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. julie

    the party is only divided if we make it divided.
    stop this nonsensical talk.
    we will support whomever gets the nomination.
    the party is clearly SPLIT....(but we are still a party)....in the meantime...keep fightin' for what you believe in...

    hillary '08
    democrat '08

    April 23, 2008 02:45 am at 2:45 am |
  2. Winterblink

    Hillary supporters like to ask
    "Why couldn't he win?"

    Reality prefers to ask
    "Why couldn't she win bigger?"
    from 20% in March to a 10% squeaker...

    April 23, 2008 02:45 am at 2:45 am |
  3. Jim

    You people are missing the point entirely. In every large state, Senator Clinton starts off with a huge lead, mainly due to name recognition. But, as people get to know Senator Obama, they grow to like him more and his message of change resonates with them.

    Clinton wins the older women (because of aspirational politics) and scores well with lower income, high school educated voters, again mainly because of name recognition. However, she has no endgame that will ever result in her being elected President. Even if somehow she convinces the Super-delegates to overturn the will of the people and opt for her, it will so turn off the Obama supporters and even those on the fence, that the party may never recover and she will certainly not get their votes in the fall. Meanwhile, her underhanded tactics are bloodying Obama and giving the Rovians fodder to put his election in doubt in the fall.

    She has to get out after Indiana if she loses.

    April 23, 2008 02:46 am at 2:46 am |
  4. Ron in Rancho Park

    What I don't understand is how the media can be so blatantly in love with Obama?

    Hillary spent a fraction of what Obama did, and she won by DOUBLE DIGITS. Yet, here you guys are publicizing commentary against Clinton.

    It's amazing, now that Clinton has some momentum and could win the nomination, the press wants to stop her momentum so that Democratic party stays in limbo.

    Congratulations, Hillary Clinton.


    April 23, 2008 02:47 am at 2:47 am |
  5. Kat

    The Clintons did not have to spend much with their machine going in PA. Same old politics.
    I cannot believe that women look up to her – she represents the worst in women – lying when the truth would be better, adopting different tones of voice and language syntax to suit her audience, She is not authentic. Watch her body language just before she tells a whopper.
    The pundits haven't figured out why Obama doesn't score well in certain areas – it's just plain racism. When Obama is half black and half white, why is it his blackness that bothers people so?
    The Clintons have been negative and when Obama has defended himself, he has been dragged down into their muck and mire.

    April 23, 2008 02:47 am at 2:47 am |
  6. Linda

    Blanketing states with millions of dollars did not work for Mitt Romney, and it is not going to work for Obama. People are starting to come out of their Bush-induced coma, looking around, and finding the candidate that is tough enough to beat the Republicans. GO HILLARY!!! Get over it, NY TImes...

    April 23, 2008 02:47 am at 2:47 am |
  7. mark bogdanos

    I think the NYT is "shocked " to find that there is negativity in the Clinton campaign. Well a least we can still believe that Ted Kennedy was just an innocent bystander that night in Chappaquidik.

    April 23, 2008 02:47 am at 2:47 am |
  8. Peter in Canada

    To Noah:
    Honestly and no offence intended, but the 12 Million was to buy Indiana and North Carolina and subsequent primary jurisdictions. Thats how politics works, Obama has bankrupted Hillary's campaign at a time when she has maxed out her donations.
    With a rather meagre win in Penn. and still no chance to win the pledged delegates (even including FL. and MI.) she will not be able to raise significant funds to compete with Obama from here on in. In short he has most of the monopoly board loaded with hotels and she owns Board Walk and Park Place with nothing else!

    April 23, 2008 02:47 am at 2:47 am |
  9. Lonnie H.- Toledo, Ohio

    Great job Pennsylvania! Way to keep the hopes alive of a candidate that has:

    1. Lied several times in the face of the American people (just like her husband did) WITHOUT APOLOGY.

    2. Continues to employ and work closely with Mark Penn, who met with the Columbian government concerning trades deals. A blatant conflict of interest.

    3. Who's campaign is $10 million dollars in debt; yet she feels she's ready to take on America's economy? That's a joke! And why aren't all you hardcore Clinton "supporters" supporting her campaign? The bandwagoners are the ones giving her money now; that's why it dries up so quick.

    4. Who plays with double standards, saying Obama is "cheering on John McCain" when in fact she did even more cheering on John McCain when she aligned her experience with his about 25 times and said he would be more ready on day one than Obama.

    5. Who uses republican fear tactics to win a primary.

    6. Who hails from 6 or 7 different states; everywhere she goes she quickly becomes the "hometown" girl? Give me a break!

    7. Who more than 60% of democratic voters say is untrustworthy.

    8. Who will do anything to damage Obama, just in case she doesn't get the nomination; all so she can stand in foolish pride and say "I told you so" if he doesn't win the general.

    9. Who is all set and ready to "obliterate" Iran. I'm sure the republicans will have a field day with that quote.

    10. Who is allowing her own pride and selfishness to ruin the chances for the democratic party.

    11. Who is actually foolish enough to think that people will vote for her in the general if she is the primary reason that all of these votes don't count come convention time, and the "super" delegates hand her the nomination. FYI- When Americans are stabbed in the back, we won't further support you.

    12. Who the republicans will have a field day with. She got over 100,000 republican turn democrat votes in Pa. The republicans want Clinton to win. They have admitted that. They know it would be a cake walk defeating her, even with John McCain.

    I could go on, but you get my drift. Again great job Pa!

    Your neighbor in Ohio- another stupid state

    Lonnie H.- Toledo, OH.

    April 23, 2008 02:48 am at 2:48 am |
  10. Michael, Canada

    As an outsider looking in, I find it amusing the spin Clinton supporters try to use. They make a claim that Obama outspent her 2 or 3 to 1 but fail to mention Obama just gets more money from his supporters. Of course he'll spend more. He has more. They try to make a claim that Clinton wins in the 'big' states but can't seen to come to grips with the fact that she is losing. Tonights' election was the last chance for Clinton to make a dent in Obama's lead in delegates and she failed. Obama continues to have an enormous lead in delegates. And the only thing that matters is delegates.

    April 23, 2008 02:48 am at 2:48 am |
  11. Amber from NC

    At this point Hillary doesn't stand a chance to win the nomination without the superdelegates. Isn't that a republic???? You think people were screaming when Florida and Michigan's votes didn't count.... wait until you discredit the American people and their vote with superdelegates. I will not vote at all in the general election if she wins. If I voted for either Hillary Clinton or John McCain, I'd be supporting a republic... maybe Nader will get my vote this year.

    April 23, 2008 02:48 am at 2:48 am |
  12. Ben

    When you're in debt and your supporters can't afford to buy food, spin out the 9/11 theme.

    Too bad Hillary doesn't even have $12 million to spend and that she didn't win PA by 20 points.

    Too bad Hillary has run one of the worst campaigns in modern history.

    Too bad, that there are people who equate Hillary's failed healthcare plan, her divisive campaign, her vote on the Iraq War as "foreign experience enjoy her habitual lying. I guess being wrong is the new right for the uneducated.

    Too bad that "hope" and "change" are dirty words to folks who want to keep the status quo.

    Congrats to President McCain, who will receive all the benefit of Clinton's negative campaigning. Good old redneck USA.

    April 23, 2008 02:48 am at 2:48 am |
  13. Sophie

    I am so done with the political process if Hillary wins. How could our country ever trust her again after the hell of a war she endorsed and voted on?

    OBAMA 2008, if he doesn't get the nomination I'm voting for Nader.

    McCain and Clinton are the same thing with different wrapping paper.

    April 23, 2008 02:49 am at 2:49 am |
  14. Mary W. - NY

    I am so disappointed in my home state of Pa. Still believe Barack will win, though. I used to support Hillary but her negativity and inability to control Bill really turned me off. I am so sick of this campaign. Obama has done his best to rise above the dirt. He gets criticized for not fighting back and then criticized when he does. I blame the electorate as well as the media for the tone of this campaign. but the media most. They have been disgusting.

    April 23, 2008 02:51 am at 2:51 am |
  15. Emma

    well i wonder how long the media will continue to push the idea into the minds of voters that clinton can win the nomination. The whole thing has just become a laughable circus. Its all about what the media makes the american people believe which is, anything. Sad thing to see americans go along with the nonsense.

    April 23, 2008 02:51 am at 2:51 am |
  16. Brandon

    Interesting how people are not reporting that a month ago, the Clinton lead was over 15% in Pennsylvania.

    Interesting how people are not talking about the fact that the lead had been cut to only 10% despite all the negative news about his Pastor, news which was meant to sink Obama.

    Interesting how people are not talking about the fact that clinton only dug into Obama's lead by 6 delegates, after Obama shooting his foot with his supposedly infamous "guns and religion" quote.

    At the end of it all, Clinton started Pennsylvania with a 15% lead in the polls, after the votes came in – walked away with a 10% margin. This was after everything AND the kitchen sink was thrown at the man.

    April 23, 2008 02:52 am at 2:52 am |
  17. driven

    give up all the clinton spamming..

    Hillary will be the greatest president of our lifetimes

    April 23, 2008 02:52 am at 2:52 am |
  18. funobama

    this is a delegate primary not by state. obama is still ahead. he is going to win the nomination. clinton supporters start getting use to Obama being the nominee. every state she won is a democrat state, and he is also going to win those same states in the general. you have to give him some credit, he close the gap.

    April 23, 2008 02:52 am at 2:52 am |
  19. Darryl

    A hollow congrats to Senator Clinton win in PA. You're all kidding yourself if you think that Clinton wasn't going to win in a state like PA. There is no way on this earth that a black man would win PA. We all know that. So, why all the hype?? All Obama could have hoped to do was what he did maintain a 45-46% gain on Clinton in a racist State.
    Wake up people reality is reality. We have a white woman and a black man who will you vote for?? Bottom line skin color does make a difference. Hillary don't destroy the democratic part for your own political gain. Obama has the lead let it go.

    Sorry and Congrats Clinton

    April 23, 2008 02:53 am at 2:53 am |
  20. AK in LA

    I've got to say, having not been reading this ticker for about a month now, I'm pleased to see it not littered with Clinton bashers. Actual Clinton supporters...wow. I agree she's a fighter. And that's a quality I want in MY president. Good job Hillary. I am glad my 11 year old daughter got to watch your acceptance speech tonight!
    NYT...get over it. She won. It's called a political campaign!

    April 23, 2008 02:53 am at 2:53 am |
  21. The Patriot

    Why are we so afraid? HRC plays into our fears and divisions. Those who turn a blind eye to her embracement of lobbyists and special interests are the same good ole guys/gals that would defend her habitual lying. If she wins the nomination despite only having won 14 of 44 contests the party base and the rest of the world will view American democracy as a big joke.

    April 23, 2008 02:54 am at 2:54 am |
  22. Jerad H.

    The far-left New York Times is one of the most biased newspapers in America. They turned on Hilary as soon as the more liberal Obama pulled ahead (Hilary is liberal but Obama is a Marxist). It should come as no surprise that they don't want Hilary to "wave the bloody shirt of 9/11." They'd rather pretend it never happened, or that it was an inside job, like the rest of the leftist myrmidons.

    Anyway, I'm glad these two and their supporters keep on fighting. They are just weakening each other, and helping ensure that an idealogical pacifist doesn't become President.

    April 23, 2008 02:54 am at 2:54 am |
  23. Bill

    Hillary and her supporters think the world revolves around her. Her "experience", the part that wasn't invented or misspoken, amounted to entertaining and being entertained and failing to engage Congress and the public on health care. Who in the military would want someone who lied about being under fire answering that 3 AM call and sending them into harm's way? No one.

    With all her negativity and pandering, she has only picked up a couple of delegates more than Obama and she'll lose them back again. She'll lose every remaining primary except Puerto Rico. She's done. Over.

    If her supporters walk away from Obama and allow McCain and his right wing handlers to further destroy the economy, the environment, and America's reputation around the world just because their girl didn't get in...well at least we'll know who to blame. The vast right wing conspiracy, of course!!!

    April 23, 2008 02:54 am at 2:54 am |
  24. Hillary Supporter

    Oh come on now, all you Obamacons don't be so "bitter" hahahahahaha!

    April 23, 2008 02:54 am at 2:54 am |
  25. Zanotti-Abroad

    Congrats Hillary! The PEOPLE want YOU! The media (negative perspective)... can stuff it!

    April 23, 2008 02:54 am at 2:54 am |
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