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. Steven, Los Angeles

    You grammar critics have it all wrong. He did say 'DO respect'! The alternative interpretation, 'Due respect' would clearly indicate that the Republicans feel a certain measure of respect is DUE Hillary, rather than their obvious political desire to DO Hilary. By allowing one of her own fellow democrats to dispatch of her, the Republicans save themselves the nightmare of having to run against her themselves. I'm sure they have crunched the numbers and figured out they'd have a far better chance of beating Obama than Hilary for a seat in the Oval Office.

    November 16, 2007 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  2. ED orlando fl

    Karl where have you been Let me guess ?larry craig asked you to reserve his seat at the minneapolis airport rest room It will be difficult to get a seat when the GOP[gay old party] holds its convention in 2008.PS will wives and girl friends be allowed to attend the convention.Just kidding [Maybe]

    November 16, 2007 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  3. Robert, Oakland, CA

    He could always make up complete lies about her. That strategy always worked for Rove. Remind me, why isn't he in prison for treason for intentionally exposing an undercover CIA agent?

    November 16, 2007 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  4. grumbles Westport, CT

    I am sure Obama heard you.We will know from the next debate if Obama will follow the play from the Repub. handbook. The repubs would love Obama beating Hillary as it would mobilize their base and southern white men thus keepng the White House.

    November 16, 2007 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  5. Bob Cobb, Toronto Ontario

    'due' respect. not 'do' respect.

    November 16, 2007 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  6. Bots, Seattle

    Good advice Karl, but none of the candidates need to do anything more than what they've already done recently for their own cause. Ms Clinton's lame showings of late reflect that more and more people are beginning to see right through her flimsy web of deceit. She'll need to spin her web more tightly if she wants the presidency, because the only ones that have fallen for her lines are little gnats and flies.

    November 16, 2007 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  7. adomani

    while i have no intentions of voting for obama, i have this to say to him from my heart...
    "be afraid, be very afraid! stay away from this man. your loss is his joy!RUN as fast as you can and as far away as you can from him. do not return his calls nor have your people arrange a conversation with him on your behalf. be afraid, be very afraid."

    November 16, 2007 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  8. PollM, Dallas Tx

    Seven Democratic presidential hopefuls went head-to-head on the issues Thursday night, with the biggest pressure likely on front-runner Sen. Hillary Clinton.

    Who do you think won the CNN News Las Vegas Democratic Debate at the University of Nevada?



    November 16, 2007 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  9. Meks, FTL, FL

    Frank, tulsa, OK:

    People like you should stop blogging here. Has it occured to you that virtually everything you said is utter lies and fabrication? This only shows you are not better than people you criticize. Mr Starr spent over $78 million dollars investigating former Pres. Clinton and not $10M as you claimed. His investigation is a public record and there is nothing hidden. The records of the investigation is a matter of public record and is much available. There is nothing in the records that has not been looked at by opponents, friends and enemies. I guess you have not heard the republican senate leader (newt) say the amount wasted in that investigation was in retrospect not worth it. This is an investigation that could not find anything meaningful rather they resorted to using the media pass down rumors and lies that all the money they spent could not substantiate nor find an iota of evidence. Please check your fact before engaging in misinformation and character assassination.

    November 16, 2007 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  10. Kalvin Tupelo, Miss

    LET'S MAKE A DEAL.....

    We conservatives will keep Karl in a dark quiet corner – if you Democrats will do the same with the Clintons.


    November 16, 2007 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  11. Louisville

    CNN is so biased on the debate, it's like watching FOX News. Wolf Blitzer and CNN are pro-Clinton anyone can see right through.

    I am disappointed with CNN and their coverage of the Democrat debates.

    November 16, 2007 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  12. Jim L., Irmo, SC

    For those who seem to think that it is a sign that Rove is giving advice to Obama. Let me see, seems like Bush said that he thinks Hillary will be the nominee. Hmmm.

    November 16, 2007 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  13. Johnny D. Omaha, NE

    The hate and venom from the liberals shown here for this man is incredible, a testament to his effectiveness and intellect. Thank you Karl Rove for being there when this nation needed you the most ('04) You served the cause of truth and freedom alongside Bush and a grateful nation will always recognize you for the true patriot and American hero you are. Cheers to you Mr. Rove.

    November 16, 2007 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  14. MCD, San Francisco

    Rove fights dirty and nasty... I would never stoop to his level... even if it ment losing!!

    November 16, 2007 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  15. alewife, turner ok

    Rove is very simply, the political boy genius

    November 16, 2007 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  16. Sophie, Dallas TX

    And we care why?

    Karl Rove is a creepy fat man who did the creepiest dance at that nice washington dinner not too long ago.

    Why would we care at all what this creep has to say about Obama or anyone?

    November 16, 2007 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  17. John P. Long Valley, NJ

    Karl Rove talking about the importance of "full disclosure?" Really? Really??
    There is only one phrase for this–"bare-faced audacity." And my guess is he doesn't care, for he has taken moral relativism to its logical conclusion.

    November 16, 2007 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  18. TheInsider

    Posted By James, Phoenix AZ : November 16, 2007 4:33 pm

    Have you always been this smug and this dumb? Are you a LIFELONG republican?

    November 16, 2007 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  19. Geoff Williams Raleigh NC

    Rove just wants Clinton to win the nomination, as he and GOP fear her alot less than Obama, so they will talk him down every chance they get

    November 16, 2007 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  20. Mark Billingsley, Sacramento , Calif.

    Monte...Never saw your response to my challenge yesterday to back up your slop about Hillary being the most qualified and most experienced. What happened? Did you start twisting uncomfortably like Hillary when asked a pointed question. Like yesterday, I'm waiting. I want actual, researched point on how Hillary is more experiened than Obama. Give me proof of anything substantive taht she's AUTHORED, not co-written with a smarter, more savvy senator, and then had passed. I'm right here...

    November 16, 2007 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  21. Denise, Birmingham, AL

    Survey says, "Who cares what Rove has to say." Truth is they'd love for Obama to win so the GOP can defeat the black man who defeated the woman. Please, who can't smell this one?

    November 16, 2007 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  22. TheInsider

    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.
    Posted By Steven, Syracuse New York : November 16, 2007 6:44 pm

    The criminal case was thrown out. The plaintiff is a convicted felon and drug dealer. Only Hillary haters and the RNC care about this. Which are you? Both? figures....

    November 16, 2007 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  23. Sam, Portland OR

    It goes without saying that Rove is a massive jerk.

    But here, he couldn't be more right. And Obama's my number one choice, too.

    November 16, 2007 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  24. Richard, London

    What garbage. The Clintons are moving so fast to release their papers that when a bunch of rightwing loons (Judicial Watch) launched a complaint to speed up the process, the National Archives went to court and said - shut these clowns up, the Clintons are moving as fast as they can.

    And the fact that Rove thinks this is a key issue for the campaign shows that he has had his fat face down in the mud for so long that he can no longer distinguish between real issues and mud.

    November 16, 2007 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  25. New York, NY

    This guy Rove is completely disqualified to render any opinion on whatever unfolds in the political landscape. He is one, or perhaps t h e architect of the absolute debacle of American policy in generations, perhaps in history. To interview or even cite him is a testimony to how low we have fallen.

    November 16, 2007 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
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