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. Shawn

    "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."

    Maybe when Rove relases his documents!!

    Get real, like anyone could care what Karl Rove thinks! What a Looser!

    January 16, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  2. Infatuation

    Can we be sure Hillary and Dough-Boy didnt really go to grammer school together where Hillary beat him up every day and took his lunch money.He really loves her and wants his money back. lol

    January 16, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  3. Bradley Schaubs, Greeley, CO

    You STILL talking, Rove? Yikes, what's it gonna take to get you to shut that big hole in your head?

    January 16, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  4. JM, OH

    Adam is completely correct. The "uncommitted" spot on the ballot could arguably have read "Obama & Edwards" which would mean that Hillary beat both of them. Realisticly, though, you cannot draw any conclusions from the votes. Because you can cross party lines to vote in Michigan, many Democrats decided to place their vote for the Republican candidate who they thought their Democratic candidate could most easily beat in a general election. I believe that many Democrats chose this option because a vote for their favorite Dem was meaningless. Many other Democrats probably just stayed home because of the delegates being stripped away.

    By the way, why is CNN still giving Rove the headlines? Bush is the gun that is killing our great country and Rove is the man that loaded it.

    January 16, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  5. AJ, IL

    Karl Rove is a funny looking and funny acting guy. First when Hillary was perceived as the Democratic front-runner he was blasting her and "giving" Obama advice through the media on how to take on Hillary. Then Obama won Iowa and was looking to win New Hamsphire and then Rove starting bashing Obama. Now that both Obama and Hillary each have a win under their belts, Rove doesn't know who to bash so he bashes them both.

    OBAMA in '08!

    January 16, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  6. TNYC

    Evil. Just evil.

    January 16, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  7. mommadona


    Put DOWN that rolodex and just walk away slowly.
    Now, sir, you are under arrest.
    Anything you say could be and will be held against you in court.
    You have the right to an attorney – I won't bother with the rest.
    You can afford a good one.

    "CUFF 'EM, DANNO...."

    January 16, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  8. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Democrats and Independents be aware, Karl Rove is the Republicans "attack dog" who can't be trusted and he is not riding the fence. The only message he has here is FEAR and for democrats to be suspicious of their choice of candidates. We have more unanswered questions about Karl Rove, Bush and Cheney that we will never get due to "executive priviledge".

    January 16, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  9. Greg M.

    Karl Rove is the last person who should criticize Barack Obama's lack of national experience. Obama at least has three more years of national experience than G.W. Bush did. On the other hand, maybe this is Rove's back-handed way of admitting that he made a mistaking in foisting Dubya on us.

    January 16, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  10. Bob

    Go Karl....... You thought Hillary cried when asked about her hair, wait untill Karl gets a hold of her. She has more skeletons in her closet then a morg. I will admit Bush was a bad President yet he manged to get him re elected.


    January 16, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  11. suzy

    Isn't it pretty simple really?
    – Hillary – 55%
    – ALL the other Dem candidates INCLUDING the "uncommitted" – 45%

    Is that not a win?????? please......
    GO HILLARY!!!!!!

    January 16, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  12. Wayne, Greenville TX

    Why isn't this "man" behind bars yet????

    January 16, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  13. Terry, El Paso, TX

    Most people don't realize how dangerous Conservatism has become. First, the Conservative Leadership – very different people than the rank-and-file Conservative voters out there – do not believe in democracy. They believe that they are right, that they are entitled to govern, and that elections are only useful if the put Conservatives in office. They do not believe that Liberals, Feminists, or anyone other than themselves has a right to govern, no matter how many votes they get.

    I was actually worried that if Bush lost the 2004 election narrowly, that Conservatives would choose to stay in power despite the election results. They could tie a few close states up with court challenges to their election results and appeal to the Supreme Court where they had five safe votes for Conservatism regardless of the facts of the case. Fortunately, it did not turn out that way.

    Rove and his ilk are committed to Conservatism, not Democracy. Rove's comments are just an effort to stir the pot a little. We have to learn to disregard what Conservatives say, because they don't mean that stuff. We have to pay attention to what they do, which is very different from what they say they are doing.

    Conservative voters, I regret to say, are suckers. They vote for Gay Marriage Prohibition and they get a multi-trillion dollar deficit. They vote for a Flag Burning Amendment and they get their jobs outsourced. They vote for a manger scene in the town square in December and they lose their health insurance. They vote for free trade and they get Exxon, Haliburton, and Enron.

    Ah, well, Happy New Year

    January 16, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  14. Bill, Chicago, IL

    Look, Rove is completely irrelevant and pretty much always has been. Can't you just stop printing the garbage that continually comes out of his mouth?

    January 16, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  15. KDOC

    Karl Rove is an evil man. Does he really think that the win Hillary Clinon logged is a waste? She didn't just win. It showed that even if the other candidates were on the ballot she would have won anyway. Mr. Rove really thinks that people are too stupid to figure this stuff out for themselves. If you simply peel back the layers Mr. Rove and the Republican Party is so afraid of going up against Mrs. Clinton that their heads are spinning. No matter what they say publicly, behind closed doors they know they cannot win over her. She is just too strong a candidate and they just can't stand it. All the dirt on her is already known so there is nothing they can try to destroy her with in the General Election. The other two candidates are not vetted yet so they know there will be things they can exploit about them. The people are voting for her no matter what her baggage because our country is in a very bad place now and the people are scared, very scared. We know that she has the knowledge and the ability to try and do something about it and do it quickly. If she can not do it herself she knows who to go to to get it done and done right. She has been there and done that. Our country needs a wise and battled tested warrior and I truly believe that she is it.

    January 16, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  16. JANET


    January 16, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  17. reed

    Karl Rove is a tratior to the United States.. He should be treated like anyother tratior...

    January 16, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  18. Tom Davie

    I cant get over the fact so many people spell 'loser' . .......'looser' .

    January 16, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  19. God Bless America

    Go finish your bachelor degree Mr. Rove!. Please, leave the matter to the American people.

    January 16, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  20. Tony D San Diego

    This from the blithering idiot that wanted to convince the United Nations that cartoon drawings proved that Iraq was a threat.

    January 16, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  21. Eric, Chicago,IL


    Please stop covering Karl Rove. No one believes him. Even Republicans hate him, because he makes their party look like a collection of raving mad lunatics (could you imagine if the entire Republican party consisted of Karl Rove clones?)

    Coming from a person who supports Ron Paul, John Edwards, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and John McCain, PLEASE stop providing this criminal with a media outlet.

    January 16, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  22. Duop, Colorado

    Rove, how much were you paid by Swift-boat?

    January 16, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  23. Raj

    Karl, you need to run and you need to hide. Please fade away.

    January 16, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  24. Steve, Pennsylvania

    Seeing as how just about any actual liberal is more liberal than Hillaray, saying that Obama's more liberal than her doesn't mean much.

    Seriously, why is this guy still talking?

    January 16, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  25. Duop, Colorado

    Who cares, he is cray.

    January 16, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
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