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. dw new mexico

    People really need to know what Obama stands for. He makes a lot of speeches but I really don't know where he stands on issues.

    February 13, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  2. Thomas For Hillary

    About time Hillary, should have been called him out for his lack of stating the issues.

    February 13, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  3. Mary

    Clinton's Health care plan is to make insurance mandatory. There are a lot of people that just plain can't afford even what she would consider "affordable". Obama wants affordable health care, but NOT make it mandatory. I would love to have health insurance – but still need to be able to buy gas to go to work and feed my family. I don't want to be forced to choose between the two. I would like affordable health care when I get to a financial place that I can purchase it. Besides, I believe they have cable TV in Wisconsin - it's not like they haven't seem the other debates

    February 13, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  4. TINA

    She wanted 5 debates but he said no. Like she said all he want to do is speech and smile for everyone, but not talk about how he's going to do thinks. Whats his plan for IRAQ AND ALL THE PROBLEMS WE HAVE TODAY all he saids is we need change? You just can go in and remove them you have to have a plain, And he don't. In every speech he gives he states we need change. Just what is he going to change. He tells every one he's going to do this and that, It takes more then just running your mouth and smiling.

    WAKE UP PEOPLE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    You think we have trouble now just wait.

    February 13, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  5. Alex H

    Sounds a little desperate to me... if anyone wants to watch a debate... I'm pretty sure they're on youtube. Go look them up, its going to be the same as the next debate.

    And how many "CNN is favoring Obama" comments are we gonna get this time? Those don't get old at all! CNN could say "Obama is a big ice cream fan... but Hillary prefers frozen yogurt" and you'd get a dozen comments saying CNN favors Obama to with the nomination.

    February 13, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  6. K. Berry 06

    Why?....they are only going repeat their stomp speeches.....I am tired of debates....if we don't know their position on the issues by now "15" debates will not provide it. Go to their websites and READ.......

    Hillary , please do not go Negative......I am a independent and I do not want to see this.......

    February 13, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  7. KCR for Obama

    I'm glad she went negative – shows her awful character and lack of integrity...AGAIN...and I'm also glad to see CNN calling her out on her childish behavior. Not the kind of President I would want, too catty and vindictive.

    February 13, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  8. Jamauri

    SHE IS GOING NEGATIVE!!!! How Clinton of her. She wants OBAMA to spend LESS TIME with the voters of TEXAS and OHIO because she is scared they will like him when they hear his message and fully understand his stance on the ISSUES which he clearly outlines on his website –for anyone who can READ! Clintons campaign is bitter and this negative Ad will come back to hurt them even MORe. Now he is leading in WISCONSIN AND RHODE ISLAND. He is also closing the GAP with LATINO voters and the people of Ohio. OBAMA's campaign is gaining momentum everyday! OBAMA 08

    February 13, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  9. Art H

    Well, isn't that true ? He is refusing to debate Senator Clinton and that is a grave disservice to the American public, who have to make a determination on such a key nomination.

    I see Obama making a lot of "inspiring" speeches, with no depth to all that talk. Talk is cheap but where is the beef ?

    February 13, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  10. Melanie

    Tired of watching the debates... I have seen them... anymore is too many

    February 13, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  11. Derwood

    I don't think it is really about debates (which I don't think are nearly surefire wins as the clinton camp would hope) I think it is about keeping obama tied up with debate preparations rather than out doing what he does best.

    February 13, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  12. Faith

    I hate negative campaign ads...it makes one look desperate, like it's their last resort.

    February 13, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  13. reality check

    uh, Johnson? Sen. Clinton refused the msnbc debate because of lewd and offensive remarks made by its reporter about Chelsea Clinton. Please don't misrepresent the facts.

    February 13, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  14. ben

    I don't blame Hillary. She is a good politician(aren't they all?)
    But it is rather obvious that debates are huge exposure and they are free.
    Obama doesn't need to allow her free exposure.
    I am sure if their positions in the race were reversed, she would react the same way.
    This not a slam at Hillary, but it is the way of all politicians.

    February 13, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  15. Respected Historian

    BIllary team is suffering from lack of money. All she wants is free TV airtime. There is no need for being negative. And thats why she is losing. Watch and see what will happen in Wisconsin.
    We ask the good people of Wisconsin to show her that there is NO TIME for NEGATIVE RHETORIC anywhere near there.

    OBAMA '08

    February 13, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  16. Aussie Greg

    Unfortunately for the rest of the world it is too late to revive the American empire, it is finished. God help the next president of the USA 'cause he is going to need it to clean up the total mess left by successive administrations. It's time for a change but I fear it has come too late!

    February 13, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  17. Ed K.

    I would like to see Obama tell us exactly what are all these changes he plans on making and how he is going about it. He has no plan and he just talks, the perfect candidate for the republicans to eat alive come Fall. Thousands of republicans came out in Virginia on Tuesday and voted for Obama and these same Republicans will vote for McCain in the general election. They have their candidate and now they will pick the Dem's. Looks like they have found a way to keep the White House. I would like to see a debate and please ask this question. How can we as democrats stop the republicans from picking our party's candidate?

    February 13, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  18. Tammy

    Good grief, Hillary, what questions are left to ask that haven't been covered in over 20 hours of debates so far? This is pathetic and the blowback on you will be deservedly fierce.

    February 13, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  19. Pepe Le Pue

    Desperate times call for desperate measures. The Clinton campaign is a wounded beast; it's dangerous.

    Obama is an idea whose time has come.

    February 13, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  20. Linda LA

    Mark my words, this will backlash on Hillary in a HUGE way. Her negative ads against him NEVER work! HRC focus on your own policy and you just may have a little more success.

    February 13, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  21. Angie

    Who wants to hear her repeat the same things over and over. Now that she is not in the lead she wants to have debates. I think she wants free air time. No more debates.

    Go Obama!!!!

    February 13, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  22. DEE

    I agree with Obama – enough ot the debates – it is just the same old thing. Personal appearances will mean much more.

    February 13, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  23. Sean

    Good for her! It's evident that when it comes to the issues, he's not as in tune with what he's presenting as she is. For Obama, yes, he'd rather give another speech. That way he can throw that word "Change" out there and never say how it will happen!

    February 13, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  24. Observer

    Voters do not pay attention to debates until right before their state contests, which is why HRC wants to debate and BHO does not.

    February 13, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |

    She is really desperate. Obama has her against the ropes and she is going to demand debates and demand that reporters get tough with him because she is DONE! The only thing that will save her is a trip up by Obama in front of a national television audience and it will not happen.

    February 13, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
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