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. arb

    Why doesn't CNN ask Scooter Libby, Donald Rumsfeld, and all the other criminals what they think as well? I mean, this is getting ridiculous when people like Rove are given ANY coverage, and worse, taken seriously.

    CNN, I give up.

    January 16, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  2. Cameron

    You are ALL miserable hateful people. History already shows that Mr. Karl Rove is a genius.

    January 16, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  3. Carl

    Karl Rove is a disgrace to American politics.

    I really wish Democrats could take back the word "liberal" from the strangle hold of Republican propaganda and remind people of what it orignally meant.

    Martin Luther King Jr. – Liberal

    John F. Kennedy – Liberal

    Theodore Rosevelt – Liberal

    The list goes on and on. It's people like Karl Rove who've given the word "liberal" a bad name. Sad.

    January 16, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  4. Sean

    More spin about the completely meaningless Michigan vote.

    What else would be expected from Rove though. Back under your rock please.

    January 16, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  5. Tony

    This coming from a man who has done more destruction to our constitutution and democracy than any person in most recent US history. Karl, you should be indicted for treason and put away for the rest of your life shackled. You could talk to your neighbors George W Bush, Dick Cheney, Condoleeeeeeza Rice, Donald Rumsfeldt, Tom DeLay, Ralph Reed, Tony Perkings, Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly!!!

    January 16, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  6. Johnny Canuck

    Hi brilliance is surpassed only by the luminosity of Anne Coulter !

    January 16, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  7. Kevin

    He is the epitome of what has been wrong with our government for the past 7 years.

    January 16, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  8. Beck

    Karl Rove should be in jail and stop running is mouth. He knows that Hillary can beat any republican and that's why the republicans are promoting Obama and trashing Hillary.

    January 16, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  9. Vince Los Angeles, CA

    I will never vote for Hillary Clinton no matter WHO she is running against. Furthermore, if she is selected as the Democratic nominee, I will IMMEDIATELY change my party affiliation to Indpendant.

    January 16, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  10. Alex

    To say that the uncommitted equaled Obama and Edwards is responsible, but you can't take anything from that because a lot of people did not go out to vote yesterday BECAUSE there votes did not matter. If both of their names had actually been on the ballot it would have been A LOT different. No one would have won more than 50%, period. The Democratic Race is not that decided yet.

    January 16, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  11. DD

    Speaking of nobody's, Karl needs to take a long, long look in the mirror. Who cares what this nobody has to say?

    January 16, 2008 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  12. kevin

    mr. Rove has no usefull comments in this campaign to make. I believe he is the source of an evil voice...a devicise force in politics of the past. This election is about change. Sorry mr. Rove you loser...go have a beer with Tom Delay and a good cry. Get over your man crush on GW..our country, our children...those who have died in Iraq, those whom you have robbed of healthcare and mortgaged their futures away...........do not give a rats butt about your self serving opinion, nor your misguided opinions. Go work for your corporate allies. Do not include the American people as a referance.

    January 16, 2008 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  13. Steve, Seattle WA

    And yet again, CNN lowers itself to the same level as this vile individual when they publicize his unsolicited bul..hit......

    January 16, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  14. Lucy

    Please CNN, you're so much better than this! Stop giving this evil man press time unless it's to announce that he's finally going off where he belongs – in jail.

    January 16, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  15. Tim

    I only wish CNN would stop saying what Rove says. Do they quote OJ Simpson on football?

    January 16, 2008 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  16. John

    Rove thinks Clinton should release records from the Clinton library? Rove's boss issued an Executive Order in 2001 that restricted release of the documents of former presidents and VPs, conveniently hiding those pertaining to his father under Reagan. How about returning to the 12-year rule for release of such records to the public, first.

    January 16, 2008 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  17. R.G. CA

    What!!! Did FOX take over CNN when I wasn't looking??
    Keep covering Rove. Every time I see his name, it give me greater conviction that we need to vote out as many Republicans as we can in 2008.

    The only news I wan't to see about Rove is that he's been indicted and is on his way to prison where he belongs.

    January 16, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  18. Steve, Seattle WA

    Cameron, you are joking, right??

    January 16, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  19. Eric

    It's nice....except nobody really cares about anything Rove says anymore. Dirty tactics like the ones used by the Republican party over the last decade don't work anymore.

    And yes....when is that endictment thing coming?


    January 16, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  20. L.A.

    Thanks for those words of wisdom. Karl Rove? Seriously? He has nothing to say that I would remotely consider as relevant. Isn't he going to jail soon or something?

    January 16, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  21. Paul Lloyd Vancouver BC

    I didn't know Porky Pig was real!

    January 16, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  22. reason

    WHY does CNN even bother to make a story out of anything this man has to say?

    January 16, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  23. sara m

    Karl Rove WHO? This insect needs to climb back under his rock and stay there. A corrupt politician and now a bitter one – Let's put him on the campaign trail as a candidate. It would be worth it just to see him cry!

    January 16, 2008 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  24. Disenchanted in Virginia

    Hey Karl–wake up!! People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. Is your conscience so clean that you are able to cast blame and criticize others?

    January 16, 2008 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  25. Jason

    Hmm. The only person I can think of that's LESS relevant to this campaign is George W. Bush.

    Keep talking, Karl. I don't think anyone's listening.

    January 16, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
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