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. caroline

    if this nasty woman is elected, I will vote Mc Cain. he is more liberal and less nasty than her. She is not a winner.....no one who wins with nasty strategies is.

    April 23, 2008 07:04 am at 7:04 am |
  2. Sue Z

    I was at least pleased to hear Hillary talk about the historic possibility that the United States could have an African America President. If she would just continue to talk issues like she did in her speech last night, and spend less time trying to cut down her opponent, I would actually consider voting for her. But I am so turned off when she uses cheap tactics to try and distract Obama from delivering his message of hope, one we ALL need (and one, by the way, that got her husband elected when he was untested – remember the "man from Hope?").

    Hillary, North Carolina is not just an African-American state. There are plenty of white, college-educated voters who would love to hear how you will fix this country and this world, not how much you dislike Obama. Change your tactics, and maybe, just maybe, we might listen to you.

    April 23, 2008 07:04 am at 7:04 am |
  3. Jen


    April 23, 2008 07:05 am at 7:05 am |
  4. hilary supporter

    I have to laugh at the racism charges–Last I heard, the African-Americans were voting 92% for Obama. This is after the Clintons supported their causes for many years. I won't charge racism, just disloyalty.

    April 23, 2008 07:05 am at 7:05 am |
  5. frank ware

    Ads with Ben Laden, threats to obliterate Iran if they attack countries under Hillary's magic umbrella – if this is the real Hillary there is enough to dislike without the attack adds. She seems shameless next we here that N.C. is not important and that Indiana is under some unique threat. Obama should ignor her – she is poison.

    April 23, 2008 07:05 am at 7:05 am |

    Congratulations to Mrs. Clinton. Reality won over rhetoric and idealism, imagine that! If the NY Times thinks Hillary has been negative; what do they think the McCain campaign is going to do? They'd have had a field day with Mr. Obama. This is politics people!

    April 23, 2008 07:05 am at 7:05 am |
  7. Peter

    Im amazed at the emotions being vented in the comments coming from this primary campaign. Reading them is almost as good as watching professional wrestling. Americans really do love a good fight, to hell with the idea of working together for the betterment of all. What amazes me most is that after the fight is over people complain that they don't like the president they elected. I don't get it: you vote for professional wrestlers, you get professional wrestlers.

    April 23, 2008 07:05 am at 7:05 am |
  8. Connie

    Congratulations to the Archie Bunker voters in Pennsylvania. But too bad, you lose.

    OBAMA '08/'12

    April 23, 2008 07:06 am at 7:06 am |
  9. Marlene

    To bad the uneducated, easily swayed, country bumpkins of PA couldn't see what the shrill's supposed "home state" can see. Hillary brings nothing positive to the nation. She is a negative individual and if by some slim chance manages to bully more people and win the nomination we will see how much further she and Bill will sink. I honestly did not think he could sink lower than he did while President. Guess I was wrong.

    April 23, 2008 07:07 am at 7:07 am |
  10. SJ Thornton

    People don't you see she supports NAFTA? Don't you see she voted for the war?

    April 23, 2008 07:08 am at 7:08 am |
  11. Mike

    Shame on Pennsylvania for voting for that backstabbing, two faced, hag. The dems have no hope for victory should Hillary get the nomination. Like many other moderate Americans out there, should Hillary actually receive the nomination – my vote will sway from Obama to McCain.

    April 23, 2008 07:15 am at 7:15 am |
  12. Rob Bachorik

    Hillarys plane is just 5 point from a crash. Question is,,,,when will she put on the chute and jump out!

    April 23, 2008 07:16 am at 7:16 am |
  13. JED

    Victory, victory for Clinton? At what cost?

    Dishonesty and tearing down your opponent is Clinton politics! How can she win otherwise!

    What is so disheartening is that media is her chief supporter!

    April 23, 2008 07:16 am at 7:16 am |
  14. Andy in PA

    I'm just glad they are leaving Pennsylvania.
    Go away, take your precious delegates and
    annoying advertising to the next state

    April 23, 2008 07:16 am at 7:16 am |
  15. Jimmy

    Haha, and look who is being negative now NY Times. Just further proof of the media's bias in favor of Obama.

    April 23, 2008 07:17 am at 7:17 am |
  16. Joseph

    To the 45% of PA that voted correctly - I congratulate you. Congratulations, Barack - on narrowing Clinton's 20 point margin.

    To the 55% of PA that got it wrong, I pity you. No wonder the PA economy sucks and most of your young want to move out of that state.

    "Forgive them, father, for they know not what they do..."

    April 23, 2008 07:17 am at 7:17 am |
  17. DSB

    4 + 8 + 8 = 20

    Twenty years. Twenty years of Bush / Clinton, twenty!!!!!. Some of you want to make it twenty-four or possibly twenty-eight?

    I loved Bill Clinton but it's time for a change people.

    April 23, 2008 07:17 am at 7:17 am |
  18. Roger Simon

    She has essentially cost the democratic party the election before it has even begun.

    April 23, 2008 07:20 am at 7:20 am |
  19. Matt

    Hillary is playing softball compared to the hardball that Obama can face from the Republicans.

    April 23, 2008 07:20 am at 7:20 am |
  20. changed mind

    Obama was negative also . I am tired of this double standard. Call it like it is media. They both are running for the most important job in the U.S. His I am better than though is getting old. He says he does not go old politics but it shows up on the air waves and on tv. By the way if he followed his politics he should be in jail or fined 100,000. Look it up : Obama inrtroduces legislation to criminalize election day fraud. Nov 2006 look it up. Misleading fliers and robo calls.He has done both.

    April 23, 2008 07:21 am at 7:21 am |
  21. Marc Gendron

    I disagree. This is a presidential campaign and anything is possible. What's wrong with the NYTimes.... have they loss the meaning of campaigning?
    Go Hil!

    April 23, 2008 07:21 am at 7:21 am |
  22. CC

    God Bless them. I'm happy that they put to words what people have been thinking.

    I hope PA take heed.

    April 23, 2008 07:21 am at 7:21 am |
  23. steve

    Of course Obama outspent Clinton in PA; he was 26 points behind a short time ago and he needed to get his name/face out there. Also remember that the Clinton's have literally spent years campaigning in the northeastern part of the country and from that perspective, she probably outspent him in total dollars and time ultimately expended on PA. A 10 point difference is impressive for Obama, it means he gained 15-20 points on Clinton in a short while. She is the underdog now, and we all like underdogs

    April 23, 2008 07:22 am at 7:22 am |
  24. Anonymous


    April 23, 2008 07:23 am at 7:23 am |
  25. OKnolte

    OK PEOPLE HOW BLIND ARE YOU..... the fact that the democractic party is allowing this to take place is just unbelievable... BUT also to believe that these candidates actually WANTING CHANGE to who's expence The government don't have money for all these promises being made it's going to come out of yours and my pocket. I don't know about you but I like having what little I have...At least someone in office spoke of a plan to lower gas prices even thou HIS PLAN was heard or followed up.... POLITICIAN ARE AGREED AND HAVE LOST ALL SITE OF WHO THERE WORKING FOR

    April 23, 2008 07:23 am at 7:23 am |
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