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. Steve, Texas

    The Roving Tsar strikes again! Maybe he'll nominate himself as a Republican candidate. Then the party of Abraham Lincoln will really have come a long way!

    January 16, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  2. DT, Michigan

    Taking political advice from Karl Rove is like taking child-rearing advice from Britney and Jamie Lynne Spears' mother. Bad idea. And it's a bad idea no matter which political party you belong to, unless of course America has a Fascist party I'm unaware of.

    That said, Rove was master of the obvious in stating that Clinton's win in Michigan was a hollow one –not only did "Uncommitted" get 40% of the vote, but Michigan has no Democratic delegates, having been penalized for moving the primary date up. And because there are no Democratic delegates, there was only a 20% voter turnout in the state. It's likely that many more who would have voted for Obama or Edwards stayed home.

    January 16, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  3. Starr

    Chris, Middletown, CT
    You ask if we could be that dumb? The 2000 election aside, Amercians were dumb enough to give the win to Bush in 2004. I think that answers the dumb question right there.

    January 16, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  4. Roving in the Bush

    When will Karl Rove go to jail for his involvement in the many scandals ? When can we the people get a special prosecutor to investigate the Plame outing – that's treason right there ? Mukasey needs to get on the job . 'Course he could work 24 hours a day till the end of w's administration prosecuting justice, and there'd still be criminals in the bush camp and repub machine left over . I guess Rovie is an honorary Bush anyway so gets the benefit of the institutional non-stick coating . I predict there will be investigations and prosecutions left over from Bush throughout the next president's full term and beyond, if anyone in congress has the stomache for it . They ought to impeach the dirtbags now and get it over with quicker .

    January 16, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  5. carol

    Rove – aren't you missing roll call at Levenworth?

    January 16, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  6. MW

    oh please. Why is this a news story? Frickin' Karl Rove. You have to be kidding me, if you think anyone cares what his opinion on the Democrats is.

    January 16, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  7. douglas stoddard

    Why is CNN giving this guy any more press????
    This Rove guy deserves to go to jail for all of his tricks he has pulled.
    Reason number 3 why I am viewing MSNBC rather than your station.
    Douglas Stoddard

    January 16, 2008 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  8. Kenneth Myers

    Hasn't Karl Rove's 15 minutes elasped? How can you take a guy seriously, when he is a prime architect in the most inept government every assembled. He should be in New Orleans swinging a hammer in an attempt to atone for his senslessness.

    January 16, 2008 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  9. jg

    Was this from his jail cell? You have to hand it to the man. He has managed to fabricate two terms of presidential lies that the public has bought into. Does anyone else think this means we need to address education issues, now?

    January 16, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  10. rshak22

    It's amazing that the man behind the worst presidency since Nixon is giving his opinion and having it listened to and printed!

    You know a presidency is horrendous when not 1 time have I heard the republican candidates mention Bush's name during the debates for fear of digging their own grave on the spot. They all make reference to Reagan 1000 times over.

    I can't believe there is even a republican running for president. On what platform that would differ from G.W?

    maybe if they trash the "morality" of the next democratic candidate and call him/her "unpatriotic" "unamerican" etc.. they can they sucker more people into voting for them.

    After these last 8 years, I am dead curious how republicans have faith in their party?

    January 16, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  11. michael

    in the scheme of things, this 'tard makes osama look good.....go america!!

    January 16, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  12. edwin

    Yes Clinton won over a nobody, but as a republican, I am ashamed that no one running in the republican primary had any vote close to the no body that lost to Clinton. That shows what an uphill task is ahead of us in the general election.

    January 16, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  13. jesse

    Of all people to make a comment,the Republicans send out "Mr. Brain"to make a sad comment on Mrs.Clinton.How could CNN waste their time & news space on a low life like Karl Rove?The "RAT" just had to crawl out of his hole to make such a worthless comment.

    January 16, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  14. Matt

    Karl Rove, Shouldnt he be in Jail???

    January 16, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  15. J Williamson Buffalo, NY

    Go Karl! (And take Bush and Cheney with you!)

    January 16, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  16. Florida

    just shut up Rove. Aren't you satisfied with having stolen the elections the first time? Oh... wait we should be caring about what the guy who help out Valerie Plame says. Really... just like the king of Spain said to Chavez the other day... why don't you SHUT UP!

    January 16, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  17. JohnS

    I thought people on this listserve, who are NOT well informed about Obama, should read this "published piece."

    "Democratic presidential rival Hillary Rodham Clinton points to his resume as evidence that Obama is not ready for the White House. "He was a part-time state senator for a few years, and then he came to the Senate and immediately started running for president," she says dismissively.

    Obama's accomplishments are more substantial and varied than Clinton suggests. And he has a longer record in elected office than she does, as a second-term New York senator.

    Obama was a community organizer and led a voter-registration effort in Chicago that added tens of thousands of people to the rolls. He was a civil rights attorney and taught at one of the nation's premier universities. He helped pass complicated measures in the Illinois legislature on the death penalty, racial profiling, health care and more. In Washington, he has worked with Republicans on nuclear proliferation, government waste and global warming, amassing a record that speaks to a fast start while lacking the heft of years of service."

    So Hillary and her supporters are not that well-informed!!!!

    January 16, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  18. Fred Evil

    Keep talking Karl, we need the reminder as to why the next candidate will NOT be from YOUR party.

    I'm no fan of Hillary, but if you're against her, I'm FOR HER!

    Cameron wrote – "History already shows that Mr. Karl Rove is a genius."

    A criminal genius maybe...just because someone's smart doesn't mean they're someone to admire.

    I wasn't aware luminosity was a synonym for ugliness...

    January 16, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  19. john

    Who cares what Karl Rove thinks? Why all the attention?
    Maybe his take on things are designed for manipulating the media and thus giving him and his agenda the publicity and attention he is looking for. And the press follows him around like sheep.

    January 16, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  20. Patrick Denver, CO

    Why is CNN giving any coverage at all to a cretin and liar like Rove anyway?????

    January 16, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  21. David

    Does not Karl not recall the slim margins of 'victory' in the general elections of 2000 and 2004? And I though he was spending more time with his family. Have they had their fill of him, too?

    January 16, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  22. Tanya

    Rove: That rock's waiting....please crawl back under immediately.

    January 16, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  23. Duop Chak

    CNN: Keep bringing hidden secretes to public–you are doing an outstanding job.

    January 16, 2008 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  24. susan

    Rove certainly approved of Bush's appointment to the Presidency by the Supreme Court, despite losing the entire national popular vote. And he slams Hillary? Too bad, I thought this maggot had retired.

    January 16, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  25. susan

    My fondest hope is to see Rove in the dock in the Hague, alongside Bush, Cheney, Rice, Wolfowitz and Perle.

    January 16, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
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