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. J Williamson

    Bill W. from PA – do the math. How many delegates have been chosen, thus far, out of the 158 which will come as a direct result of this primary (?) Seems that there are many more to be decided and with a 55-45 split (it's 12;10a.m. Wed) our girl Hillary will get more.

    April 23, 2008 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
  2. Michael Eastman

    How does Clinton staying in this race, a race which she CAN NOT WIN, help the country? democratic party? This constant negative campaign of hers is dragging this thing out, when it should have been over weeks ago. Unreal. Everyone say it with me, "Congratulations President McCain."

    April 23, 2008 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
  3. Ted From Edmonton

    No more negative than Obama. The New York Times is not the paper it used to be. Who cares!

    April 23, 2008 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
  4. Willus


    I'm sorry that so many in your state are so stupid too. HRC's shameless pandering should be offensive to those at whom it's directed. Pennsylvanians could have done us all a favor and ended the misery by voting Obama, even if they weren't crazy about him. The Clintons' disdain for the truth and win-at-all-costs approach are the most unsettling things I've ever witnessed from anyone on the national stage in the Democratic party. Americans will all be better off once she's finally knocked out of the race. I just hope the "pundits" recognize that HRC's victory has done nothing to enhance her chances at the nomination due to the minimal delgate gain it afforded her.

    Let's go Indiana and North Carolina!

    April 23, 2008 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
  5. A.M. Saqib

    Great informative and very acurate comment by New York Times, perhaps they are re-thinking their endorsement.

    Pennsylvania victory gave her so far a six delegate vote edge over 'Obama'.

    'Obama' for ..08!

    A.M. Saqib
    Houston, Texas

    April 23, 2008 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
  6. JIm

    Looks like the SP far lefters at the NY Times want the far left Golden Boy Obama to win. Obama voted the most liberal in the Senate and spoke about posiotively about the changes in the immigration bill but then did not vote for the compromises. Looks like Obama is a unifier of the Democratic party but will not unite us as a whole. He will be more of a wedge for this country than GWB.

    April 23, 2008 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  7. deidre

    She gained over 200,000 in the popular vote Bill in PA.

    NYT, isn't that the newspaper that threw smut at McCain with no real proof???????????????????

    April 23, 2008 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  8. Jennsie

    It's time for the media to step aside and let the candidates run their campaigns. Pundits don't have crystal balls, are not better than anyone else, and this is no land of Oz.

    My vote is for Hillary.

    April 23, 2008 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  9. Jim K

    Everyone seems to forget why Obama has so much more money than the entrenched Clinton machine- because he has so much more nationwide support than she does, much better organization, and he has always planned to campaign for voters in all 50 states. Pennsylvania voters were duped since Clinton never had any intention of campaigning there until she suddenly found herself behind. And why is it that educated voters- ie, smarter people- vote for Obama? Do we really want a president who is the choice of the dumber half of America? Isn't that how we got George Bush?

    April 23, 2008 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  10. Mike from California

    35 years of experience and she can't beat a 2nd year senator. What does that tell you. What people fail to realize is Obama is and always has been the underdog. Clinton had a 20 point lead going into PA. Obama narrowed it to 10. Now we have NC and IN coming up. Clinton will not win either of those. Then she will move the goal post again. What will her excuse be then. She is out of money, Obama still has more delegates and has won twice as many states.


    April 23, 2008 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  11. edith mcneill

    Reality check, Clinton won PA. I am glad that's over. Now we can wrap this up. We have Guam, NC and IN within the next two weeks.

    Clinton really wants to win, I cna respect that. But we will not allow her to steal the nomination. We will turn this out if she gets the nomination over the votes we have cast collectively. She does not lead in delegates nor the popular vote. FL and MI do not count, she agreed to that.

    We need to move on so the dems can win in Nov

    April 23, 2008 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  12. OBAMA '08

    What constitutes a win? Clinton argues that she is more electable because she can win the large states that "actually matter". Apparently, small states count for nothing, even though that's what put Obama in the lead. And a very important point – many of these large states are states which are traditionally democratic and would vote democrat even if the democratic candidate were a hamster. Would the more electable person be behind in every respect – popular vote, number of states won, and delegate count?

    The Democratic party has an enormous problem. If the party chooses Clinton as the nominee despite her being the overall loser, I guarantee that the democratic party would lose me as a member.

    April 23, 2008 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  13. Joe

    Wow, it seems that I'm not the only one who thinks Clinton's campaign has adopted the politics of fear that has become a signature of Karl Rove.

    April 23, 2008 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  14. Drillbit

    Get over it NYTimes. Let freedom ring and report the news. Hillary won PA. Obama did not.

    What joy! The small towns in Pennsylvania proved tonight that every vote counts and they voted for Hillary Rodman Clinton. I think we still live in America.

    April 23, 2008 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  15. Dionis

    He spent 12 million talking about REAL issues and defending himself against attack ads Hillary seems to thrive on. You people in PA are dense. You are just dragging this on longer than it needs to. For the first time throughout this primary I'm scared that the Republicans might actually win the presidency in '08. Hillary is hurting the party... if she quit a long time ago, she would've been guaranteed the VP spot. Now most democrats see her as a petty, arrogant fool who would do anything to win... even bring down her own party!

    April 23, 2008 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  16. Andrew

    Everything they said is true. Clinton supporters say Obama supporters need to take off the blinders, I think it's also time you do as well. For those who talk about her being outspent or Obama spending $12 million; if she had the money, she would've spent the same if not more, so quit falling for that nonsense coming out of her mouth.

    April 23, 2008 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  17. Shrill-arry

    She changes the goal posts like her friend George. All of them are the same, seems like Obama is the only break away from the rut of the last 10 years. But I wonder how he will break our hearts too. Hey you want to make the world better folks, ride your bike to work one day every week this spring, summer, and fall.

    April 23, 2008 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  18. Kyu Reisch, Radcliff, Kentucky

    Nobama, INDIANA 4 HILLARY.

    April 23, 2008 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  19. D Montoya, El Paso, TX

    She won a primary that she was expected to win. Who cares. Its just going to flip back the other way on the 6th....

    April 23, 2008 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  20. Chris in Va.

    To ALL THE WAY HILLARY- And theRepublicans WON'T have a field day with Hillary? Is that what you are implying? God, you people are more delusional than we thought. It's almost worth a vote for Hil-liar-y to watch that movie. You have been crying that Obama has been too harsh, he hasn't even scratched the surface out of respect for the party, the Republicans will not be so kind. VOTE FOR HILLARY!!! When I think of it I would love to see them shine their boots on her arse.

    April 23, 2008 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  21. Sure

    GO HILLARY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 23, 2008 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  22. Clinton or McCain, but NEVER obama

    NY Times................you are so wrong. Obama is rotten!

    April 23, 2008 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  23. Karen in Ohio

    You blame her for what happened? Where were you when you endorsed her months ago? You and her suppoters are backing her for what she does. Face it!

    April 23, 2008 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  24. The Patriot

    The HRC supporters listenend and chose to support and/or turn a blind eye to the special influences. They listened and chose another candidate with family ties to the White House. They heard the politicized, exploited, and media induced controversies rather than listening to the voice that speaks to heal a corrupt and special intrest infested Washington. If HRC wins the nomination after having only won 14 of 44 contests, the US democracy will be viewed by the world as a big joke. I know...I see it first hand.

    April 23, 2008 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  25. D. Riley

    I absolutely agree with the NY times commentary. Her "Carl Rovian" tactics and pandering to the racist elements of our society will indeed devide the democratic party. Any other candidates political aspirations would have been destroyed after being so completely exposed (caught) in a lie, ie Bosnia, but apparently those who live in fear and bigotery are willing to overlook the obvious. The republicans owe this hateful woman a great deal of thanks....what was almost a sure thing for the democratic party has been reduced to a "maybe." She's campaigning on the wrong ticket.

    April 23, 2008 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
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