. that is what they want..

    February 13, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  20. Montana woman

    There have been 18 debates. We're sick of debates. The candidates' websites have articles on all the issues; people don't need to be spoonfed what they can research for themselves. Clinton is simply trying to secure free air time.

    February 13, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  21. Against the Cult

    CNN stop the spin. This ad is not negative, it is challenging. As for Wisconsin, she did campaign there last week, as for this week, why spend money you barely have in a place you are going to loose?

    February 13, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  22. kendrick

    hillary destroys obama in debates. it's not a speech, his lame speeches sound stupid.

    February 13, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  23. Nando, Florida

    After next Tuesday she will be able to Debate , whoever will run against Her Senate Seat In NEW YORK!!!!!!!

    OBAMA 08,12

    February 13, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  24. Kara

    There are clear reasons why Obama has refused debates, and it shows. Hillary Clinton outsizes Barak Obama in the many issues she can articulate based on her deep experience. There are few people who know health care better than Hillary, and Obama's not one of them. In foreign policy, she takes the cake and has world leadership credibility. Unfortunately, for Obama he can't measure up to her experience and ability to be ready on day one. Period.

    George Bush had to learn on the job. Barak Obama will too. In the meantime, I hope that the Obama followers will start examining the issues and take a break from the sweet talk.

    February 13, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  25. RICK

    Obama is a magician, and is fooling all his followers. Cool-aid anyone.

    February 13, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
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