July 31st, 2008
09:30 PM ET
6 years ago

Obama camp says McCain tactics worse than Rove's

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Obama's campaign said the latest McCain ad is beyond Karl Rove's playbook.
Obama's campaign said the latest McCain ad is beyond Karl Rove's playbook.

(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.


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Extra • John McCain • Karl Rove
soundoff (497 Responses)
  1. Ben

    Well, it got me to send money to Obama. I'm sure that wasn't McCain's intent, but there you have it.

    July 31, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  2. Weepy

    Nasty? What is nasty about the ad? The ad was so "right on"!! Obama is being treated like a rock star celebrity. It is disgusting!

    July 31, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  3. Cynthia

    The McCain campaign probably got the idea from Rove.

    July 31, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  4. kathryn

    McCain's ad is stupid but not malicious.....The top 2 worst, low-down dirtiest campaign ads ever were: the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth against John Kerry, and the Obama ad where the mom, cluching her baby says "John McCain if your counting on my baby to fight your 100 year war in Iraq you can forget it".
    Kathryn, amherst MA

    July 31, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  5. Joan from PA

    Karl Rove is gross to look at! Please take that picture down.... it's making me want to puke.

    July 31, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  6. A CANUCK

    McCain is desperate.......so he's dragging out Hillary's old dirty kitchen sink policy......he is so pathetic and such a loser......I actually feel sorry for him !!!!!

    July 31, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  7. Interracial Voter

    Ignorance breeds Ignorance...

    July 31, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  8. Weepy

    You don't like what I said?

    July 31, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  9. Walt D

    What a shame? I was looking forward to this election and to hearin a serious dialog between the two candidates especially when McCain said he was going to run a clean campaign with non-negative ads. Yet, here we are barely into the general election and McCain, that principled individual as he has led us to belief but is actually not, is now running one negative campaign ad after another.

    Folks, we need to ask ourselves the following question/: Do we really want another president like George W. Bush or a person who follows the playbook of Karl Rove promoting lying, smearing and putting down people in order that he can win or retain power at any cost? I for one do not. I'm already tired of the mudslinging by McCain and we are not even past one convention.

    After the past 7 years of Bush, I would like to see us with a president who is honorable and does not say he is a straight-talker but actually talks straight with America without pandering to voters of gas prices, drilling oil, etc., or engage in lies, smears and distortions of others records and speeches. Our country can ill afford to have a person in the White House, who while her served his country well, truly lacks character, decency and a sense of high moral standards in his behavior.

    July 31, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  10. Weepy

    You are such "winkies"!

    July 31, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  11. Gary Chandler in Canada

    Is there any particular reason Hilton and Spears are not suing McCain?
    Did he have their permission to demean blonde white women?

    July 31, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  12. ClintonDems4Cynthia08

    Israel is Israel's friend – Barack H Obama , 2008.

    July 31, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  13. SANTE

    ABOUT OBAMA:

    1. Everybody who is NOT a snob senses that something is not exactly O.K. with that so called "New Politician".
    I see him like my doughier: tells me exactly what I would like to hear.

    I think that Guy and his gang had studied the social behaviour in USA long before had started the elections and they simply manipulate us very effectively!
    Simply: DO NOT TRUST HIM!!!!

    2. No offence, but am I correct that OBAMA is very much supported and loved by HOMOSEXUALS?

    / Not because I do not respect them as human beings/

    3. His color is NOT my concern but his attitude : HE IS ARROGANT!
    e.g. Is it appropriate a future President to chew a gum walking as a peacock at front of the cameras?

    4. If he is "sooo gifted" and almost genius, what he had done for 45 years before the beginning of that election?
    But "HE WILL CHANGE THE WOLD??!"

    July 31, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  14. Disgusted in WA

    That was a disgusting ad. McCrazy has got to be joking when he says he's proud of that ad. If he had any decency he would run a clean campaign rather than lower himself to the level of criminal scum like Turd Blossom.

    July 31, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  15. Dr.No

    The truth hurst doesn't it Obama. In your mind you are a rockstar and you are alerady the president and there is still 3 months to the election. And then your campaign says that this ad "misleads people about Barack's enegry plan. "What is his energy plan? All he has said is that he has a plan? What is the plan??? Besides saying no and blaming Bush and the Republicans. At least McCain has an energy plan it might not be 100% right but at least it is a plan, drill offshore and then start looking for alternative energy sources in the next 10 years.

    July 31, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  16. Larry D. Marshall

    These past few days I've gone from having a slight distaste for John McCain to outright loathing him.

    I always considered myself an apolitical moderate, but John McCain's new campaign strategy makes me want to go knock on door for Obama.

    July 31, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  17. Rick K

    I'm more anxious for these upcoming debates than I was for Holyfield vs Tyson II...

    ...and I do expect Johnny Mac to try to bite BO's ear off.

    July 31, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  18. Jacie - San Leandro, Ca

    I think McCain is getting despirate because he doesn't have a clear game plan or message to present to the voter's so it's not suprising that he has stooped to playing dirty politics. Shame on you McCain didn't you learn anything from the primiaries. People are smarter than you think they not going to fall for these sleezy type of politics.

    July 31, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  19. Virginia Dad

    McCain is a typical Republican. It's not surprising AT ALL that his campaign is proving itself to be so reprehensible.

    July 31, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  20. Jon

    MY FRIENDS MY FRIENDS MY FRIENDS ....I LIE I LIE I LIE, MY NAME IS JOHN MCCSHAME AND I SUPPORT THIS AD. John McCain was once a man that you could beleive in the McCain from year 2000 but he's changed. He started this stating he would never run a negitive ad that he would not want to win that way. His wife goes on national TV and said that is not who we are and won't ever run negitive ad's. Well we can see that they don't keep their word. McCain now has turned into a liar , flip-flop forgetful hateful old man. It so sad that this is the best the republican base could come up with.

    July 31, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  21. Ron democrat turned independent

    want to see tactics have obama explain why he does not buy his children christmas and birthday gifts. here is a man that spares no expense to have the world pay homage to him with his 757 done up jet and NFL stadiums ect. and he says it's to show them there are limits to spending. what a farce. a better explanation is that the muslim religion as the same beliefs. they to do not celebrate the birth of jesus or any other birthday not even their own. how's that for tactics. isn't anybody going to vett this guy my god cnn what do you stand for

    July 31, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  22. McCain=Rove

    Though, Rove would have been smart enough not to make fun of a major donor's daughter (Paris Hilton) in one of his ads.

    Apparently the Hiltons are FURIOUS.

    July 31, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  23. Tennisguypitt

    It's close... but I don't know if it is THAT bad...

    Obama '08

    July 31, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  24. ShirleyY - Seattle

    OBAMA HAS TO ATTACK BACK AND HARD. IT'S TIME OUT BEING A GENTLEMEN.

    MCCAIN AND HIS SURROGATES ARE LOOSE CANNON, THEY ARE DOING SILLY THINGS, OBAMA MUST STAY ON MESSAGE AND AT THE SAME TIME, FIGHT MCCAIN WITH HIS OWN WORDS.

    I HAVE MCCAIN WHEN HE SAY OBAMA DONT UNDERSTAND, WHITE SLAVE MASTERS MADE THOSE COMMENTS AND MCCAIN IS DOING THE SAME.

    MCCAIN AND SURROGATES ARE OLDER THAN ANITQUE FURNITURE.

    I NEED TO BE ON OBAMA'S TEAM, MCCAIN'S WIFE LOOKS LIKE AN ELDERLY BARBIE DOLL AND MCCAIN LOOKS LIKE RED SKELTON.

    July 31, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  25. ShirleyY - Seattle

    IS KARL ROVE HEAD SWELLING, IT SEEMS TO BE GETTING BIGGER AND BIGGER, LITERALLY.

    July 31, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
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