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. old politics

    comparing McCain to Bush, saying he's even worse than Rove...who's playing the same old politics of fear now?...

    July 31, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  2. Charlotte

    Obama is now playing the Rove card as he accused Hillary of using Rove tatics in the primaries? Can't take any heat can you Obama? Anything you say about Obama is considered Rove-ian, that or racist. It is always one or the other. What a joke of a candidate Obama is.

    July 31, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  3. John McShame, Obama Is Going to Tax You & Cindy, but Not Me & 95% Americans Making < $250,000/Yr

    The last time I checked, John McSame is married to Paris Hilton = Cindy "Botox face" McSame!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 31, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  4. not important

    The irony is that Karl Rove smeared McCain in 2000. Bush campaign did push polling in South Carolina in the 2000 election.

    July 31, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  5. Jack

    Na, Carl would have compared him to ludacris and snoop dogg.

    July 31, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  6. Disappointed

    Men like Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, and now John McCain make it difficult to be proud to be of our country.

    July 31, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  7. tren

    Wow, Obama is no chump.

    July 31, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  8. Phil in KC

    The Republicans can't win fair and square on the issues, so they resort to trashing their opponent. Same tactics W used to get into the White House. I expected better of McCain. Just goes to show they're all alike.

    July 31, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  9. Marge Hibbing Mn

    He'll sure have to go some to overcome what the obama camp did to Hillary camp. Obama couldn't run a fair campaign if he tried. He is so crooked and corrupt himself he thinks he is some kind of god.

    July 31, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  10. soy

    Absolutely correct and I'm surprised that its coming from McCain

    July 31, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  11. M. Winners, Mesa, AZ

    Yep, the "Playing the Race Card" comment made by the McLame posse is in fact "Playing the Race Card" in reverse. Only thing is they are saying that Obama is playing the "White Guilt Card". An absolute Rovian concept if there ever was one. Let's hope Only the "Bible and Gun Club of the Ozarks" voters buy into it this time around...

    July 31, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  12. Jeff Long

    This will not stick! They have already compared McCain to Bush! Obama is the Paris Hilton of Politics! Obama played the race-card and he will not get away with it this time!

    Substance over the Paris Hilton of Politics!!! McCain '08!

    July 31, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  13. Dave

    It's a fair ad. What a bunch of whiners the Obama camp is! Sheesh!

    July 31, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  14. Obama Bots FTL

    so is Obamas race cards.... hes playing with a 80 card deck right now

    July 31, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  15. Erik Reno, NV

    Rove is slicker than a used car salesman.

    July 31, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  16. KHAL

    You can fool some of people some of time, but you can't fool all the people, all of the time......wasn't Karl Rove indicted and then pardoned...for the Valerie Plame....fiasco....pardoned by the Chief "Crook" in Charge....dishonesty....don't these people know that they are facing God....NOW! or do they Give a...D.....M!

    July 31, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  17. grandma

    John McCain is angry and old nothing help him he need to go home and chill out. He is winning and gallous of Obama 's trip and love that people have for him. I still remember his interview that he had and said we do not want negative Campaign HA HA HA . McCain may have experience, too much experience as a solder, but I worry about his judgment in coming years as president

    July 31, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  18. Not sleeping at the switch

    When is the Pilsbury dough boy going to prison? That is ALL I want to know.

    July 31, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  19. karen-phoenix

    I am a life long republican. A republican election judge for over 14 years. I was born a republican. NO MORE!!!! I am soooo ashamed of the republican party. What has happened to our great country in the last 8 years, the dead in Iraq, both Iraqies and Americans. The houses that have been lost, the jobs lost, the Americans that have died in our country from NO health care!!! AND NOW these awful, awful ads!!! Obama is one of the only truely honest politicians I have seen in the last 40 years and you dare to smear him. Shame, shame, shame!!!!

    July 31, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  20. joe

    Rovian style......I hate to see his face again!

    July 31, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  21. David, New York, NY

    I don't know if the tactics are worse than Rovian, but I do know that the McCain campaign is pitiful, and as such is indicative of the state that the presidency of George W. Bush has left the Republican party in.

    July 31, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  22. enough of mcLAME

    McCain is like a tepid weenie that has been floating in the crockpot too long. Time to throw out the shriveled up old dog.

    July 31, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  23. Return to Common Sense

    Sad and pathetic – yes. Worst than Rove's – not really. Rove was a pitt bull. At best, McCain is an angry chihuahua.

    July 31, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  24. Rosemarie Skaine

    McCain is being disrespectful not only to Obama, but to the two female celebrities he selected. He owes each an apology. Why did he choose female celebrities? Why did he not choose male celebrities? Why did he choose any celebrity at all? If McCain is proud of this ad, I am more sure than ever that I do not want him at the "leader" of our society. He knows nothing about leadership.

    July 31, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  25. charlie

    Good, Obama. Hit McCain back. He should be ashamed. I am ashamed for him.

    July 31, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
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