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. Steve25

    Rove is ill-wish dude.

    January 16, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    Ahahahahahahaha...I love this game.

    January 16, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  3. JohnS

    Hi proud Florida: to stand on principles does NOT mean to break the rules of the majority or the common man. This is what Bush has done. He has consistently cited "principles" and ignored the voices of the common people. I like a president for the people and by the people!!! Obama and Edwards have the courage to work and stick with the "people" whose voices are disregarded in the face of perfectionistic principles." This is a democracy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 16, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  4. Earl

    Karl should just shut up and keep quite, the only thing he knows is negativity and that is only valid for a brief moment untill one really focus on what he has to say . This is not the christian right who see the world as evil and need to be pacify with Karl Rove doom and gloom salvation comments.

    January 16, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  5. Andy

    This man's political career is over. He should retreat off to his ranch never to be heard from again.

    January 16, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  6. ConservativesHaveMoreFun

    admit it.... you libs love Rove. (I love the fact that he gets under your skin! I would hate to be a miserable liberal! )

    January 16, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  7. edward llanos

    Why does anyone listen to someone as stupid as this man? He does not exist in the real world of politics, Anyone who can advise the worst president in history should not comment about anyone.

    January 16, 2008 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  8. chelsea

    Hillary is losing ground fast. Everyday, a new scheme. This time, she decided to stay on the Michigan ticket and her campaign manager cried victory....anyone who stands behind this woman does not understand the world would be led by someone more manipulative than GW and Karl Rove combined.

    January 16, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  9. Allie

    She may be running against nobody, but as far as I recall that's the same person he's working for these days: nobody.

    January 16, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  10. David McCoy

    #1 Who cares what Rove said

    #2 Has he won any election? He should try his name out on a ballot

    #3 I'm not saying I like Hillary's campaign style or her "machine", or even her for goodness sake, but really, who has done more good for America? Rove or Clinton?

    Rove: go some place where we never hear from you again.

    January 16, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  11. DB/Maryland

    Why isn't he doing jail time for being a traitor to this Country???
    Some one please tell this Elmer Fudd looking criminal,low life, to crawl under a rock and remain there until his trial date.

    January 16, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  12. Leo

    Dear CNN,

    Why do you continue to reprint what Karl Rove has to say? He is irrelevant for the purposes of this campaigning season. Who cares? You should not give this man a voice and continue to allow him to snipe from the sidelines; doing so is emblematic of all that is wrong with the echo-chamber of the modern media.

    January 16, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  13. David

    Carl Rove can critisize all he wants about Hillary, Obama, and any other democrat. The fact remains this country is tired of 8 years of lies and war. Middle class whites may have been fooled some or most of the time, but Republicans will never win over minorities. They are too intimate with what it feels like to be the underdogs in society. The pandering is almost insultingly obvious in its blatant lying what the Republican party is really about: Of The Corporations, By The Corporations, For The Corporations.

    January 16, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  14. Benny Lava

    Karl Rove knows what he is talking about. Diss him and ignore him at your peril.

    January 16, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  15. Rico

    Biased Biased biased.
    I'm suprised that Obama even got a negative mention in this peice on CNN.
    Why wasnt the peice titled Obama is more liberal than Clinton.
    Unbalanced and unfair is your election reporting style.

    January 16, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  16. Claude

    What is wrong with the Republicans!? (I used to be one until the crazies took over.) The only thing they can say is "he or she is a "LIBERAL." What is wrong with being open-minded, able to see more than one point, and being willing to change your opinion on matters (as circumstances change). They think the word, "CONSERVATIVE," which is the antithesis of liberal, is something one should be proud of being. Why would one want to show themselves in that light!?

    January 16, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  17. Bob in Tucson

    Karl Rove is just a sleeze. His dirty politics or hand in many indicate his nature. He shouldn't speak!

    January 16, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  18. JoAnn

    Of course, Karl Rove dismissed Hillary. He was shocked she received more than 1/2 of the votes in Michigan!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Karl Rove is HISTORY and is the one who is DISMISSED!

    January 16, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  19. Don't Care

    As if this guy matters at all!!
    CNN should be embarrassed for trolling for controversy.
    No wonder our "decider" could never create allies inside the us or outside the us.
    What a JOKE...

    January 16, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  20. Teddy, NY

    It's amazing that anybody is even listening to this washed up turd blossom of a human being.

    January 16, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  21. mhanna

    one thing i dont understand most the ppl who suport clinton are kinda old and vote for hillary because her husband got us out of the debt but the problem is it was in the 90` and the 90 are 10 years ago and the deficit is too big candidate are not talking about it.
    may be next debate ask mrs clinton are going to get us out of debt???

    obama 08

    January 16, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  22. Bill Culver, Covington,LA

    Jason, with all the frekin stupid comments I have read, some of you poor unworthy fools must be listening. There isn't one among you fit to shine Karl Roves' shoes. I might consider leting you lick the dogie do off his boots.

    January 16, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  23. Don Clark

    For Carl Rove to call for anyone to release documents is the epitomy of irony and downright hypocritcal. His entire tenure wiht the Bush Administration consistend of constant stonewalling and refusal to disclose documents concerning very important issues facing this country, including key Constitutional matters. In afdition, the fact that Senator Clinton won the primary with the majority she did is a testament to the dynamic in the Democratic Party. Itis a party of the true big tent where people of all viewpoints are welcome, not just those that believe lock step with every forced belief indocrntaed into the current GOP. A more ineresting fact is that the current President of the United States has the support of less than 35% of the American public. 2 of every three Americans don to support him. That is one of the lowest ratrings of any US Prsident. Consider that when Bill Clinton was entering his final year in office, he had an approval rating of over 60%. uch facts prove the statement that in fact it does take a Clinton to clean up the mess left in the Bushes...

    January 16, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  24. Jack

    I thought this patriot (criminal) was back in Texas writing his tell all book. Do we really need to give this man space? He had his 15 minutes of fame and took hours instead. He doesn't want to see Clinton or Obama in the White House because he is terrified of an investigation and the possibility of doing jail time. I can't wait until the Democrats are back in control. Only then can we give them a taste of their own medicine.

    Enjoy your freedom for now Karl, you'll be serving your country again soon – – from a Federal prison cell.

    January 16, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  25. David

    This is 3rd or 4th article CNN has done on what Rove thinks. Why is he considered newsworthy? Slow news day?

    January 16, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
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