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. Mane

    look i live in a country callde armenia which is right next to iraq. i am 17 and i got nothing to do with politics. but the thing i know is that this Karl guy is a supporter of Bush. that man is responsible for thousands of deaths of innocent civilians. no matter how bad was saddam hussein's reign, the number of people killed when he was president can not be compared to the number of people, innocent people dying right now as i write this.george bush had no write to invade another country. i am sure he knew beforing bringing his army to iraq that there were no weopons of mass destruction there. he had no write to do that. AND THIS KARL, HIS SUPPORTER IS COMMENTING ON ANY POLITICAL ISSUES. THAT IS NOT RIGHT!!!HE HAS NO RIGHT TO SPEAK AT ALL!!i am sure no matter who becomes the next president9which i am sure will eb a democrat) is gonna do a much better job than america's current "national leader". no matter what anyone says.

    January 17, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  2. David, Tampa, Fl

    I like Karl. He provides comic relief. Coming from someone who is as mean as a polecat, sneaky as a snake in the grass, and the driving force behind one of the worst presidents this country has ever had, any character assination by him is a complement to integrity. And just think, he is the spokesman for the self appointed arbitors of morality, the Christian Conservatives. in this country. It would behove the opposition canidate of the people Rove is advising in the upcoming election to put that fact before We the People and I will automatically vote against that canidate if possible. This guy questioning anyone's moral character and integrity is a real sick joke.

    January 17, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  3. Ralph

    Tom in Miami Fla,although I am no supporter of Bush, and despise Rove as well, I couldn't help but notice that you convenient left out several other terrorist attacks under Bill's watch. I voted for Bill twice, just so you know. You failed to mention Kobar Towers, the Embassy bombings, and of course the USS Cole bombing which killed our brave service men. These were all terrorist attacks. All of these attacks, including the first World Trade Center bombing, were handled by the administration as mere criminal attacks requiring FBI investigation. I liked Bill's domestic policies, I was better off eight years ago, but, he was a bit whimpy on the foreign policy side. I voted for Mrs. Clinton in the primary by the way. Rove is a republican version of Darth Vader.

    January 17, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  4. Peace

    Since when the uninvited Karl Rove abandoned his Republican Party and joined Democrats. If he does not know the names of Candidates in his Party ,
    I can be a good samaritan Karl and offer you this list of Republican Candidates:

    They are:

    John MacCain
    Mike Hackbee
    Mitt Romney
    Rudi Gulliani and so on and so forth......

    Please advise or talk about them.

    January 17, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  5. John

    The Dems lost their only great candidate when Joe Biden dropped out of the race, now is a choice between the lesser of two evils, Clinton or Obama. Everyone knows the Rebuplicans are in alot of trouble this year, bush/rove has put a bad taste in everyones mouths for the Republican party. Everyone wants change and the dems can do that. Put we lost someone who could have been a great president in Biden, I hope hes back again in 4 years.

    January 17, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  6. Mike, TX

    Ollie in Augusta.....

    Don't you mean to let him waddle back to his rock.... I agree with you.

    No one cares what this liar has to say. Anyone with an IQ of 30 or more could have figured out what the vote meant without this cretin pointing it out and getting face time.

    January 17, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  7. Ralph

    Vito, nice contribution, you just made Clinton's point, Obama has no experience to speak of. Why again would he make a good president? Good for him though, he did some great stuff as a lawyer in Illinois. Lawyers are the most reputable people we know, right. They never lie, and are always looking out for the little guy, they are not out for money or anything. I know some great lawyers, I guess they would be good presidents also.

    January 17, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  8. Rajan

    Go away karl, make more scandals for President Bush. Don't try to get more publicity. Stay away from politics.

    January 17, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  9. Bob Indianapolis, IN

    Herr Rove should be in prison for violations of the Hatch Act. If mainstream media has done its job, he would be writing the neo-con version of Mein Kampf behind bars instead of being given a microphone to express his twisted views...

    January 17, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  10. JC, Topeka, Kansas

    The only news worthy events worth mentioning the name of Karl Rove would be if he were charged with crimes against the American People.

    January 17, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  11. Tumbleweed 86

    The Republican Party's Jenny Craig "before and after" poster child! Is this the same Karl Rove that led Bush and the Rublican party into such a national disgrace (releasing CIA agent's name) that it rivals Nixon's Watergate? Is this the same Karl Rove who provided Mr. Obama with a "how to" playbook on how to destroy Hillary Clinton's campaign just months ago only to slam Mr. Obama twice now in the last three weeks? Karl, with the shame you've unleased, isn't it time you realized that it's called retirement for a reason? You and your well-fed fat cat politician type's days are at an end. Now go back to being a decent human being and that heavy burden you've been carrying lately should just waste away.

    January 17, 2008 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  12. Surrealist, Fort Myers, FL

    Be positive and upbeat about what? Kitchen table.....

    Good advice to the Republicans–"just continue to support the "spew stew" from GW Bush about Iraq and the war on terror–and by the way....be a little more liberal.

    Thanks Carl...but George took your advice, and Cheney's..."historical low opinions–and ostracism of a good portion of conservatives–

    Thanks Buddy.

    January 17, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  13. Rachel

    Gee, Obama has a more liberal voting record than Clinton. Well Rove, that actually is exactly what makes Obama attractive – sorry that not everyone is a hard-core right wing conservative who is against basic human rights.

    January 17, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  14. Val Carlson

    I never would have thought Old Karl could stir up so much enmity, but he has done it again! He is a phoenix– he keeps rising from the ashes of false hope. Please, please read, or re-read, Niccolo Machiavelli's THE PRINCE..

    January 17, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  15. Jenny, Paxton, MA

    Boycott CNN and other major corporate mass media. google Democracy Now, and start from there!!!!!! the corporate media are getting worse by the minute!

    January 17, 2008 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  16. Mike Smyth, New Orleans, Louisiana

    Karl Rove... isn't he the guy who helped elect the village idiot?

    January 17, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  17. Joann for Hillary!

    I thought that old blowhole would shut up since leaving the Bush regime. Ahhh...how one could only wish he would!!!! He is nothing but a whole bunch or tired hot air and an "evil doer"....

    January 17, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  18. Jay

    Yeah, just what we need ... advice from this master crook.

    Talk about releasing records ... wonder if he'll release the records where he smuggled his male escort in and out of the white house ... i.e. Jeff Gannon??

    This idiot is scared to death Hillary will win, 'cause he knows she'll chew him and his party up and spit them out.

    January 17, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  19. Josh

    Did anyone else notice this?

    Rove's advice to the Republican nominee: "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)."

    So his suggestion is for the Republican candidate to become a Democrat?

    Solid suggestion.

    January 17, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  20. G. Scott

    Ok, are you people really seriously thinking of voting for Hillarry or Barack. Give me a break. Well, I guess thats what this country is reduced to.

    January 17, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  21. TRW

    Rove, "Bush's Brain," should be ashamed of himself for pushing on the world the WORST President of all time. I wish people would stop being fooled by this kind of rhetoric and choose candidates based upon policies, experience, and leadership qualities. Dumbya had none of these qualities.

    KKKarl – Get back in Bush's head, and this time stay there – Bush is going to need help clearing some more brush.

    January 17, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  22. sad88

    We might dismiss the man as being stupid but he won a Presidential election with a candidate who was worse than any candidate in the history of the US. He made some valid points in the end the Republican party will have to reach out to new folks, blacks , latino and other minority groups and focus on domestic issues. The republican party will show that the surge has been a sucess and probably peace and the end of the war is coming and cheap oil prices because the middle east region is getting stable . They will attack Hillary and bring out all the Clinton scandales and they will find out things about Obama and twist facts and they just might win. The replubicans maybe be down but they are not out. They want to win at whatever cost and at this point i think the Clinton machine is the best option because they kno how to get down and dirty with the republicans .

    January 17, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  23. Onari


    Please as you said in your letter of resignation, you want to attend to your family. Please do Americans a favor stick to your family. Your advice is what kept this country in a mess under GW watch with your brain. Please keep your advice in your kitchen because it does not worth a pinch of salt. I think the American people know better now.

    January 17, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  24. Paul

    Perhaps Clinton should put Rove on her Payroll, I think he helps bring her more votes and point out just how great she would be for this country. Could it be that the Good Old Boys now know that the Presidency is in her grasp? Keep Talking Karl, Go Hillary!

    January 17, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  25. Jenny, Paxton, MA


    Do Not forget to vote for the candidates in 2008 who you know for sure will do whatever needs to be done to lock these criminals up and throw the keys away, as SOON as we the people take back the power in 2008!

    Do not forget to fire the ones who have failed to serve you the people but served themselves at your expense!

    google chris hedges and start with his messages.

    January 17, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
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