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. Independent

    Obama better not bend to Clinton's will. Debate about what? How she has 35yrs of experience but found her voice just last month in NH? Let her have a debate with herself. What, she cannot afford her little fake question and answer sessions where she plants questions and debate with herself and tell people being a woman is a change?

    Obama should stay on the debate schedule agreed upon before January. If Hillary wants more attention, let her borrow more money from herself.

    February 13, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  2. Becky

    Hillary Clinton knows what she is talking about. She conveys knowledge, action, and specifics about how she is going to make change happen. She has a proven track record of success. Barack Obama talks in hopes and dreams, which is indeed uplitfing, but will not create change, nor does he have a track record of creating change. He has a track record of not being able make decisions during critical legislation, and thus voted "present" , which does not support change. It shows how weak he can be. This should be discussed.

    February 13, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  3. maumus2006

    She wants to debate because money is tight. She needs to build support, Obama needs to keep up his good work. Pick your battles wisely and he can win.

    February 13, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  4. molly gonz

    She has lost all tactics. He is a very busy man and like they said, she was using the debates instead of being able to pay for advertising. He saw through that and refused to give in. Now she's claiming he doesn't want to debate?? She's grabbing at straws.

    February 13, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  5. B Johnson

    Bill and Hillary need to go home, or aleast start supporting Obama so the country can move on. If she really cares like she sys she does about the country then back Obama and help the country move toward real change. Right now I believe she is just wasting time and money. The people that are sticking by her at this point after hearing Obama are the people that are loyal to the clintons,not because they really want her to become our next president. They just dont want to hurt her feelings.

    Sorry Hillary, the past is over. and bring your friends, get aboard the Ark!

    February 13, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  6. Grif

    Again my Opinion. But Obama thinks he's wageing War. The Words "Movement", has been used over and over again in History..

    Then it becomes a Mob!!!! Power Crazy Dictators....

    February 13, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  7. KJ, CA

    Hillary I think that we have had enough debates, I don't need to see you talk around the issues, change the subject when it doesn't suit you and give two different answer to the same question in the span of two minutes.

    American voters are much smarter than you give us credit for. Also, your comment dismissing "activists" – well, this is one activist who has taken it personally. Activism is what democracy is about and I don't want a President who doesn't understand that.

    February 13, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  8. Dave - NJ

    Why limit the debates to once per week; why not one per day between now and June 3rd?

    Hillary, we've all heard your stump speech 1,000 times (same with Barack); we all know that you would like to mandate health coverage for everyone and garnish our wages if we can't afford to pay for it; we all know that you were in favor of going to war in Iraq; we all know that you've been riding your husband's coattails for the past 30 years; we know!

    Instead of planning debates, try spending your time keeping your staff and winning a primary.

    February 13, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  9. Tim, California

    Negative campaigning from her was expected at this point. Unfortunately, this will probably be her approach through the remaining primaries.

    Obama's margin of victory in Wisconsin will hint at just how successful her new strategy will be. In the long term, I suspect it will hurt her more than help her.

    February 13, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  10. Jack

    This sounds a little desperate. They've already agreed to debate in Texas next week. Why do you need to debate again in Wisconsin? It would just be more of the same.

    February 13, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  11. john edwards, NC

    hillary darling, maybe u shud, i dunno, spend your time campaigning rather than worry about another debate

    February 13, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  12. Linoq

    Any candidate who is losing will always ask for more debates than usual....

    February 13, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  13. Jake

    So we've got Hillary not wanting to debate on MSNBC, and blaming it on Barack, a health care system that doesn't necessarily cover everyone, just fines those that don't participate, and an economic plan that involves freezing forclosures, which has already been done. Did she invent the internet too?

    February 13, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  14. simplton

    she can't afford to spend more money...her money. Debates are free advertising. She is in a desperate spot now, while obama confines to give his supporters what they want from their candidate.

    She's not for change. If she were, she would back obama.

    February 13, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  15. John

    She's going down in flames. "Both Democratic candidates have been invited..." - SHE did the inviting! LOL

    February 13, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  16. Andrew

    It is one thing to go negative, but to do it on such a petty issue is surprising.

    February 13, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  17. Jose'

    Remember how evil democrats can be when the general election comes around!

    February 13, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  18. Joedak

    She wants to debate because she is broke. Look at all the coverage she would get with 5 debates. Obama doesn't need her to get face time.

    February 13, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  19. Andy

    Isn't it just as important to meet the voters face to face than engage in, basically, what would be attack dog politics by clinton in a debate? By meeting with people personally candidates are better able to project the type of person they are and people are able to better understand the details of a candidate's policies, which, when it comes down to it is bad for clinton because her likability factor isn't close to obama.

    February 13, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  20. sam

    Hillary you're pathetic and i hate that you won my home state of California, what a sad and desperate attempt to skew reality, typical clintonian tactic!

    February 13, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  21. Amber

    Yes, yes why answer questions so that we can get some specfics on what his change will be? I don't understand it either.....

    Make him be more specific, I'm sick of one liners

    February 13, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  22. handyre

    She, I mean the HillBilly Clintons, have already started to release their attack dogs. They are playing the race card again. Clintons backed into a corner are showing their true nature. It's all about them and not the party or people. See below about Rendell. There is no place for that kind of politics in America anymore. Race and gender are no more of a factor to being a good or bad President than the color of your hair or having no hair for that matter. Gov. Ed Rendell, one of Hillary Rodham Clinton's most visible supporters, said some white Pennsylvanians are likely to vote against her rival Barack Obama because he is black.

    February 13, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  23. Mk

    The Clinton Campaign is desperately trying to put Obama on the defensive. He continues to stay above the pettiness and focus on the issues.
    We have had a lifetime of devisiveness. This is why we are looking FORWARD to a new way of doing business.

    February 13, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  24. Scott M.-Kalamazoo, MI

    Go home Hillary, New York is calling you? The Clinton/Bush era is a much needed thing of the past!

    February 13, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  25. Josh

    Sounds to me like Obama is scared! ha

    February 13, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
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