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. Matt, Arlington, VA

    This man is right on. It's hilarious–I know this is the man the Democratic party demonizes.. but this statement alone provides that he knows and understands integrity and what a leader must do to distinguish himself, rise above the corruption and deliver American's a message of exceptionalism. Bravo.

    November 16, 2007 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  2. Pb Coleman - Dallas, Texas

    Nice of Carl to offer "advise" on how to win political "advantage". However, we are tired of his methodologies and tactics. I personally turn a deaf ear to anything that appears to be a "Rovian" move by any candidate. Fool us three times – shame on us.

    November 16, 2007 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  3. Kevin, Hannibal, Missouri

    Instead of coaching Obama, how about this worm of a human being slithers back to the cesspool it came from.

    November 16, 2007 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  4. David Cunningham, Wilton, CT

    This from a guy who helped build an administration based on secrecy. When will the Bush administration release all the information that Congress has requested and is entitled to?

    November 16, 2007 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  5. Mike R. , New Orleans, Louisiana

    Thank God! I've been wondering for weeks what Karl Rove thinks. Sorry Karl, but just because you have the skills to get someone elected doesn't mean that person should be elected.

    A man with no moral values whatsoever should stay out of U.S. politics now that he has damaged our country.

    November 16, 2007 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  6. Craig C. Naperville, IL

    Obama would do well to distance himself from Rove's comments. Rove has proven himself adroit playing one against the other for purely ulterior motives. Obama should see that Rove isn't offering help to his efforts, but rather by taking down the front runner Clinton, Rove is working to improve the chances of for the republican nominee in '08.

    November 16, 2007 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  7. Willy Chesapeake, VA

    Obama go after the Clinton's. Don't be afraid of them. The media won't like you going after baby and her man but she is not the best for America. It's ok for us to come off the Clinton plantation.

    November 16, 2007 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  8. Jeff, Minneapolis

    Rove may have helped Bush steal one election and barely win another, but he also helped Republicans lose control of Congress in an historic landslide. What a winner.

    November 16, 2007 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  9. Kay Speer Atlanta, GA

    It would be nice if the writer of this article were literate enough to spell "do respect" as "due respect". With all due respect; Kay

    November 16, 2007 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  10. Tim G., Hillsboro, OR

    This advice is odd coming from a man that spent so much time and energy concealing the arrest records, military records, and Presidential records of his ex-boss, GW Bush.

    November 16, 2007 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  11. Dazed and Confused in DC

    The Republicans never have–and never will–beat a Clinton. Why? Because unlike all the other Democratic candidates that have run against the Bushes and their disgusting tactics, the Clintons know how to counterpunch effectively. This was on display for the largest cable news viewership in history last night. I for one can't wait to see Sen. Clinton train her sights on whichever candidate the Republican slime machine pukes up this time.

    November 16, 2007 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  12. JD Rugby ND

    Karl Rove – another pus-oozing scab on the festering sore of our current political landscape.

    November 16, 2007 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  13. Raymond, El Paso TX

    Oh rats! Rover's out of the kennel and the muzzle is off.

    November 16, 2007 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  14. Chris, Miami FL

    That is really good advice! I think the American people as saying, "You know what? I have my doubts and its clear that you lead the campaign for what will go down as the worst President and Presidency in the history of the United States". You can lie to the public, but the history of this presidency and the people behind it will be written in history and the legacy of the Bush administration will speak volumes about Rove and those who took the trust of the American people and misguided the good intentions of the American people.

    November 16, 2007 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  15. Darko, New Orleans LA

    If James Carville had made that statment, you'd all be oohhing and ahhing at his profound wisdom.

    November 16, 2007 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  16. Tim Willard, Missouri

    We'll take your input under consideration, Karl.

    And we may use it if ever we feel the need to expand the damage you've already done to our country.

    November 16, 2007 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  17. fair,washington,dc

    If this isn't further proof that the RNC and the Republicans top priority, main agenda is to beat Hillary and worry about the rest later then you are just not trying to see it. They do not want to see Hillary in the general election...they must know something thats got them really scared.

    November 16, 2007 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  18. DJ, Los Angeles, Calif

    Oh please...spare me your twisted logic.

    Of course you'd love to slam Obama at every opportunity.

    You'd lose your favorite anti-Democrat lightning rod in Clinton.

    Obama doesn't play that game and is focused on building bridges between the parties.

    November 16, 2007 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  19. Beth Bowers, Evanston IL

    You might want to proofread your copy:

    "Senator, with all do respect..."

    November 16, 2007 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |

    The Dems should ignore this tongue of venom. Let him concerns his ideas and rhetoric to the republicans and not the Dems. To allow this man to have any sway among us is tantamount to making a truce with the devil. He will try to inject and interlope himself in this campaign because he do believe he is a political genius.

    November 16, 2007 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  21. Robert, Shelton, CT

    Rove is right for once when it comes to what the Republicans are going to have to pull out of their hats to win in 08'

    November 16, 2007 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  22. Ken, O Fallon, MO

    Rove and his criminal friends and thier dishonest and sleazy tactics are the reason the US is such a mess right now. IF any Democrat took the advice of this slime I would NEVER vote for them. Rove is EXACTLY what is WRONG with US politics today. He has orchestrated the scenerio where the US is now the most hated country in the world. Bin Laden is more popular in the world than Bush.

    November 16, 2007 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  23. Anna Chicago, IL

    I am in no way a fan of Karl Rove, but he must know something if he managed to convince the general population not once but twice to nominate Bush. I'd say don't take his advice on blind faith but listen for a mintue about what he has to say.

    November 16, 2007 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  24. Diane Panama City Fl

    If Mr. Rove is such a political guru, how come he got it so wrong with the '06 mid-term elections whereby President Bush lost control of Congress? My suggestion to Senator Obama is, "I don't think I would be taking any advise from someone who couldn't see that political tsunami coming his way."

    November 16, 2007 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  25. Jim Gulf Breeze, Florida

    Go back to your hole and take Bush and
    Cheney with you, LOSER!!!!!

    November 16, 2007 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
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