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. Joseph

    The campaigns have been going on for over a year. At this point, if you have not effectively stated your position and America still needs MORE clarification on where you stand on the issues, then you haven't being doing much at all. This is the season to reap the fruits of your campaign. Either voters like you or they don't. More debates with occasional one liners aren't effective, they are annoying.

    February 13, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  2. Vicki NH

    Where are the voices of the voters from Michigan and Florida? After the many years it took for Black Americans and Women to win the right to vote, don’t you want your votes to count? If I lived in one of those states I would be mad as hell. The DNC does not have the right to take your votes away from you, STAND UP and be counted!! By the way Florida, Obama said your votes don’t matter!! Regarding the debates, Obama doesn't want to debate because knows he can't win against Clinton.

    February 13, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  3. Alison, FL

    what a loser she is..just drop out already and spare yourself the embarrasment!

    February 13, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  4. Eyong Ebot,Lawrenceville,GA

    one of the major themes of the Clinton campaign has been that the New York Senator is "battle-tested" and better prepared to take on McCain and the right wing attacks. But that has been turned on its head by the fact that a junior Senator from Illinois has ended up putting the Clinton campaign on the ropes. It's hard to argue that you can demolish John McCain when you can't decisively defeat an opponent who came from nowhere, with no national name recognition, in your own party's primary. That is just common sense.

    February 13, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  5. Sharon, Orlando

    Senataor Clinton has asked a legitimate question – one I've been asking myself for quite some time. What is it that Senator Obama's change is about? Anyone who stops to think will see that he simply cannot implement all of his sweeping promises in 8 years! Does he want to start the job and have someone else finish it? As it stands Hillary has laid out her policies and how she will go about achieving her goals once she is in office. I am still confused as to what Obama wants to do. All I know is that he wants "change." Sadly Hillary's questions may never be answered as it seems no one is interested in a candidate who is willing and able to roll up her sleeves and get us out of this mess. Everyone wants to feel good about themselves and ride the wave. Well, as a person who grew up near the ocean I will leave you with a cautionary warning, "Be careful how you ride the wave – not everyone comes out alive and iIt may just swallow you up!"

    February 13, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  6. Scott

    Precious. As Jack Nicholson's character said in "A Few Good Men," "is that all you have? Please tell me that's not all you have."

    February 13, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  7. bb

    Fear of winnng one among some Democrats? Nothing like providing material for the Republican slime machine in the fall.

    February 13, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  8. John

    Personally, I don't think debates make a big difference in the outcome. That being said, don't kid yourself for one minute into thinking Obama is "nobly" looking out for the public's best interests by limiting the number of debates. Obama has only one person's best interests in mind, and that's his own. If he thought for one second that he could benefit by more debates, he would want one every hour, let alone every week. It's only the fact that he only sees debates hurting his chances more than helping them that he is ducking. Give Hillary her due and acknowledge the real reason he doesn't want to debate her, and let her use that in an ad. It's not negative, it's merely the truth.

    February 13, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  9. Evelyn

    scaredy cat scaredy cat

    February 13, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  10. Can't wait to vote in Ohio

    She sounds desperate. Maybe she is. I almost feel sorry for her. Almost.

    February 13, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  11. caywen

    We need less debating and more uniting. Yeah, Obama does prefer to give inspiring, uniting speeches than answering questions for the 18th time that his Web Site gives perfectly straight, clear answers to. Maybe that's why he's winning. Endless debates and petty attacks are what Washington is all about, and Hillary shows herself to be a product of Washington.

    February 13, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  12. Greg, San Francisco, CA

    There's no debating the facts – She's toast.

    February 13, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  13. J. in PA

    Here we go...
    Hang on Democrats. Let's just hope there is a party left to unify after the Clintons get done scorching the earth...

    February 13, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  14. gene

    Obama's health care plan leaves 15 million people out . These are people who don't want or think they need coverage . Why it is so important that everyone is covered it spreads the cost out over a larger group and to a group that considers themselves healthy, thereby reducing the overall cost.. CNN might consider this a negative ad, but its the truth.

    February 13, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  15. Leo

    Two debates coming up very soon ... we need another? Is this the best the Clinton campaign organizers can do? They are like novices. My 16 year old son could come up with a better strategy. Well, let's see how this thing plays out. By the looks of how each person is organizing their campaign, Mr. Obama is clearly superior.

    February 13, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  16. Alecki

    Americans need to see these two in a debate. There is no doubt about it. Obama goes "duh" when asked many questions.
    He has no background of running countries and shouldn't even attempt a debate with his background.

    This is a prerequisite to his Republican rival debates. He won't have a prayer if he doesn't practice.

    He doesn't do well. Let's face it.

    February 13, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  17. Jeff in Plainfield, IL

    Ahhh, desperation at its finest. Hillary is low on money because even her special interest groups...aren't all that interested! That's why she wants constant debates. Free airtime.

    Her healthcare plan helps the insurance industry most of all. We do not need a socialist, big-brother national healthcare plan in order to cover those who cannot afford healthcare. What we need is reform.

    And her "foreclosure freezing" plan rewards failed, risky investment and poor planning, while those who were cautious and didn't reap the benefits of being reckless are punished. I waited and saved, and haven't spent beyond my means. I want the natural market forces to come into play. I want to see the correction in its full splendor!

    Just like with the economy...every band-aid we throw on is going to make the mess much worse when those bandages come off and the pain starts flowing. Thanks but no thanks Hillary, this is America, and whether you like it or not, we're kinda big on freedom of choice.

    February 13, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  18. VIRGINIA VOTER

    We can visit the candidates' websites to get their view on the issues. She wants to stop him from campaigning. We are tired of hearing about this.

    The questions never get a straight answer anyways. This negativity isn't working for her thus far.

    February 13, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  19. jyfranca

    Good attempt sen.Clinton.I think you have to face the fact not politicize the all issue of debate.Its not big deal you have had more than 18 debates and still voters dont buy your incumbent speech

    February 13, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  20. Braineel

    No free press for Senator Clinton!

    February 13, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  21. TM

    I am very disappointed with her campaign. Please Obama don't respond with negative ads. Hillary, please don't take this route.

    Obama 08!!

    February 13, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  22. Matt Cross

    Hillary's strategy is pretty clear: She's loosing, so she'll either dig up some dirt on Obama, or twist something he's said into something negative, then blind-side him with it on national TV.

    February 13, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  23. sonya

    it is completely irresponsible of obama to run his campaign on the sentiments of the american people. he has nudged out candidates that have more to offer this country than his sorry speeches. i look forward to this campaign going to the dnc. hopefully, the superdelegates will be capable of determining that barack is not the right person for the job. surely, a good proportion of american voters have been completely taken by this slick talking politician and are not able to see through his false rhetoric. hillary..keep at it.

    February 13, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  24. Hudson

    That's the last straw for me. I can no longer support this woman. She's led a noble effort to claim the nomination but it's obvious now that Obama moves people and connects to people in a way she simply cannot. Going negative is bad for the party and a sign of someone with only her own interests in mind. For that, I'm switching to Obama.

    I also find it funny that during her senatorial campaign, when she was the front runner she found all kinds of reasons not to debate. Ridiculous.

    February 13, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  25. stushie

    Now that the writers' strike is over, who the heck wants to watch more debates???

    Get with the program Hillary, Obama has busted your campaign.

    February 13, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
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