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. Sam IA

    Sounds like Roves strategy for campaigning in areas they are not strong in is a plagerism of the Dean strategy. Not surprising. This hack has never done anything but repeat others ideas. Ie his run as mentor to the republicans was nothing more than a rehash of Marvin Fitzwaters Reagan strategy of lies,innuendoes, unsubstantiated rumors. As Marvin put it on PBS, We don't want them to vote for our guy. We want them to vote against thiers. Blindly pulling the lever out of pure distaste and never even knowing why.
    I await with glee the day Rove walks into prison and croons love songs to his cell mate.

    January 17, 2008 04:19 am at 4:19 am |
  2. Brian

    Chris wrote:

    "….and we all ask ourselves the same question 'we can't be that dumb….can we?'"

    Chris... The nation voted for Bush... Twice... Yes, we can be that dumb. As for everything else you listed as "wrong" with Hillary... It sounds like politics to me.

    Hillary, a master of spin? Sounds like Rove / Bush, to me...
    Hillary, swaying side to side on Immigration? Sounds like McCain to me...
    Spending billions on American health care? Sounds better than spending trillions to invade a sovereign nation.

    Any Democrat (Or Ron Paul) will be such a huge step up from the last 8 years... I really don't care which one wins.

    January 17, 2008 04:28 am at 4:28 am |
  3. jeff

    is rove a paid lobbyist by some foreign government to absolutely ruin this country. he is blind as a bat.

    January 17, 2008 04:32 am at 4:32 am |
  4. Gil in Oz

    Rove is one of the greatest political minds and biggest criminals of our time. I'm pleased that most of the comments mirror my feelings about Rove. Why isn't this guy in jail? Come on America demand some justice and put Bush and the rest of his cronies away.

    January 17, 2008 04:38 am at 4:38 am |
  5. David Snider

    Karl, your chubby brain failed to realize that 60% of registered Democrats didnt vote. Ouch..

    No Barack or Edwards, No Vote. Coprende?

    P.S. All polls suggest a combination of Edwards and Obama combined on ACTUALLY votes and DELEGATES would CRUSH any Hillary vote, hands down.


    January 17, 2008 04:47 am at 4:47 am |
  6. AB

    Why is this peon obsessed with the Democrats? Take care of the losing Republican "majority" that you created. Seriously does anyone care what this creep thinks?

    January 17, 2008 05:00 am at 5:00 am |
  7. Ken-Caldwell

    Why does CNN even put this slime in the news? Aside from the die hard neocons, most of American has written him off as irrelevent. It is true that he masterminded the current dictatorship of larry moe and curly, and give him credit for effectively drawing the uneducated out to vote.

    Karl Rove Needs to Go Away! He's trying to point out that "liberal" is a bad word again, but America, although not always quick to see when they have been swindled, is not blind to this piece of trash slime.

    Soon, he will be playing cards with OJ.


    January 17, 2008 05:06 am at 5:06 am |
  8. Arthur

    Could you not spare us this continual reminder of what a shipwreck he made of this administration? Is Rove now going to be a constant presence on CNN, giving him visibility and acting as if his unethical cynical views on government have any merit whatsoever. Please make him go away from CNN. Give him to Fox where he belongs.

    January 17, 2008 05:17 am at 5:17 am |
  9. Axel, California

    My Father always said "Some people look like fools, others open their mouth and prove it beyond a shadow of a doubt."

    Karl Rove proved he is a fool a long time ago...

    January 17, 2008 05:24 am at 5:24 am |
  10. rudy T

    I cant believe all this Karl bashing! He is correct about what he said. You guys have to accept the truth. Go on Karl, tell em' as it is.

    January 17, 2008 05:26 am at 5:26 am |
  11. rudy T

    I cant believe all this Karl bashing! He is correct about what he said. You guys have to accept the truth. Go on Karl, tell em' as it is.

    January 17, 2008 05:26 am at 5:26 am |
  12. Milton

    Hey Karl, the vile toady to our most fetid President (or is that fecal?), how about this: Over half a million Michiganders voted Democrat in a MEANINGLESS election. Can you imagine how many will vote when it counts? What does this mean Karl? I think you know. Democrats are mad–seethingly foaming-at-the-mouth mad about what the present administration has done to this country–economic ruin (9 trillion debt), disasterous foreign policy, lying, spitting on the constitution while usurping power and trying to start a Christian Jihad against the Middle East (has anyone been paying attention to what crazy stuff Bush is instigating against Iran?)

    My only comfort is that you also are largely responsible for leaving the Republican Party in its current state of fracture. Good luck trying to unite social conservatives fiscal conservatives, and the rest of the club.

    January 17, 2008 05:33 am at 5:33 am |
  13. D.Haeske

    I am not impressed with any female taking office as my president ever–for not the one running now! I also see no future with a Mormon as leader of this country EVER! So I am seeking another leader and hope soon HE will be there for us the folks of the USA.

    Thanks For Reading This

    January 17, 2008 05:35 am at 5:35 am |
  14. Telly from MD

    How can anyone believe what Karl Rove says. Remember Valery Plame.

    January 17, 2008 05:41 am at 5:41 am |
  15. Bruce, Middlesex, NY

    Do we really have to subjected to Rove's take on the political landscape over the next year right up to the elections?? It's getting annoying already and it's only January.

    January 17, 2008 05:53 am at 5:53 am |
  16. edmcclaskey

    Dear Wolf do you think you could send me a case of lou dobbs book, I drive a hybrid kmart shopping cart, us under the brige have gone green, we could sure use them to burn to stay warm at night under the bridge. Thanks in advance

    January 17, 2008 05:54 am at 5:54 am |
  17. mark wilkes barre pa

    I forgot to mention Obama,,, mabey thats because no one new who the heck he is before this election and his run for president is all rhederick , talking points, and feelgood politics

    January 17, 2008 06:03 am at 6:03 am |
  18. Suzanne

    I like the comment he makes about Hillary releasing documents in the Clinton library. Was it Karl who advised Georgie Boy to have the most incriminating of his father's documents removed? How about GWB puts back all the documents he has destroyed or "misplaced"?

    The Republicans know that they don't stand a chance against the Democrats, so Karl is using the old spin of "attack the enemy". He is trying to cast doubt on the Democrats, thereby hoping that people will vote Republican out of default more than anything else. Notice that the Republican candidates have moved as far away from Bush as possible. They don't want to be tainted by the stench of his failure.

    E.C., pray tell what was so wrong about Bill Clinton's presidency, and we'll put it up against GWB's record, and see who fares best.

    January 17, 2008 06:19 am at 6:19 am |
  19. Susan

    Karl? What? ..Go back under your rock you Bush Cronie........This nation's Democratic Population can deal with Hillary...by not voting for her.... ....people across this nation know what her real experience is all about.........MORE OF THE SAME........that is what her real experience is about...
    Go Obama 08

    January 17, 2008 06:32 am at 6:32 am |
  20. Michael, IN

    Karl Rove is irrelevant, not unlike his former boss.

    January 17, 2008 06:37 am at 6:37 am |
  21. charlotte

    The media continues to inject as much controversity as possible. Who cares what rove thinks? We do not need his opinion. He and the whole administration should be in jail. Buch/Cheney need to be impeached, then they couldn't pardon each other.

    January 17, 2008 06:38 am at 6:38 am |
  22. Dave

    yes... exit stage right Karl...

    January 17, 2008 06:39 am at 6:39 am |
  23. Jean

    In my opinion, Mr. Rove and a few others should have made these comments behind bars. This is the very same man who is highly questionable as to the outing a US CIA agent. And people, just remember, it's been all about the manipulation of the US MEDIA. Sorry guys, but you get an "F" as to asking the tough questions and keeping them honest. As a matter of fact, I doubt I'll see this comment. And while I'm at it, thanks guys for the wonderful job, I expect things to get pretty darn tough out here. At least oil has done well.

    January 17, 2008 06:40 am at 6:40 am |
  24. Victoria, Australia

    ha ha, Rove you're a funny man. Its soooo true.

    January 17, 2008 06:43 am at 6:43 am |
  25. jim H, Glendale, CA

    Why is CNN paying attention to this man? He belongs in jail, for breaking federal law - first about the outing of Valerie Plame, and second with regard to his destruction of his e-mail messages. I thought they don't usually allow federal prisoners to speak to the press. Only their lawyers who are preparing their appeals.

    January 17, 2008 06:44 am at 6:44 am |
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