November 17th, 2007
10:12 AM ET
10 years ago

Rove: Obama missing opportunities to knock Clinton

Rove says Obama is missing chances to knock Clinton off stride.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Former top Bush aide Karl Rove said Thursday he thinks Sen. Barack Obama has missed key opportunities to knock rival Hillary Clinton off track.

In an interview with CSPAN, the man behind President Bush's two White House wins cited a recent debate in Philadelphia when Clinton was asked why more of her records as first lady have not yet been made public.

"He missed the opportunity," Rove explained. "If he had stood there and said, 'Senator, with all due respect, it is entirely within the power of you and your husband to immediately order the release of those documents. And your failure to do so reveals legitimate questions in the minds of the American people about what you might be hiding and it's not going to be good for the Democratic party or for you if you allow those questions to persist,' it would have been a moment, it would have been a big moment."

"Instead it was a vague and wandering around, and weak, and insipid," Rove continued. "There have been a number of occasions like that where a sharp and clear and respectful contrast would have created a moment."

Rove also said the Republicans will lose in 2008 unless they "articulate a positive agenda and a positive vision."

"Otherwise," Rove said, "The American people will say, 'You know what? I have got my doubts I have got my concerns and you haven't given me the confidence that I will do better with you.'"

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

soundoff (320 Responses)
  1. East Jesus, Nebraska

    Karl Rove, Supreme Court Justice

    November 17, 2007 07:34 am at 7:34 am |
  2. Anonymous, Newport News, VA

    Apparently, most of you would prefer a slimy weasel like James Carville, who got slick Willy to promise us everything and ended up a failure."


    Glad to see soemone else recognizes the Democrats have there own "weasels" too. Carville, a neanthedal if I ever saw one, along with the former DNC Chairman and slimeball, Terry Mcauliffe, have no less an agenda than does Rove. They're nothing less than caustic political hacks. American politics has really jumped in the sewer with these two.

    November 17, 2007 07:34 am at 7:34 am |
  3. Chris, Orlando FL

    Karl Rove engineered two Presidential wins.....what have you witty Libs done?

    The most you Libs have accomplished is a successful wait in line for handouts or blind acceptance of pandering from people that don't give a s*** about you.

    At least Bush gave me my tax break so I could add to my car collection....the Lib candidates will deliver NOTHING.

    November 17, 2007 07:37 am at 7:37 am |
  4. Sharon, Newport News, Virginia

    And I would trust anything that comes out of Karl Rove's mouth. I sure hope the Democrats realize that this in fighting is exactly what the Republicans want them to do. Keep on and we will have another 4 years of economic and political disaster. Another 4 years of Republicans and our country will be turned back to the early 1930's. While we are in another great depression, President Giuliani can walk the streets from soup kitchen to soup kitchen telling us about 9-11 and the role he played.

    November 17, 2007 07:47 am at 7:47 am |
  5. Atlanta, GA

    Just go away Karl Rove, go out another CIA agent, go be the architect in the cheat another country's elections.

    November 17, 2007 07:51 am at 7:51 am |
  6. Cody Harding, Kinsley, KS

    Rove, a bit of advice: You got someone killed for careless words. Don't ruin another career by them.

    To Sen. Obama: Trust your instincts on this one, namely the ones shouting 'STAY AWAY!'. Karl Rove is no man to take advice from, and only seeks to make another pass at the White House by currying favor amongst a top competitor. Please, don't go for it. You're better than that.

    November 17, 2007 08:02 am at 8:02 am |
  7. Mark Columbus, Ohio

    Steve from NY writes:
    What about the "hillary exposed" video (just Google it) that we have heard nothing about, those are felony campaign finance violations–that is what should be brought up. That case is in the courts, though I bet none of you has heard about it.

    Your right on target man. This just proves that the media is protecting Hillary.

    November 17, 2007 08:03 am at 8:03 am |
  8. my911call, North Carolina

    We can thank Rove for the state of this country.
    Even Republicans should hate him.
    He gave us Bush and in turn brought down the entire Republican party.
    I guess he can put that on his resume.

    November 17, 2007 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  9. McCain-in-4, Clarksburg, MD

    Anyone counting Obama out in '08 is obviously selling something. Since when did we have to have a politically trained weaselcrat occupy the most important political office in the world? Mr.Obama has showed grace time and time again during his campaign.

    Karl Rove shouldn't publically humilate himself by riding on the coat tails of Barack Obama.

    November 17, 2007 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
  10. Max, Boston, MA

    It only makes Obama more likable to think that Rove believes he's running his campaign wrong.

    November 17, 2007 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  11. Mike Atlanta Georgia

    How ironic given his and Cheney's efforts to hide and or destroy voluminous white house emails and records.

    November 17, 2007 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  12. Rocco, Wellington, FL

    For those of us concerned about “OUR” country and (It is not and will never be NEOCON country), very soon following the Iowa caucus the Democratic Candidates need to through their full and complete support behind Hillary. What America needs is to be “United” again by an Intelligent leader focused on what is good for the majority of our people in this Nation. We have lacked all this for the past 7 years, I want it back and I believe Hillary can bring it back.

    November 17, 2007 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  13. Sue, Michigan

    So old Karl has found a way to get involved in the Presidential season, as we knew he would! This is advice for the Republicans, who I'm sure are desperate enough to use it.
    As to why he wants Barack to win, that's easy. He believes Obama would be easier to "swift boat" that Hillary would be. The Republicans cannot stand the thought of losing all that power, or, just maybe, finally being indicted for their crimes!

    November 17, 2007 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  14. Andy, Phoenix, AZ

    ha ha Rove advising a dem and a Muslim al qaida plant at that? There's something wrong with this picture. The Republicans are really getting desperate. They know Hillary Clinton will kick Rudy the cross dressers butt.

    November 17, 2007 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  15. mark wilkes barre pa

    hillary may not have any actual experience leading the country,,, but she did stay at a holiday Inn,,,,

    November 17, 2007 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  16. Dee, Niagara Falls, NY

    Obama is arrogant. Speaks with his hands and finger pointing.
    Go HILLARY Go!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 17, 2007 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  17. Luis, Sacramento, CA

    Why should anyone listen to this devisive character. He and the GW bandwagon of fat-cat politicians and wealthy business people are only looking out for themselves as usual. The American people need someone in office that will look out for ALL Americans, not just the usual hogs at the, wealthy, & the special interests.

    November 17, 2007 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  18. Racine, WI

    Never trust Rove when he comments to pitch one Democratic candidate against another. People must know that the is pitching for Obama against Clinton only to use the very information in favor of the republican candidate! Remember Rove is obtusely smart! I hope Obama does not fall for his scheme

    November 17, 2007 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  19. crabfat, fenwick island, de

    WE DON'T CARE WHAT YOU HAVE TO SAY...I thought you were spending quality time with the family? YOu are soooooooo over!!!!

    November 17, 2007 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  20. Mark Columbus, Ohio

    Go Hillary Go! You go girl!
    This is the kind of crap I read from Hillary supporters. They don't give any reasons why she should be elected...most of it because she is either a woman or former first lady. Bad reason to elect a President.

    November 17, 2007 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  21. Anonymous, Newport News, VA

    "What about the "HILLARY EXPOSED" video (just Google it) that we have heard nothing about, those are felony campaign finance violations–that is what should be brought up. That case is in the courts, though I bet none of you has heard about it."


    The charges against Hillary look compelling! I'm sure the Clinton diehards will look at the video with jaundiced eyes, and conclude this to be another "Swift Boat" attempt by Clinton detractors. At the very least, it should be troublesome to everyone that a court case such as this is not headline news in the middle of an election cycle. Why is the media so silent?

    November 17, 2007 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  22. KM, Dallas, TX

    Too bad so many people aren't responding to the article...they're just using it as a soapbox. I'm not a fan of the guy but in this case he has a pretty good point. Why won't she allow these records to go public? Thats the real question. All you people resorting to name calling, stop ruining my democratic party! You are the reason for our failures...grow up, learn some issues instead of just taking a popular stance, and vote!

    November 17, 2007 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  23. Dave, Sacramento, CA

    The most interesting thing about these comments from people is that they look exactly like comments about why people don't like Hillary Clinton.

    These comments could easily have been in response to something Hillary said.

    November 17, 2007 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  24. Lioness Washington DC

    Does Rove secretly hope that Obama will win?

    This seems to suggest that...welcome all of conservative America.

    OR is he trying to undermine Obama by calling him weak?

    Sorry Karl, you are a has-been. And the fact that you are talking to the Clinton News Network only proves that.

    November 17, 2007 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  25. dawn -- Gaithersburg, MD.

    This is precisely the advice I would expect Rove to give to anyone: lie. At this point, it's not up to President or Senator Clinton to release archive records; rather, the Archive staff will make the call. And they may not release records without reading them to ensure that making them public would be in compliance with various statutes and regulations. Because the Archives are understaffed, this takes time. now appears to agree that Tim Russert's question was misleading while Sen. Clinton's answer was accurate. That, I believe, is why Sen. Obama (wisely) didn't press the issue at the Nevada debate. However, Sen. Obama has already twisted so many of his and Sen. Clinton's positions that he seems right in step with Rovian tactics.

    November 17, 2007 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
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