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. adam

    First off, I agree with everyone so far. Like a comment from Karl Rove means anything. It is hard to be disliked more than Bush, but Karl proves it can be done. Also, Karl (sorry for those who are upset I am not calling him Mr. Rove, but you need to earn respect for that) is being very ignorant. Just because Hillary was the only name (of the big three) on the ballot doesn't meen she is running against nobody. Obama and Edwards are still in the race and this was a way for the people of Michigan to still have a voice even though their Democratic committee made the mistake of moving up its primary and stripping the state of its Democratic delagates.

    January 16, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  2. Larry

    And all of this coming from Karl who is lower than a snakes belly!

    January 16, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  3. S Williams, Tampa

    Can't we just deport this guy?

    To Guantanamo?

    January 16, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  4. Will, Manchester, NH

    Great points Rove. Very much appreciated. But please go back to hell..

    January 16, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  5. RF, NJ

    Karl, Since you brought up the topic of releasing documents, I'd like to see the "intelligence" documents regarding the weapons of mass destruction.

    January 16, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  6. Kent

    I love how Rove spoused that she couldn't pull a major win against "Nobody." Obviously he never read the major Obama and Edwards push to have all their people vote uncommited instead of voting for Clinton. The fact is she still got 55% of the vote. So, Rove, 20% goes to Obama, 20% to Edwards, she would've still won, and you wouldn't be talking! You're a genius, a brilliant genius.. in the way a rock is.

    January 16, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  7. GRB

    yuck. he's gross

    January 16, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  8. Chris, Middletown, CT

    While I don't agree with Karl Rove – Democrats need to understand – we don't just dislike Hillary...we are smart enough to hate her....and we scratch our head when she has any support – it seems as though all her supporters are masters of spinning her ambiguous answers – to explain away her contradictory positions – her support and non-support for licensing illegal aliens – and then embracing her mentors policies with a mandated universal healthcare plan (that will cost us billions for a sub-par healthcare system) – btw....her mentor was Saul Alinsky....and Saul was a grass roots Marxist....- and it goes on and on and one....and we all ask ourselves the same question "we can't be that dumb....can we?"

    January 16, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  9. Mindy Chatsworth, California

    I guess I have had my laugh for today. Now that I have read Rove's so-called "analysis" of Clinton and Obama, it's obvious that he is desperately trying to demean these two strong Democratic contenders so that the filed of pathetic Republican wannabes will not look as bad as they really are. What a joke!

    Rove thinks that if you repeat lies often enough, they become accepted as truth. I don't think the American people are stupid enough to listen to this low life anymore. He trots out the same old propaganda about the Democrats and tries to paint them as far out leftists or worse, and then gives suggestions to the current lame crop of Republican candidates as to exactly how they can pull a rabbit out of a hat and manage to win in November.

    If the Republicans try to run on this president's record, then they will lose in a landslide. Since when did they care about the middle class working people of this country? When they enacted that huge tax break for the weathiest two percent of the people? When they invaded Iraq and spent billions of dollars and put us in debt to the tune of trillions of dollars, instead of investing that money at home on healthcare, education, infrastructure, etc? When they engaged in illegal warrantless surveillance on Americans in direct violation of the Constitution? Or how about "No Child Left Behind"? Great idea, they just forgot to fund it. What about all of the jobs that are being outsourced overseas? What about the mortgage crisis?

    Rove, do us all a favor and go crawl back under that rock where you belong.

    January 16, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  10. Don


    No one likes you. No one respects you. Now be gone, before somebody drops a house on you, too!

    January 16, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  11. Mike

    Can the media outlets stop reporting on this parasite, then maybe he will just go away...

    January 16, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  12. Matt


    January 16, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  13. Teacher

    A bright orange jump suit will look really good on this guy.He can teach the other inmates how to black mail the warden and other great tricks.

    January 16, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  14. Dave in Houston

    Why is CNN devoting space to Karl Rove's thoughts about the Democrats?

    Let's have James Carville commenting about the Republicans!!

    Equal time.

    January 16, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  15. Paul

    Are you serious? Who cares what Karl Rove thinks? In one year's time, nobody will even care what George W Bush thinks either. Karl Rove is out, and he should stay out. I don't understand why CNN is giving headline to someone who doesn't even hold any office any more.

    January 16, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  16. Kim

    Hey – I live and work in Michigan, and the announcement was made that voters should select the "uncommitted" if they would have voted for Obama, Edwards, or anyone else who was not on the ballot.

    So Rove, what a tool.

    January 16, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  17. Corey, Bloomington IN

    Well his first point is one I've been waiting to hear all day. Otherwise he's an idiot.

    January 16, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  18. Monte Brown, New York, NY

    Karl Roves fears Hillary the most because her achievements, when elected, will send the right wing ideology into the abyss. Roves needs to STOP HATING.

    January 16, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  19. Roland

    why would anyone care what this bafoon says?


    January 16, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  20. Billy

    Tell Carl Rove to shut up. He has already screwed up the country enough.

    January 16, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  21. Tony

    I can't believe I clicked a link that had Karl Rove in it. Who is he to decide what enough "national" experience is. Bush Jr. had no national experience, but he's pretty dumb so I kind of expected his failures. I'm looking forward to good things from either Obama or Clinton!!!

    January 16, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  22. Becky

    And these words of wisdom from the man who helped make GW our wonderful President....OH MY GOODNESS.....ROVE go back and get under that rock in Texas where you belong!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    January 16, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  23. OC

    Go AWAY Karl!!!!!! Your name is all over the "worst" administration in history.

    January 16, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  24. Brad, Charleston, SC


    January 16, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  25. LARRY

    Why are we continuing to make this guy news? His true colors show everytime he opens his mouth. He has been "Roveing" people all the way back to Ann
    Richards in Texas. He twists the truth until it just becomes a lie. Of course,
    all of his co-workers and Rush Limbaugh declare that he is such a fine person.
    Look at what he did to John McCain in South Carolina 8 years ago. The lies spread about that man were beyond the pale.
    Bush seems helpless without him and we need to let him fade away.
    It will be years before we will really know all the damage done to this country by these yahoo's.

    January 16, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
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