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. MD

    I think Hillary needs to tell the people that her plan covers all American's because it forces all Americans to buy health insurance and will garnish their wages if they don't do so.

    Her plan to freeze foreclosures is like Nixon's plan to freeze the price of gasoline. Her plan will INCREASE mortgage interest rates and subsequently increase the eventual default of sub-prime borrowers, which will need to be "rescued" by her administration and paid for with increased taxes.

    She doesn't need to debate Obama. She needs to fully outline the details of her plan.

    February 13, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  2. K Fergus

    What a ridiculous comment. If there is anything the American public needs more of it IS MORE DEBATES. What's the matter? Are you afraid that Obama won't perform as well because he can't make a speech. To date, he has not faired well in the debates. What America needs is REAL debates, where REAL questions are asked and REAL substantive answers are given. This also means having a non-cable news moderator to keep things unbiased. This would pull Mr. Obama's popularity and ego down a couple of notches. Obama couldn't handle the fluff that was thrown at him in the meaningless debates that have been held to date. Heaven help him if they were pointed and require detailed answers.

    February 13, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  3. Corey, Maryland

    Hillary just wants to debate, because she is losing. Barack is now the front runner at a time when we need to pick our candidate soon. He has the advantage so he will call the shots. He doesn't need to listen to her and debate her once a week. She is just afraid and she will be finished on March 4th. Obama has won it already. He has won the most states, total most votes, and the most delegates( including super delegates for both of them) 1215 to 1190. He will get the nomination because he is the better choice.

    Obama Richardson 08!!!!!

    February 13, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  4. larry buchas, new britain, ct

    What's more important, another debate or the candidates meeting the voters?

    I think the public would rather participate in the latter.

    February 13, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  5. John, VA

    Oh yeah...Obama has been lying in his most recent add about his health coverage plan...selling it as a universal coverage when it is not. Telling the truthe is not negativy...what do you think CNN?!

    February 13, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  6. Irene, South Carolina

    Why do we need more debates, we have seen thes two in many debates and we are hearing the same answers over and over again. The point is that we need change, and Hillary will only bring us more of the same. Obama can't help it if Hillary can't afford to campaign, that is not his problem, that's hers. Get over it Clintonites, the Bush/Clinton era is over.

    February 13, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  7. watching election

    HRC is trying to dictate how the campaign is running, and shift direction and policy how it can only benefit her. It truely show desperation when she run out of issues to attack OBAMA!

    February 13, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  8. Quinn - Houston, Texas

    What a loser she is. Hillary knows darn well that two debates in two weeks is plenty enough. They will be debating in Ohio and Texas. She is trying to spin this to make Obama appear afraid of her. I trust that the fine people of Wisconsin are informed enough to know she is lying out of desperation. Her whole campaign is a mess. We all knew she would go negative if she had to.

    Keep your head up Barack. Stay positive. People will see right through her.

    February 13, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  9. Lisa

    Considering that there has just been one televised debate in which Hillary and Obama were able to have a serious 1-1 exchange, I'd say we DO need more debates. He must get more specific and steady if he is to meet McCain and the Republicans and she deserves the right to face her main opponent at this time.

    February 13, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  10. Papa Roach

    What a waste of money. My cousin from Wisconsin called me and laughed at Hillary pitiful ad. She was a supporter of Hillary's until she saw just how pitiful she really is.

    Hillary, another wasted ad and another dime spent on useless attacks.

    February 13, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  11. Grow UP

    Why oh Why CNN do you have to malign Sen. Clinton? How is this Negative? It is the truth. She wants more debates and he doesn't. If the shoe was on the other foot, you would be for it. Please stop this.

    BTW: Let's see if this comment gets posted like my other 50 didn't.

    February 13, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  12. Angela

    Why would Obama give her free TV time??? Her negative ads will backfire. Once again, it's the same old nasty tactics, from the same old people nasty people. Does Billiary never learn?

    February 13, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  13. Gussie

    Let's have a debate where Mrs. Clinton will actually answer some hard questions......like why she won't release her tax returns, just for starters. Let's NOT have the kind of debate where she just gets free air time because she's running out of money. All she does during the debates is posture and blab on and on and on. People are sick of her.

    February 13, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  14. Texan for Hillary

    Obama doesn't have any answers to debate questions.

    In the past debates he actually stamers in trying to figure out how to answer a question.

    His speech writer should win a prize.

    This American knows a complete fony when she sees one!

    Hillary 08

    February 13, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  15. chris

    and so it begins ...... or if we are lucky ....... ends 😀

    February 13, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  16. Harry, NY NY

    Maybe she is going to cry at the next debate? That seems to be the only tactic she has that works..

    February 13, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  17. Sue Z

    Since her campaign is low on money, it seems she wants to freebie advertising that debates can bring. It is not like Obama has been unwilling to debate...more political speak from the establishment candidate. Boy, do we need change!!!

    February 13, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  18. Texas

    Obama '08!!!

    February 13, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  19. Mark

    She is grasping at straws. Ignore it, please.

    February 13, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  20. Ato, MN

    why is Obama runing away from debate? Is because he is more talk with no action.

    February 13, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  21. John in Charlotte

    Yeah Hillary, the 18 debates we have had weren't enough.

    Way to go negative Hillary, we all knew it was just a matter of time.

    Yes We Can!!
    Obama 08

    February 13, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  22. YLR

    She doesn't know what else to do. Desperate maybe? Hmmmm... though she'd wrap it up after Super Tuesday? I think not.

    Barack the Vote!!!!

    February 13, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  23. Shane

    Hillary is all about Hillary... America needs her like it needs another 4 years of President Bush.

    Her true colors will be shown if Senator Obama wins Texas or Ohio and thus makes it mathematically impossible for her to lose the Democrats the Presidency without some behind the scenes Clintonese.



    February 13, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  24. Kelly

    I knew it was just a matter of time before Clinton went negative...she spoke of experience what are her qualifications. I can't believe I was thinking of voting for her. I am a woman and agree wiht most of what the dems says but we do not need another Clinton. Clinton barely got out without being impeached. What a laugh to put him back in office. A president is good because of the type of people around him and Obama as great people around him and I never said this but I trust him. Hill is a three face liar...

    February 13, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  25. jizzle

    We don't need another debate!! Most people have made up their mind on who they will vote for. She's low on money and trying to get free air time. Obama team, stick to your strategy and talk to the people face to face so they can get to know him!!

    February 13, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
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