April 23rd, 2008
10:26 AM ET
12 years ago

NY Times slams Clinton's 'negativity'

 Clinton celebrates her Pennsylvania victory with Gov. Ed Rendell.

Clinton celebrates her Pennsylvania victory with Gov. Ed Rendell.

(CNN) - Fresh off her victory in Pennsylvania, Hillary Clinton is facing a stinging rebuke of her campaign tactics from her hometown paper, The New York Times.

In the paper's Wednesday edition, the editorial board which endorsed Clinton's White House bid earlier this year says the New York senator's "negativity" is doing "harm to her, her opponent, her party and the 2008 election."

"The Pennsylvania campaign, which produced yet another inconclusive result on Tuesday, was even meaner, more vacuous, more desperate, and more filled with pandering than the mean, vacuous, desperate, pander-filled contests that preceded it," the board writes.

The paper finds fault in Clinton's latest campaign ad, which includes an image of Osama bin Laden, and asks, "Who do you think has what it takes?"

"Mrs Clinton became the first Democratic candidate to wave the bloody shirt of 9/11," they write, adding that it is a tactic that is "torn right from Karl Rove’s playbook."

"Mrs. Clinton does more than just turn off voters who don’t like negative campaigning," the editorial also states. "She undercuts the rationale for her candidacy that led this page and others to support her: that she is more qualified, right now, to be president than Mr. Obama."

The paper also says Barack Obama deserves some of the blame for the negative tone. "He is increasingly rising to Mrs. Clinton’s bait, undercutting his own claims that he is offering a higher more inclusive form of politics."

But the editorial makes clear the paper thinks most of the blames lies with Clinton. "If she is ever to have a hope of persuading [superdelegates] to come back to her side, let alone win over the larger body of voters, she has to call off the dogs."

soundoff (917 Responses)
  1. Juli

    This feminist won't be voting for Mrs. Clinton if she gets the nom. She's a liar. Period. She has been my senator for 2 terms now and she comes upstate only when it's politically advantageous for her. She is self-serving in the worst possible way.

    It's time for a woman, yes, just as much as an African American. But I want it to be a woman who can unite us and get something done instead of yet another insider bringing more of the same crap to the oval office. She's about *her* career, not our best interests. I truly believe if she gets the nom, the Dems are handing the presidency right back to the GOP.

    April 23, 2008 01:11 am at 1:11 am |
  2. Obama 08!

    I'm glad someone said something. She won PA., SO.... News Flash!!!! you have to win the Popular vote to win, the Electoral vote, to win the presidency(unless your name is George W Bush). I'd vote for "McBush" if she wins without winning the of the above.


    April 23, 2008 01:11 am at 1:11 am |
  3. V in CA

    In fact, you can easily count the number of articles, TV, and radio ads that are negative from each campaign toward the other.

    I find it curious how the NYT ignores all of the low-ball tactics Obama's campaign used against Sen. Clinton (grossly misrepresenting her healthcare plan through mailers in TX and OH and again doing the same thing in PA and in TV ads there, and on and on, Obama sneering at her, laughing derisively at her, putting her down daily). They are both politicians, and they both lie, and they both went negative.

    Grow up and get over it. There is no "new politics." Politics is and will always be politics.

    April 23, 2008 01:11 am at 1:11 am |
  4. Reed Richards

    All the Billary supporters and the suckers for Obama,

    All other extreme right or extreme left partisan nonsense aside, the elephant in the room that no one, not even any of you have addressed is this:

    What states that George Bush won in 2000 and 2004 will either Hillary or Barack Obama win in 2008? If either wins the exact same states that Al Gore won in 2000 or John Kerry won in 2004 BOTH WILL STILL LOSE THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE VOTE TO GEORGE W. MCCAIN IN 2008. IT'S AS SIMPLE AS THAT.

    So the question then becomes, what state or states can either Hillary or Barack "flip" to win in 2008?


    April 23, 2008 01:11 am at 1:11 am |
  5. Rusty Bedsprings

    "I am so sick of the media,Obama supporters and the internet in general. "

    The "Internet in general?" Isn't that what you're using to convey your sentiment, my hypocritical friend?

    It's incredible to see the IQ divide between Obama and Clinton supporters. Sheesh!

    April 23, 2008 01:11 am at 1:11 am |
  6. Ryan S in VA

    She's gone negative, but she keeps winning big states.

    Obviously, the BIG democratic strong-holds are not buying the Obamania.

    The Clinton's pockets run deep, and they've dug deep to support many supers' campaigns over the years.

    Don't be surprised if there's an upset in Denver that Obama never saw coming.

    April 23, 2008 01:12 am at 1:12 am |
  7. Anonymous

    CNN, like the NY Times, both feel the need to insert stupid digs at any Hillary victory. She won by a big margin. Write a story about that without all this negativity yourself

    April 23, 2008 01:12 am at 1:12 am |
  8. LennyInDelaware

    I just donated too.

    Congratulations Hillary!! And to all her supporters, volunteers, her hubby Bill and Chelsea, Governor Rendell, Mayor Nutter, including the many mayors, Mr. Murtha and the rest of you who are working behind the scenes.!!!

    You have all worked so hard.

    Hillary's team are like the Energizer bunnies. They just keep going and going.

    America wants Hillary to be the next president. She is like the Energizer bunny!!!

    Congratulations Hillary team!!! Job Well done on PA Primary.

    May God Always Bless the Hillary Teams!!!! That includes all of you Hillary supporters!!!

    April 23, 2008 01:12 am at 1:12 am |
  9. SVCAN

    Bill , well said about the stupidity. I am your neighbor (NJ) and we were equally or more stupid in voting for Clinton.
    Clinton is mean, she will lie and do anything in this world to win the nomination. You can tell by looking at her, she is faking, lying and desperate.
    She took money from Lobbyists and she will continue to do that. She doesn't care if Democrats win or loose.. She just wants to win. It will probably be OK for her to loose with McCain, rather than loose with Obama. I would vote for Pamela Anderson, rather than Hillary.
    She needs to be kicked out of the race and let the 2 gentlemen fight it out.

    April 23, 2008 01:12 am at 1:12 am |
  10. Roland

    Yes Hillary won, but everyone knew that she would win, the only question was by how big a margin. Maybe now she can stop all this negativity. She is losing badly therefore she continue to search for any negative thing that she can find in an attempt to sway the white voter. Just like Hillary was pick to win in Pa. Obama is predicted to win big in N.C.and several other states. Lets see what happens then

    April 23, 2008 01:12 am at 1:12 am |
  11. Barb in TN

    Amazing! Sounds like sour grapes to me. I think the ad is perfectly legit in the question it asks. It is only calling into question Obamas experience but of course the media has to spin it as racist. Give me a break!

    April 23, 2008 01:12 am at 1:12 am |
  12. Sandra

    Thank you New YORK TIMES.
    Finally somebdy spoke the truth. I really use to like Hillary but there is no way I would ever vote for her. She has ran the most negative campaign ever!

    Obama 08

    April 23, 2008 01:12 am at 1:12 am |
  13. GoodNEWS

    I'm happy to see Liberal Media does support moderate democracy, and not just the extremely liberal. I have read complaints by others stating that the media has "Nothing but spin, with hypocrites around every corner." Yet these are the same people that will join in Bush-bashing and participate in anti-republican sentiments. Another thing I have noticed throughout this election is the nastiness by not only Hillary, but her supporters as well. Hillary supporters are so nasty that they not only refuse to unify for the general election, but shun the very media outlets that they supported for previous years. Get it together people! Hillary has alot of cleaning up to do – this article speaks truth.

    April 23, 2008 01:13 am at 1:13 am |
  14. Lewis

    No 12 million could not buy PA, but dishonesty and lies did. Since when is Hillary a church going person. As a Christian I am deeply offended that she would claim to represent church going middle-income families. When she supports a lot of non Christians values.

    She was said that it took a Clinton to clean up after a Bush in the White House.

    All the the Clintons did, was bring scandal after scandal to our country including sexual imorality in the form of adultry. Do we need another Clinton to bring more dirt to our country?

    NO!! Our country has suffered enough.

    Wake up Hillary!!! Go back home to New York!!!

    April 23, 2008 01:13 am at 1:13 am |
  15. john taylor

    I will be satisfied with either obama or clinton but her negative attacks definitely show she is puting herself before the party and the general election. You can learn a lot about a candidate by looking at how they run their campaign. It's ridiculous Clinton would accuse Obama of using tactics out of Karl Roves' handbook and then envoke images of 9/11 in campaign ads!! What planet is she on!? If Clinton somehow convinces enough superdelgates to switch sides the African American community will feel Obama was cheated out of the nomination and will not show up in as large of numbers in the general election. Time to end this nonsense and elect Obama..come on Indiana!!!

    April 23, 2008 01:13 am at 1:13 am |
  16. dave

    Tonya McPantsuit, er, Hillary, isn't concerned about the country, about the election or her party. Whatever it takes for her to win the election, she'll do it (or try). The only way she takes the nomination is to beg the "Supers" to go AGAINST the will of the people (pledged delegates, popular vote), which will tear the Dems apart, and weaken the ticket from top to bottom.

    Our nation needs, desperately, to sweep out the same old politics and politicians from Washington. There simply is no way we get there with Hillary McCain.

    April 23, 2008 01:13 am at 1:13 am |
  17. suzanne

    NY Times editorial page? a stinging rebuke from her hometown paper? Amen! PS Thank you Penn voters for yelling "Yes we can!" in the background on her victory speech. Getting ready for Obama, are you?

    April 23, 2008 01:14 am at 1:14 am |
  18. Remy

    What a relief!!!!! I don't have to vote for McCain after all.

    April 23, 2008 01:14 am at 1:14 am |
  19. EVK

    NYT needs to stop their liberal hand wringing and weeping and get real. Complaing that HRC went negative is lame. When BHO trots out his surrogates on media calls, where are the objective NYT reporters. The media is repeating the mistakes it made when Bush took the country into Iraq. The news anaylsis and editorial comments are shallow and superficial, lack objectivity and spits out conventional talking points. How about doing a serious analysis on how BHO is going to fare against JM in the general election? The editorial board of NYT should go back and read their HRC endorsement. Stop propogating this psueudo myth about how HRC has waged a negative campaign! Like Bill and Hillary said, politics is not for the wuss- if you cannot stand the heat get out of the kitchen! Does NYT think that if BHO becomes president he is going to get a veto-proof majority? It is not going to happen- I wonder what will happen to his hope & change message then. A BHO presidency without a veto-proof majority is going to be dead in the water. How about doing an editorial on that NYT?

    April 23, 2008 01:15 am at 1:15 am |
  20. LSW

    Clearly, by the look of these comments, her pandering and Hate Obama, Love Me rhetoric has paid off. She's done a better job of turning her supporters into anti-Obamaites than the Republicans. So far at least 10 of her lines have been already repeated on this page. Way to go, Hillary.

    April 23, 2008 01:15 am at 1:15 am |
  21. Jean

    We talk about negative campaigning it seems to win votes. The media and we the voters alone with the canidates can and should set a better tone.

    Fighting is okay if there a goal and ground rules.


    April 23, 2008 01:15 am at 1:15 am |
  22. The Writer Mama

    Sorry, but the Hillary-bashing is just so yesterday's news.

    But if you want to boost her campaign, go for it!

    April 23, 2008 01:16 am at 1:16 am |
  23. Puzzled

    Clinton is running an increasingly negative and desperate campaign, but, I can't exactly fault her for it because I think most politicians in her place would. Look at McCain, who promised to stick to the issues and avoid personal attacks. His camp sent out a mailing that said that Hamas would celebrate if Obama won. Now that is plain old-fashioned fear-mongoring. With 99% of the vote in, Clinton stands to gain a whole 6 delegates. That is not going to neccessarily change the landscape of the election. I personally don't understand the nastyness many of the previous poster have posted
    ALL THE WAY HILLARY!- The NY Times didn't miss the boat, Hillary is running increasingly negative ads, looks like you should pay a little more attention to politics before posting.
    Jay in Kansas- The article is about the Times, not CNN.
    NObama- The Obama campaign did outspend Clinton, but the ads Obama ran were mostly directed at policy, not veiled personal attacks.

    Now I am not endorsing either candidate because I think they both would do a better job than the current administration, however, facts are facts. Just because you don't like the fact that the NY Times pointed out Hillary's campaign flaws doesn't change the fact that the ads are becoming increasingly negative.

    April 23, 2008 01:18 am at 1:18 am |
  24. Pat

    In reference to the Clinton ad that has the images of various events or things, over the past years and included Bin Laden, the ad was merely showing the many challenges that can face a president. I do believe "Katrina" was also shown. It in NO way invoked terrorism in any way. What is so hard to understand about that? The NY Times Board needs to get a life and quit nit-picking.

    April 23, 2008 01:18 am at 1:18 am |
  25. Voice of Reason

    Uhm, sooo... yeah. I'm just going to say... "Duh" on that one.

    April 23, 2008 01:18 am at 1:18 am |
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