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. Tanya, Manhattan Beach CA

    Always remember Rove's "divide and conquer" tactics. It's been a powerful force in this country for some time, and, has allowed the Republican party to gain considerable power by destroying potential concensus among divergent groups. Without alienation, fear and chaos...this administration would have never seen a second term. Rove and other neocons have repeatedly said Clinton will most likely win in 2008. Meanwhile the neocon minions will be doing everything to destroy the Democratic front runner. Rove, that rock you've been living under is calling. Please return home at once.

    November 16, 2007 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  2. Brad, from the great state of Texas

    Boy, I can't wait to hear the responses from this post!! I know all of you have a lot of cute, fear-inducing nicknames for Rove(I'm no fan of his either), but the fact is he is one the most brilliant and shrewd political strategists this nation has EVER seen. That just burns you guys up inside, doesn't it, since you liberals believe you are so much more intelligent and enlightened than conservatives. Hopefully I don't get too many death threats from all of you!

    November 16, 2007 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  3. Ba Gua Zhang, SanFrancisco, CA

    It's a terribly sad commentary on our politics, culture and nation that someone like Rove has so much influence. It just goes to show that people are way out of touch with the Tao.

    November 16, 2007 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  4. frank tulsa ok

    This just solidifies the speculation that the Repubs are SCARED TO DEATH OF HILLARY. Unless, of course, it's an "overt double cross" designed to make it look like they favor Obama so people will think that they are against Hillary when they really aren't
    so Hillary wins the nomination giving them a chance to let Kenneth Starr unleash sensitive information he found about Hillary during his 10 million dollar investigation thereby enabling them to sabatoge Hillary's presidential aspirations while slipping Dennis Miller in at the last minute for the Repub nomination in order to get Jeb Bush in as VP only to turn around and schedule Dennis on a hunting trip with Cheney and thereby incapacitating Dennis to be an effective President putting Jeb in the Oval office.

    I mean it's so obvious!

    November 16, 2007 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  5. jw, canadian,ok

    Rove is smarter than your average Republican, he doesn't want to run against Hillary, Obama is beatable.

    November 16, 2007 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |

    Yes, of course, it's better to shoot the messenger...

    November 16, 2007 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  7. S, Orlando, FL

    Did anyone ask for his opinion? Go to hell, you sniveling piece of garbage.

    November 16, 2007 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  8. Andy, New York, New York

    Karl Rove? A master political strategist who knew what it took to beat DemoRats and liberal/leftwing media houses to get Dubya elected TWICE to the White House. As former WH Chief of Staff, he had to know some damaging inside stuff on Hillary from her days as First Lady, and that's why he is still relevant to campaign politics that features Hill and Bill. Hillary Clinton? A former First Lady turned New York Senator with lots of skeletons in her closet from her days as First Lady (and co-President). Wrapped in Democratic presidential candidate garb, she wears Republican undergarments while thinking leftwing and speaking rightwing. No, she's not confused; she's an experienced political con artist who changes positions on issues conveniently, but is very uncomfortable when unprepared.

    November 16, 2007 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  9. Scott,Tupelo,MS

    Like him or not he got that idiot Bush elected to Governor and the President twice. He is a political genius. Give credit were it's due. Even though I personally depise him. If the Democrats had someone half as good as Karl they would destroy the Republicans.

    November 16, 2007 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  10. Trollmaster, CA

    Rove giving advice on how a politician should be more open is like a prostitute giving lessons on chastity.

    And let's remember he resigned in disgrace because he didn't show up for a subpoena and is terrified of testifying under oath before congress.

    Rove is a traitor with no credibility.

    November 16, 2007 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  11. Mike, Boston MA

    This is...
    Clinton News Network

    CNN will do their utmost to defame Barack Obama, but people will eventually wake up to the Clinton machine...

    November 16, 2007 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  12. Bill, Streamwood, IL

    Looks to me like Karl Rove, for some reason, is really terrified that Hillary Clinton might become president.

    Perhaps I dismissed HC as a viable candidate too early. I mean anyone who scares Rove that much might be worth electing after all.

    November 16, 2007 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  13. wale azeez boca raton florida

    Granted rove is not an angel, I think a lot of people are reacting too fast to his comments...he does have a point afterall he has been in the upper echelon of society for a bit...what if the clintons do have something to hide in the archives? Something that could send hilary's poll frenzy downhill. Personally though i think obama has gotten the point accross as far as hilary's sleaziness–I hope I spelled that right– now it's time for him to focus on romeny and rudy...honestly that's the election he should be worried about.

    November 16, 2007 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  14. Kellie, Albuquerque, NM

    Hillary is evil, Rove is evil, and our country is feeding her evil ways. When will we get out of our evil comfort zone and vote for true change? I'm SICK that people would actually want another nepotistic administration in 2008. Go Obama!

    November 16, 2007 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  15. Richard, St. Paul, Mn

    Rove is afraid of Hillary Clinton and I still haven't figured out why. His mission, nowadays, seems to be to plant seeds of doubt about her into the minds of the voters. I'm not a Hillary fan, but I know that if Rove says something about someone, he's undoubtedly got a hidden agenda.

    November 16, 2007 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  16. Steven, Syracuse New York

    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.

    November 16, 2007 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  17. SGA

    Why would Rove want to help Obama? Something wrong with that picture. Rove is a die-hard, in your face, neoconservative Republican, and Obama is a watered down Democrat. Do the math.

    November 16, 2007 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  18. john williams san diego, ca.

    CLINTONISTAS...Rove is not your enemy anymore and he is not obama or deans' enemy...He is trying to protect America from the 'war machine' that is revving up..Begala, Lehane, Penn and Carville are returning to smear ANY opponent of her Royal Highness..Beware

    November 16, 2007 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  19. Anon, kansas city, missouri

    Im a democrat and I hate Karl Rove. I hate him because he's dirty, slimy, corrupt, but most of all because he WINS. Still, I can no longer deny that he is the best political adviser of this era. Let's be one else on the planet could have gotten Bush elected once, let alone twice.

    Only out of moral integrity should Obama ignore Rove. If Obama simply wanted to win, he would give Rove a call and do his every bidding.

    November 16, 2007 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  20. Harley, Washington, DC

    "With all DO respect..."??? Journalism has now hit rock bottom...You should be ashamed, CNN.

    November 16, 2007 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  21. Sidh

    Rove might be considered a genius by some, but to me he is the biggest anti American personality alive. He basks in the glory that he got Bush elected twice. I ask him was that a service to the nation? Facts strongly suggest otherwise.

    November 16, 2007 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  22. Jay, Kenosha, WI

    "this devil"
    "Karl, beezlebub Rove"
    "reptilian Rove"
    "disgraceful human!"
    "almost-treasonous viper"
    "pus-oozing scab"
    "worm of a human being"
    "Der Furher...Rot in hell...mouth of Satan."
    "natural born hater"

    Bush Derangement Syndrome is defined by Wikipedia as the "tendency by some American liberals to blame President George W. Bush for virtually every ill in the world. It also purportedly refers to opposing a position advocated by the President just because he supports it, regardless of the position's merits."

    Rove made a good point, but it is simply rejected by liberals because Rove made it. Now that sums up politics today.

    If Rove had any sense of humor he'd endorse Clinton.

    November 16, 2007 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  23. Patrick Peavy Plano, TX

    It is obvious that Karl Rove is frightened of Clinton but wants us to think that he is afraid of Obama. Basically he wants to make it seem like he is saying Obama is the real threat. Hopefully we can knock him out with a double punch: Clinton/Obama 2008!

    November 16, 2007 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  24. San Diego, CA

    Go away, Doughboy.

    November 16, 2007 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  25. David Branch, Waco, Texas

    All the little Clintonista kiddies dig out their pop up playbook and attack the messenger, not the message. If Hillary is so invincible, why are you all so frightened of what Karl Rove has to say?

    November 16, 2007 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
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