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. Roxanne

    Who cares what Rove thinks? Having been "Bush's brain" is no compliment.

    Most troubling, why is CNN even reporting what Rove thinks? You are making a story out of nothing. It makes CNN look trite and needy, groveling for a story to fill more space.

    January 16, 2008 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  2. Siby

    WHY does karl rove get airtime on CNN?!
    what right does he have to get facetime with the public when CNN brazenly makes no mention of Ron Paul , an ACTUAL

    January 16, 2008 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  3. Alice in Florida

    Karl, give up – the country is sick of you, your boss, your party – and save your rhetoric for the jury – you're gonna need it – HEY – maybe ask OJ for advice – HE got away with murder!

    You Republicans are all such losers that not even a candidate of your own party wants any association with the idiot currently residing in the White House, who is not only an embarrassment to everyone in our country, but also to the entire planet

    Even REPUBLICANS are calling for change! WHAT a legacy that pathetic moron is leaving! An unwinnable war that his daddy would have gotten him out of if he was the wrong age today and there was a draft, the greatest country in the world heading into a deep recession, personal freedoms almost curtailed, nobody but conmen, common criminals, big fat idiots, religious nutballs, and personal lapdogs who owe him something on his side

    Gee, I wonder why Bush is hiding in the Mideast during a campaign year – could it possibly be that he wants to hide the fact that no-one in his OWN PARTY wants his endorsement?

    The man is an embarrasment to me as an American

    This is his legacy: the WORST President this country has ever had

    This is yours: a big fat idiot who will get his turn before a jury

    You are just a joke

    January 16, 2008 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  4. Siby

    WHY does karl rove get airtime on CNN?!
    what right does he have to get facetime with the public when CNN brazenly makes no mention of Ron Paul , an ACTUAL candidate for President! The media continues to pretend that Ron Paul does not exist or smears his name while they give a POLITICAL STRATEGIST more coverage.

    What the difference between CNN and Fox is I still have yet to find out...

    January 16, 2008 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  5. Margarita, Los Angeles

    DARTH VADER IS BACK LADIES AND GENTS RUN FOR THE HILLS.... DOES THIS TALKING HEAD THINK SOMEONE WILL HIRE HIM TO HELP WITH THE REPBULICAN CAMPAIGNS.... FROM WHERE I STAND IT'S A GOOD THING TO KEEP HIM TALKING....

    January 16, 2008 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  6. J. Alan Shemelya; Orlando, FL

    Why are you giving Rove any press? Who cares? He is going to say anything dismissive of both Clinton and Obama. Put him in his place – the cow pasture on the Bush farm in Crawford!!!

    January 16, 2008 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  7. Michael Terrell

    I don't give a %$#@ what Karl Rove thinks. I don't care for him, never have. He's a dirty political operative (redundancy?) who managed to get a lousy, inexperienced, governor elected to be a lousy, inexperienced president. Do me a favor CNN and stop reporting what that pathetic little man, KR, has to say.

    January 16, 2008 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  8. Kathy

    Why do you ask this guy anything. He is so negative and depressing me and the world with his dribble. Treat him like the criminal he is!!!!

    January 16, 2008 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  9. frank rivas

    karl can be very funny, every now and then.

    January 16, 2008 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  10. charlotte

    This baffoon has done more to unite us while tryng to divide us. Thank you, karl rove, you don't even deserve capital letters for your name.

    January 16, 2008 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  11. eva

    Oh Karl, why haven't you been so aut-spoken when you were asked about CIA leak???

    January 16, 2008 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  12. M Andrew

    The quote by karl Rove referring to Mike Gravel, that he last held public office sometime around 1855, reveals the current state of American politics which maintains a complete and utter failure to respect those public servants who served this great nation in times of hardship, prosperity, and war. In many ways I envy the Japanese – at least their leaders resign when shamed, American leaders feed off shame like roaches feasting on soured milk.

    January 16, 2008 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  13. Greg

    Why are we still listening to Karl Rove?
    After all wasn't he the "architect" of one of the worst presidencies in history?

    January 16, 2008 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  14. Amy, Kazoo

    Dear Karl,

    Please do something constructive and shut your pie hole, get off your butt, and run around your office a few hundred times. I can hear your arteries clogging clear over here.

    thanks.

    January 16, 2008 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  15. mark w

    Hey Rove ...can you possibly understand . NO ONE CARES what you say.........go crawl back in your slimy Republican hole where you belong.

    January 16, 2008 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  16. tom

    carl can shoot pool with Cheney and Bush-he can keep his opinions and advice to himself and those two guys. what business does he have dishing out opinions when his opinion and advice has brought this country in the mess it is in right now.

    January 16, 2008 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  17. UB

    Please, someone tell this clown to keep quite. On second thought, speak on Karl. you are the democrat's surest ticket to the white house.

    January 16, 2008 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  18. Matt

    Heh – and anyone CARES what Rove has to say?

    January 16, 2008 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  19. mike

    Karl Rove is guilty of High Treason. He gave out the name of a CIA agent during a time of war. He Should be hung ASAP

    January 16, 2008 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  20. Jonah

    Karl Rove is the biggest peice of scum to ever walk the face of the earth.

    January 16, 2008 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  21. Neil

    Rove's complaining about Obama's lack of national experience? It's true that Obama does lack substantial national experience, but it's disingenous for Rove to criticize, because in 2000, his own candidate G.W. Bush, who was governor of Texas for 5 1/2 years, ran on the whole "I'm not from Washington" bid.

    I guess he doesn't think Bush was qualified back then either.

    January 16, 2008 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  22. Only by Coercion

    Black Man, Philly PA

    Senator Obama will only win South Carolina (maybe) and only because of the race card he drew.

    Hispanics are not going to/will not vote for Senator Obama

    Hmmm... but wait, maybe in Nevada they will, if the At Large Caucasus are allowed on the Strip, the hispanic workers will be coerced by the Culinary Union to vote for him.

    January 16, 2008 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  23. jtg

    Ah yes, Rove speaks once again! You would think CNN would be thoroughly embarrassed for covering such vignettes of ol' TURD BLOSSOM himself.

    January 16, 2008 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  24. Jeffrey Bach, San Francisco, CA

    Why does CNN continually give space to this low-life? There is a very good reason why John McCain had you "in bed" with Fox News a few days ago. You, like them are part of the propaganda wing of the Republican Party. Why not give James Carville equal time for a running commentary on the Republican candidates?

    January 16, 2008 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    All Karl Rove cares about is ruining this country and invading other countries for their oil. Oh and he likes outing CIA agents too. His opinion is meaningless and does not deserve to be news. But then our media likes to distort the facts which makes it a great place for Rove to hide. The point of the Michigan primary is that although their vote did not matter they still decided to vote and let their voices be heard. Who cares if uncommitted got 40%, Sen. Clinton got 55% thus far none of the candidates had gotten 55%. It shows that we have very good candidates running in the Democratic party. What do the Republicans have? So what if Kucinich saw a UFO. We have a space alien in office now.

    January 16, 2008 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
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