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. Vincent, Charlottesville, Virginia

    Rove doesn't need to endorse her – all he needs to do is very publicly attack her. Nothing would suit the Bush/Clinton neocon/DLC circle more perfectly than Clinton as the Democratic nominee. It's win if she loses and win if she wins for them – and lose-lose for those of us who would prefer not to be "governed" by shills for the military industry and the global corporate power structure.

    August 20, 2007 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  2. Barbara LeBey, Atlanta, Ga.

    HILLARY IS THE DEMS BEST CHANCE FOR WINNING THE WHITE HOUSE, and Rove knows it. She is, by far the smartest of all the candidates of either party, and she has Bill. Who but Bill could mend our relations with other countries? Right now, we are so hated around the world. Do you think that makes us more secure? Hillary is friendly to Wall Street. That's good thing. She understands global markets. That's a good thing. And she will not be fool enough to raise taxes or ruin our economy. Don't be fooled by the Right wing rhetoric or the swift-boating sure to come. But when it does, she will handle it like the pro she is.

    August 20, 2007 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  3. ER, Brattleboro, VT

    Rove just loves Hillary. She's a Jane Fonda for him to throw at the Swift Boat mentality crowd. And he also realizes that Dems have strong opinions -good and bad- of her.

    More of the Divide and Conquer tactic brought to you by RasRoven.

    August 20, 2007 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  4. Randy, VA

    I think Hillary is obsessed with Rove. I mean who really believes any politician. Be it Rove, Clinton, etc. Both Clintons are proven liers, period. Check out the list of losers that the Democrats have given us, Obama -a face without any experience or substance. Clinton, a born-again lier. Edwards- a millionare ambalance chaser. Face the fact, what is your opionion of any lawyer you ever met? Case closed on that one. Sadly, the Republican canidates aren't much better. I thought after Gore, who couldn't even win his home state, and Kerry, the bigest fake and phoney you will ever meet that the Democrats could help but to come up with someting even a bit better than those teo jokers, but they haven't. Lord help us all.

    August 20, 2007 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  5. Ken, Los Angeles, CA

    Joe Biden? Thanks to him not having a spine we have Clarence Thomas on the supreme court. Anyway, I think the Repubs keep pointing out Hillary's unfavorable ratings because they want to scare the Dems into voting for Obama or any of the other candidates they think they can beat. I'd never for a second think Rove's comments are meaningless, he's always on plan. Know thine enemy!

    August 20, 2007 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  6. Steve frank Fairbanks Alaska

    Who wants Carl Rove's opinion after what he's done to the republican party? Do people still think he's such a great adviser? Terrible man he is. Nothing is illegal in his opinion. Is this the kind of people we look up to ? Whats happened to America?

    August 20, 2007 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  7. Rob, San Diego CA

    As much as I hate to admit it, Karl rove is righton this one. Hillary is "fatally flawed". She won't receive any of the independent swing votes. Too many people have made up their mind about her and she enrages the religious Right like no other. She will cause conservatives to vote against her in record numbers.

    Why can't the democrats choose an electable candidate? Any one BUT Hillary on the Democrat side is a gauranteed victor. However if Hillary is the candidate I fear this is going to be a repeat of the '04 election.

    August 20, 2007 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  8. pservelle, palm springs, CA

    Takes one to know one

    August 20, 2007 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  9. Lyons Steve

    Nice seeing the former shadowy criminal Rove sweating like a pig over Hillary.

    And just think how her husband will do campaigning for her. Didn't Bill have about the most effective election machine in Democrat history? Can you imagine Rove et al skewered by TWO Clintons at once?

    Priceless. These two ain't Gore *or* Kerry.

    August 20, 2007 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  10. Lyons Steve

    Joe Biden 08!

    Mr. Can't Write His Own Text doesn't have a snowball's chance in Hades of becoming the nominee. You said second tier, not sixth.

    August 20, 2007 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  11. Lyons Steve

    /***This is the 2nd time that she has decided that someone is obsessed with her.

    That's right, Sternberg. Anyone, like you, want to laugh at her "vast, right-wing conspiracy?" The one that got us President Howdy Doody, Criminal Cheney, the Iraq war, the Constitution turned off, the rich richer with tax breaks, etc. etc. etc.

    Now, your comment smacks of a scared little boy who doesn't want his mama elected president.

    Get over it, kid. A big "girl" is about to become president.

    And if Karl Rove isn't obsessed with Hillary Clinton, then he must be in love with her. He talks about her all the time.

    Sounds to me like a little high school girl type of conceit on her part.

    August 20, 2007 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  12. Debra Smith, Oklahoma City, OK

    Its a typical Rove spin. There is no republican candidate as smart and famous who can beat Hillary. That is the reason Rove is creating this propaganda. Hillary is not perfect, but these right wing machine is implanting hatred amongst democrats and independents so that she is not nominated. Hope the american people ignore the comments of this looser Barny and vote their conscious.

    August 20, 2007 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  13. Lyons Steve

    /*** Re: the Great Mitt Romney & Hillary

    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.

    Mitt Romney is a flip-flopping liar. Hillary's husband BALANCED THE BUDGET while in office. The Repubs have destroyed a budget surplus, and replaced it with the biggest deficit in HISTORY.

    Sounds like you don't know much about financials yourself.

    August 20, 2007 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  14. shaniah - st ouis, mo

    Hillary supporters, Karl Rove is your worst nightmare. (evil laugh)

    August 20, 2007 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  15. Lyons Steve

    Clinton's budget surplus had nothing to do with the Clinton himself — we can thank conservative Alan Greenspan for that.

    Wrong. Clinton and Gore cut hundreds of millions of government spending in 1993, which took a modest recovery and turned it into the roaring economy of the 90s, resulting in a budget surplus that the Repubs promptly lost.

    Alan Greenspan, however, IS responsible for slowing the economy down in the late 90s, blaming phantom, non-existent inflation fears for raising interest rates until, indeed, the economy tank.

    Try again.

    August 20, 2007 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  16. Jerry, Sacramento, CA

    What does it say about America when it can produce people like Karl Rove?

    August 20, 2007 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  17. BionicWoman, Tucson, Arizona

    At this point there are 106 comments on this blog – more than all of the other columns.

    Thanx Rove – for the free publicity!

    Of course she can win. She will win.

    And Obama is helping here there too. He is in the way of the other candidates getting any traction. His blame tactics do nothing to enhance his status.

    So, go ahead Rove – and anyone else. Give Hillary some more publicity and make sure we get to hear about her more than all the other candidates put together!

    August 20, 2007 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  18. mommadona, Ben Lomond, CA

    Rove Explains Why He Hates Strong, Politically Motivated Women...and little girls.


    August 20, 2007 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  19. StephenH, Santa Ana, CA

    "She enters the general election campaign with the highest negatives of any candidate in the history of the Gallup poll," Rove said

    Another LIE by Carl Rove. According to the Gallup poll, 52% of Americans DISSAPROVED of the job Bush was doing in May, 2004, and yet he went on to win the election (or at least, it was close enough so that he could steal it).

    The thing about Carl Rove is that he ALWAYS lies. The only question is figuring out why.

    August 20, 2007 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  20. Nate, Boston MA

    We get the candidates we deserve. Bush, Clinton, Bush, Clinton (?); we Americans are nothing if not consistent, and predictable. The fact is that we've forgotten the principle of enlightened self-interest.

    I work in publishing with a fairly well-rounded group of people, yet ask any question in any setting about politics and you hear either about how broken the system is or how uninterested in politics someone is. We let our leaders define what patriotism means, hear the constant drumbeat of that message through the MSM, talk radio, and opinion pages, and latch onto those beliefs which match our own. In this time of lazy thinking, where polemicism and partisanship pour from the screen as easily as cereal from a box, we lose our way, we forget that democracy is an experiment in action.

    Once the people divorce themselves from it's covenant, there is nothing to stop a regime of consistentcy from taking over the levers of power. Sure, the emphasis of priorities shifts between parties, but the money still flows where the influence is found, one hand washes the other, no matter who leads the nation. We have no one to blame but ourselves. Spit your venom where you like, but take a good look in the mirror when you do.

    As for me, given a choice between a candidate running on morals versus one running on understanding, I'll take the one who understands the world every time. Republicans have no such candidate, Democrats have a couple. We can no longer acquiesce our desire for morality-based leadership, which by it's very nature is intractable and unresponsive to challenges, to informed, considered, realistic governance. Anyone who is honest about this fact will not dispute that we need a change in the direction of reason, no matter how anathema to our political inclinations it might be.

    It's time to abandon the false divisions constructed by the power elites, embrace the peaceful conflict of ideas inherent in our Constitution, and BELIEVE in democracy again.

    August 20, 2007 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  21. PreAmerikkkan voter, seattle, wa

    he leaves the election process with the higher negatives than would have been though possible and HE has a comment about Hillary Clinton?

    No matter what repugnant-cans try, it will not work this time. the "internets' will defeat the ignorance they depend on to get their favorite criminal (aka the gop candidate) elected.

    they need the small minded to accomplish their agenda, so if some of you are still supporting them, get therapy or whatever it is you need and make sure a democrat is elected.

    only the fate of the world depends on it.

    anyway, it's time for a woman to be president, how much worse can she do than the idiot men who have been taking us down the toilet for too, too, long.

    women rate in '08!

    August 20, 2007 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  22. D. Peer

    It's imperative that Democratic candidates prepare the party for what is inevitable: spectacular dirty tricks that have become the basic election process tactic of radical Republicans for over 50 years. Rove and his ilk are what make make "exporting democracy" so ludicrous. They have no idea what it's about.

    August 20, 2007 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  23. Lambert Strether, Philadelphia, PA

    As I said elsewhere:

    What's Hillary's plan to restore Constitutional government?

    When she has one, I'll look at her.

    Meanwhile, IMNSHO, I look see her as having identified with her abusers, in classic Stockholm Syndrome fashion. Joining a prayer group with the very same VRWC types who were staging the coup against Clinton is a little bit much, I think.

    And having identified with her abusers, she's become their candidate. Hillary won't change the Beltway one iota. That's why Rove is attacking her: He wants what he believes to be the base to rally round her.

    Of course, I'd vote for Hillary in the general in a heartbeat. I'd rather be ruled by a sane emperor, like Marcus Aurelius, say, than by an insane one, like Caligula, which is what we have now. Nevertheless, I don't want to be ruled by an emperor or a monarch. I want to be governed by a President.

    So, it's because I think Hillary will do little or nothing to arrest the trend of the country toward authoritarianism that she's not my candidate, nor ever will be.

    After all, if she wanted to get some cred on restoring Constitutional government, it would have been very simple: She could have brought the Senate to a halt to prevent the passage of the Orwellian "Protect America" Act, preventing FISA from being gutted, along with the Fourth Amendment. Instead, she went on vacation, which I guess was more important to her.

    Too bad. Maybe she's learned from her health care disaster in the first Clinton administration that left so many without any coverage. And it would be great to have a woman as President. But I put not gender, but the Constitution first, and I don't believe that Hillary does, either in words, or in action.

    August 20, 2007 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  24. James, Phoenix AZ

    Van – NY

    You wrote, "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."

    Let's be intellectually honest for a minute. Obama and Hillary share similar ideology but they are NOT the same.

    Presidential campaigns are nothing more than a popularity contest. Rove, Gingrich, and the GOP are going to use every "negative" against whoever the democratic candidate turns out (Just like the dems,, etc will use against the Republican).

    What you have to decide – who is more electable – Clinton or Obama. Which person has more baggage? (Clinton -hands down). Which person has higher negatives? (Clinton – hands down). Who motivates the republicans to get out and vote? (Clinton – hands down).

    As a conservative – I would be more concerned about an Obama campaign than Hillary. Obama is fresh, seemingly genuine/honest, and (so far) run a campaign without special interest dollars. Hillary represents the same-old politics of polarizing, dividing, and angry rhetoric.

    That's my humble opinion.

    August 20, 2007 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  25. Linda, Miami, FL

    I don't understand that these Hillary haters can't come up with a single reason as to why they hate her so much. Is it because she is strong and smart? Or is it because she was a first lady and very popular outside USA and her husband was one of the smartest president but stupid enough to behave reckless in personal matters? But, thanks to Rove who is helping with a free publicity. If he is really smart, he should come up with a reasoning as to why people should not vote for her. Just saying that the negative baggage is STUPID. Just shut up and hide somewhere in Texas.

    August 20, 2007 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
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