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)
  1. Jeremy

    The contrast between Hillary and Obama on open government is clear enough without getting all Rovian. Hillary's health care task force was a model for cheney's energy task force. Obama got the fist ethics reform in 20+ years through in IL and also passed open government reforms in the US Senate. He's also got the best reform package of any of the candidates.

    November 16, 2007 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  2. Delores Hayward, Seattle WA

    who really cares what Karl Rove thinks?

    November 16, 2007 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  3. Jackson, Morongo Valley, CA

    Why does the media even give this almost-treasonous viper a outlet for his opinions? Enough Karl Rove already!

    November 16, 2007 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  4. Joe C., Elephant Butte, NM

    Ah, the irony. To think that the last guy Rove advised now has a 30% approval rating. Why should Obama take his advice?

    November 16, 2007 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  5. David Rigsbee, Raleigh, NC

    with all "do" respect, that's with all due respect.

    November 16, 2007 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  6. Helen, NY

    Karl, why should you give advice to these liberals. You can see all rotten comments here on CNN. World has become evil. Nobody wants to listen to a good advice. In any case Barack has no chance. He has no experience at all.

    November 16, 2007 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  7. LeeAnn, San Francisco, CA

    Hello?? Obama supporters? Do you know why he is saying that? He knows that the Repubs will walk all over Obama should he get the nomination. Hillary is s threat to them. Wake up ppl. Hillary in 08!

    November 16, 2007 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  8. MH, Westlake Village,CA

    Although I cannot stand Rove, he understands how to spin, reminiscent of James Carville. It would have been interesting to see them go head to head in a campaign. Unfortunatley, they missed each other by one election.

    November 16, 2007 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  9. DL, San Diego, CA

    Please quote people correctly. It's "with all due respect" not "with all do respect". What journalism school did the reporter go to?

    November 16, 2007 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  10. Ron, Carlisle, MA

    Guess What! Rove would like Obama to be nominated, since he knows he will not be elected.

    November 16, 2007 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  11. Megha, San Antonio, TX

    Do people actually let him even speak? Either his mouth should be taped or everytime he tries to speak, he needs to be slapped. What a loser? Dividing the democrats? yo, we might be supporting different candidates but we are still democrats, you disgraceful human!

    November 16, 2007 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  12. J.Nicholson, Austin, TX

    That's what we Democrats need - like a hole in the head - advice from the reptilian Rove.

    November 16, 2007 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  13. Carol, California

    "With all do respect".. should have been spelled "due". Quite often, words on the crawl and headlines on screens behind anchors are misspelled. You should take more care with that – you look dumb.

    But on to the point of the post: please Barack, take Rove's or anybody's advice to get Clinton out of the picture or the Republicans will win again in '08.

    November 16, 2007 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  14. America over politics

    BRAVO! From the icon of our political future!

    He has taught us that dishonesty, sneakiness, falsification, mislead, deception, and lying is the way to campaign and run a Presidency.

    God help this country!

    November 16, 2007 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  15. humpf, Mo

    The Butterball came out just in time for Thanksgiving!

    November 16, 2007 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  16. rbodin

    Rove lost the house and senate. Keep talking big man.

    November 16, 2007 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  17. Walt, Belton, TX

    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.

    Which one of the candidates is the least worst, again?

    November 16, 2007 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  18. Scot, Gurnee IL

    The repubs are in this predicament because of Karl Rove's failed policies.

    November 16, 2007 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  19. Debby, Fort Worth, TX

    Look who's talking-the man behind the most secretive White House in history. He has no credibility in my book!

    November 16, 2007 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |

    Hey Obama,
    You better take his advice.

    November 16, 2007 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  21. Janet/Chandler AZ

    Karl Rove needs to keep his trap shut and mind his own business. What a jerk!

    November 16, 2007 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  22. dilmont

    Actually, I think the last thing Obama – or any serious candidate – would want is to be associated with Rove in any way, shape or form. And come on – are we really to believe that rove has any interest at all in 'helping' a Democrat – or even a moderate Republican (if any still exist and are willing to admit to it)?

    November 16, 2007 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  23. Marie VanDyke Royal Oak Michigan

    oh im sorry i thought he resigned..why is he talking he helped bush screw up

    November 16, 2007 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  24. victor, flroal alabama

    Republicans which are known well by rove knows they can beat a black man but have not gto a chance agianist clintion. so i uderstand why he would say that.

    November 16, 2007 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  25. w19 CA

    Now a day after the debatte that blitzer and the camera team lost for Clinton CNN has to bring Rove into the ticker for another negative spin on Obama – that Obama serves the people while the clinton machine is geared to get into power and (ab)using it for special interest as exhibited by Rove.

    November 16, 2007 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
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