February 29th, 2008
09:45 AM ET
12 years ago

Clinton raises the stakes in new ad

 Clinton launched a tough new ad Friday.

Clinton launched a tough new ad Friday.

(CNN) - The Democratic White House hopefuls took to the airwaves Friday to battle over national security credentials, with Hillary Clinton’s campaign releasing a tough new ad that pegged her as the presidential candidate best-prepared to take on foreign crises, and Barack Obama’s team responding with the re-release of a spot that painted him as the White House hopeful with the best judgment to be commander-in-chief.

“It’s 3 a.m. and your children are safe and asleep. But there’s a phone in the White House, and it’s ringing. Something’s happened in the world,” says the announcer in the 30-second Clinton spot, which is set begin running in Texas Friday. A phone rings insistently over images of sleeping children.

“Your vote will decide who answers the call. Whether it’s someone who already knows the world’s leaders, knows the military. Someone tested and ready to lead in a dangerous world.

“It’s 3 a.m. and your children are safe and asleep. Who do you want answering the phone?”

The Clinton campaign said the new ad - titled “Children” - is meant to make voters ponder “who they want in the White House during a crisis.”

Within roughly an hour of the ad’s debut, the Obama campaign announced that it was re-releasing “Gulf,” a 30-second spot that first ran prior to the Iowa caucuses. The ad features retired Air Force Gen. Merrill McPeak, a former combat pilot who was the service’s highest-ranking uniformed officer during the first Gulf War.

“As a combat pilot and Air Force chief during Desert Storm, lives depended on the judgments I made,” McPeak says in the spot. “And judgment is what we need from our next commander in chief. Barack Obama opposed this war in Iraq from the start, showing insight and courage others did not.”

McPeak backed John Kerry in the 2004 presidential race.

- CNN Associate Political Editor Rebecca Sinderbrand

soundoff (408 Responses)
  1. Uncle Sam

    Personally, I want John McCain to answer the phone.

    February 29, 2008 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  2. Jane, Maryland

    If she had not booked the call with the operator (by voting for the war)
    in the first place, the operator would not be calling back.

    It depends on the Hillary that answers the phone, the teary one, the angry one, or the dishonest one.

    I want the person who is unflappable at all times. The one who does not lose his cool, and did not go taunt the enemy in the first place – Se. Obama. Thank you very much.

    February 29, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  3. Matt

    God willing it's Hillary who answers the phone.

    February 29, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  4. lois

    I think some of you saying Obama should take a little while and think about that. I can't believe you are serious. I am serious and I want someone that is a little older, wiser, and more experience. It's a little more than just hope and change. We live in a scary world.

    February 29, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  5. shamous mc

    Is it Hillary calling a superdelegate at 3am?

    February 29, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  6. EBC

    Sen. Clinton is doing the same old thing... nothing NEW on her campaign format which is why people are sick of hearing what she has to say. Her entire campaign staffers are just not hitting the mark, they are so far off when it comes to what Americans want and think that is just impossible for her to change her stripes this late in the game.

    February 29, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  7. Steve C - Atlanta, GA

    Here she goes.......another example of her style....using emotional appeals to parents concerned about their children. She wants to place fear in the minds of Americans to get what she WANTS. Parents should ponder this....do you raise your children out of fear...if not, then why should you be persuaded who to vote for out of fear.

    Use good judgment to vote for the candidate with good judgment!

    OBAMA '08

    February 29, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  8. Dave

    Where was Obama last year when Afganistan started heading toward being a failed state. He could have fixed NATO. He can't even multi task. Excuses excuses. We can't afford to have that in a Commander in Chief. Please, give me a break. I wouldn't trust him and his judgement. He can however replace Barry White.

    February 29, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  9. Maria Cuevas-Harper

    This is antiquated fear-mongering at its worst. Billary are using predatory tactics luring images of children to induce your fears. How heartless and calculating. I definitely don't want them answering the phone.

    My answer: President Obama.

    February 29, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  10. Anonymous

    George W. Bush would approve this Ad "FEAR, FEAR and FEAR"

    February 29, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  11. Voter

    Hillary is just clarifying your own thoughts... bringing them into focus.

    February 29, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  12. Mike, St. Paul MN

    Maybe she'll answer the phone and send us into another phony war!!!


    Her experience in making bad judgements is unmatched.

    February 29, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  13. Knormb

    I think it is a great ad! For John McCain.

    February 29, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  14. Cheryl

    I want someone calm, even-tempered, cool and collected..
    which means Barak...

    OBAMA 08

    February 29, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  15. Di

    Go Hillary!!!

    February 29, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  16. A. K.

    Fear mongering !

    Hillary Clinton is running the same campaign George Bush has used to subjugate America the past 8 years. Fear, Fear, Fear

    Shame on you Hillary !!!

    February 29, 2008 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  17. Pete

    While this ad brings up a good point, which candidate would make you feel safer, I think it will backfire on Hillary. It comes off as fear mongering, which is surely something that will surely turn democrats off after bush used it against Kerry successfully four years ago. Dems will equate this with Bush-esque tactics, even if they think Hillary would keep them safer.

    February 29, 2008 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  18. Indie in Iowa

    What is funny in a sad kind of way, is that the republicans aren't even hiding the fact that they are supporting Obama to get Hillary out of the race. (as they did hide it in Iowa). a pal of mine in Texas says they have McCain. they are voting for Obama now but have no plans to vote for him in Nov. Saying that his involvement with the Joyce Foundation and his wanting to ban handguns will never get their vote. However if they could stick it to Hillary then why not ,they didn't have anything better to do.

    February 29, 2008 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  19. Ed K.

    I don't think any amount of advertising will turn the heads of the Obama supporters because they seem to be unwilling to face the facts. Hillary Clinton is far more experienced than Obama. These over zealous Obama fans are making sure we Dems lose the general election. They need to look at reality. Do they want Obama to win the democratic nomination just to lose the general election or will they wise up and let Hillary win both?

    February 29, 2008 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  20. ken lee

    hilary clinton has so much more to offer this country i am 38 voted for john mccain in new hampshire___ when are americans gonna wake up to his change__ change policy thats all he talks about...he is a master at talking..and thats what he will do..my view is he has no experiance in the foreign policy__ please ..do you want him to meet with iran ..please thats a mistake all he is a good talker no experiance at least hillary was in office..and dont think for a moment that she had no decisions in her husbands preidentcy she is very smart... i live in new england i hope whe wins vermont rhode island and ohio ...then the the big prize will be pennsyvanyia ..whats ombama did ..nothing but talk a good speech...?????

    February 29, 2008 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  21. Patrick, Indianapolis

    "In the event of a "crisis," it should be Hillary who answers that call.
    "Hello,…" EXPERIENCE here.

    Hillary 08!!!"

    Hey Mike, WHAT EXPERIENCE!!! The only experience I have seen from her in handling a crisis comes from crisis in her campaign. If that is the type of experience she is touting then no thank you. HILLARY CLINTON HAS NO EXPERIENCE. SHE IS TOO UNSTABLE TO TRUST WITH OUR LIVES!

    February 29, 2008 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  22. James


    February 29, 2008 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  23. Joseph

    Please please please stop with these kinds of obscene ads. William Kristol, not too long ago on foxnews, suggested that the way Hillary needed to go after Obama was by using the "politics of fear." That was his exact quote. The politics of fear, partially because of the Democtrats' sheer weakness and a lack of the ability to "risk" their personal political advancement opportunities, allowed Bush and the republicans to literally hijack (pun intended) the political landscape post 9/11. This was a strategy devised, orchestrated and implemented by Karl Rove. Calling these latest Clinton tactics rovian is not only accurate, it might even be an understatement.

    Hillary probably lays in bed at night hoping for her "phone to ring" indicating something horrible has happened so that she can capitalize on the fear that would result.

    As of yesterday I liked Hillary Clinton. I support Obama but I thought that a lot of the criticisms of her have been exaggerated and at times unfair. I was pretty sure that I would support her if she were the nominee. But this just shows her true colors. It shows that stooping to the lowest form of political games – the manipulation of the American people's fears for the safety of their homes and their families – into a political gain for herself. This is disgusting, and if she's the nominee I absolutely, positively, will NOT under any circumstances vote for her. I'll give my money and my vote to Ralph Nader. Seriously.

    February 29, 2008 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  24. Kay

    Well it's according to which Hillary answers. The one who gets angry so quickly and rushed to judgement, as she did with the Iraq war? So, many different personalities.

    I want Barack to answer.
    Si Se Puede!

    February 29, 2008 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  25. Dominoid

    Hillary, thank you for running this ad. It has two great outcomes for Obama.

    1. You have once again shown poor judgment in your attempt to fear monger a vote and it will backfire
    2. Now any attempt by McCain to use a similar attack will be seen as copy-catting

    Wait a minute. Maybe Hillary knows she has lost and my second point is exactly what she is attempting to accomplish! Wow Hillary your the best.

    Obama '08

    February 29, 2008 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
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