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. Obama Supporter

    the only thing hillary knows to do is be negative

    February 13, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  2. shadowlady

    Sounds like someone (whose campaign funds are getting low) wants all the free TV airtime she can get.

    February 13, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  3. Chris from Ohio

    Does she really think people are that stupid. Limited money = Limited exposure. Limited money + Debate = Free Exposure. If she were winning, I bet she wouldn't want 1 debate per week. She knows the more people get to know Obama the more they are willing to vote for him. She can rest on her name. We all know it. He needs to get his out there.

    February 13, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  4. Hugh Blake

    I believe that after 18 debates it is more important to dabate the issues face with to face with the people and not with Mrs. Clinton. Let the people ask the questions and judget the answers.

    February 13, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  5. Think Hard

    "Wisconsin deserves to hear both candidates debate the issues that matter. And that's…not debatable."

    Really?? Because if Hillary Clinton cared about having Wisconsinites hear HER that badly you would think she would be visiting their state right now and not Texas.

    February 13, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  6. NC Independent

    Gee...perhaps this kind of ad is what Barack refers to as "the same old game of politics....or politics as usual"

    And it cracks me up that Hillary and her supporters say he hasn't answered questions....exactly what have the debates been...a dinner party?

    There are sooooo many resources where one can find out exactly where the candidates stand on the issues....heck, on this site click "issues". Or you could also just LISTEN when the speak at debates.

    Perhaps the reason his stance on issues doesn't stand out to Hillary supporters is because the two candidates are practically identical on the issues. They want the same thing but have minor nuances that differentiate how to get there.

    So what is the difference?

    Simple, Barack inspires and includes people in the process

    Hillary plays the same old political game....that is her EXPERIENCE

    Barack 08!

    February 13, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  7. Think - FL

    Fine, whatever.

    It'll force Barack to start talking more about his policies and plans that have been listed on his website for months. Then people will begin to realize he has substance, plans and goals too, Hillary. Your supposed edge in experience and policy will be reduced to what it should be... nothing.

    Her campaign plays people for complete idiots. I predict this one to backfire just like all of her other tactics so far. It will unravel her "he's just rhetoric" claims that her supporters love to yell.

    February 13, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  8. CM in MN

    At least Clinton is being more explicit this time when tossing her vile message.

    February 13, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  9. Mb

    18 debates!!! If those arent enough, nothing will be. Obama need to spend more time meeting people face to face. People prefer contact than TV. Hill dont ne mad the guy is smart. Two is all you got. Deal with it.

    February 13, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  10. MRB

    We've had 18 debates already, we're having 2 more, for a total of 20... I think that's more than enough!

    Hillary's desperation is showing.

    February 13, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  11. Chris, Columbia, SC

    How many more debates do we really need??

    February 13, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  12. Raum

    Thats a dumb ad. I would personally rather see him talk to them one on one and answer questions. She should as well, oh wait, then it wouldn't be televised.

    Signs of desperation.

    February 13, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  13. Abe

    Why is this as considered negative???

    It is just stating the facts.

    Once again, anything the Clinton camp does is portrayed in a negative fashion by the media and Obama can do no wrong. When did Obama become untouchable????

    February 13, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  14. Joseph Riedel

    This is no surprise. She's behind in campaign funds, and her campaign is almost Guliani-esque in terms of depending on one day to stop the skid. There have already been more than 10 debates so far this primary season. Wisconsin Democrats are smarter than this, and this ad is not going to help her cause there.

    February 13, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  15. Duke

    This woman will do anything to get her way and it's funny she is going negative now that she is behind in the race. She just doesn't get it people are tired of the ways of the Clintons. If you want to open your eyes to what lows they will stoop to go to the Wall Street Journal On Line and search for the article "The Clintons' Terror Pardons" that was published yesterday. Then tell me if you want more of the same in the future. Yes Obama is a hopemonger but he won't release criminals in the hope that it will create votes for himself.

    February 13, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  16. DB

    She says she wants more debates, then the next day shuns msnbc from debates. Kinda of a double standard.

    February 13, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  17. JR

    I don't think the ad sounds negative at all. I think Obama doesn't want to go up against Clinton on the issues again because she has come out ahead him on all their debates. It's not about giving her air time, that's a load of bull. American's want to hear more from both canidates. Come on Obama, if you believe in what you're saying debate her!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 13, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  18. rob

    Clinton's have nine lives, another one of those dirty tricks.

    February 13, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  19. Muzhik

    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?

    February 13, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  20. Jenny

    I'm pretty sure Clinton wants to debate because it's free advertising. He does answer questions, he has good answers that can work on bi-partisan levels. Don't let Hillary fool you. Negative ads come out when you're desperate.

    February 13, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  21. Sam

    Obama is scared. He's all hype and no substance.

    February 13, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  22. Carlos

    Desperated pleople do desperated things...

    February 13, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  23. Peggy

    Hilary is no more that an unhappy looser.
    She use to be top dog, but just because Sen Obama won the majority of votes now, she does not like it.

    When she won New Hampshre, she was so happy. She said
    THIS IS HOW THE WEST WAS WON. She had a great time smiling and laughing and jestering. Now it is his time, and she gose bananas.

    IS SHE SOMEWHERE CRYING FOR THE PITY VOTES???????

    February 13, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  24. Eric

    Regardless of who you favor in this primary, Mr. MSM, why is this "going negative"?

    Clinton rules, perhaps?

    February 13, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  25. Smith

    so OBVIOUS why Obama won't debate her..

    it's FREE advertising for her....

    and she's running out of money . .

    it's a board game strategy .. let her funds dry up.

    February 13, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
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