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. Patricia

    This comment comes from a man who quit his job becuase he was doing dishonest things while in his position. How dare you Karl Rove! How dare you!

    January 16, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  2. Black Man, Philly PA

    Let's all hope Hispanics in Nevada wise up and make a change. Don't vote status-quo because you will only get more of the same. Regardless of Hillary's self proclaimed experience, she will only divide the country, and the minority will suffer the most. Believe me, she will not be able to get anything done, because all her time will be spent fighting with people that are at odds. It's reckless for the country to vote in the Clintons. Straight Talk.

    Vote Obama.

    January 16, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  3. Christian, Tampa FL

    The more Karl Rove speaks out against the democratic candidates, the more I like them.

    January 16, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  4. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    Why isn't Rove in prison?!?!?!?!?!

    And how did he manage to attend 9 different colleges/universities and not get a degree/!

    January 16, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  5. Texan for Obama

    suzy – no it is not a win.
    Many people knew that the Michigan vote did not count so they did not come out to vote. The results would have been much different if Obama and Edwards had not removed their names from the ballot as the National Democratic party wanted all three candidates to do. Hillary has no integrity and only stayed on the ballot apparently so her name would stay in the press over one more issue.

    January 16, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  6. g

    I am voting for Hillary. But like some of you, I will support the party no matter who they send and I like that we can rally behind the party to get the current mess cleaned up.

    January 16, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  7. From The North


    Why do you people validate the vile specimen of humanity namely Karl Rove by giving substance to his vicious injectures with your presence on this blog?

    You are giving him what he most desires, Your Attention and Criticism!

    Every hear of the old cliche, if you ignore them enough they will go away.
    Try It. We could all benefit from the absence of such a inferior specimen of humanity.

    Thank You.

    January 16, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  8. Jose


    Your neo-con buddies are DOA. Romney, McCain, Thompson, Giuliani, and Hunter will not win the Republican Ticket. 50 percent of Republicans don't even like you or your President. They want change from Bush in the highest possible way. If you haven't seen the first two contest, the democrats, independents, and republicans are voting against you guys in droves. The Dems will win the White House and then you're going to jail.

    Do America a very patriotic duty, the same way that Nixon did. Bury yourself in a ditch and GO AWAY. You sir are a charlatan. A flim-flam man who has decieved Americans for long enough. We aren't drinking Neo-Con Kool Aid anymore. Change is the order of the day, and you are proverbial wall standing in the way of the wrecking ball.


    An American Voter Demanding Change.

    January 16, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  9. jennifer

    Bob... you're just as sorry a specimen as Rove. Bush was guilty of being out to lunch regarding terrorism too. However, GET OVER IT the American people are beyond fear mongering and bad cowboy disease. Time you republicans stopped trying to remove the splinter from the Democrats eye all the while ignoring the plank in your own.

    January 16, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  10. Chad

    Why is this guy NOT in JAIL......thanks to HIM and that great President BUSH & "VISE"-president along with THAT "administration"...the working people is SO strain & stress.....we don't have time to demand this ...BUT LOOK-OUT in NOV.

    January 16, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  11. Gary, Detroit, Mich.

    Karl Rove is a waste of oxygen. Period.

    January 16, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  12. amandi anaeze

    pls somebody should engage uncle carl as a campaign manager or is there the fear that he carries with him a bagage that cannot be dropped off so early?

    January 16, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  13. Tom, Miami, FL

    Bob, who was president when the 9/11 attack happened? And when the 1993 world trade center bombing occurred, wasn't it exactly 8 years before the next major attack on US soil? So...what exactly did Rove and Bush do to prevent ANOTHER attack that Clinton didn't do between 1993-2000? Yes, there were attacks on american interests abroad, but the total combined casualties and financial cost to america were a drop in the bucket compared to the absolute and total mess in Iraq.

    The entire concept that the Bush administration "kept us safe" is a complete and total myth perpetrated by Rove and swallowed hook line and sinker by those not informed enough or motivated to become informed enough to know the difference.

    The central argument in favor of the war (depending, of course, on which day it is since the reasons for going in/staying in seem to change with the desert winds) is that "we're fighting them over there so we don't have to fight them over here." To that, I say BS. In 1993 we were attacked and we did not respond by invading and occupying a country that had nothing to do with said attacks. Was there a swell in domestic terror attacks? Nope, not even close. But assume for a second that there was or that there would have been – the very argument that "we're fighting them over there so we don't have to fight them here" is probably the most arrogant, condescending and demeaning thing to say to those troops actually picking up arms and fighting for us over there. This from the (only) party who "supports the troops." What they're essentially saying is that we'll send in a bunch of poor people (only a very small fraction of the occupying force has any connection whatsoever to those in power making the decisions to send them there as is inherent with a volunteer army) as bait. As long as they're running around with targets on their backs invading and occupying a foreign country, the terrorists will be too busy trying to kill them to try and kill us over here. Aaah, to be a republican. Where the world is simple enough to be black and white. Good and bad. Summarized in few enough words that even George Bush can almost remember them all.

    January 16, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  14. Matt M AZ

    While it is important to point out that Karl Rove was the wizard behind much of the Bush administration's tactics, if not policies, it is also important to remind ourselves that enough of us fell for it that Bush served 2 terms.

    It isn't as if the truth about Rove wasn't evident all along; that people have only recently awakened to the crooked ways of Bush and Rove is truly more disturbing than Bush and Rove themselves.

    So the responsibility goes on the shoulders of the American people who put Bush in via Rove. Twice.

    January 16, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  15. wisconsin ind voter

    WOW, so much hate out of all you dems, just ignore him and he will go away, now be nice.

    January 16, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  16. Ilene, Livonia MI

    Shouldn't Rove be in jail??/ Why is he allowed to get up and express a opinion on anything to do with this election???

    January 16, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  17. Taylor

    Well, Karl Rove disliking Obama and Clinton makes me like the two of them even more.

    January 16, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  18. Amar, Milwaukee, WI

    Republicans have no right to speak! You lost your chances in 2000 and 2004 when you voted in morons to office.

    Not to mention you guys voted in Republican closet gay Larry Craig and Republican al Queda backer Mark Siljander. How can you guys speak with such candor? Put your tail between your legs and walk away.

    January 16, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  19. connie floyd, crockett,texas

    i can't even believe this. rove you are obsolete and so is your party, your president and hopefully you will be starring in msnbc lock-up series!!!ha! ha!

    January 16, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  20. Ruth -Az

    I'm suprised anyone lets him make any comments. He is a criminal, I don't care if he took a fall for someone else. I am just amazed that anyone gives his voice any air time. Next thing you know he will be running for prez.

    January 16, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  21. Sam, Lincoln,NE

    Hey Bob: At least Hillary HAS hair. Have you looked at Rove's head lately, or is that his butt?


    January 16, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  22. Dee Ward Mena, AR

    This just proves what my husband and I have been saying all along. The republicans are scared to death of Hillary. They want obama to win because they think they can beat him and they know they can't bet Hillary. Keep it up karl, keep bashing Hillary and she will be sure to get more votes because everyone hates you so much they would vote for Hillary if for no other reason then to show you how stupid people think or I should say KNOW you are. You and your bunch are the biggest crooks to ever enter the white house and it takes a lot of nerve to ask Hillary to release papers, which by the way she said they could be released, when this has been the most secretive administration in the history of this country. Where are the tapes of the torture, where is the proof of the WMD's. Why was there a SECRET CHENEY energy meeting with the big oil people. And the secrets go on and on and are too numerous to mention. Oh yes, unlawful wire taping for one more. I agree, he would look so much better in an orange jump suit with the rest of his cronies dressed just like him. Get a life and get out of ours...

    January 16, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  23. This sucks.

    Yes, Karl Rove is an idiot. Our whole democratic system is a joke. Hillary and Obama are the best available? I wouldn't vote for either one. The Republicans are not any better. Bush junior getting elected in the first place was a joke. The smart people in this country don't get a chance. My vote is for Lewis Black.

    January 16, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  24. Leah DiMarco, TX

    No it is not pretty simple. Tens of thousands of voters did not come out and vote because they knew that the Michigan vote did not count with only Hillary on the ballot. So the results would have been much different if it had been a true race.

    January 16, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  25. Teacher

    The Elites really do want Hillary to win.Thats the real reason Rove is out here sheperding votes to her.The Elites want her to win because she will do what ever they want her to do once shes in office.They dont care about which party gets in .Its a win- win for them.WAKE UP AMERICA they are rigging the election before your very eyes.They worry about some of the other people that may have chance to get in and rock the boat!

    January 16, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
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