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. Erik

    A little over 2 months ago, The New York Times endorsed Hillary Clinton's candidacy. Today, it seems as if they are un-endorsing Hillary Clinton's candidacy. When was the last time a paper did THAT? Pretty heady stuff. Let's remember, this is her home state paper. It's one of the few major newspapers to have supported her candidacy.

    April 23, 2008 01:54 am at 1:54 am |
  2. Benjamin

    don't forget that there was a gap of nearly 20% and now it shrinked to 8.6% (regarding to the PA Department of State)

    April 23, 2008 01:54 am at 1:54 am |
  3. gnome

    Listen to yourselves!
    The Democratic Party is being ripped apart at the seams, and all you can think of is "$12 million didn't buy PA".

    You will all be VERY shameful when the Repugnicans inaugurate McCain in January 2009, because they will tear Hilary to shreds in the general, if she gets nominated. Why do you think Richard Mellon Scaife endorsed her?

    April 23, 2008 01:55 am at 1:55 am |
  4. Linda Smith

    It is not Senator Clinton who is negative but, rather, the New York Times.

    April 23, 2008 01:55 am at 1:55 am |
  5. Jeremy

    The Times is right about negativity hurting the party. The mud that was flung in Pennsylvania moves me to despair the state of the Democratic Party.

    And nobody should ever have to fight tooth and nail for a primary- to waste so many resources just to get a nominee is disgraceful, and demonstrates just how large a divide there is in our own ranks.

    April 23, 2008 01:55 am at 1:55 am |
  6. Shametown, PA

    Good luck Pennsylvania. Your state is crumbling faster than you can say "uneducated backwoods gun-toting bible-thumpers." Your vote hastens that decline and solidifies your image as blue-collar morons.

    April 23, 2008 01:56 am at 1:56 am |
  7. Joseph

    To SLO Bear – You stopped buying from the NY Times just because they supported another candidate? How petty and pathetic.

    April 23, 2008 01:56 am at 1:56 am |
  8. Raphael Houston Tx

    NY TIMES headlines should be:

    Obama was Thumped in Pennsylvania even though he out spent Hillary 3 to 1 and campaigned for 6 weeks.

    Texas,Ohio, Pennsylvania. three HUGE wins in a row..

    Go Hillary

    April 23, 2008 01:57 am at 1:57 am |
  9. suzanne

    And, as a woman, I would like to know how come Senator Obama is called Senator Obama, and Senator Clinton is constantly called "she" or "her"? David Gergen, who I used to think was so level, does this all the time. As do many other of you lovely, fair people.

    April 23, 2008 01:57 am at 1:57 am |
  10. X-MAN

    Is Western Pa. that naive. Western Pa. seems to lack the ability to have discernment when it comes to character, decency, and genuine authenticy of a man (Obama). Or is it some other issues Western Pa. has (skin color). In 2008 Western Pa. has to be kidding or very delusional.

    April 23, 2008 01:57 am at 1:57 am |
  11. JCinLA

    Yea! Hillary WON, but what.....really? Celebrate while you can because you will be sitting home crying your eyes out come June 3. Hillary anounces the end of her campaign and admits her defeat to Obama. Then as Democrats we can go forth and kick some McCain butt and retake the White House.

    April 23, 2008 01:58 am at 1:58 am |
  12. Chris


    Obama had to spend a lot of money because he need to kill the 30% lead hillary had 6 weeks ago. Was he successful?Heck Yeah. Lets see if Hillary can do that for North Carolina.

    One thing clear about you and other Hillary supporters is that, it is not about the state, it is about the delegates and the win today, did not change anything. Even if she narrowly wins Indiana, (which most likely she will lose), she cannot catch up to Obama. Obama is way far ahead. He can take a vacation and he will still win the nomination.

    How many delegates did Hillary gain today? Please tell me, Hillary's supporters.

    April 23, 2008 01:58 am at 1:58 am |
  13. J.C.

    While a resident of NJ, but working in PA, I have been privileged to see Obama's campaign very explicitly. Clinton has waited and chosen to campaign at just the right moment, in a positive manner. Obama's adds, specifically on the radio almost heard every 10 minutes and even simultaneously on several stations, have been abrasive and off-putting. I am glad Hillary found the support without the money!

    April 23, 2008 01:58 am at 1:58 am |
  14. noemi in los angeles

    Clinton's camp said something like, "If after spending 3-to-1 in PA...why hasn't he closed the deal??"........... well, my response: "Hillary, I bet you thought this election was your entitlement. People knew you since the 90s, you are a household name. Barack just rose up from the ground, nobody knew who he was. Why haven't you closed the deal yet??"


    Thank you.

    April 23, 2008 01:58 am at 1:58 am |
  15. Tobias

    I'm sensing bittergate.

    April 23, 2008 01:58 am at 1:58 am |
  16. Kurt

    The media is bias towards Obama. The NYT is no exception. Their op-eds are very anti-Clinton (except Krugman). Obama is MORE negative than Clinton. He played the race card and he is dividing democrats on healthcare and Iraq! He plays nice in front of the CAMERA. He is DIRTY

    April 23, 2008 01:58 am at 1:58 am |
  17. Anonymous

    Oh right but lying, deceiving the voters, showing superiority towards others, condescending his way to the nomination doesn't count? Obama has done all that plus more. He will say anything to win. Someone who's running a clean campaign of change and hope, the type of campaign that wants to clean the white house, meanwhile since he wanted to win so bad in PA he turned negative towards the last few weeks. Doesn't that hurt his party and his campaign of change, hope and new politics more?NYT wants to be in the news by going against the one they endorsed.

    April 23, 2008 01:59 am at 1:59 am |
  18. Kim

    To be fair, she has been running an extremely negative campaign lately. So whether you are for her or not, you must admit that. And yes, Obama has been stooping to that level as well, all though not as much as Clinton. Whether you are for Obama, Clinton, or neither, one thing is for sure...they need to stop the negative campaigning and talk about the real issues.

    April 23, 2008 01:59 am at 1:59 am |
  19. allison

    Impressive! Imazing that she has the gut to face her toughest life critics, Richard Scaiffe, and change his mind in a 1-hour interview to gain his endorsement. Obama could handle debate questions?
    He rather meet the president of Iran than face tough critics like FOX.

    An amazing contrast, the choice is clear! And for me, it is really between the Hillary and McCain!

    April 23, 2008 01:59 am at 1:59 am |
  20. Indiana & NC for Obama

    Obama did amazing tonight. The $12 million was worth it. Hillary has been campaigning for 16 years and she only got 55% of the vote. Obama in six weeks got 45% of the vote. Out of 2.2 million votes Obama came away with over 1 million. He has large support in every demographic. Hillary needs to show good judgement by dropping out, stop wasting time and money by asking people to give to a losing campaign.

    April 23, 2008 02:00 am at 2:00 am |
  21. JW

    Delegates 1694>1556

    The country has spoken! Pennsylvania is not America, it is a very small subset. Let's face it, when a women (women make up 50.7% of US population) can not beat out an African-American (blacks make up 13.4% of US population), she is clearly an inferior candidate. Don't confuse a minor victory with a change in sentiment for the American voters. Despite Ex-President Bill Clinton using all of his political influence, his wife still remains in second place. The last 3 weeks has been a complete waste of money for the Democratic Party and is creating a fractioned party. The only person to thank is Hillary Clinton and her blind ambition. Of course, she can say now that she lost the nomination by 6 less delegates (0.34% of Obama's total) than before the Penn Primary.

    Obama for President!

    April 23, 2008 02:00 am at 2:00 am |
  22. Stew

    Yeah this doesn't seem like that much of a win. This is like watching the tour de france with a biker won a couple of the sprints but has no hope of the yellow jersey this late in the race.

    April 23, 2008 02:01 am at 2:01 am |
  23. jackie

    this is a racism country why you expect . we all have to died one day white or black show me how what youre are . he is qualified as hillary . what ever people do in life wait you will pay for it . if the replublica people try to kill obama tell me are good you are fronm 2004 to 2008

    April 23, 2008 02:01 am at 2:01 am |
  24. Wake up America!

    I don't see what the big whoop is. She netted 6 six delegates in a state that is supposed to be her stronghold. This is an accomplishment? According to the polls she did best among older, white and those with less than a college education. Not exactly a rallying cry folks. She did well amongst stupid old racists? This is not a good thing...no matter how you try to spin it.

    Obama chopped her lead in the state from 30 pts to 10....in a state tailor made for her. She was supposed to win. The Obama campaign always knew this to be the case. The 6 delegates she got doesn't begin to put a dent in his lead.

    NY Times hit the nail on the head. She is negative. And she's looking more like a Republican every day. Now she's talking "obliteration" of another country while we are embroiled in two wars. That's reckless to the point of insanity. Are Hillary's supporters so desperate for a woman president that they don't care what direction she will lead our country into? She's showing the only real difference between her and McCain is genitalia. Wake up.

    April 23, 2008 02:01 am at 2:01 am |
  25. Hazel , an American in London

    The New York Times is right – Hillary represents more of the same old tired politics of the 20th century. We've had enough of these fake hypocritical politicians.

    Obama is the best chance the USA has to build a stronger future. He is a 21st century politician and somebody that we can believe in. Obama will be the next President.

    April 23, 2008 02:01 am at 2:01 am |
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