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. Rosemary K. Lake Mills WI

    So, she may be hiding something. Well, Carl, what have you and the rest of the administration been hiding. I can't wait to find out. And you know we will! It's only a matter of time.

    November 17, 2007 02:28 am at 2:28 am |
  2. Kay

    Frank from Tulsa: Brilliant!!!! What Great deductive thought process!

    November 17, 2007 02:30 am at 2:30 am |
  3. Al Andres

    Rove also said "the Republicans will lose in 2008 unless they "articulate a positive agenda and a positive vision."


    November 17, 2007 02:37 am at 2:37 am |
  4. Trang, Fremont, CA

    I think Obama has brought up this issue in the debate – asking them to open the records, except he doesn't push her on it. Hillary is not doing a good job of answering the question, maybe opening the records would help. But Hillary is probably as secretive as George Bush. I think Obama is transparent. He explains his views, defend his views, even when it's not the popular thing to do. Hillary, on the other hand, do a 180 U turn, and nobody follows her up on this. What has changed? What her rationale for changing the position? Why support it before and not supporting now? Does she knows who she is and what she stands for? Doesn't she care about public safety anymore – which was her rationale for supporting it before? This is not attacking. This is to see how the person thinks.

    A lot of bad things have been said about Karl Rove. I think in this case, more transparency is better, and I think Hillary should voluntarily do it, but I think she is too afraid to open it up – just as she is afraid to answer questions. And it's true, by not opening it up, it seems she has something to hide.

    November 17, 2007 02:56 am at 2:56 am |
  5. DJ Los Angeles

    The painting Rove is talking about is a Madonna (by Chis Ofili)not a crucifix. it is a good reminder of how Giuliani runs over 1st amendment rights. Rove with his indictments and Rudy with his marriages etc need to stop trying to corrupt the rest of us with their "values".

    November 17, 2007 02:57 am at 2:57 am |
  6. Dorothy, White Salmon, Wa

    Karl Rove's comments brings us back to North Carolina and how he advised George W. Bush to smear John McCain. Yes, we know Karl Rove's kind of politics and I don't want to see that kind of mudslinging in the Democratic Party.

    November 17, 2007 03:21 am at 3:21 am |
  7. Steve, Lyons, CO

    This bag of crap should be in prison, and instead he meddles yet again.

    The Repubs are scared crapless of Hillary Clinton. If she was as "Bushlike" as Obama and Edwards have painted her, why wouldn't the Repubs welcome her with open arms? Switch parties to vote for her in primaries, like they're trying to do in Iowa with Obama.

    It's Hillary's to lose.

    And just think, what delights me also terrorizes the right: with Hillary, you get Bill. Can you think, folks, of a better man to be made Secretary of State in charge of repairing what the neofascists have destroyed? America's standing in the world, I mean. Clinton was beloved around the free world as president.

    November 17, 2007 03:23 am at 3:23 am |
  8. Steve, Lyons, CO

    "What about the "hillary exposed" video (just Google it) that we have heard nothing about, those are felony campaign finance violations–"

    The entire Bush administration is one big felony: felony murder of tens of thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians, felony murder of American troops sent to Iraq to make Halliburton and other Bush buddies rich on oil, treasonous outing of a CIA agent by Cheney and Rove, impeachable destruction of several of our Bill of Rights via the Patriot Act and crazed, unrestrained surveillance of American civilians...

    You want to find felonies, nimrod, look at the criminals you helped elect.

    Now, apologize to everyone.

    November 17, 2007 03:28 am at 3:28 am |
  9. Cameron, Seattle, WA

    Karl Rove giving advice to democratic presidential candidates? Next the Pope will be giving gays advice on how to run the pride parades better. Sheesh. It's a world gone mad.

    November 17, 2007 03:40 am at 3:40 am |
  10. Jaik , chicago, IL

    This is once again CNN trying to make a story to boost Clinton, by making a misleading headline to try to smear Obama by falsely linking him with a widely despided figure. Rove is an evil genius tho, he manages to damage Obama by being linked to him and by insulting his performance, and thereby boosting Clinton, who would be the GOP's dream opponent, with 15 years of trash on her already

    November 17, 2007 03:49 am at 3:49 am |
  11. David Laranjeira, Santa Clara, California

    I see his even trying to help Obama as sabotage. The mere fact that this snake is offering advice serves as a negative association with Obama. You might as well have Nixon calling him up from hell to give him some pointers. Our next president has no need for the sage wisdom of the deceitful and corrupt.

    November 17, 2007 03:55 am at 3:55 am |
  12. Margaret, Houston, Texas

    You sound so desperate and intimidated by this intelligent and experienced candidate. Stop meddling in the democrat's affairs. If you were good enough, you would have been in office. Thanks for acknowledging Hillary as the next President of UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

    November 17, 2007 04:26 am at 4:26 am |
  13. Moe, NY

    I think Obama is a Republican plant anyway. If Karl Rove is weighing in, then you know something is corrupt. Hard trying to out think these corrupt, hypocritical GOP (Republicans/Conservatives) public servants. Although, Rove may want Obama out of the picture so that idiot past Mayor of NY will run against Hillary....cannot trust the GOP! Be very leary of the GOP my motto!

    November 17, 2007 05:13 am at 5:13 am |
  14. mark wilkes barre pa

    Karl Rove is gone from the in crowd and his opinions are not important ?? Hmmmm,,, Then why did CNN feel the need to interview him ? For your hate bashing amusement ? I doubt it,,Could it be Cnn staff and reporters know what you don't ? That Rove was a hired gun,, a man that knows how and what it takes to get elected,, do you think if rove was to turn left today he and his election machine of a brain would not be welcome in your dem/lib camps ???? Every candidate has a karl rove type hired gun in there camp,, his fame and notariaty came at and from YOUR own hands and words. " Look who Rove was able to keep in office for two terms " If you need more convincing on how good rove was at his job and how valuable his opinions are on how to get elected and why the mere thought of him speeking out scares candidates,,, read through and judge the comments listed above based on there merit and you will understand

    November 17, 2007 05:49 am at 5:49 am |
  15. Dave Hilo Hi

    Hey Darko,
    Carville doesn't have the blood on his hands that Rove does. Get a grip.

    November 17, 2007 06:14 am at 6:14 am |
  16. Maeve

    Wow. Advice from Porky Pig. Excuse me while I'm busy not giving a rat's ass.

    Why doesn't someone ask Snarl (with all "do" respect, perhaps the "journalist" who submitted this piece) just how long it will take for Dubya to give the go ahead for the release of ALL his records once he's out of office (thank God) and sitting on his thumbs back at the ranch.

    Or are the files on Bush's miserable record already in the shredding process there in the Oval Office?

    November 17, 2007 06:20 am at 6:20 am |
  17. roger uville oh

    Karl Rove is a traitor to the United States and should be treated as such.

    November 17, 2007 06:24 am at 6:24 am |
  18. Pat

    maybe Rove can help Clinton by letting her know that Obama has black children. Rove, after all, is an expert on insipid.

    November 17, 2007 07:06 am at 7:06 am |
  19. Anonymous, Norfolk, VA

    "What does this guy know but, divisive politics"


    Are you talking about Bill Clinton?

    November 17, 2007 07:08 am at 7:08 am |
  20. dot, new york, ny

    Rove, you are the weakest link.


    (and good riddance)

    November 17, 2007 07:22 am at 7:22 am |
  21. Tony, Enterprise, Alabama

    Months ago Senator Obama's campaign started sounding like Carl Rove.

    Is anyone surprised by this?

    November 17, 2007 07:23 am at 7:23 am |
  22. Alice Newman Center Harbor NH

    "Rove also said the Republicans will lose in 2008 unless they "articulate a positive agenda and a positive vision."

    The GOP, under Rove, Bush, Cheney and the most submissive, spineless Congress in history, had their 6 years to rule unobstructed even by the Supreme Court.

    They blew it – because they only care for the good of the party – never the good of the country.

    Pull up your big boy boxers and deal with it!

    November 17, 2007 07:23 am at 7:23 am |
  23. r.e. lowe allons, tn

    Karl rove you slime the dog behind president g.w.bush two white house wins that got america the most corrupt administration the american people has every had no karl keep giving your advise to the republicans slime no my opinion again.

    November 17, 2007 07:26 am at 7:26 am |
  24. Jo, ATL GA

    Isn't bush hidding documents to cover this guy????

    My goshhh.... these GOP will stop at nothing. They know they can not face the Clintons. They are running scared.

    What shameless hos.

    Yes Obama go ahead. I had so much hope to have a Black run as VP now I don't.

    November 17, 2007 07:28 am at 7:28 am |
  25. Lorraine, Harrisburg PA

    Once a snake in the grass, always a snake in the grass!! Why doesn't he help his buddies pack up and get ready for the ride out of Washington!!

    November 17, 2007 07:30 am at 7:30 am |
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