(CNN) - Few names inspire more of a heated reaction among Democrats than Karl Rove, and Barack Obama’s campaign is making a concerted effort Thursday to link the former Bush advisor to John McCain's presidential campaign.
On a campaign conference call with reporters responding to the Arizona senator's latest television ad, Obama campaign manager David Plouffe said the spot is worse than anything Rove would have developed.
"This is not the John McCain voters thought they would be seeing in this presidential campaign," Plouffe said. "He's not just embracing the Rove playbook that people really are tired of, he's taking it to a further extreme."
Those comments came only hours after Plouffe circulated a fundraising e-mail to supporters in which he said McCain's campaign had taken a "nasty turn” with its "Karl Rove-style ploy."
"This Karl Rove-style ploy misleads people about Barack's energy plan and even mocks his ability to inspire voters and bring Americans back into the political process," Plouffe wrote in the e-mail.
The television ad in question compares Obama's celebrity status to that of Britney Spears and Paris Hilton, and questions whether the Illinois senator is "ready to lead." Obama dismissed the ad as "game playing" Thursday while McCain said he was "proud of it."
Watch: McCain ad compares Obama to Paris Hilton, Britney Spears
Rove has no official role with the McCain campaign, though Steve Schmidt, a senior adviser in charge of the day-to-day message, was a longtime protégé of Rove's.
When they do debate face to face I hope Obama calls McBush out on all this negative fearmongering.
A Roving. You will go, no more "A Roving" Uncle Sam...
I don't believe they're worse than Rove's.
I believe that they ARE Rove's.
McSame don't have the brains.
He makes me ashamed to be an American.
Ain't that the truth! Just when you thought i tcouldn't get worse than Rove...
That's the truth!!!!
You are a joke. I'm so tired of "we're being picked on". Didn't Hillary accuse you of the same thing only to get criticized by your cult? Your campaign has disheartened millions of Hillary's supports – great way to bring people together. Denying her VP is denying us. Your arrogance will be your undoing in November.
Ex-Dem now P.U.M.A.
If Obama can't take the heat then he needs to get out of the kitchen. Obama will play the race card like he did against Hillary. It's time for a CHANGE and it's not Obama. Obama is not a celebrity but his wife Michelle is... didn't she star in the movie: Planet of the Apes?
You have to picture David Axelrod sitting at the head of the table at Obama's Chicago headquarters saying, "Let's see what happens if we launch charges against Senator John McCain that go beyond ridiculous, shall we?"
What a joke.
These guys don't represent me.
Barack Obama: The Paris Hilton of Politics
RIGHT....Rove hasn't got his finger in the pie! I'm leaving for the moon tomorrow too.
As far as this being "anything worse than Rove would have developed," I beg to differ. I think this has Rove's bloated fingerprints all over it. Official role or not, he's in this campaign, pulling all the strings and orchestrating everything. Anyone who thinks otherwise is still drinking the BushCo kool-aid.
that's obvious.he's of the same ilk,after all.they all deserve their own stays at guantanamo.mccain ,too.he supported the misguided war in iraq,remember?they're just trying to draw attention away from mccain's poor judgement.
I'm an Obama supporter, but that statement is a bit much.
I mean, being that Karl Rove is an election thief and unprosecuted criminal and all.
I listen to Obama and i hear Kennedy
I listen to McCain and i hear Nixon
Cynthia Mckinney for President!
Why? CNN... Is Borack Obama's Photo, suddenly going Grey....
There was a Movie... Dorien!!!!!!!!!!!!
John McCain: If you are such a man, then prove it. My parents taught me 50 long years ago that REAL MEN don't tear others down to build themselves up. Guess you are too immature at your ripe, old age to learn anything because you already know it all. P-A-T-H-E-T-I-C and D-A-N-G-E-R-O-U-S small man that you are.
If you are against Obama then you are the worst person on earth or racist!
Turdblossom is manipulating the McSame campaign from the shadows. No surprise.
These folks are just despicable human beings.
It's time for a change!
Bush, Rove, and Cheney should be in prison for life. They all deserve a slow painful death because that's what they gave my country.
Hmmmmmmmm what make you so sure it is not one of his?
Ya, Karl Rove's retired right....And soon to be fighting contempt charges from Congress... if he isn't already. Political types like KR never retire....
But it is Rove that's fanning the flame both directly and indirectly. Schmidth was his protege and he's now helping him through behind the scene. But we know what has happened before. We were aware of it coming in to this cycle. Their tactics can only work if we woke up this morning and learned of it. Since we knew of it prior to this time we have been desensitized to it. Their scare tactics are not going to work.
Ha Ha, now the Obama Campaign is responding swiftly. These repubs need a strong hand, a strong contender that won't let them do the same thing they did to Kerry in 2004.
It will certainly be an upset if Barack pulls off the Presidency and overcomes the tremendous power that the incumbents yield. The yhave deep pockets, and since modern Americans are already skeptical of the voting process, wait until November – we are really in for a doozie.