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. Lisla Lee, Dallas, TX

    This advice from the man who has created more secretive, sneaky, deceitful, lying, underhanded political moves than anyone else on the face of the earth... except maybe Dick Cheney.???

    The Bush administration has pulled more underhanded garbage than you can imagine. How many secret "executive orders" has this administration issued to avoid public scrutiny? Karl Rove is a disgusting hypocritical scum bag. If Obama should stoop so low as to listen to anything this man says, then that would be reason enough to NOT vote for Obama.

    November 16, 2007 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  2. Brian Gray, Taylor, Texas


    November 16, 2007 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  3. Michael, Houston, Tx

    So we have to wonder...if Rove who hates all things Democrat, is giving advice to a candidate on how to unseat another candidate, what is his thought process and motivation?

    Does he think Obama would be easier to beat, and wishes to help his own party by getting a "losing" dem nominee?

    Does he just hate Hillary with such a passion that he will do anything to see her not elected?

    I think he is a sleazy political hack, who effectively operates underwater to sabotage people, careers and subjugate laws (reference his emails in the white house) for his side only – never the good of the country, all the while crying foul when he is questioned or verbally attacked, a true republicrite.

    If he is for Obama, then I almost instinctively would turn away and consider Hillary to be the one to vote for... to be honest I think she is the best candidate anyway.

    Trust nothing this man does or says, he is one of the best backroom operators that ever existed. Anyone who can get that village idiot George Bush jr elected to two terms as president has to be really good.

    Remember – not everyone who takes poop off if you is your friend, and Karl knows something about poop...

    November 16, 2007 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  4. matt

    Why dos Rove insist on giving the Dems advice? he GOP's in enough of a mess that he should have a full-time job fixing it.

    November 16, 2007 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  5. Helen White,Rapid City, SD

    This political campaigning a year before the election is absolutely outrageous. Think of the money that has been spend and will continue to be spent.

    We should do as the British do, six weeks of campaigning and thats it.

    That CNN spent so much time, this evening on the person who asked John McCain a question, and called Mrs. Clinton what she did certainly was not in good taste,and the way McCain reacted was certainly not my idea of Presidential material.

    I have not made a determination on the candidate I will vote for, but the name calling is so undignified and should not be tolerated.

    November 16, 2007 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  6. John, KC MO

    Rove is better on how to set agendas to defeat the other party by using personal attacks. He is good as a tool for campaigns but in terms of holding office and doing political goodwill he is a mess. Look at his accomplishments as well as the presidents.

    November 16, 2007 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  7. Frank Honolulu HI

    I don't think we should listen to Karl. He thinks Hilary is going to win and he doesn't like that. Getting nervous Rove? Do you think we'll listen to you?


    November 16, 2007 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  8. Michael, Houston, Tx

    Thank you by the way everyone, I have read so many of the comments here, echoing my first thought and earlier post as well...

    The republicrites are terrified of Hillary running, and with their lack of a strong candidate and the millstone of 8 years of ineffective policies, a war the nation is growing weary of and a village idiot for a president who cannot string two words together intelligently – they should be terrified, their guys can't beat Hillary.

    post script on village idiots: yes it matters for the leader of the free world to look somewhat competent, and be able to speak intelligently and present eloquently when on the world stage to garner the respect of the leaders of the world... no matter what a bunch of blind loyalists state otherwise, it matters!

    November 16, 2007 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  9. Chris Corbell

    What a liar, still and always.

    This has long sense been cleared up, Obama would not have had a leg to stand on with this issue, and in any case Rove's strategy skills seem to be rusty – this issue wouldn't be enough to break an election.

    There are no suppressed documents, just a mis-read letter from Bill to the archives that wasn't even binding or used in any way to prevent free access.

    Rove somehow missed the memo, but he never was concerned about the truth.

    You can read the facts on the independent; a link and summary is on Hillary's Fact Hub.

    November 16, 2007 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  10. Barbara Sutton Chester, Va 23831

    Hillary: When you were first Lady there was a man on FBI ten most wanted and took over 20 years and millions to finally get him and then he was pardoned by the Clintons. Then the Rodhams and Clintons made a mint getting pardons for inmates and different people. The man who was pardoned his wife DONATED 1000,000 to your Library.. Any comments

    November 16, 2007 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  11. Mags, Boston, MA

    Was this a jailhouse comment? Or has he been indicted yet? I don't think the dems are desperate enough the listen to pure evil. Icky.

    November 16, 2007 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  12. Tired of Corruption LV

    The only candidate that follows Rove's play book is Clinton. dirty politics as usual.

    November 16, 2007 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  13. Former Rightie, Pittsburgh

    Rove is the source of all things vitriol expressed by the Republican party. This is not a side comment. When he speaks, it is calculated and with harmful reason. This man and Cheney used the White House puppet to advance their neo-con agendas.

    It is good to see so many people seeing this very malicious person for what he is.

    November 16, 2007 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  14. Jim Browne, New Castle, PA

    Karl Rove has done more to destroy the democratic process in this country than anyone in recent memory.

    Can it be that it was all a bluff and they really DO fear facing Clinton?

    Hey while we are talking about releasing documents how about we start with Dick Cheney's vistor log?

    It really must suck to suddenly become so irrelevant. AW!!

    November 16, 2007 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  15. Bill W, Coatesville, PA

    For once in my life, I agree with Karl Rove.

    November 16, 2007 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  16. Scott Brown Palm Bay, Florida

    Ah!!The master has spoken. The man that strikes fear into every democrats heart. I love it!!!!Keep going Karl. It is great to see the democrats spout the same hate they accuse you of.

    November 16, 2007 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  17. Micahel Guinn, Ventura, CA

    The fact that Karl says Barack did it wrong- must mean Barack did it RIGHT!
    No "advice" needed from your Gestapo camp Karl-
    Run- Don't walk away!
    Your "services" were never needed nor asked for by people who actually care about America.
    Go Away Karl!

    Michael Guinn

    November 16, 2007 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  18. Barry Asheville NC

    Why haven't the records from Carl and the Weasel in the White House been released. He should look in his own back yard before talking about someone else. He should be talking from a prison cell as should Scooter.

    November 16, 2007 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  19. Michael, Clarksville, TN

    Rove DOESN'T want to be blamed for a Clinton BLAMES OBAMA ! !

    November 16, 2007 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  20. Democrats Rule, CA

    The day Obama takes advises from Karl Rove about how to beat Hillary Clinton is the day I become an Independent. Because I won't be able to tell the difference between Democrats and Republicans.

    November 16, 2007 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  21. Jim, Opelika, Alabama

    He's a fine one to talk about not releasing records. Buddah only knows what kind of criminal dealings are buried in his papers and those of his puppet, King George.

    November 16, 2007 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  22. Scott, Los Angeles CA

    The headlines on all the major news wires is the disgusting behavior of CNN last night in the debate, or Hillary rally as it is being called. Not one MENTION of this on the CNN site. Joseph Goebbels would blush at this display (for all you CNN watchers, Goebbels was the Third Reich propaganda minister–making him a bad guy). Not one tough question for the Queen, disgusting.

    November 16, 2007 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  23. Jed in Texas

    Rove and O.J, hand in hand,Orange jump suits on, heading for their cell,what a site that will be! lol

    November 16, 2007 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  24. Lovell, Inkster MI

    I do not understand why Karl Rove had any I mean any room to say where Obama drop the ball at. Look at who he help put in office a President that is leaving our veteran to suffer because of a war that he LIED about, our econmy I am 37 and God help us if I get to 65 or 70 to get my SSI it want be there Why? because this President have went on a shopping spree with our money to pay for a war for getting about the inter structure meaning american people. He so concern about the Oil over there and revenge for his father that he went in blind and do not have a way out, middle class it not a middle class now it rich or poor.

    Before he make a comment him and all these other Republican that I see on TV they need to get the white house in order first then worry about what Democrate or doing.

    November 16, 2007 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  25. Steve, Lyons, CO

    The Architect of Bush Doom, still trying to play kingmaker.

    The Republican version of what they claim about Bill Clinton: can't stay out of the news.

    November 16, 2007 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
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