January 17th, 2008
08:30 AM ET
4 years ago

Rove targets Clinton, Obama

Karl Rove took aim at Clinton and Obama Wednesday.
Karl Rove took aim at Clinton and Obama Wednesday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Karl Rove dismissed Hillary Clinton’s Michigan primary win Wednesday, telling a group of Republican party leaders that her victory showed signs of weakness.

Clinton, the only major candidate to appear on the Democratic presidential primary ballot, received roughly 55 percent of the vote. About 40 percent of those voting in the primary opted for the “uncommitted” option, and 5 percent of the vote went to other candidates, including Dennis Kucinich, Chris Dodd and Mike Gravel.

“Think about that. She’s running against ‘nobody’ and ‘nobody’ gets 40 percent of the vote,” said Rove. “The other 5 percent of the vote went to three other people: 27,924 votes went to the guy who believes in UFOs, the guy who dropped out and the guy who last held public office somewhere around 1855.”

He also said the New York senator should release documents in the Clinton presidential library that relate to her time in the White House during the administration of her husband, former President Bill Clinton.

But the former adviser to President Bush didn’t reserve all his criticism for Hillary Clinton, taking aim at her chief Democratic rival, Barack Obama, as well. He echoed recent Clinton campaign criticism of the Illinois senator’s “present” votes as a state representative and doubts about his relative lack of national experience. He also blasted him for a voting record that he described as “more liberal” than Clinton’s – “and that’s hard to do.”

The political strategist also had some advice for the Republicans in the race. As soon as the party has a nominee, said Rove, the candidate will have to “introduce themselves to the American people,” focus on “kitchen table” domestic issues like jobs and healthcare, “campaign aggressively in places where Republicans don't usually campaign” (including efforts to reach black, Latino and union voters), and present a positive vision on Iraq and the surge.

–CNN Associate Political Editor Rebecca Sinderbrand

soundoff (689 Responses)
  1. Horace P Manure

    Stay away from politics Rove – you'll shoot your eye out.

    January 16, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  2. Mary, Michigan

    He's so scary. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

    January 16, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  3. Nicholas, Raleigh, NC

    Rove was the wizard behind the worst president in history. Lets heed his advice.

    January 16, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  4. Mel in Missoula

    Yeah Rove has a lot of room to talk about Clinton's needing to release documents!

    January 16, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  5. Brianm0122

    That's nice, karl.

    Say when is the indictment coming?

    January 16, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  6. pth

    This is the man that advised the worst president possibly of all time. He is irrelevant and a scab on the history of american politics. Ask john mccain.

    January 16, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  7. Bob

    Who in the world cares what Karl Rove says?

    Honestly, when it comes to politics, I don't listen to anybody who was too lazy to earn a college degree! He's no more knowledgeable in the field than his old boss and he's twice as repellent.

    January 16, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  8. Niko

    Here's a strategy: Go away! Or better yet, go hunting with Cheney.

    January 16, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  9. Tom Davie

    Everyone knew the 'undecided vote' was voting for Obama and Edwards.

    What this really was is this :

    - All of the candidates were on the ballot. Just because Obama and Edwards actual name wasnt on there doesnt mean people didnt vote for them.

    It wasnt a case of Clinton being the only choice. If that was the case there would have been a standard undecided.

    Calling it Clinton vs NOBODY is nothing but SPIN SPIN SPIN......

    what is surprising is that without all the HYPING , and tapdancing by the media and the candidates, Hillary beats them both combined.

    We shouldnt forget that . Its no small matter.

    Edwards and Obama should be fortunate their name wasnt on the ballot. It would prove that just on name alone they get crushed by clinton.

    January 16, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  10. Tommy

    Ooohh Good lord. just when we think these people have faded away....

    January 16, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  11. Steve, Chelsea, MI

    A voting record "More liberal than Hillary" is very easy to do. She's the most conservative of the Dems running. I'll vote for her if she's on the ballot in November, but I voted against her yesterday.

    Looks like Rove is already trying to take down the Dems this year, and he's not even being paid to do so.

    January 16, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  12. Jeff, Iowa

    Ahh...the Gospel, according to a proven liar and hypocrite.

    January 16, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  13. Peter

    "He also said the New York senator should release documents in the Clinton presidential library that relate to her time in the White House during the administration of her husband, former President Bill Clinton"

    Rove, just to let you know how intelligent we are, that time is gone and we are in a new phase of campaign. You even think Obama was stupid not too let Hillary stoop that low. I think you treat the people of this country whose kids are in the war so foolish.

    January 16, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  14. CR

    Someone please tell Rove to crawl back under his rock and stay there. Nobody cares what he has to say.

    January 16, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  15. John G, New York, NY

    The master of Republican spin should be more concerned with damage control over his party producing the Congressman who lobbied for Al Qaeda. The Republicans have been mired in corruption for years (which was the main reason that they lost Congress in 2006). But having one of their own (in fact, a Reagan appointee to the U.N.) charged with money laundering and advocating for the materminds of 9/11 is nothing short of a political disaster for the GOP.

    Sorry Rove...ya can't solve that one by having the guy enter country club rehab.

    January 16, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  16. Another Steve

    Rove, why don't you just crawl back under your rock. Haven't you done enough damage to this country already? No one is listening to you. Your irrelavent at this point in history.

    January 16, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  17. Ben Dover

    Karl:
    Do you really, REALLY think after the GOP has outspent Dems on social welfare (prescription drugs), encouraged illegal immigration, no border fence, etc., that just before an election, your candidate can make promises and win???
    Aside from Thompson and Paul, all the other candidates are conservative pretenders...wet their finger, realized which way the wind was blowing, and changed their positin

    January 16, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  18. Peter

    "and present their case on Iraq and the surge"
    That is mccain.
    Election rigged,case closed!

    January 16, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  19. AM

    WHO GIVES A HOOT ABOUT WHAT KARL ROVE SAYS???? What an idiot...

    January 16, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  20. Robert in Albuquerque, NM

    This just proves how worried the Republicans really are. What we need now is a Clinton- Obama ticket so we can, without question, crush the Republican machine and take back what they have stolen from us, our pride, our country and our freedom!

    January 16, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  21. D2

    Clinton / Rove 2008

    January 16, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  22. pam Eugene OR

    This is the guy that Hillary takes lessons from. Attack, attack, attack then when you are almost down attack again.
    One short day after Hillary agreed to a truce she is out attacking Obama on his paperwork skills for Gods sake. She just couldn't stand it. Carl taught her well and it will not be pretty when he turns it on her.
    This guy is indeed scary.

    January 16, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  23. Ginny

    If Rove is dissing Hillary and Obama, he's scared. None of the Republican candidates please enough of the Republican base to give any one of them enough votes to win in November. Obviously he thinks that either Clinton or Obama could beat any Republican. So now he's out stirring the pot, offering unsolicited advice in an attempt to create dissension between the candidates and Democratic voters. I guess I'm still an optimist because I believe that, after Rove masterminded the last two lowest of low Republican campaigns, American Democratic voters will not be fooled by his meddling in their races this time.

    January 16, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  24. Jude

    What is Karl Rove’s legacy?

    "A man who propelled and masterminded the most unpopular and disastrous administration in modern USA history.

    But how can his criticism or advice be taken seriously????

    January 16, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  25. Karen

    Where is the RNC? This falls under "what were they thinking". They must believe they have no chance of winning if they are allowing him to speak.

    January 16, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
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