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. Troy

    Is Rove really this stupid?

    Stop trying to get Obama to do your dirty work and shut up! Obama's smarter than you are and has already seen through this garbage.

    November 16, 2007 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  2. donna seattle WA

    Have to laugh at these comments - the Clintons are the biggest bullies out there. Its their tactics that got so much blowback from the republicans and gave Rove his career. We are all living the result. Hand the Clintons power again and just watch what happens to this country. More bickering and stagnation while the world explodes.

    November 16, 2007 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  3. Danny G. Boca Raton, FL

    This shows how SCARED he and his cronies neo-cons are of Sen. Clinton... Run for the hills!!!! I love it!

    November 16, 2007 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  4. Manuel Gonzales, Artesia, NM

    yeah all the demos need is for some political idiot to instill the republicans idea of dirty politics to confuse the American people...All the demos have to do is run a clean honorable race...We know what dirty politics and lies and inuendos that the republicans used to win the last time got us....No thanks draft dodger Rove...Get lost !!!!

    November 16, 2007 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  5. Emmanuel, RESTON, VA

    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!

    Posted By LeeAnn, San Francisco, CA : November 16, 2007 5:48 pm

    No LeeAnn. I think its the exact opposite because Rove is too much of a cunning fox to reveal his cards. He is encouraging Obama to win so people will support Hillary more as the candidate that can win. Rove is an evil genius all you have to do to make them happy is deliver Hillary to them.

    Do you know what an Obama Administration holds for the Clintons & Bush administrations when Obama wins POTUS. The whole can of worms enough to feed all the fish in the world will come out.

    I tell you Bush will be more comfortable having Hillary than Obama cos Bush and Clinton are the same.

    So read between the lines of what Carl Rove really wants to accomplish, when he shows a smooth road to walk on, please turn around and take the rough road even if your feet hurts. Support Obama please so we can really get our country back.

    November 16, 2007 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  6. mohd222

    pls help my site i need hits đŸ˜¦

    November 16, 2007 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  7. Mike Johnson, Wash DC

    Way to go with the fixed debate, CNN! The Clinton News Network is up to its old tricks. How nice of you to "plant" the diamonds and pearls softball question so everyone could fawn all over Hillary!

    November 16, 2007 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  8. Jane Swartz

    This is the advice from the man who worked so hard to help this administration keep every communication a secret under "executive privilege"??!??!?!?!
    Puuuulllleeeeaassseee... the last thing anyone should do is sell their soul to this devil and take his advice.

    November 16, 2007 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  9. Marie, Schenectady New York

    Hasn't Mr Rove done enough damage to the republican party-maybe they've had enough of him–he's reduced to trying to run democrats now...

    November 16, 2007 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  10. Jan

    Why you care, Karl Roves ? What you up to ? Your time is over and back off. You don't have to stir anything here bacause any candedates from Democrats are smarter than your party. We can handle our party well without your "input". No one trust you, even your party, except Bush. Mind your own business. It is proved again and again that any time you give suggestions to Demacrats, bad things happen. Your dirty game is no longer carry any inpact. Save your dance.

    November 16, 2007 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  11. Nick, Brooklyn, NY

    I hate Rove like the rest of the messageboard, but he's got a legitimate point. I support Obama, but I would love to see that, when he talks about their (his and Sen. Clinton's) differences, he did so in a more challenging manner. Not the Edwards "I just sound angry that I couldn't even carry my own state as VP in the last election" manner, but challenging.

    November 16, 2007 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  12. jack, Buenos aIRES, aRGENTINA

    May warts inflict Mr. Rove eternally, but he is right about Mr. Obama. Could it be that there is nothing there? If not, where is it?

    He says nothing, eloquently

    November 16, 2007 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  13. John Thomas, San Diego, California

    What Rove doesn't understand is that nobody else today will stoop to his dirt-bottom level of dishonesty, manipulation, and criminality to elect the unelectable–a fool like Bush. It took a lot of lying to a very gullible American public to get this catastrophic moron Bush into the White House...if he even was ever elected, as many of us feel he wasn't.

    November 16, 2007 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  14. KA, OK

    There is alot of hate going on here. Whew, I guess I would be worried if the guy who had my number started talking again. There is nothing coming out of the Democrat Party that needs to be worried about.

    November 16, 2007 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  15. Robert S. Clark, Palm Springs, CA

    Karl just never grew up. He's had a rough childhood; and he can't get over his anger and desire to lie to make the world the way he would have it. I know about his dirty tricks from Salt Lake City and the University of Utah. I was in law school there at the time. He never, ever gives a balanced recitation of facts revealing the full story. Omitted in this case is the role played by the Bush administration in funding sufficient people to catalog these thousands of documents before they are sent to the Clintons' for review. Also unmentioned is the net of secrecy President Bush has thrown over his documents and those of his father. Come on, Karl. We're not all impressionable idiots who will believe anything you say as long as you repeat it often enough. Senator Obama would do well to stick to his own strategists and reseachers, rather than taking his cues from someone like you.

    November 16, 2007 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  16. Candace, Phoenix, AZ

    The media have already narrowed this field to Clinton, Obama and Edwards. It would have been nice to have seen a true debate with the entire field.

    We're being fed three main Democratic candidates. I sure would have liked to have seen the Biden, Richardson and Kucinich in the debate on par with the so-deemed "top three." Why even invite them?

    Say it enough and America will believe there are only three Dems worth considering.

    And it's not just CNN, MSNBC did the same thing the last time.

    Does the fourth estate even exist anymore? Or is it all about pandering to the ratings. Let's see a real debate and hear from ALL th candidates equally.

    Shame on you.

    November 16, 2007 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  17. Nathan, Nashville, TN

    Yeah Karl Rove is evil, but he has a point. Sen. Clinton is getting a pass on her past because her husbands presidency is stuck between 2 bushes.Who wouldn't look good. Obama show your teeth please before this robot wins the minds of the mindless.

    November 16, 2007 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  18. Anita, Southlake, Texas

    Sounds like someone wants a Sunday morning show.

    November 16, 2007 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  19. Jeffrey Bach, San Francisco, CA

    Everything that comes out of this sleazeball's mouth is self serving. If Obama attacks Clinton it helps to split the Democratic Party. Only good for the opposition. Also, by law each of those thousands of documents must be reviewed by Bill Clinton, effectively removing him from the campaign trail. Finally, the release of those documents sets up Hillary for personal Swiftboating. Not this time, Karl. America has no more use for your slimey brand of politics.

    November 16, 2007 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  20. fair,washington,dc

    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

    Yea only you know about this thing that all the democratic candidates and RNC and Republican candidates would just love to have to stop the Hillary machine...but for some reason they aren't using it....not into calling names but either you or them are idiots...I know who I think it is , but I'll keep it to myself in the spirit of pitying ignorant people and them maybe not realizing they are an idiot.

    November 16, 2007 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  21. Rick, North Carolina

    You may or may not like Rove, but the man has a talent that is almost evil.
    Remember Hillary has someone smarter on her side, her husband.
    Something else is going on in the background for Rove to come out with an interview like this.
    It would be to the republicans advantage for Obama to win the democratic nomination but I do not think that will happen.
    I think it will be Clinton vs Huckabee
    The republicans will have to swing to the far right to pull this one out.

    November 16, 2007 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  22. Susie D, Jacksonville, OR

    Karl Rove, the Rasputin of the Republican Party, has something MORE to say? Shaddup, Rove! Wish I could say more but my post would be deleted.

    November 16, 2007 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  23. Susie, north carolina

    karl rove has done quite enough to damage this country! He has damaged the fabric of this country and economy! We should all wake up and become less apathetic. We have so much to lose to people who crave control.

    November 16, 2007 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  24. Carol, MD

    Oh MC Rove. You're talking about a candidate who moves his mistress into the governor's mansion while his wife and kids are living there.VALUES??? You big kidder, you. Yes, you go ahead and give the candidates tips on being sneaky and fabricating whatever it takes.It's like a game of telephone with Freddy Kruger.

    November 16, 2007 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  25. Marty Pacino

    Geniuses are like thunderstorms. They go against the wind, terrify people, cleanse the air.


    You want the truth? You can't handle the truth! Truth is a commodty and you can't afford it.

    November 16, 2007 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
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