August 20th, 2007
09:52 AM ET
7 years ago

Clinton: Karl Rove 'obsessed with me'

Senator Hillary Clinton, D-New York

(CNN)Senator Hillary Clinton said she does not expect any support of her candidacy from outgoing White House political adviser Karl Rove, despite his recent public discussion of her campaign.

"Well, I don't think Karl Rove's going to endorse me," the Democrat from New York joked Sunday, during a debate with the other Democratic candidates in Des Moines. "That becomes more and more obvious. But I find it interesting he's so obsessed with me."

On Sunday, Rove expanded on his recent comments regarding Clinton's candidacy. He says voters' opinion of Senator Hillary Clinton are a problem for her.

"She enters the general election campaign with the highest negatives of any candidate in the history of the Gallup poll," Rove said Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press." "It just says people have made an opinion about her. It's hard to change opinions once you've been a high-profile person in the public eye, as she has for 16 or 17 years."

Rove would not say whether the GOP was hoping to ultimately face Clinton in the general election. "It's going to be what it's going to be," he said. "The Democrats are going to choose the Democratic nominee and the Republicans are going to choose the Republican nominee."

When asked for his opinions on Illinois Senator Barack Obama, another Democratic front runner for the nomination, Rove was less vocal, "I've said enough," he said.

Rove, President Bush's political strategist, adviser, and the man Bush called the architect of his 2004 re-election bid - announced his resignation from his White House position Monday and will leave his post at the end of August.

– CNN Political Desk Editor Jamie Crawford


Filed under: Hillary Clinton • Iowa • Race to '08
soundoff (197 Responses)
  1. Brian, College Park, MD

    It doesnt take a genius to see what's going on here. The Republican Party wants Senator Clinton to be the nominee because they know she will not win the General Election. So they continue to throw stones at her campaign, giving it more momentum against the radical left "I Hate Anything Bush" sentiments.

    Despite the obvious way it appears to be, I am praying for a repeat of 2004 where the "second tier" candidate breaks out and wins the nomination (and this time wins the General Election). Joe Biden 08!

    August 19, 2007 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  2. providence, RI

    Rove's comments are meaningless, ill-spirited, and vile. Rove, who sent thousands of letters to thousands of Ohio Evangelicals during 2004 election, stating that If Kerry were elected, Kerry would legalize gay marriage. Therefore, 100, 000 evangelicals were frightened, and voted for Bush, and gave Bush a second victory... That is how EVIL THIS ROVE IS...Who actually advised Bush on Iraq war... So please do not believe in him...He is trying to destroy Hillary and other Democratic candidates'images... His soul is vile and poisonous... I pray for thee

    August 19, 2007 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  3. xtina chicago IL

    She's just distracting facing comparison to her conservative counterparts. Why not talk about your accomplishments Mrs. Clinton?

    For example what have you done to show us financial responsibility with public money?

    Let's compare and contrast with Mitt Romney. He successfully closed a $3 billion budget deficit without raising taxes. Hillary simply took more and more from the people in order to tax and spend. So we'll conclude that not only does she not have success and financial responsibility, but she has no experience budgeting to avoid a deficit.

    August 19, 2007 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  4. Prabhu Basoor

    Go Hillary..Go....Who cares about this discredited, crook who cares little about this great country except his vitriolic comments on the former first lady who is upfront about solving this country's problems. This hateful individual who would out an honorable CIA agent for political gains deserves no coverage by the media

    August 19, 2007 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  5. Stephen

    Hillary is full of herself :-) ... I never agree with Rove on anything but indeed he is correct, Her nomination will lead to the downfall of the democratic party, we have a good chance of loosing congress again. When it took 12 years to get it back. 45 fav 54 unfav is not something I would want my candidate to have going into the general election. That puts most of the swing voters and swing states in the other parties pocket.

    August 19, 2007 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  6. Dan Pekins, Edison, NJ

    That's because Rove is a nobody. What has he constructively done for Washington or America? Nothing. His leaving the White House is nothing worthwhile, as he will continue to lower the level of politics even from "retirement"

    August 19, 2007 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  7. Rob A., Mpls., MN

    Rove has helped to make the world a much worse and more dangerous place. That is his legacy. Hell of a job, Karl.

    August 19, 2007 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  8. Lizabeth, Dallas TX

    I thought Karl Rove wasn't going to be involved in politics anymore?? The man speaks with a forked tongue??
    Personally, I am SICK of Karl Rove. He's a mean, vengeful, untrustworthy person who deals in fear. Let him crawl back under his rock.

    August 19, 2007 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  9. Michael James - Illinois

    "She enters the general election campaign with the highest negatives of any candidate in the history of the Gallup poll." That seems to be a statement of fact rather than an attack.

    I'm certainly not a Rove fan, but he is correct in that most people have probably formed an opinion on Hillary Clinton. She is as divisive a figure as Rove himself.

    Republicans are certainly aware of Clinton's political skill and ability to slime opponents, but they know they will beat her if she takes the Democratic nomination. Hillary Clinton is the one candidate who can rally the Republicans to turn out on election day, so they won't mind at all if she wins.

    August 19, 2007 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  10. J. Q. Public, My Hometown, Good ole USA

    I have to believe Karl Rove said those thing's because he believes the Republican nominee wouldn't have a chance against Clinton in Presidential race.

    Better to knock your greatest opponent now, and face some one else. Obama's comments that he would talk with dictators and despots can easily be used against him by the Republicans who can can play up the security card.

    August 19, 2007 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  11. David, Salinas, CA

    Brian from College Park. MD may be right that Rove and the Republicans want to run against Senator Clinton. But politics is unpredictable.

    I remember in 1980 when Democratic strategists were worried about heavyweights Howard Baker and Bob Dole, and hoping the Republicans would nominate that easy-to-beat candidate Ronald Reagan.

    You have to be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.

    August 19, 2007 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  12. Marsha, Portland, OR

    Brian – Actually – It might take a genius to figure out what's going on here:

    The Republicans know that if Hillary is elected she DOES stand a chance of winning the Presidency. They know that if they start to discredit her campaign now during the primaries that they stand a chance of putting one of the other democratic candidates as the democratic candidate, i.e. Obama, Edwards, Biden, etc. Most likely they are thinking it will be Obama (since he's 2nd runner up currently) and they can then discredit his campaign over and over again on grounds of lack of experience and on his foreign policy comments and once again instill a campaign of fear in the American public by raising fears of terrorism. This will undoubtedly be their campaign tactics if Obama becomes the democratic candidate. Their tactics now are to discredit the Clinton campaign now as much as possible because they fear that if she wins the primaries that they cannot win against her and one of the most popular democratic Presidents and strongest campaigners of all times, i.e. Bill – smartest place to attack Hillary – the primaries.

    Plus, the latest polls show that in fact HRC is the candidate that can beat the Republicans:

    "The latest poll from Quinnipiac University shows that Hillary Clinton is leading Rudy Giuliani. This is the first time that she has been in the lead. It is a small, margin of 46-43% but the poll also shows that she has increased her favorability rating."

    "Clinton leads Senator John McCain by 47-41% and former Senator Fred Thompson by 49-38%. Senator Barack Obama is in a tie with Giuliani at 42%, leads McCain by a margin of 43 – 39% and Thompson by 46-35%."

    Other candidates can only tie the Republican front runners at the moment. Including the second runner up – Obama.

    Thus, back to my orignal argument that Republicans like Rove have a very big reason to try to discredit the Clinton Campaign. They ARE afraid she will beat them. Regardless, of the fact that they are saying that they hope she wins the primaries.

    I call their bluff.

    Regardless of what primary candidate I support, I think it's important to try to be intelligent and unbiased enough to look at the big picture here.

    August 19, 2007 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  13. Bart, Ellensburg, WA

    Rove was responding to a question David G asked. He didn't go out of his way to talk about her and was pressed by Gregory. For Hillary to say he's obsessed is typial Hillary retoric.

    August 19, 2007 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  14. Myron, Honolulu, HI

    Obama is much easier to beat so Rove and Republican Trash Machine attack Hillary. But don’t worry Rove and the Republican Trash Machine will go after all Democrats. It’s nothing personal its psychotic and demonic what they have done to God and Country. Real Christians have abandoned the Republican Party and platform. Sure many oppose abortion but the other 99% of the Republican Party and platform is anti-God and destroys our economy and environment.

    August 19, 2007 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  15. Cary - Lowell, IN

    Many call Hillary "Bush Lite". Many say she's just another politician who is bought and sold.

    In any case Karl Rove isn't going anywhere. Now he's speaking out as freely as he please . He left the Bush admin. precisely for this reason. He's in this thing thick and fast and will figure prominently in the 2008 election.

    August 19, 2007 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  16. Bob, Roxboro, MC

    No matter which way you turn your head to spit, you'll hit an ambitious, slimy political power seeker. None of the candidates in the frontrunning are worth a damn when it comes to bringing America back to it's former security and prosperity. The stock market does really well due to the exploitation of cheap labor both overseas and here at home. What does that do for folks who can't even afford the broker's commissions? Strong economy? Not down here where people work for their money!

    August 19, 2007 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  17. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    I'm also obsessed with her– and her defeat as the Democratic death wish nominee. Those "high negatives" point to a general election loss snatched from the jaws of victory despite her campaign help from Bubba Bill.

    August 19, 2007 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  18. Greg, Phoenix, AZ

    Been saying the same thing for the past 2 weeks. I don't think people really appreciate just how high her negative ratings really are. She is at nearly 50%, which is almost freakish for a person running for president. He is also right to suggest that this is a situation that is set in stone. These people have obviously already made up their mind about her and future debates will only re-affirm these views.

    One cannot lose sight of the fact that democrats are only supporting her because of her name, and the fact that they feel this gives them the best chance to win. This is reflected in polling that show her to have good ratings on electibility but very bad ratings on honesty and likeability.

    At the end of the day, she is likely to win the democratic nomination and almost guaranteed to lose the general election.

    August 19, 2007 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  19. Paul Phx AZ

    yada yada yada
    someone take the sand away from these kids.

    August 19, 2007 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  20. VanReuter NY NY

    "Hillary is full of herself … I never agree with Rove on anything but indeed he is correct,"
    Posted By Stephen
    What does that tell you about your own bias?

    "She enters the general election campaign with the highest negatives of any candidate in the history of the Gallup poll." That seems to be a statement of fact rather than an attack.

    I'm certainly not a Rove fan, but he is correct in that most people have probably formed an opinion on Hillary Clinton. She is as divisive a figure as Rove himself."

    Posted By Michael James – Illinois : August 19, 2007 1:02 pm

    From 10/31/2004; As in many national elections, the two candidates usually go in to the last few days of the contest with almost 50/50 fav/unfav ratings.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6367631/site/newsweek/

    That’s clear in the new NEWSWEEK poll. The president’s approval rating remains unchanged from last week at 46 percent. A majority of Americans are still dissatisfied with the direction of the country: 56 percent, the same as last week. Yet Bush’s support number has increased by two or three points and his margin over Kerry by four or five points. Why? One clue may lie in the candidate’s favorability ratings. Overall, 52 percent of registered voters have a favorable opinion of Bush, 43 percent have an unfavorable opinion of him. Last week 50 percent were favorable and 47 percent were unfavorable. The favorables beat the unfavorables by nine points this week, last week they only outnumbered them by three points.

    Kerry has seen exactly the opposite shift. His favorable/unfavorable ratings are 47 percent favorable and 46 percent unfavorable this week, basically even. Last week, his favorability rating was 50 percent and his unfavorable 45 percent."

    It won't be any different this time. It is only a real issue to those who have no knowledge of the history of Presidential elections.

    August 19, 2007 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  21. Bobby, Tulsa OK

    In reference to xtina's comment from Chicago, how much worse could Hilary be from the current administration's lack of fiscal responsibility. Don't forget that (Bill) Clinton was the last president to balance the federal budget.

    August 19, 2007 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  22. J, Dubuque, Iowa

    Karl Rove seems to think that if he goes on about, "Clinton this and Clinton that" that the American people will forget everything that has happened over the past seven years.

    August 19, 2007 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  23. Greg, Phoenix, AZ

    Marsha,

    Any credible Democratic pollster would tell you that given today's political climate, the Democratic candidate should be FAR ahead of the Republican candidate at this point. This is a major concern for Democrats and if you don't believe me just go back and re-read the CNN story last Saturday regarding dem's fears about Hillary.

    Fact is polling shows Giuliani ahead of Hillary, or within the margin of error. This is NOT good news for Democrats.

    August 19, 2007 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  24. Cary - Lowell, IN

    That's soooo narcissistic of Hillary Clinton to say that someone– anyone - is obssessed with her.

    Who would even say that another person is obessessed with them. I doubt Karl Rove cares, and it just sounds creepy for Hillary to say this.

    August 19, 2007 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  25. James, San Antonio, TX.

    Hillary Clinton: You have absolutely nothing to worry about in what is said by Karl Rove; He also takes orders from Rupert;like Bush, Cheney and Staff, only in larger doses! It is believed Rupert is checking his LIST and checking it Twice; it'll probably be Fred Thompson ( Deep Pockets).He's control-able.
    So, Ride On Dear Lady, when Obama says the country Needs Change, He's right; Your It! Forget about all these people that believe they need being "NURSED" Lets Go with "Don't Ask What Your Country Can Do For YOU, But, What Can WE Do for OUR COUNTRY ?? " War being OUT! Thank You.

    August 19, 2007 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
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