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. CW, Columbia, SC

    Hey Porky,
    Last year several airline employess spotted a UFO hovering over O'Hare (Feds dismissed it). Last week forty some people in Texas (including a poloice officer and a pilot) spotted a UFO too (Feds dismissed it). My fiancee and her mother saw one on a coastal sea island a couple of years ago. Idiots like you, Rove, make covering up the truth their life's work.

    P.S. You and your republican stooges will soon be off the radar soon enough!

    January 17, 2008 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  2. CO Dem Mom

    As if anybody cares what Bush's Brain has to say!

    Rove, ably assisted by Cheney, is directly responsible for the worst presidency in history.

    Take anything Rove says and you can reliably assume that the reverse is true.

    I just hope he gets prosecuted when the dems take control.

    January 17, 2008 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  3. Curtis

    Speaking of nobody... where did you dig this guy up from?
    He's more irrelevant than Donald Rumsfield.
    Listening to this guy is more akin to fingernails on a blackboard.

    January 17, 2008 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  4. David

    WOW. I read through alot of the comments and you people on the left are really filled with hate. Some of you are even upset at CNN for quoting Rove. I guess they forgot to apply the liberal censorship mandate on everything that they disagree with. Honestly, why do you people really want Obama? Can any of you actually name where he stands on an issue? Look at his small voting record. He wants to turn the country into a socialistic society. He wants huge government, high taxes, submission to the UN on foreign policy, and open borders. That is what his voting record states. Those are facts. One last thing, how can you really buy into the "we only want to tax the rich" statements when for 50 years the Democrats have been saying that but whenever given the chance EVERYONEs taxes go up? How can you possibly keep falling for the same things over and over?

    January 17, 2008 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  5. E. in SC.

    Bush's brain!


    We know who the real idiot is!

    January 17, 2008 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  6. mike

    I think CNN tossed their audience a “bone”. The Rove article is just a vehicle for the liberals to vent. CNN may be smarter than I gave them credit. At least they know their audience, I’ll give them that.

    January 17, 2008 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  7. John

    Even if all the original Democratic candidates had been listed there would have been some selecting uncommitted. Obama and Edwards were free to sign a simple form allowing a Michigan voter who wanted to write in their name to cast a vote for them.
    Besides, that 40% that Karl calls 'nobody' could just as easily reflect EVERYBODY.

    January 17, 2008 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  8. Alice in Florida

    Karl Rove should go hide in the Mideast during this all-important election year if he can find a sand dune big enough to cover his fat stupid criminal self

    Right next to that idiot who is hiding because he's scared that people may realize even his OWN PARTY members don't want him anywhere near them during this all-important time

    W is the best! His legacy is that we'll finally get a Democrat in power, and who CARES what color/gender? As long as the Republicans are out! They've ALWAYS been a disaster, but they are good at "spin"

    Guess even train wrecks have to be good for SOMETHING

    Gee, I hope W endorses one of the two religious kooks – doesn't even matter which one – both the former Baptist minister and the Mormon freak scare me to death

    Even better – hope he endorses the former NY mayor who the heroic NYC firemen hate because all the while he was praising their bravery in front of the cameras

    He was the one who denied them a raise – for three years!

    W – endorse the former mayor or one of the two religious kooks – please! That'll make SURE they're not elected – your endorsement will bury them for sure

    Thank you in advance – it'll be the only good thing you'll have been able to manage to do in your eight years of dictactorship which have nearly managed to drown us all

    And then, we can finally get to work on bringing back our OWN legacy

    Maybe once again, we CAN be the greatest country in the world

    Instead of the laughing stock you and your criminal cronies have managed to make us

    It'll take some doing, though

    Eight years of the WORST MESS will take a lot of time to clean up

    I'm certain Hillary can do it

    January 17, 2008 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  9. Note to Green Party

    Please don't hand the republicans another victory, as you've done the last two elections.

    It DOES make a difference, no matter the obvious faults of the democrats.

    Just 2 examples: the Iraq war and the conservative supreme court. Had Gore or Kerry been elected, things would be very different today.

    I like Green, but it has to work its way up from local.
    I'm an independent and favor Greens locally and in the state, but I vote democrat for president.

    January 17, 2008 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  10. George

    I place the importance of Mr. Rove's comments squarely equal to comments made by Rush Limbaugh. One is a schemer and a liar, the other a spin-master and drug addict. These people think that the entire US public is stupid enough to believe anything they say. Oh wait, they did believe, they voted that village idiot Bush into office; twice. I hope that this next election cycle will be able to provide some help to get us out of the mess we are in.

    January 17, 2008 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  11. roger, conway sc

    I find it interesting that this jerk still is able to have members of the republican party listen to him spout off, they are as closed minded as he is stupid, this jerk has created nothing but a divided nation as well as causing problems through out the world and republicans still listen to him this blows my mind. This is another reason the DEMS need to run the country for the next few years.

    January 17, 2008 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  12. Kevin

    Mel In <Missoula .... Rove was NEVER an elected official. Bubba was. Shillary CLAIMS that she has all this experience (35 Years) ha! It is right she produces the EVIDENCE. Otherwise it is all HEARSAY

    January 17, 2008 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  13. CW, South Carolina

    The amusing thing is that he probably thinks he actually has enough credibility that people will care about his opinion. Maybe there are some Republicans out there who still value the opinion of "Bush's brain".


    January 17, 2008 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  14. CHRIS

    When did Karl Rove ever get elected for anything- NEVER. He's only been appointed to jobs by condervative nutjobs. Try to run for an office before criticizing others, loser.

    January 17, 2008 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  15. Joe

    Stop the bickering and start paying attention to what is going on around you.

    January 17, 2008 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  16. Allie

    "I might consider leting you lick the dogie do off his boots."
    Letting, doggie, doo. Double letters. I guess No Child Left Behind worked for you!

    January 17, 2008 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  17. EB Rideout, Georgia

    Boy, did we ever have it backwards – it sounds like George W. Bush must have been Rove's brain.

    Pssst – hey Karl – will you still be able give interviews to your cronies at Faux News from a federal prison?

    January 17, 2008 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  18. Vince

    All you people out there beware. Ole Karl Rove probably hasn`t had a bowel movement since he was dumped from the Bush payroll. So he gonna have a big load to dump on someone. {He`ll most likely try dumping it on Clinton.} And you know someone out there has to be paying him because he wouldn`t squat for nothing.

    January 17, 2008 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  19. Tom Davie


    you just dont get it. Obama supporters are 20 year olds and radicals.

    they will SPIT any VENOM out of their mouths that they can.

    CNN also crops the replies so its 70% Obama posts.

    We all knows that the SPIN, and HYPE and everything else that has been politically thrown at Hillary has NOT swayed the voters .

    We saw it quite clearly in NH.

    The more the obama people pick on hillary, the more women will vote for her.

    Its the same BULLYING CRAP women have been putting up with for centuries.

    January 17, 2008 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  20. Dave

    Karl, please do the world a favor and go away.

    January 17, 2008 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  21. Elaine Thomas

    Let Karl Rove run and then "brag" about his vote tally. He would lose to Fred Flinstone.

    January 17, 2008 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  22. Dinkytown

    My question is why is anyone still listening to Karl Rove? He is a proven loser and yesterday's news. He doesn't have enough talent to get on any D list ex-celebrity reality shows, so he should just shut up and fade away. His only chance to regain the spotlight is if some idiot Hollywood producer wants to make a movie about Elmer Fudd

    January 17, 2008 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  23. Spinner

    Jim, I guess you'd rather he hide the documents in his pant leg. Aren't Hilary's being protected too? Such double standards on the left. Can't we all just get along?

    January 17, 2008 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  24. Goa Way

    Karl "Turd Blossom" Rove needs to retire somewhere warm and sunny......... like Baghdad. I swear this ultra conservative, facist, republican scumbag, commie swine, no good fanatical neo-con is a waste of oxygen. Sorry for the rant, I had to even out Ryan's ridiculous post. Too bad we can't bring back a draft specificly for old, white, windbag, hypocricital, chicken hawk politicians. Oh wait, that mean's half the house and senate and white house would have to immediate pack up and head to the desert. Oh, too bad!

    January 17, 2008 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  25. Alice in Florida

    Guess Karl thinks we're all as big fat stupid idiots as he is

    January 17, 2008 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
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