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. Tn

    to many stupid peoples in USA buying lying from slick hilly, clintons created china and she will sold out permanently,blue color will be always blue

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

    If I wasn't bitter I am getting there. If this was reversed Obama would have been forced out of the race with Edwards, or at best after Clinton won 11 states in a row.

    April 23, 2008 02:22 am at 2:22 am |
  3. Annemieke Jordan

    At the beginning of the campaign, I was beyond thrilled to be witness to history, an African American and a woman, vying to be President of the United States of America.

    Ask me now, and I am terribly upset that what to me was a thrilling campaign to begin with for both candidates, has turned into neverending attacks from one party to the other. I am so turned off by it that I am not sure whether I will vote for either candidate, even though I am a registered Democratic voter.

    With the way the Democratic party is handling this, or lack thereof, I am considering giving my vote to John McCain. He must be shaking his head too at how ridiculous the Democratic campaigns have become.

    God help us!

    April 23, 2008 02:22 am at 2:22 am |
  4. Diarmid

    I'm amazed at the blinders these Clinton supporters are clearly wearing... and not just to their candidate's remarkably dirty and ambition driven politics. Senator Obama has won more votes, mores states, and more delegates- how do they think winning by a handful of delegates in PA changes that? Barack Obama will be the candidate and will be the next President. And best of all, they'll end up being thankful for it.

    April 23, 2008 02:23 am at 2:23 am |
  5. kitade

    Good job, Hillary!!. Hit me hard, destroy everything on your way to the nomination. You can do it. Operation Political Shock & Awe PA, nothing should be left standing… Use a scatter bomb.
    Please vote the Clintons for a third term. They deserve it, it is their birth right. The Clintons and the Bushes will rule us forever. That is our destiny, we do not deserve any better.
    Hillary, the Bosnia warrior, the Northern Ireland Peace Motivator, the spouse of the businessman that collected $850,000 from the Colombian government to promote a trade agreement she now rejects and renounces, the spouse of the master grantor of Presidential pardons to felons, aka. Marc Rich Cash for Pardon Scandal, Hillary – our best hope for the future.
    After Hillary, we want Jeb Bush. After Jeb Bush, Roger Clinton. After Roger, Jeb bush jr for president. After Jeb jr, the lady we have all been waiting for – CHELSEA CLINTON FOR PRESIDENT
    Go Hillary 08….
    Concerned Citizens – On behalf of Members of the Clintons and Bushes Forever Network

    April 23, 2008 02:23 am at 2:23 am |
  6. Obama08

    Well people forget that she was booed after 9-11. Now she is claiming that she will defend US. I think Repubs will rip her apart.

    April 23, 2008 02:24 am at 2:24 am |
  7. Lizzy

    I don't understand all this "the campaigns are so negative" garbage. Is everybody out there 12 years old or something– can no one remember previous campaigns that were much uglier and there was less complaining about "negativity" then? This campaign has been pretty mild in my opinion.

    April 23, 2008 02:24 am at 2:24 am |
  8. Dedrick

    If Obama where white, the Dems would have already selected a candidate and it would be Obama. Because he is black there are many, and I mean many, in this country who aren't voting for him. This country has issues that only a minority, black, latino, asian, and help solve.

    April 23, 2008 02:25 am at 2:25 am |
  9. birdie



    April 23, 2008 02:25 am at 2:25 am |
  10. Lisa in Mesquite, TX

    if you lie down with dogs you get up with fleas.

    NYT is right in their characterization of the Clinton campaign. It's unfortunate that Barack HAS to go negative to combat the kitchen sink, the stove, the fridge, and microwave being slung at him by HRC.

    And what is laughable, is that they take their own negative tactics and use them in the spin against Obama. If they are called out on their "gutter" tactics, they tell him to get out of the gutter the following day. If HRC is called divisive, she'll use the same word against Barack. Hillary said Obama didn't have the experience that she and McCain does, but will spin his comments about all 3 of them being better than Bush.

    Enough is enough.

    And I commend him for running such an organized campaign that would allow him the coffers to spend 12 million in advertising. This helped to narrow a 26pt lead to only 10pts.

    But if HRC does eek out this nomination, where will she get the money to run a competitive campaign in the fall? She has not been able to even pay her campaign's bills. She spends $1.10 for every $1.00 contributed that's negative ROI.

    by the by, Obama spends $0.75 for every dollar contributed.

    April 23, 2008 02:26 am at 2:26 am |
  11. Bruce Graham

    Election after election we get the same song and dance and elect the same old worn out players. We elected the last president on name recognition and it would be a mistake to elect the next one in the same manner. I don't particularly like Senator Obama but to vote for either Senator McCain or Senator Clinton would be an exercise in futility and just continue the stagnation that has overcome our great country.
    It's time for change, real change and you can't get more change then electing Senator Obama.

    April 23, 2008 02:27 am at 2:27 am |
  12. Sarah

    Yeah, Noah, a 10 point win, down from 20 points a month ago, to the new guy. Real amazing.

    April 23, 2008 02:28 am at 2:28 am |
  13. Tonya P.

    The NYT is echoing what many of us have been contending for several months. It does not surprise me that Sen. Clinton's play on words ("misspoke!?!") and disenguous promises "to keep it real" have heightened as she gets more desperate. In her heart she knows like we all do that Sen. Obama is destined to win the Democratic nomination. He has already had many successes during this entire campaign (i.e. popular vote, # of states won, fundraising records) to prove this point. I just hope that those misguided enough to support Sen. Clinton right now see the light soon enough to enjoy the feeling as I do in being part of a winning campaign.

    GO OBAMA '08 and '12!!!!!!!!!!

    April 23, 2008 02:28 am at 2:28 am |
  14. Proud American

    Hillary is only prolonging the inevitable... she can not win no matter how much she tries to smear. NY Times has it right. Obama has been the clear cut winner for 2 months now.

    April 23, 2008 02:28 am at 2:28 am |
  15. Pennsylvania Loves Obama!!

    We will be donating more money to Obama's campaign. Hillary is an insufferable liar!

    OBAMA '08

    April 23, 2008 02:29 am at 2:29 am |
  16. roger711

    I think it is shameful the kind of political campaign Clinton has been running. She is behaving like a spoiled child. I think Hillary Clinton is a bully, she's mean, a lier, and as hard as sher tries to be nice. She just isn't nice. I will vote for Obama, but if by some chance Clinton gets the nomination, i will vote for McCain. Not my first choice, but anything will be better then Hillary Clinton!

    April 23, 2008 02:31 am at 2:31 am |
  17. FrankSmith

    If positions were to switch, most people in this country would have been telling this "black man" (Obama) who has and continues to work twice as much, to drop out of the race. The pressure would have been greater on him, if he was behind in delegate and popular vote counts and he was running negative ads. The push would have even been stronger if he was running out of money. God is watching our "inner hearts." Some day, we will face Him individually. God bless this nation!

    April 23, 2008 02:32 am at 2:32 am |
  18. mike

    I echo this thought. Mrs. Clinton is something. I don't think I am alone to give up or turn to GOP if she would be the nominee.

    April 23, 2008 02:32 am at 2:32 am |
  19. gem

    I am sorry for Hillary's supporters; they actually believe that she can win....Oh yeah, most of them are uneducated people. That's why they don't understand the math involved and that Hillary has no chance.

    There is something called, "popular vote" and Obama has it.

    So what is the point of discussing.

    April 23, 2008 02:32 am at 2:32 am |
  20. Oklahoman


    April 23, 2008 02:32 am at 2:32 am |
  21. dan-al

    The clinton machine is made of anything goes,the kitchen sink strategy is used as the end to justify the means.only the party hawks can stop her and also Obama's win in indiana and north carolina.

    April 23, 2008 02:32 am at 2:32 am |
  22. T Baker

    Amazing victory..Guess 12 million could not buy PA.

    ...guess the entire establishment in PA, plus 30 years of 'name recognition' couldn't help Clinton win more than a 15 delegate increase in her losing numbers......

    April 23, 2008 02:33 am at 2:33 am |
  23. johnd

    I don't understand Clinton's argument that she is more electable. She is losing no matter how you count votes. According to every poll Obama does much better with independants (who were not allowed to vote in PA). She has higher negative ratings by far than the either Obama or McCain (translation: many people can't stand her). Obama also does much better with people who have more education. The only way she can win is to tear Obama apart and hope the superdelegates buy this electability argument, but in the process she hands the election to McCain. I also don't understand why the media isn't more direct about her tactics and the impact. Why isn't there a drumbeat about all the lies she tells? Why use words like "inaccurate" instead of lie? Why is there no mention of the issues the republicans will raise that Obama will not (Rose law firm records, McDougal, insider trading profits, etc. ad nauseum)? Is it all just good business for the media?

    April 23, 2008 02:33 am at 2:33 am |
  24. Michelle

    God bless the New York Times! I'll eat my hat if Karl Rove is not advising Hillary...or at least they have carefully studied his tactics.

    Reality check...so I know I'm not going crazy...yes...it is true (and easily proven) Hillary has used just about every dirty trick in the Republican play book. The Bin Laden reference is especially reprehensible. I would be very upset if Billary stole the election away from Obama like Bush did from Gore.

    Will Americans ever learn? I like the idea of living in a democracy...do all of you?

    April 23, 2008 02:34 am at 2:34 am |
  25. richard

    More MSM spin. Check the facts NY times. A little research on the attack timeline on Obama shows his campaign was negative long before. It does not take long.

    April 23, 2008 02:34 am at 2:34 am |
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