January 17th, 2008
08:30 AM ET
8 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. Marge Hibbing Mn

    Who cares what that piece of crap has to say....and I think in a campaign where someone DIDN'T EVEN CAMPAIGN it's pretty darn good. Wouldn't it be nice if this wilted turd and nowhere even being a blossom was in a jail cell where he belongs and not able to have his voice heard about anything.

    January 16, 2008 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  2. Bill Williams, Tacoma, Washington

    Rove destroyed the Republican party in just six years.
    WHY would anyone listen to anything he has to say.
    He's a flaming idiot.

    January 16, 2008 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  3. tom In millstadt

    Karl who??

    January 16, 2008 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  4. john

    Why is Obama claiming he is black when he is half black and half white? It feels like he is totally using the race issue to his advantage. I bet if something happens then he would call himself white. He must have benefited from affirmative action his whole life and now the road to presidency. how come no one ever brought up this issue in the media ? I would love to hear his response. I really hate this race thing right now.

    Why would the country put a president with little political experience in the office ? Its like letting a high school kid play pro football. If he wins because of his charisma it will be more bad years ahead, look at what the charismatic Bush did with our country and economy. Guys learn from your lessons.

    January 16, 2008 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  5. Matthew Kemp

    Karl Rove is a criminal. Why are people still respecting him or his opinion?

    January 16, 2008 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  6. Sharlin

    Karl is so full of himself. He still thinks his spin works? Those uncommitted votes woyld have been Edwards or Obama votes. Which still would not have come close to Clinton. Sorry Rove, your spin won't work anymore. Why do people think this liar and manipulator is newsworthy!!!

    January 16, 2008 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  7. Chris

    Nobody cares what that treasonous fascist Rove has to say anymore.

    January 16, 2008 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  8. Ilene

    The problem is that there are millions of people out there that think he's just wonderful and that so is this current administration. When you have a bunch of idiots like that, you really need a turnout so large that there is no question as to who won.

    January 16, 2008 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  9. Mr Jankey Indiana

    My most fervent wish is to see you in prison doing the wayyy off Broadway version of Deliverance with you playing the Ned Beatty part. "Squeal like a pig"

    January 16, 2008 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  10. elizabeth

    this how definetaly without a doubt been the joke of the day indeed! Karl Rove is a nobody!

    I mean come on what kind of news is this? Who care's what Karl Rove says and doesn't say....

    January 16, 2008 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  11. Tom Davie

    Most of Obamas supporters are 20 years old.

    They dont have a CLUE how good the Clinton administration was.

    No war. No recession. Strong dollar. BUDGET SURPLUS. Job creation .

    All they think and understand is that any 'ADULT' should be attached to the bush administration.

    They also dont have a clue how RUTHLESS Washington is.

    Nobody. Reagan. JFK , Roosevelt or Clinton came and 'changed' washington. Its not the way the system works.

    Obama : Ok folks. i am here now . I am president . Now come along and lets all vote together.

    Republicans in Congress and Senate: Shut up punk.

    Obama: Dont you all know I am the great 'Uniter ' that NOBODY else could achieve ?

    Republicans in Congress : How do you plan to FORCE us do anything that we dont want to do ?

    Obama : Well, nothing actually cause I have NO EXPERIENCE in playing these games.

    Republicans : Then refer to our first answer. Shut up Punk.

    January 16, 2008 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  12. Chris

    so basically he is saying "lie to everybody", seems like Mr. Rove should come up with a new gameplan. This is the one that left us with the President we have now. I hope the American people have learned enough from these past discretions that we won't fall for it again.

    January 16, 2008 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  13. Jeff

    yes, the clinton administration was the one hiding all the facts and the truth from the american people.... we all know the bush administration would never say anything to the nation if it wasn't the straight truth....will somebody just get the hook and get him off the stage forever...just when we think we're done with him....1/20/09 cannot come fast enough

    January 16, 2008 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  14. politico

    There's nothing like a comment from the pasty-faced doughboy, Rove, to rally the Democratic base. Thanks, Karl. 🙂

    January 16, 2008 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  15. Roy

    Karl Rove is the epitome of neocon duplicity. Why would we listen to this fool?
    Maybe the 30% who still love the Cheney regime will give this old fart an audience.

    January 16, 2008 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  16. Jim

    Karl Rove should talk; If he is, as according to G.W. Bush, "the architect" of the GOP and how Bush won each time, then it is a sad commentary.
    If it is true, then Rove is also "the architect" of what is wrong with America today as he helped put people into office that DO NOT care about the American public; DO NOT care about the United States as it is being sold off or given away to FOREIGN owners or countries all in the name of some nebulous free trade policy.
    "The architect" needs to understand that his role is substantial in causing the American currency to nosedive throught the world, gas prices to rise, and PEOPLE, that is AMERICAN CITIZENS, to lose their jobs, their lively hoods, their homes and their COUNTRY all so his GOP allies and NEO-CONs can gain millions of dollars off those backs.
    Maybe, just maybe, Karl Rove should go back to grade school Civics classes
    and really learn this time what America is all about and IT IS NOT JUST MONEY!!! and once he has done that and learned it, he could possibly teach it to "The Decider", whom it seems never learned it either in grade, middle, high school and as far as I can tell Yale.
    As Rove has FINALLY left the political scene, it is WAY PAST time for him to JUST
    SHUT UP.

    By the way, I AM AN INDEPENDENT VOTER and have been for nearly 30 years.

    January 16, 2008 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  17. Max Payne

    Karl Rove and Ann Coulter = a marriage made in hell. Stop publicizing them!

    January 16, 2008 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  18. JP Austin

    Rove is a pig and a crook. He should go away before he ruins this country even more.

    January 16, 2008 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |

    Obama is bad news for the GOP and Rove, more than anyone, knows this. Therefore, its imperative that he discredit the person, especially since none of the Republican frontrunnners is doing that. Also, a Clinton candidacy is almost a sure win for the GOP. Keep it up Rove, keep playing the dirty game you have played so well. Except, this time the people of the nation are going to speak and not your hand-picked supreme court.

    January 16, 2008 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  20. charlotte

    Why would CNN give this guy any air time at all? Do they think we would care what he thinks of anybody. If he ever goes to trial, Buch will pardon him. He may not even have to go to trial, Nixon didn't. I never figured that one out, how can you get a pardon for a crime you weren't convicted of?

    January 16, 2008 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  21. Wynter, Loudon, NH

    Well Karl, I have an offer for you!

    You get your old boss George W. Bush to release all the subpoened documents, lost emails from the White House and the RNC mailboxes for the past seven years and I'll put in a good word for you with Hillary.

    Because asking for a democrat, going into a fall contest against the GOP candidate, to release a ton of ammunition that could be distorted against her is patently ludicrous.

    Once the GOP mismanaged White House comes clean on its lost emails then you can claim the moral high ground.

    Otherwise, Karl... just shut it.

    Telling it like I see it,
    Loudon, NH

    January 16, 2008 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  22. Joman

    Someone PLEASE get this guy out of the media. He's done enough damage to our democracy already – why would ANYONE allow him the opportunity to influence our votes once again? It doesn't matter how newsworthy his controversial presence is – the only headline he deserves is the one telling the world Karl Rove reported to jail to serve his time.

    January 16, 2008 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  23. Jay Rehak

    It's time Rove was either indicted or ignored. He has done enough damage to this country already.

    January 16, 2008 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  24. Jim J,Hudson WI


    January 16, 2008 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  25. David

    Karl Rove is suggesting to HRC to turn over documents relating to her time in the White House.

    Hey Karl, how 'bout you take your own advice and find those "deleted" emails. Or because you're the Puppet Master, you consider yourself above the law.

    Karl Rove is Satan incarnated. Cheney is the Satan's father.

    January 16, 2008 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
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