August 20th, 2007
09:52 AM ET
11 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. Doreen, Buffalo Grove, IL

    I think Karl Rove is scared to death of Hillary Clinton's candidacy and that's obviously why he is attacking her.

    August 19, 2007 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  2. Ronny T, Modesto, CA

    I suspect that the comments much like mass media will continue to ignore the threat of Ron Paul...don't worry so much about what Karl Rove (the neo-con) said about Clinton (political puppet). Let's focus on important issues and get the right person for the job!

    Ron Paul 2008

    August 19, 2007 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  3. Lance, Monrovia, CA

    However, what do you mean "as in the polls, Hillary's people seem to have the upper hand?"

    I've been sitting at the Obama table on and off for three weeks at the Monrovia street fair, and we've outpaced the one guy at Hillary's table many times over. Sometimes people will go first to Hillary's then to Obama's table to check out the info or buy a bumper sticker, as they're still sussing out the candidates, but by far people are more curious about Obama than Hillary.

    Why is it that people just don't seem as curious or passionate about Hillary and yet the media constantly tries to crown her as the winning candidate by default, like it's her birth right? Who are these people they're polling anyway? I haven't met them.

    I've been trying and trying to think and articulate why I and so many others like Sen. Obama so much and what my major problem with Hillary Clinton is… I've really struggled with this, as I think she'd be an okay president, far better than Bush anyway.

    But over the course of my time hanging out at that Obama table at the street fair, its hit me. Now I know why I don't like her nearly as much as Obama or even Edwards.

    The reason is…exactly what I said. I think she'd be competent, she'd be okay. We'd skate through the next 8 years without attacking anyone blatantly and there'd be some incremental good done. But…THAT'S NOT WHAT WE NEED!!!

    Our next president must be a visionary. We need a leader in the truest sense of the word. It is not the time to be cautious or meek or reactionary about our next President.

    Instead of reversing 8 years of damage, I think Hillary Clinton would be too tempted to keep the status quo, keeping things like the patriot act and the overall "war on terror" humming along nicely if it made things as easy politically as it has for Bush.

    We don't need another family dynasty playing the same political games our country has suffered from for seven years. That wouldn't serve the country well. We need somebody to come in with an almighty bulldozer and overhaul the system.

    Our literal survival is as stake in this next election. We are facing ice caps that are melting, healthcare that's a joke, a world that shows us no compassion and a lot of hate, corporations and foreign interests out of control in large part due to our own acts or lack thereof. We have a culture of greed and instant gratification driven only by profit even at the expense of our kids.

    I don't honestly believe that Hillary Clinton has the sheer vision and courage to make the kind of major changes that need to happen. I see it on the faces I see week after week, in the conversations around "the water cooler" and on the internet boards.

    She doesn't inspire action.

    Even if she logically sees what needs to be done, even if she can talk about it, she can't inspire others to pull it off. I don't believe she'll unite the Congress much less the States. She is not taking on the right, she will drive them to act because despite good intentions that is what she does.

    I don't believe she'll overcome her lobbyist buddies to give us all equal and fair healthcare… she couldn't do it before, why now?

    I DO believe that Barrack Obama could do those things, especially Obama. I sense a kind of fire in the air around him.

    People are exited, motivation is coming from areas inside people they didn't know they had, people that have never engaged in politics, ever, including myself.

    He is almost singlehandedly creating an environment that makes voters feel inspired enough to throw down against the system, to finally, gloriously get involved with a broken system and fix it once and for all.

    Frankly, Hilary is old school politics and corporate interest in a pink suit. Where others have spoken out loudly against corruption, cronyism and the loss of our rights in the last seven years, she has gotten by, said just enough and no more, and I say that's not enough.

    I want to be inspired, I want to be told that Americans can sacrifice with the best, take our knocks and handle the truth. I want the world to know Americans are reasonable and well reasoned people with heart and toughness to spare.

    Frankly, Hillary feels like my babysitter instead of my president.

    Obama understands the vibe of the 21st century where Hillary is still living in the 90's. She cannot help but be a product of her husband's times, as divisive as they were. I'm so weary of that…

    I cried when I heard Obama speak during Kerry's convention, because he was so right, there are no blue or red states, we're all The UNITED STATES.

    I don't want the country I love to be known as an imperial empire, a dictatorial regime bringing democracy on the backs of missles and bullets.

    I don't need another president that will rationalize and divide with statements like, "if you want to take on the right, I'm your girl." or "I'll get us out of Iraq…unless Al Qaeda is still there."

    I'm sick of half speak. Listen close and you'll see Obama isn't doing that.

    I want the world to know the good people I know, the honesty I know. I want the sort of knowledge, class and courage that the best politicians in history have given this country. It's time for another Abe Lincoln, another JFK, because only a leader of that caliber can harness the belief currently lying dormant in this country can pull us safely into the future.

    I never, ever want to be known as the generation that lost our freedoms to fear and lost our world to neglect and greed.

    The worst thing that can happen to the next presidential election is that it’s close. If it’s close, the RNC can use caging, intimidation and voter apathy to steal it yet again. If it’s Hillary, it’s gonna be close, and I'll do what I can to help her too, but I feel it'll be politics as usual, and I'll be scared… as usual.

    I do, however, believe that Barrack Obama can inspire what needs to be done. He can not only inspire it, he can pull it off. He can bring a million people to the polls that have never even bothered to vote before.

    The Clintons had their chance, lets not live in the past, lets figure out what will make the future.

    Obama in '08.

    You can start by showing up at Library Park's cardshack tomorrow Sunday August 19, 3pm, in Monrovia, and also by reading Audacity of Hope in your spare time.

    The more you learn, the more you listen, the more you'll see.

    August 19, 2007 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  4. Scott, Newport KY

    Yes, Hillary, Karl Rove is obsessed with you, we're all obsessed with you, it's all about YOU! Get over yourself.

    August 19, 2007 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  5. Jerry, Atlanta

    Reply to Marsha in Portland:

    I absolutely agree!

    August 19, 2007 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  6. Mark Ramsey MD Fort Lauderdale FL

    This is simple- Karl Rove is attacking the candidate he fears most. He can't afford to wait until the democratic nomination- he has to start now to try to discredit Mrs. Clinton. This is not the Hillary Clinton of 10 years ago- this is the well-respected two-term senator from New York, prominent member of the foreign affairs committee and lifelong public servant. When I listened to the debates my opinion of her changed- this lady is ready to lead our country, and I personally thinks it's time to give her a chance.

    August 19, 2007 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  7. David, Salinas, CA


    I appreciate your impassioned advocacy of your candidate. I agree that Barack Obama is a fresh voice, with the ideas and experience to be a fine President. But I wish you would stop trashing Senator Clinton to achieve your goal. After all, the two candidates have nearly identical voting records and may share a ticket someday.

    Keep up the good work.

    August 19, 2007 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  8. Peg, Brookeland, Texas

    It seems that democrats are obsessed with Karl Rove. It's kind of funny when I think about the energy they expend disliking and sometimes hating him, and anyone else associated with President Bush. President Bush and the people who advise him are moral, upright citizens who are doing what they think is best for the country. Right is right, whether it's popular or not.

    President Bush can never be seen as a good, competent, strong leader by the main stream media, so people actually have an uninformed opinion of him. History will show him as a strong leader who kept our country safe following a terrorist attack on our own soil. Had bill clinton taken Osama bin Laden when Saudia Arabia begged him to, September 11th might never have happened. Thankfully, George W had the guts to tackle the terrorists head on. No empty threats with him. He took action against the enemy within weeks of September 11th. After the attacks, someone told me they bet al gore was glad he hadn't won; my response was the whole world should be happy about that.

    Does anyone wonder what was so devastating to bill clinton that sandy burger would risk his freedom stealing papers from the National Archives? Does anyone wonder why the Republicans have not pursued this the way the democrats have pursued every tiny, little thing they can investigate. They're still angry that they couldn't get Karl Rove and had to settle for Scooter Libby, neither of whom "outed" valerie plame. All they could get Libby for was the same thing bill clinton did.

    I think history will show that Franklin Roosevelt was the most influential president in the first half of the 20th century, Ronald Reagan in the second half of the century, and perhaps George W. Bush for the first half of the 21st century. That remains to be seen.

    August 19, 2007 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  9. Steve..Ontario Canada

    I am a Canadian that lives along the U.S border, and have a lot of access to mainstream, cable and satellite radio.I watch, and listen to your politics, and observe the process..It is fascinating to watch and listen to. The idea that Karl Rove has left the White House staff is brilliant!!! He now can direct the torpedo jobs on the Democrats from the sidelines..Ohhh man, this is gonna be fun to watch..Just one thing, please, please, Keep him in the U.S. We already have had a bellyful of the "conservative"...mantra here

    August 19, 2007 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  10. Harry, Truro, MA

    CNN should chjeck out the poll on who won the debare. As opf this afternoon Obama led by about 5000 to about 3500 for Hillary with Edwards trailing far behind.

    August 19, 2007 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  11. JE, Watertown, NY

    Karl Who? He is history and irrelevant! What a mess that he (the brain of George Bush) made america in.

    He, like all republicans, see that Hillary will beat any republican candidates now, and more so when these republican candidates's shortcomings will come out. Hillary (not Obama or Edwards who are inexperienced and will make mistakes during their campaign speeches) is the one the republicans worry about in the next election, and the 2009 democrat president, democrat congress and democrat senate will send all republicans to unemployment lines!

    Go Hillary go! Yeah!

    August 19, 2007 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  12. Ronny T, Modesto, CA

    Hey Americans...what about Ron Paul...and if u do not think he is presidential material, let us know...DO NO IGNORE RON PAUL!

    August 19, 2007 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  13. Jeffrey Stewart, Rockingham, NC

    Peg of Brookeland, Texas. You are a perfect model of really bad thinking. If you can't see the intentions of Bush and Co. then you need to just keep quiet because you are apparently seriously lacking in comprehension as to the damage that is and has been caused by this administration. You are also in a very slim minority because I know that most people have finally seen the light when it comes to King George and his cronies. Too bad for your short sightedness. You are severely in the dark.

    August 19, 2007 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  14. David Morris, Owensboro, Kentucky

    Senator Clinton is my choice and she is my girl. She knows how to deal with the likes of Mr. Rove. What do you expect from him other than negative remarks.

    August 19, 2007 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  15. Cable King Pittsburgh Pa

    Political analysis from Pittsburgh:

    Rove is the undisputed poster boy for divide, conquer and win by one.

    Even tho' Hilary has high negs she still draws about 50% against any Repub. Given the dreadful performance of Bush she picks up an extra percentage point. Even tho' she has hi negs she still becomes next President . . . . that is Rove's legacy.

    Rock oN

    August 19, 2007 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  16. Greg, Phoenix, AZ

    Argue all you want but Hillary is simply unelectible.

    Democrats would have a much better chance jumping behind Obama but it still wouldn't be enough.

    August 19, 2007 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  17. Sternberg

    This is the 2nd time that she has decided that someone is obsessed with her. Sounds to me like a little high school girl type of conceit on her part.

    August 19, 2007 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  18. Mike Dallas, TX

    Here we go! Classic Clintonian ME, ME, ME

    "Obsessed with ME blah blah..."

    August 19, 2007 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  19. Perry, Dallas, Texas

    Hillary just WISHES someone would be obssessed with her.

    August 19, 2007 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  20. VanReuter NY NY

    Lance- You're either a plant, or just a simple-minded cheer-leader. From your latest;

    "Clinton is so two faced".

    "Hillary is truly becoming the "fear" candidate, even as Obama becomes the candidate of reason and shows that the true experience he has is real world experience, social experience. Not only is he the strongest leader on the stage, he's the most well rounded."

    "Obama represents the best hope we have for the future. He's current. Hillary, frankly, is a relic of the past, still living in the cold war."

    "Obama won the debate today hands down, as he does every debate."

    Maybe you really believe the things you post, maybe you're getting something for posting them. Either way, your rhetoric is too pro-Obama in every way, to be taken as serious political thought. Obama has not won every debate hands-down, or otherwise, and no reasonable person, Obama supporter or not, would agree with that statement. It exposes your inability to consider any information that doesn't support your pre-conceived beliefs.

    Obama has the same Washington insiders in his campaign that everyone else has in theirs, he gets his money from the same places the others do, his voting record on the Iraq war, since his election to the senate is the same as Senator Clinton's, with only one exception. There is little to distinguish him in his actual political career, where, without exception, he is the least experienced in national politics of the candidates. He is a fine man with a compelling personal story, and is a welcome addition to the political scene. He is very much like his major rivals in the campaign, in policies and positions on the issues, most of the democratic candidates are similar, but he is less seasoned, untested, and unproven on the national stage. Perhaps the campaign will transform him into the person you so fervently believe him to be, but as things stand, he is not, and your praise of Obama, and denigration of Senator Clinton and the rest of the field, is at best, overzealousness.


    August 19, 2007 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  21. pl, at the UN, for a while.

    I am not American. I cannot vote. Also I should not express undiplomatic views.

    This time it's hard to resist though.

    Rove is being flushed down the toilet (not one day too soon), but in an attempt to self-preservation he tries to make it look like a send-off in a volley of glory.

    Come on Rove, not all Americans are as foolish as you.

    August 19, 2007 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  22. Keith Guice Franklin, Tn

    The REAL question is..."Which Republican candidate will be the one to bring Rove on board to start the "HATE" campaigning?" We have had enough of the Great Divider.

    Rove on the sidelines????? PUULLLEEZZZZEEE!!!!!!

    Rove should spend the next year in Iraq serving his country and seeing what he helped create over there

    Keith Guice
    Franklin, Tn

    August 19, 2007 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  23. firemoon47, Ft. Collins, CO

    As a Democrat, I am frankly not impressed with what the Dem's have done so far – Many of them are foresworn in their oath to uphold the Constitution. Be that as it may, ANYTHING is better than what we have now or any Republican candidate. It is time to join the rest of the world with a woman Head-of-State. It is definitely time for a REAL Change that will make a Change. From signed statements, no-bid contracts and billions of dollars unaccounted for, lies to support invasion of a sovereign country, making all of us defacto war criminals (rendition, torture, Guantanamo not to mention the invasion), betraying the Constitution, our children and grandchildren in the military, betraying our own (Katrina, spying and ending our Bill of Rights to serve as fodder for a dictatorship), to the ending of hundreds of years of habeas corpus – and on and on- What person in their right mind (with the exception of those who have prospered by/from this abomination) would vote for anything Republican and the way the Democratic Congress has betrayed us – almost anything Democratic? Like I said time for a REAL Change. The only REAL Change moves to what this country has never had before – a woman President. Not only a Real Change but a different direction. NOW!!!!firemoon47

    August 19, 2007 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  24. Betsy Oquendo

    Hillary is right! Karl Rove and all the Rethugblicans are obsessed with her and her husband.. They do nothing but bash her and former President Clinton and even go as far as to blame him for things that THEY are responsible for. And it is obvious that Rove is using reverse Psychology when he says that Hillary is unelectable and is the most flawed candidate. He knows that she knows how the GOP attack machine works and that she and her husband have and will beat them again! GO HILLARY!!!

    August 19, 2007 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  25. Sharon, Charlotte, NC

    Rove just left the White House this week and here he is getting in the way of the next election. Already.
    He talks about her negatives, ummm, WHAT? He is the man who manipulated an election to get the madman a second term, based on something as unimportant as gay issues and he also had a part to play in the madman starting a war. This parasite has left Washington, the war is still going on, Americans are still getting killed everyday while he has another $80.00 dinner to feed his triple-chinned pig face.
    It's said that incompetent people don't know that they are incompetent. After looking at Bush, Cheney and Rove, I'm starting to wonder if the same can be said about evil people.
    Go away Karl Rove! This election is going to be hard enough to decide without you fouling it up. You've done enough damage to our nation already.

    August 19, 2007 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
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