November 17th, 2007
10:12 AM ET
11 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)


    November 17, 2007 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  2. James Louis NC

    This guy is an idiot and is to be ignored and laughed at!

    November 17, 2007 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  3. ryan, boston

    who's he really bashing, Clinton or Obama?

    November 17, 2007 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  4. Kyu Reisch, Radcliff, Kentucky

    Carl Rove, you were wrong, Obama had time with Tim Russert at Meet the Press, Tim asked Obama about his record, Obama said I don't have my record, State Illinois has it, I don't have the record and schedule of Senator and campaign, how could he ask Hillary about the record even he doesn't have or couldn't open it publically. Another thing, Rove was wrong, Hillary doesn't need to give any confidence to Obama, confidence comes from his own experiences and career. Rove, you couldn't change your evil spirit, don't open your dirty mouth if you are not sure, just stay in the room. Bush doesn't need you means you are useless flesh.

    November 17, 2007 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  5. Randall

    Karl – give it up and keep your mouth shut. No one wants to hear what you think or this corrupt administration thinks. Give it up.

    November 17, 2007 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  6. E. C., Houston, Texas

    Notice that all the comments villifying Rove are vulgar, brash, four-letter, name-calling obscenities and nasty, hateful rhetoric as usual, a style always subscribed to by Under-Educated Liberal Democrats. This is standard vocabulary, for any word that contains more than 4 letters, to them is too difficult. This type person and his/her rhetoric continue to deny the Democratic Party of what it 'could become.' Too bad that the level of support comes from the sewer. Hillary is one of them, and she is too weak and certainly not intelligent enough to become President. Wishful thinking, Bill! No More Clintons in the White House! Rove is absolutely correct in his comments. Too bad there isn't a brilliant strategist around for Hillary...Thank Goodness! Right-on, Rove! But, please, don't help Obama!

    November 17, 2007 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  7. Peggy, Houston, TX

    I found it humorous, when talking about Giuliani, how many times Rove said the word “values”. I hope in ‘08 the Dems cram those republican “values” down their hypocritical throats. They are nothing but a bunch of prejudice, philandering, lying, crooks.

    November 17, 2007 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  8. E. C., Houston, Texas

    Might be stimulating to read this Ticker if there weren't so many name-calling kids on this comment board. Why do you allow such, CNN? Thought these comments were 'screened?' CNN has published nothing but 'trash and name-calling insults against Rove.' Is this standard for CNN?

    November 17, 2007 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  9. Jose Card

    No matter who told the truth about the procedure of releasing the documents that support Hillary's candidacy, we want to see the documents BEFORE the Democratic primary. It is not for Obama. It is for the voters. Democrats deserve the right to verify any candidate's resume.

    November 17, 2007 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  10. OutragedBeyondWords, Austin, TX

    Rove says Republicans must "articulate a positive agenda and a positive vision" to win in 2008. If you have watched the R debates, you have heard their message of hatred, bigotry, and fear: see page 1 of the Rove play book.
    It is far past time for Rove to be indicted, convicted, and imprisoned for high crimes against the state and people of this country.

    November 17, 2007 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  11. S. Wright

    Obama's moment has passed. A golden opportunity, and he missed it in the Vegas debates.

    Of course, it isn't all his fault. It's hard to score points when the sponsor of the debate (CNN) had it front loaded in Hilly's favor from the beginning. Not to mention the poster-child for metrosexuals everywhere, Wolf Blitzer, who never seems to have he guts to stop the silly tactics of a rampaging liberal establishment figure.

    Remember Michael Moore's rant, Wolfie? Yeah, you didn't look good letting him ramble like that either.

    November 17, 2007 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  12. Brian - Cleveland, Ohio

    1. This is about who is best for the job not who has more dirt and everyone has some. He's trying to detract from debate on the merits because if it goes there, he and his Republican Party lose for sure.

    2. He wants to help Obama oust Clinton becuase if she gets in it's more even more likely they'll lose.

    3. I'm an independent. I think both Giuliani and Clinton have the best resumes and geeze do we need a resume after Bush Jr. I prefer Clinton but also wouldn't have minded Giuliani until he started pandering to the religious extremist factions that have taken over our country. I'd expect better from a NYC mayor who is socially liberal but apparently willing to do what he needs to do to get in. I don't want those people in charge of our country for another 8 years - live and let live already.

    November 17, 2007 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  13. Jack, Fort Myers,FL

    Now that is about the scariest thing I've ever considered!! A slime bag w/ the deepest bag of dirty tricks in political history–giving advice to Democratic presidential candidates! What is that old saying:" beware false profits", yeh, sounds like very good advice. Any advice offered by this snake–must be seriously questioned. His only goal in politics is to veil truth, disguise truth, hide truth, and mislead as many as possible in pursuit of what are very likely despicable reasons. This muckraker doesn't even deserve to have his opinions in print!

    November 17, 2007 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  14. Benjamin Keaton, Robertsdale, Alabama

    He should spend the rest of his life in prison for disclosing the identity of CIA agent Valerie Plane, thus comprimising our safety and national security for the sake of political revenge. He is one of the most damaging people in America history for this incident along with spear heading the polarization of America. At the very least, he shouldn't be allowed to offer his viral opinions any longer.

    November 17, 2007 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  15. carl, Sacto, CA

    More advice from Rove? Bush would have won w/out him given a brother as Gov of Florida and the Gop legislature, the Supreme Court, the Sec of State of Ohio and the far right.

    Reminds me of politics in the Land of Smiles.

    November 17, 2007 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  16. Flagship, Hartford, CT

    E. C., Houston, Texas : November 17, 2007 10:19 am

    Do you see a pattern here?!
    Your Rove hero's rating is reflected in these blogs.
    You are tied to a traitor who did more damage to our country than 911 it self.
    Rove should be stripped of his American citizenship.

    November 17, 2007 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  17. A. Harrison, Atlanta Georgia

    This feels like Star Wars, the Emperor is giving advice to defeat their largest enemy. Would you take his advice? What is he up to? We can all see it.
    BTW as many have said on these comments, cooperate with the authorities and release the information on those leaks you were responsible for. Crook.

    November 17, 2007 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  18. Suzy, Houston TX

    Hey E.C. Houston, it’s called ‘freedom of speech’. You republicans can sure dish it out, and you can thank bush and his band of thugs for having to take it now. As far as name calling goes…ever listen to the Rush, Hannity, or Michael Savage??? The way they pronounce “liberal” you would think it was a dirty word instead of a philosophy. I personally don’t like the way politics is being played right now, but I hope the Dems read the republican’s playbook and give it back as good (or better) than it’s given. Try and be a nice guy and you lose…it’s pitiful but true.

    November 17, 2007 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  19. Hal Sedgwick

    Karl Rove saying Republicans will lose unless "they articulate a positive agenda and a positive vision" shows just how impenetrably grotesque the folks are who have given America the 7-year nightmare from which we so desperately hope to emerge. Go away, you evil, evil man.

    November 17, 2007 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  20. my911call, North Carolina

    Rove will go down in history as one of the most hated persons in American history. I hope his children seriously consider changing their last names.

    November 17, 2007 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  21. Ace, Grand Rapids, MI

    Hmmmm Maybe the reason he hasnt attacked viciously is because unlike Mr Rove, Obama isnt a sleezball who sold his soul.

    November 17, 2007 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  22. Jack Mormon, Seattle, WA

    Mormons are very scary people.

    November 17, 2007 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  23. Jon, Los Anegeles

    This evil man called K.R. should just disappear into thin air. He has caused great pain to this nation.

    November 17, 2007 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  24. Hales, West Lafayette, IN

    As much as people seem to dislike him, his remark on this occassion is basically accurate, both as to the situation of the RNC and the Clinton-Obama contest

    November 17, 2007 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  25. Walt, Belton, TX

    Valerie Plane was a known and useless shoe clerk for the CIA. Disclosing her identity was stupid but jeopardized nothing as she was a nothing.

    November 17, 2007 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
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