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. Juliane

    The problem is that if Mr. Obama does nothing and does not respond to Clintons negative attacks then people believe them, when he responds he is labled as not living up to what he says about being against the old ways of politics, so people get with it, what the heck do you want, someone that will stand up to her lies or someone that her and McCain will walk all over
    And why she won in Pennsylvania is because of all of Rush Limbaughs sheep that went out and voted Democrate for her and now will go back to the GOP and re-register, take a look at his web site and listen to Larry King show tonight.
    This should be against the law and these pople need to be punished by not being able to vote ever again.............. All this reminds me of the Bush politics

    April 23, 2008 01:41 am at 1:41 am |
  2. dwho

    A government OF the Bush's family, BY the Clintons' family and For the Clintons and Bush's families.

    There is no other experienced person/candidate to lead this nation in time of crisis. The Royal family and the Prime Minister family are in charge.

    When the Prime Minister messes up the Bush's, the Royal family the Clintons comes in and fixes the mess.

    Lying to the American people is something common to these two group of families and no one takes that into consideration.

    April 23, 2008 01:41 am at 1:41 am |
  3. NJ Voter

    I am sick of the media always trying to drag Hillary down. Obama would be nowhere if it wasn't for the media always covering for him at the expense of the American public. We need to know what Obama is all about and it seems the more that comes out the more alarming he is. It seems no matter who I talk to they feel the same way.

    Hillary is an amazing candidate, and she will make an amazing President. I could never vote for Obama.

    April 23, 2008 01:41 am at 1:41 am |
  4. Jot

    NY times where is the article you wrote about John McCaim? You have always written things that you later regrate. Be ready to regrate this one too.

    April 23, 2008 01:41 am at 1:41 am |
  5. Nick

    Bill, it's alright. Hillary can't win anyway... which is good. It's time for a change.

    April 23, 2008 01:43 am at 1:43 am |
  6. amy

    Her last ad is what made her win. People were scared and voted for her. For someone who claims she wants to liberate the country from depression,fear and from a war, I think its a wrong tactic.As a matter of fact, she released the ad on the eve of the primary, leaving noone the chance to argue. I think Peter Paul would agree with me that Clinton is very disingenuous, very dishonest and very very republican. She is showing no restraint and there is just no way she is going to win my vote.

    April 23, 2008 01:43 am at 1:43 am |
  7. Jenny, IN

    I think it's time Ms. Clinton just leave the race as this PA primary didn't change anything. It looks like PA doesn't wanna change to something better then the same old faces. I can't believe PA people believe this woman who lied so many times and said she misspoke about sniper fire. How could someone misspoke on something like that for weeks and brag about it.

    I am an independent voter who mostly have voted republican, but this year I might vote democrat only if Obama is the nominee. Republicans would be so happy to fight an election against Hillary as she has so many flaws and lies that will come back and haunt democrats.

    Thanks democrats!!

    April 23, 2008 01:43 am at 1:43 am |
  8. Smokin' Joe

    It should be painfully obvious to Democrats now just who is actually running things in their little corner of the world.

    You don't have to like it; any more than conservatives should for who is acting on their behalf.

    Of course, Al Smith laid it all out in 1936. It's too bad no one listened.

    April 23, 2008 01:43 am at 1:43 am |
  9. McMillan Osahene

    She is taking her attacks tactics and antics from the arsenal of the ruthlessly pernicious Republicans and the smart and good Democrats should start disowning her for what she truly is – a typical self-serving politician who will say and do anything for the sake of power and personal ambition

    April 23, 2008 01:44 am at 1:44 am |
  10. Shanetti

    Most analyst talked as if Clinton was the underdog. She was predicted at one time to be 25 points ahead of Obama. Is this really a big win, when the state was listed to be a win for her? The real question is how did Clinton lose a 25 point lead.

    April 23, 2008 01:44 am at 1:44 am |
  11. suzanne

    Not all of us Democrats are "useful idiots". We are not all leftists or fanatical liberals, we just want what's right and intelligent and fair and we want justice. I was a reluctant Republican until 1999. The biggest loser in this campaign is the Media Machine. Tim Russert no more. Wolf Blitzer no more. All those I admired and looked forward to watching are just now to me no more than propaganda puppets. That's right: PROPAGANDA. Shame and disgrace you are! Good luck with your Senator Obama agenda – with you and co-horts, I'm sure you will reach your goal, mein comrade. What happened to journalism?

    April 23, 2008 01:44 am at 1:44 am |
  12. nmt


    April 23, 2008 01:44 am at 1:44 am |
  13. Kitty, Denver, CO.

    Perhaps too little, too late. Yet, better late than never!

    April 23, 2008 01:45 am at 1:45 am |
  14. Ito, Yokosuka Japan

    Go away Ralph Nader...er...I mean...Hillary Clinton. I'm running out of barf bags.

    April 23, 2008 01:45 am at 1:45 am |
  15. Demetrius

    Obama outspends Hillary BECAUSE HE HAS THE MONEY. (Hillary is in DEBT up to her eyeballs!) Obama has the money because he has the supporters. Obama has supporters because he has the best ideas and an inspirational vision. Hillary has fear and ignorance. I'm tired of fear and ignorance.

    April 23, 2008 01:45 am at 1:45 am |
  16. solomon Bim

    It has gotten too negative. I have to say that I see more of it coming from the Clinton side. If she wins this way, as an independent who was leaning towards the Democrats, I will just not vote, rather than reward her for her recent tactics.

    April 23, 2008 01:45 am at 1:45 am |
  17. Robert - New Orleans

    Hillary carried a 9.4% lead in Pennsylvania. Not bad, but hardly a dent in Obama's lead and certainly not in the double digits as some claim.

    April 23, 2008 01:45 am at 1:45 am |
  18. whoa!

    Clinton now leads in popular vote, if FL and MI are counted:

    Popular Vote (w/FL & MI)**, as follows

    Obama has 14,954,773 or 46.9%

    Clinton has 15,076,842 or 47.2%

    WHOA!!!! The game has changed!

    April 23, 2008 01:46 am at 1:46 am |
  19. Nathan from Texas

    "DOUBLE DIGITS DOES It" ? She didn't win by double digits, she won by 9.4%.

    Go play around with the CNN delegate calculator that they have, you'll see that what she actually needed was a 40 point spread.

    Actually, she could have won every single vote in pennsylvania and she'd still have been behind in pledged delegates. So she still doesn't stand a chance at winning this.

    Obama '08!

    April 23, 2008 01:46 am at 1:46 am |
  20. Neutral

    Obama spent OBSCENE amount of money in PA and STILL LOSE!!

    What does it say about Obama? HE IS UNELECTABLE!

    April 23, 2008 01:46 am at 1:46 am |
  21. Maria

    why does the media do this? She won. The majority of voters in PA chose Hillary. Report the facts and stop interjection your opinions.. YOU ARE THE JOURNALISTS... stick to facts, report to the people as to what is going on..STOP SPINNING everything... Even Obama scratching his face was getting spinned.. I think it is time for Americans to turn off the cable news stations..

    I am starting to think of cable news as the gossip monger who spins reality.. Almost turning everyday events into spanish Novelas!

    April 23, 2008 01:46 am at 1:46 am |
  22. mark

    What does this change?? Hillary was always expected to win Penn...exit polls show even people who voted for her believe that Obama will win the nomination...this was her last chance to change the race and she only got a few more delegates, sorry but it's over for her....

    April 23, 2008 01:46 am at 1:46 am |
  23. Kathleen

    As an ex-New Yorker and an avid reader of the New York Times I am appalled by this reaction – Shame on you NYT...thought you and your board knew how to stay out of the sensationalist, sexist and negative media whirlwind.
    Senator Clinton has no choice but to send a "negative" message because she knows better than anyone that there is NO way that Senator Obama could ever hope to beat Senator McCain....and that she by far has the best chance of doing so and bringing legitimate and realistic change to this country. Or maybe you are calling her out on the carpet because "nice ladies" shouldn't play dirty???
    And by the way, has anyone asked Obama lately where he gets 12 million dollars to spend on ads if his largest group of supporters are the "youth" of America – either they are all trust fund babies or the money is coming from somewhere else....and where is that???

    April 23, 2008 01:46 am at 1:46 am |
  24. Rohit Singh

    Stop the Drama, Vote Obama

    April 23, 2008 01:47 am at 1:47 am |
  25. Lowry Martin, II

    The great irony of this political campaign is the short memory of the American public who does not call to task the media that makes these kind of "objective", "fair", and "transparent" comments. An editorial article does not claim objectivity, but CNN does. How many times tonight did I hear about the "negative" campaigning of Clinton, but I remember in the early stages of the campaign talking about how Obama was cutting into Clinton's front-run status. Ironically, no one really chastised or complained about Obama using that tactic in the media. The disingenuous was the media covers these two candidates has still not cinched the nomination for Obama.

    April 23, 2008 01:47 am at 1:47 am |
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