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. Onari


    Who are we? YOU and YOUR FAMILY? If you hate her who cares. Millions of others love her and respect her character, experience and strength.

    Please speak for your self and probably your family. Don't speak for US.

    Go Hillary 08!

    January 17, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  2. Paul, Tampa, FL

    Man, is this guy really that afraid that Clinton is gonna win the nomination that he feels the need to attack her over a meaningless primary? Don't worry porky, the Republicans will be out of office soon and you can expect an indictment shortly thereafter.

    January 17, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  3. Pat Huntington, NY

    "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"

    Karl, you are forgetting that it was your former boss, President Bush, who signed the Executive Order that permitts former presidents [and presumably their first ladies] to withhold the release of their papers indefinitely.

    Karl, you are a criminal, a liar, and a snake....please go back under the rock from where you came.

    January 17, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  4. Robert

    I'm a Hillary supporter, but I like Obama as well. The fact that he doesn't have national experience, Rove says that's a problem. That sure didn't stop W from running and (unfortunately) winning the presidency.

    January 17, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  5. Bud, Metter, Georgia

    This is the man that lies for a living. "Bush's Brain" is a very corrupt and vicious man. He was instrumental in breaking the law and lieing about the Valarie Plame affair. Why don't people like Rove and Libby go to trial and if convicted go straight to jail? Rove deserves all the respect accorded O.J. Simpson. It's people like Rove, Bush, Cheney and their values that have driven this country into the state of emergency economically, morally and politically. We are our worst nightmare because of Rove. Get a rope!

    January 17, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  6. Izabell Mason

    One of the most productive political strategists of all time. I always welcome Rove's insight!

    January 17, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  7. Tim

    Chris from Middletown- Socialist....MArxism...Saul.....commies......clinton. You need a new post. I came back here to post and here is the same one you have been posting for months.
    Do you have any independant thoughts of your own? Are there commies under your bed? Have you been watching Red Dawn again?

    Rove isant saying anything that he hasnt for a year or more about clinton and obama. Just the same old rhetoric in a time where people want change.
    So it takes rove to tell the republican party to talk about kitchen table issues with Americans? Wow, they really are out of touch.

    January 17, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  8. Steven McCain

    Karl is the best thing that happened to the DEMs since FDR. Let Karl and Newt keep talking. They really causing people to vote. If these two don't scare you u must be Rambo.

    January 17, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  9. isaiah

    I think it is funny karl rove telling mrs clinton to release white house documents. this coming from a member of the administration who destroys and even more says they dont have to release any white house documents.

    January 17, 2008 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  10. Jose, New York, NY

    funny how he's not commenting on any of the republican candidates.

    January 17, 2008 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  11. Paul, Tampa, FL

    Rove is a genius in the same way that Arnold Rothstein, or Charley "Lucky" Luciano were geniuses. They, and Rove, played the system to the detriment of all society for their own personal gains. I can only hope he meets the same end as Arnold and Lucky.

    January 17, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  12. Patty

    Hey Karl,

    Did your boy Bush ever win by a 10-point margin? Winning 55% of the vote is considered a landslide. Do not kid yourself, the "uncommitted " voter was voting for either Obama and Edwards, and they received 40% combined.

    By the way, count yourself lucky that you are not watching this race from behind prison bars.

    January 17, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  13. John Edwards For Prez

    John Edwards 2008!!!

    January 17, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  14. James Snoddy

    Rove can make fun of Kucinich for "believing in UFO's" (which is something that is quite conceivable, check out the Drake Equation in Carl Sagan's "Cosmos") and yet, he says "I'm a Christian. I go to church. I'm an Episcopalian." What's more believable: that there is some other form of life in the universe amongst our billions of stars, galaxies and planets –or– that 2,000 years ago a virgin had a son who died and came back to life, this son is a part of an omnipotent, omniscient god who is in charge, and also, for whom, there is NO EVIDENCE AT ALL.

    January 17, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  15. Pearl

    Advice from Rowe regarding Barak Obama and Hillary Clinton? He didn't do an outstanding job as advisor to Presidnet Bush. Look at the mess we are in regarding education, health care, social security, the national debt in trilions, and
    of course the war.

    January 17, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  16. Gobama

    Karl Rove is evil incarnate. So many lives and limbs lost in the UNPROVOKED Iraq war, and this creature feels nothing!

    No doubt Karl used to be bullied as a young 'weird' child; and now he's about to have his revenge on Americans and on the world.

    And guess what?
    The self-absorbed Clintons are out to emulate the devil in their vain effort for a THIRD White House TERM. lol

    Too late! America is READY FOR A CHANGE of politics and policies!

    January 17, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  17. Jo, ATL GA

    Why nit run if you are so good at what you do? Rove for President.

    January 17, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  18. jerry Arizona

    Karl has created such a mess in his recommendations to the Bush administration. Why would anyone listen to him now!!

    January 17, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  19. Chris Plumstead

    Karl Rove deserves attention these days about as much as Paris Hilton and Britney Spears do. Aren't we done with this guy? Next on "Who Cares" a man speaking with a sock in his mouth.

    January 17, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  20. Chris, Middletown, CT

    Tim – the sad part is....this is the truth...it's not a spin....and its not rhetoric

    Read Hillarys glowing thesis paper on Saul Alinsky....and look at her 800 billion in proposed spending...and see that the majority or "her" ideas come from him

    I will keep posting the "same" message until her supporters wake up from this cult-like stuper....I am baffled she has any support at all...she has taken polar stances on the same position for her whole campaign...

    did you know she voted for the war...and theres a YouTube video of her senate speech saying that war was the only answer to get rid of Hussein – then she told you pie-eyed meatballs that she "never authorized the president to go to war" and this was "Bushs war" –

    I will keep posting the same message...until people like you actually research this untrustworthy mess

    January 17, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  21. Bob, Seattle

    Just straight talk. Liberals won't be able to handle. Hear the cry? No factual support by the liberals but they do have healthy lungs.

    January 17, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  22. jyfranca

    Am Republican i love Bush but Karl go homeWe do not need you there is nothing you can help us to beat Clinton or Obama.You are the worst advisor in history.We are going to have the new and the best Republican of Reagan from Huckabee,Romney or McCain.We do not need you the more you advise us the more voters like Hillary.Are you campaign for Hillary?

    January 17, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  23. kathe Oakland Ca

    JOE: No the truth is Hillary broke the rules of her own Party by participating. Do not believe for one minute her votes recorded in Michigan mean N O T H I N G. The uncommitted and those who voted for other two candidates that is 60% which would have gone to O B A M A !!!!!!!! Whether you like it or not, whether CNN admits it or not – those are the facts and truth. You see, I am from Michigan and we are not stupid in Michigan.......we know what is happening here. They, media, Bill and Hillary, and a lot of other Americans in politics are so afraid Obama just might be the nominee that they will do ANYTHING to stop that from happening.

    Karl Rove, just to write the name make me ill mentally and this is a person, not a man to me, a person who is now trying to get Republicans to listen to him – Bush did that and look where we are. I hope Hucklebee has more substance than to listen to what Rovei says.

    And Mitt, you are a selfish selfish person. YOu did not have the professionalism nor did you care that your opponent was still giving his concession speech before you blasted onto the screen. You are no one I want for my President – Rude, unprofessional, no compassion. I believe really he believes he is a movice star!!! WRONG

    January 17, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  24. Crown Prince pH

    255 comments to Karl Rove?
    I`m an African in Africa and have never been outside the continent but ....... 255 comments just goes a long way in showing how much of a legacy this man has left ....................... dumd though his analysis may be and this coming from the chief political strategist for Dubya.


    January 17, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  25. Jack

    Karl Rove and George Bush would make great cell mates along with Cheney.

    January 17, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
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