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. Raj

    Karl, pack up your stuff & get ready to be out of politics. You must be in the jail by now. It is a "Badge of Honor" for any democrate to be criticize by Karl Rove. Now please go to sleep dear karl.

    January 17, 2008 06:47 am at 6:47 am |
  2. Ana, Alaska

    CAN SOMEONE TAKE THAT MAN TO JAIL, PLEASE? oh, and CNN needs to stop encouraging him to speak. Who knows what kinds of tricks he is plotting now.

    January 17, 2008 06:50 am at 6:50 am |
  3. Jf

    I listened to alot of what he said on CSPAN, yesterday. It was one negative comment after another about the Democrats. Talk like this only divides this country. And done for the purpose of holding on to or gaining power. People in these positions should be careful for what they say and be held accountable for any such thing spoken in exaggeration or without facts to back up what is said. Critisizing one party with distorted facts while being a member of the other is a real injustice to the American people. Knowing that these kind of speeches are done for the purpose of strengthing their political party by weakenly the other and further trying to get the audience to believe such distorted information is obsurd.

    January 17, 2008 06:53 am at 6:53 am |
  4. AJ; Montpelier, VT

    E. C., Houston, posted: "and yes, Rove is correct about Obama. Neither Clinton nor Obama are qualified or experienced enough to be President of this Nation. "

    You post is a hoot! Your hero G.W. Bush has done such a great job. He went into office with his vast experience (being Gov. of a redneck hillbilly state, on top of his dismal failures in business) and has just done a crackerjack job....right??

    January 17, 2008 07:07 am at 7:07 am |
  5. Dave

    First of all, shut up Karl Rove, you single-handedly brought this country down to its knees. Get a life.

    About the issues...

    It's not completely truth to say Clinton was fighting against nobody, because as was mentioned Obama and Edwards were "uncommitted".

    However, not everybody for Obama and Edwards voted "uncommitted" because

    1. obama and edwards were not on the ballot and they did not know about the "uncommitted" option

    2. some obama/edwards supporters didn't believe in the sense of voting uncommitted

    3. some obama/edwards supporters moved to other candidates or wrote in obama/edwards, both of which did not count towards "uncommitted"

    Thus, I don't think this is a big deal either way. It's not devastating that Clinton's biggest opponent was "nobody" because Obama/Edwards are probably over clinton if you really count it. Clinton herself didn't have a big win because she beat "nobody". I just do not think people should read much into Michigan because it doesn't matter...a grand total of 0 superdelegates, and also 0 delegates from the primary (if the DNC has any backbone). So just give it a rest people.

    January 17, 2008 07:07 am at 7:07 am |
  6. Daniel J. Otero

    I feel Karl Rove should be making these comments from jail.
    Other than that, he is welcome to exercise his free speech, regardless
    of how wrong he is. Karl is a perfect example of where Justice has failed
    the American people.

    January 17, 2008 07:08 am at 7:08 am |
  7. Erik VIker

    CNN doesn't even mention Rove's alleged credentials until the fifth paragraph. Isn't it sad that we ALL already know who this horrible little man is?

    You have to admit he's good at what he does, though. He got George W. Bush re-elected. That takes some serious manipulation skills. The "average American" loved Bush, thanks to this man.

    January 17, 2008 07:29 am at 7:29 am |
  8. Frank tulsa, ok

    Thanks Karl, but most of us don't lay awake at night worrying about what you think......at least not anymore.

    By the way Karl how well do you think your puppet George would have done? He's not running against anyone and he's at around 30-33 percent? And thanks for all of those Dem votes in Congress, your so-called genius has served your party and this country well.

    Let's all put our arm around good ole Karl and give him the "Colbert thumbs up".

    January 17, 2008 07:38 am at 7:38 am |
  9. KJ

    CNN went to their backup guy, Karl Rove, because Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had no recent disgraceful comments to report on.

    January 17, 2008 07:41 am at 7:41 am |
  10. brewpark

    It's amazing what can come from the mouth of an idiot !!!!

    January 17, 2008 07:42 am at 7:42 am |
  11. Jane

    I don't think anyone with integrity nor truth would look at Carl Rove and give him one moment of attention. That man is despicable at best. Good riddens you creepy crook.

    January 17, 2008 07:42 am at 7:42 am |
  12. Wes

    The opinion of a man, whose only legacy will be that he was somehow able to bamboozle the American people into trusting and voting for the worst political figure this country has ever seen. Classic...I'm wondering why this man's opinion is still newsworthy.

    January 17, 2008 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  13. Jess

    So terd blossom is still around, in all of the confusion of the Bush administration I can’t believe Cheney has not mistaken him for a bird and shot him.........

    January 17, 2008 08:01 am at 8:01 am |
  14. ??

    All this coming from someone who is ‘more hated’ than Bush, I’m glad we recognize good advice when we see it. Rove is the architect of everything that I hate about the Republican Party.

    January 17, 2008 08:04 am at 8:04 am |
  15. Annie O

    Who wants to hear from that pig, Rove, anymore? Must you give this guy an audience?

    January 17, 2008 08:04 am at 8:04 am |
  16. Beth in Michigan

    Hillary did not "win" Michigan. There was nothing to "win," since she was the only name on the ballot. The positive press she's getting is simply her being a victim of circumstance.

    Saying she "won" because the vote tallies were 55% to 40% is a misnomer. There are thousands of people/Democrats in Michigan who did not go out to the polls because their candidate was not on the ballot. Yes, there was a push in some areas of the state for Obama and Edwards supporters to go out anyway and vote uncommitted, but that push did not reach everyone. Plus, we all know how apathetic most Americans are towards voting. If their candidate of choice wasn't on the ballot, what would be the incentive for them to go out and vote? In the minds of many, there was no point.
    Frankly, for 40% of the people voting Democrat to make a point of going out to vote AGAINST Hillary is a huge deal!

    Plus, I'm a Democrat, but I voted in the Republican race, and I know plenty of other Democrats who did the same thing.

    Long story short, I'm saying that the numbers reflected in the Michigan Democratic "contest" are pretty skewed. There's no way Hillary, nor her supporters, should be celebrating this as a "win," in any sense of the word.

    January 17, 2008 08:05 am at 8:05 am |
  17. Any one but HIllary God

    Nuf said, nobody in the white house would be better than Hillary. KEEP THE CLINTONS OUT OF THE WHITE HOUSE !!!!!

    January 17, 2008 08:05 am at 8:05 am |
  18. john

    Carl Rove, you need to shut your mouth. You're a nobody. I hate everything you stand for.

    January 17, 2008 08:06 am at 8:06 am |
  19. D

    You little bald insecure impotent little troll man ... Go AWAY ... Your time is over...

    January 17, 2008 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  20. Tim

    Karl Rove sit down and shut up !!!

    January 17, 2008 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  21. mike


    January 17, 2008 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  22. J.Wheeler

    Rove is a slime-ball. He'd say anything to smear his opponents. Is he still on Bush's payroll? Is this his new job? Chief of Smear Tactics?

    January 17, 2008 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  23. MSM

    The bottom line is the folks who voted uncommitted are looking to vote for Obama or Edwards... Is that so hard to understand. Rove is just doing his normal replublican spin. Between He and Dick Cheney, they are the most evil people that ever ran our country... Oh, don't let me forget the wonderful Mr. Rumsfeld and their puppet (I shouldn't have to tell you who that is)... Those of you who voted for that administration should be ashamed of themselves and the blood of American soldiers is on all of your hands!!! Feel good about these people now???

    January 17, 2008 08:12 am at 8:12 am |
  24. gred

    How is this at all newsworthy?

    January 17, 2008 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  25. Jim

    Rove...what a joke.....an even bigger joke? .... that they asked him to speak at the conference??

    January 17, 2008 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
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