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. Foamy

    Karl Rove is the last guy that should be talking about making documents freely available.... an image of glass houses come to mind...

    January 16, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  2. Texrat, Fort Worth, TX

    Ah. Karl Rove wants someone to release documents.

    If it was anyone else, I might be stunned by the irony and hypocrisy.

    January 16, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  3. Churchill

    Rove '08

    January 16, 2008 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  4. Swede

    Rove is relevant, which is why he elicits such a reaction on this board. heh.

    January 16, 2008 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  5. Alice in Florida

    Karl Rove is a big fat idiot!

    January 16, 2008 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  6. Jacque Bauer

    Can anyone (other than the Clinton News Network) say with a straight face that having 40% of the Democratic voters GOING TO THE TROUBLE to travel to the polls simply to vote for "Nobody" is a GOOD thing for Her Thighness??

    Yes, Rove must indeed be an idiot for that looney observation...

    January 16, 2008 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  7. Daphne

    I am only eight years old and I don't listen to anything Rove has to say either! His intelect is way below mine.

    January 16, 2008 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  8. Gordon McLenithan

    Has anyone told Karl that he is irrevelent since he left the Whitehouse, and maybe even long before. I know a lot of Republican and Democrat friends who agree with this.

    Gordon

    January 16, 2008 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  9. robert

    Rove irrelevant? You folks DO remember that he was the man behind the curtain that carried Bush from Texas to Washington, got him elected, and got him RE-elected after everyone had four years to figure out what kind of idiot he really was. If that's not [evil] genius, I don't know what is.

    You know the Republican machine wants Obama elected as the Dem, because they don't believe suburban America is ready for a black president, thus assuring a GOP victory. Watch, they'll come out in full force with everything they have against Hillary, if she begins to pull ahead. They'll only show some token (no pun intended) resistance against Obama overall.

    And remember all those conservatives out there who elected Bush in 2000 and 2004? They didn't leave the country, did they? They won't like Huckabee because he's too liberal for them. They're still out there, and they'll listen to people like Rove. What makes you think the voters won't be fooled again? I'm sorry, but I think you may be giving the voter too much credit. People who post on these boards may be well-informed, but the majority of voters are swayed by 30-secound hit-and-run ads, and folks like Rove know it. Call him all the names in the book, but while you're at it, call him savvy, experienced, and - effective.

    I'm not a Rove supporter by any means - the guy's a snake - but you can't argue that the guy knows what he's doing - college degree or not.

    January 16, 2008 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  10. I am democrat

    CNN did you get what people want of you, not even one person says good about Rove. Is not that proves something...Jesus Christ

    January 16, 2008 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  11. Maryland

    the 55-40 score does not represent Clinton 55 Obama + Edwards 40. I'd have gone to the polls to support Obama if it counted, but people have better things to do than vote for nobody.

    January 16, 2008 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  12. rew

    Karl Rove is A lying, shifty eyed politician.

    January 16, 2008 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  13. JC

    Go crawl back under your rock you little slimeball.

    January 16, 2008 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  14. Angela

    Terry, El Paso, you are sooooo right..
    Please, everyone read and reread and reread his/her post. The smartest blogger on here.
    I would add the fact that Conservatives are driven by fear AND that is why they will go to any lenghts, ANY LENGHTS, to hold on to that power they crave so much, then when they get it , they abuse it.
    Mankind's single, most universal failing is the resistance to the temptation to abuse power. That fault alone has brought doWN the mightiest of empires.

    As for Karl, well, I believe he is doing what he does best. The difference is WHY he is doing it.

    Before, it was to help Bush get elected and maintain his power.

    Now he's spinning and weaving his little evil machinations to save his own hide when the Democrats get in. . And they will.

    He is trying to get them to eat their own. Divide and conquer.

    Run , Karl, run.....but you cant hide for long.
    What goes around , comes around.
    Justice ALWAYS prevails, but sometimes it takes longer than our patience is willing to hold out.

    GO HILLARY 08

    January 16, 2008 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  15. Yvan,Indio,CA

    The weaks are Rove and his Republicans Friends, who are going to lose the next Presidential Elections by thebiggest margin in American Election History. So do us a favor Rove and just disappeared ,because nobody is interesting in listening comment from the worst Architect in Americam Policy in decades.

    January 16, 2008 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  16. chad

    why does this guy even open his mouth. let's see all his documents while working for the administration.

    January 16, 2008 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  17. Doug

    Hey Carl...so what national perspective did your guy, Mr. Bush, have on world affairs when he ran for president. That's right, zippo. And it shows.

    January 16, 2008 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  18. Jimmy

    Final vote for Michigan. Breaking the undecided vote 73% Obama, 17% Edwards, 10% others. straight out of the same exit polls CNN is using.

    Not to forget that Obama campaign and Edwards campaign put out word two weeks before the election to vote undecided against Senator Clinton, through radio ads, mail flyers, and phone calls. This is after they signed an agreement not to campaign there, Attacking a candidate would be campaigning. Any way the results

    Clinton 56.9%
    Obama 29.3%
    Edwards 6.8%
    Kunich 3.6%
    Other 3.2%

    There where well over 550,000 votes. A very large increase over the last Presedential Primary Senator Clinton had over 328,000 of these votes.

    On the Republican side there was just over 600,000 votes. THIS WAS HARDLY A DEAD ELECTION IN MICHIGANB> SENATOR CLINTON WON WITH A LANDSLIDE WITH AS MANY DEMOCRATS VOTING AS REPUBLICANS

    SENATOR HILLARY CLINTON FOR PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES 2008

    January 16, 2008 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  19. lanray

    This man is the idiot's idiot. So arrogant, cocky and full of it that you just want to puke at the mention of his name. He should go into hibernation and think about how he helped make Dubwa the most stupid president in the history of the US.

    January 16, 2008 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  20. Maryland

    Karl rove may be more evil than oil itself, but his point is valid, I think voters ought to have all information about her past work available when they're trying to figure out who she is, what she stands for and if they want to vote for her. No sense avoiding a debate by calling your adversary names.

    January 16, 2008 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  21. bob

    Despite what any of us may think about Karl Rove, he's right about one thing – Hillary should be worried.

    While some people may mistakingly believe that the "other votes" are all that obama and edwards would have garnered, pollsters would argue that it significantly under-represents their actual voter turnout and over-represents hillary's (e.g. many obama/edwards supporters didn't show up, voters looking at the ballot may not have interpreted "uncommitted" correctly, significant biases at the point of voters only seeing one major name, etc.).

    We would have expected Hillary to garner 80+% in an uncompetitive situation like this. She did not.

    January 16, 2008 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  22. Bob

    I think there needs to be a revolution and we need to get all whos in office out there will be no change with the pepole who running for office than we have they do not care about you an me it is all big bussiness the pepole will get it after awile that the Goverment is for the rich and the hell with us you need to tell them all go to hell as they bring our coutry down

    January 16, 2008 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  23. Sidney Goldberg

    Carl Rove speaks and America laughs. Isn't he the genius who outs a CIA agent and puts her contacts in danger, while pretending to care about the country. Be careful Carl because your Swift Boat pals will soon be outed for placing an advertisement and trying to buy time for an anti Clinton movie. Maybe the American people have finally caught on to your act.

    January 16, 2008 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  24. GG

    *YAWN*

    January 16, 2008 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  25. Patriot Phoenix AZ

    Karl Rove would look good in one of Sherrif Joe Arpaio's pink jail suites for the crimes he committed against this country, but then again so would Arpaio for the crimes he has committed against Arizonans.

    January 16, 2008 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
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