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. SM, Michigan

    This man needs to go away! To prison, for starters. Then maybe we can use some of the Bush "approved" methods to get him to tell the truth. And while we're at it, take Cheney, Rummy, Bush, and the Justice Dept. along too. Watch "Cheney's Law" on PBS and tell me there's no ground for impeachment. AARRGH!

    January 17, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  2. Katherine

    Karl Rove is the biggest lier /spin doctor alive. He and his cohorts should be in jail for all of the lies they told, especially concerning Valarie Plume.

    January 17, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  3. hollis

    rove who? just another person trying to get his 15 seconds of fame. we had bush 1 and 2. we don't need to repeat clinton. come on america, wake up. let's get a new flavor in the white house. vote obama

    January 17, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  4. Barry, Alaska

    Karl Rove in my opinion is like a movie critic, if he says the movie is bad then it is probably an excellent movie. Of all the people in the world who should have learned by now to keep their their Pie Holes shut , Rove is at the top of the list. So seeing as how he hasn't learned on his own, SHUT UP ROVE.

    January 17, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  5. ronnie knoxville, tn

    wow – over 250 comments – karl rove really must still be a factor ! hee hee

    January 17, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  6. W M Los Angeles California

    This man is supposed to have resigned his position. So why is he still spewing his rhetoric? Considering he has been the primary architect for what may be considered the most corrupt government in the history of mankind he can not ride off into the cow pastures of the Texas wilderness quick enough along with W.
    He has taken advantage of the ignorance of the American people and his past boss which in turn has made us the most laughed at if not hated people on the planet.
    It's beyond me why this man isn't in jail along with most members of the current administration. Seems the American people won't educate themselves well enough on the issues while we fall further behind on the world stage in every catagory.

    January 17, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  7. P. Salvador

    By all means let us pay attention to what Karl Rove has to say about the Democratic Party candidates for president. Do we expect him to laud them? This is the guy who is so duplicitous that he will sacrifice others in order to protect himself from blame (prison time) for his own actions and advice to the president, yet his opinion is worthy of coverage? Is CNN looking to instigate a controversy?

    January 17, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  8. Richard, West Palm Beach, FL

    Now that Rove has time on his hands, maybe he could help look for the FIVE MILLION emails that disappeared for a period where he was being investigated.

    January 17, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  9. Ed Stack

    Karl Rove....the FORMER adviser to Bush claims a bunch of NOBODYS voted in Michigan for NOBODY.......does that mean that Karl Rove voted? He is NOBODY! If he were SOMEBODY then...I would listen......

    January 17, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  10. rebecca

    Mr. Rove needs to go back into his hole and stay there. With his knowledge and bad deicsions, our great country has been brought to it's knees. Corruption in our own Government went rapant and as such, became obvious to foreign leaders who have lost respect for America. I know. I was overseas when people laughed at Americans for electing Bush, even though Americans didn't really elect him. What a sad state of affairs this country is been forced to endure because of Rove's crooked allegations and lies. Who wants to listen to him....

    January 17, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  11. Lavella Medford

    I love the way politicians twist situations to suit their own purposes. Carl Rove stating that Barack Obama doesn't have enough international experience to be president is ludicrous. How much international experience did George W. Bush have before becoming president? Obama couldn't possibly do worse! My guess is that Bush's only international experience before becoming president was his interaction (if any) with the players on his baseball team in Texas who were from other countries!! Give us a break, Carl.

    January 17, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  12. Jon B

    One can have an idependant thought and still think clinton is a socialist. Clinton in 04 stateing "We're going to take some things away from you on behalf of the greater good" stated at the conference of woman senators in san fran. Also she wants to increase govt spending like the 5000 for every child and her universal health care. News flash, UK spends 110 billion a year on its healthcare. They only have 60 million people. America has over 300 million. Big Goverenment that spends more and taxes more. Subpar services as a result. sounds a bit like communism or at least socialism to me.

    January 17, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  13. Harold Wheatley

    What a joke, What Hillary did was say I am going to be on the ballot and allow the voters to vote for me if they choose to. The Undecided isn't a nobody, it's for Obama and Edwards. They chose not to allow the voters to vote for them. Everyone should have a voice whether or not they choose to count it or not is another story and not Hillary's problem. Good for you Hillary!

    January 17, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  14. America the Beautiful

    Here's to the land you tore out the heart of,
    Karl Rove find yourself another country to be part of

    January 17, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  15. RYL

    Re: Hillary v. Obama

    Can anyone spell out why you "hate" Hillary? Hate her because of her politics? Obama has the same politics as Hillary. Because of her personality? Do you know her in person? Hate her voice? She didn't choose to have her voice? Hate Bill? He the best thing happened to Americans in the recent history. Hate her because she is a female? You must be a low IQ male who can't stand any intelligent female.

    January 17, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  16. Beth Keating

    Carl Rove should be embarrassed and ashamed of himself. He has a lot of gall to be criticizing anyone. The guy he gets credit for getting elected has brought near ruin for this country. He should go away and hide. Too bad everyone is too busy to pursue prosecuting him.

    January 17, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  17. Gil,Chicago burbs


    I am with you on Chris' comments from Middletown,CT. Amen.

    But Casey K from TX needs a wake up call too.


    Apparently the New Hampshire Primary results didn'topen up your eyes to the fact that these polls mean nothing?

    "Real Clear Politics" ?What's REALLY CLEAR is that a poll of 100 people can be taken in New York City, Alabama, or Alaska – and the outcome is going to be different EVERY time, and it will vary + or – as much as 5-7%.

    You're telling your fellow democrats to pick Obama because a poll tells you too?

    My advice is to use your voice to speak about the strenghts of the candidate you want to win. Not who "Real Clear politics" tells you will win against Guiliani (like thats gonna be a tough race).

    We are in a position as democrats to clearly beat the republican nominee.

    And speakingof Karl Rove – I know where I'd love to shove Casey's poll.

    January 17, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  18. Ken, Suitland MD

    You are right Tim (11:03am), Chris from Middletown always brings the same right-wing mantra, the same shrill and empty name-calling to these threads, much the same as we have come to expect from his buddy Rover. I guess if we dems are the communists, then the wingnuts are the nazis, with Rove firmly placed in Goebbel's role. If dubbya could find his butt with his own two hands, he could even be Hitler. Thank god he can't, for that reason alone.

    Now the problem with folks calling Rove an idiot, or the like, is that what does it say about the people he convinced to vote for the worst president in modern history, TWICE???!!! Well, I've paused and considered this, and guess what?: Rove IS a war-chicken-crap, coward, ends-justify-the-means, criminal, treasonous, moronic, politico-looney. So you can guess what I think about the people, like Chris, who were not only fooled by him, BUT CONTINUE TO SUPPORT, DEFEND AND EVEN CELEBRATE HIS DESTRUCTIVE EFFECTS ON THIS COUNTRY.

    But you gotta like it when these right-wing-rodents start to eat their own:
    "The money laundering, conspiracy and obstruction of justice charges against former [REPUBLICAN] Michigan Rep. Mark Deli Siljander are part of a 42-count indictment released by the U.S. attorney's office in Kansas City, Missouri." The only question I have is: how can the very people who "out" our CIA agents pretend to know when somebody else is harming our national security?

    January 17, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  19. EnoughAlready, TX

    Thanksgiving already gave us our fill of turkey so just shut your piehole!

    "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."

    We have to wonder, what about your administration not only destroying e-mails so they wouldn't have to answer questions in the Valerie Plame investigation? Now just yesterday it came out that this administration also backed-up over their backup tapes. Just what are they hiding?

    Republicans, you will be held accountable!

    When is Bush and the rest of these treasonous criminals going to be convicted? All they're doing is trying to distract Americans from the truth!

    January 17, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  20. Don Longmont, CO

    Keep talking Karl, it only helps the Democratic (LIBERAL) party. I think everyone is aware of your swift boat tactics and hopefully realizes what your real agenda is.
    You were able to use fear tactics to sway some voters but this election is different.

    The American people want change and are looking at the issues impacting their lives, health care, the economy and immigration. Please keep up your rehetoric and send more people to the party working for the middle class.

    January 17, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  21. Daniel, Richmond, VA

    Go to jail, traitor.

    January 17, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  22. Mario

    Rove...lol, your the last person to talk! I'm a republican, but I don't listen to what you say or do, just go away, or go serve time in jail and lose some weight!

    Go Mitt!

    January 17, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  23. rob

    Why isn't this guy saying these things from his cell where he should be until he rots.

    January 17, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  24. matt

    Mr. Rove's grasp of history is weaker than even I had feared.
    If you reember a certain politcal candidate who actually lost in Iowa to "Undecided" in 1976 eventually won the election.........you might remember him?
    Jimmy Carter

    So Mr. Rove's comments are pointless........again.

    January 17, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  25. CW, Columbia, SC

    A.K.A. - "Bush's Brain".......enough said.

    January 17, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
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