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. U.S. Common Sense

    The Obama camp needs to grow a spine if they think the Spears/Hilton ad is worse than their "McCain is the third year of Bush" nonsense.

    July 31, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  2. Toni

    Senator MacCainis is fighting like a loser.He should address the issues affecting American people and stop all the negative ADs and talk about the person of Obama.
    WHO IS AFRAID OF OBAMA?
    Toni

    July 31, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  3. Matt: honestly

    BTW all you Repubs out there. Obama is NOT afraid to debate McCain. What was the last time that the two parties debated BEFORE THE CONVENTION? You all are being completely silly. This is childish politics. He is more popular than me waaaaaa. That is what politics is! The one who gets the most votes wins!!! How do you think elections are won? By saying my ideas aren't the popular opinion? Idiot.

    July 31, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  4. Navy Viet Vet

    John McSame is a loser, unfit for the office. Naturally, he is running stupid ads.. Duhh..!

    July 31, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  5. Jackson

    When the Obama Campaign painted the Clintons as racist after all they have done to support racial quality they lost any right to point fingers of shame at McCain ... NO-bama ... your chickens are coming home to roost!

    McCain '08
    Hillary 2012

    July 31, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  6. mike

    yes, he has become John McRove. Say anything, the more outlandish the better, scream it from the hilltops. because it doesn't matter if its true, the crowd they are working already has reasons, just not reasons they can say in polite company – they need talking points!
    Can you say 'Southern Strategy'? they need Rush and his ilk too, so that it may seem that they are not actually a bunch of inbred chuckle-heads who believe theyre making out on the tax cuts. Of course the ones who are making out aren't chuckle-heads, they're just greedy.

    July 31, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  7. Phil Newton Murphy, Oregon

    Too nasty for Rove.

    If Rover doesn't want it, it must be really putrid.

    July 31, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  8. Marilyn

    Give me a break! The ad was slightly negative, but certainly not "nasty". The Obama people are just trying to stir up their base to a hateful frenzy, which is not very hard to do.

    July 31, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  9. Donna from Ohio

    I don't need John McCain to scare me of Obama. I have read enough on him to scare me like his friends and his Minister. Further more I watched the ads and John MCCain never used race against Obama. He asked a question as to if he was ready to lead. I have heard worse for Obama's ads on him. Why don;t they meet face to face and debate their ideason how to run the country instead of all these ads? It would be more productive I am sure.

    July 31, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  10. clara

    know it isn't McCain is right oboma is playing the race card and know McCain's remarks aren't worse then rove's

    July 31, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  11. Catty

    democratic fear-mongering?? Never!

    July 31, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  12. Peter

    i dont know, Rove is really low...

    July 31, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  13. wiser

    This is same type of treatment the Obama campaign did to the Clintons. Senator Obama is despicable and does not offer anything but words. They are always playing the race card.

    America will not be fooled by this shallow, inexperienced politician. I guess he thinks portraying a victim is a winning strategy.

    We will choose experience, judgment, and a genuine war hero over a zero every time!

    Democrats for McCain!

    July 31, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  14. YESWECAN

    Obama campaign you really need to heavily link McCain to GW. I mean what are you guys waiting for...

    July 31, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  15. Worst Person Karl Rove

    Karl Rove Replacement Steve Schmidt, a senior adviser in charge of the day-to-day message, was a longtime protégé of Rove's.

    An Attack a day will keep the Issues away !!!

    July 31, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  16. Tino

    I am sure this election cycle, people can see through this madness. Can someone tell me what arogancy Barack has shown when has been presumptous, why do we hear all these allegations and goal posts shifting from the media and the Maccain campaign about Barack being naive, inexperienced, lacks judgement and being a celebrity. THESE ARE ALL VEILED ATTEMPTS AT RAISING RACIST SENTIMENTS and injecting animosity towards this very humble man. Please! Lets discuss real issues.

    July 31, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  17. vicki

    I agree with Obamas cam statement. McCain IS LOW ROAD. No doubt.

    July 31, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  18. the truth

    "This Karl Rove-style ploy misleads people about Barack's energy plan and even mocks his ability to inspire voters... " not really! Obviously, nobody will compare Obama's intelligence with Britney, Paris, and McCain's. But the American people noted how McCain look down on Paris Hilton while his own wife is a drug addict who stole her drugs from charity.

    July 31, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  19. EBC

    Sen. John McCain has really gone off the deep end with this whole silly notion of the race card. Coming from a man who started the train on "slug fest" when it came to using the FEAR and ELITISTS garbage and then ran his mouth about Sen. Obama never having traveled to Iraq and when THAT blew up in his face because he was left here looking STUPID, he now continues to WHINE big time.

    Sen. Obama was right to call Sen. McCain's childish tactics as baseless and compare him to Karl Rowe, who we ALL know is the "gutter man". It really speaks to John McCain's TRUE COLORS when you watch his negative attack ads. Where the heck is the straight talker? Where is the guy who said he wouldn't operate a negative campaign? Where is the STRAIGHT TALK EXPRESS? I think the straight talk has proven to be so crooked.

    ALL McLAME does is attack Sen. Obama, he's NOT addressing the issues in this country. His surrogates are nothing but laughable at this point because they have nothing BETTER to throw out there except these CHEAP tactics.

    It's obvious that the McCain campaign is running on the "blind leading the blind" premise. Geeezzzz.

    July 31, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  20. Rapha TEXAS

    This from a guy who thinks his a rock star?
    Obama is all words with no substance.

    FACT: Obama voted against the troop surge in Iraq, and stated "it will never work."

    FACT: Obama went on a victory lpa around the world including Iraq and saw first hand it did work. Obamas response, "It was not because of the troop surge that the violence has dropped in Iraq." What?????????

    July 31, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  21. Peter of Oregon

    Cain is absolutely using dirty, bottom of the barrel tactics to make people scared of Obama, and unsure of Obama. Instead of having a respectul campaign that would highlight the differences in their policies as he had promised.

    The Cain campaign blows up at everything Obama does do or doesn't do like a spoiled rich child.

    July 31, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  22. Republican for CHANGE!

    Why are the polls so close?

    Why is there even any question whether we need a change from the catastrophe that has been the last 8 years?!

    Is almost half the country really this stupid?!?!

    In EVERY aspect, EVERY facet the cheney/bush/mcsame administration has ruined this country! And there’s still a possibility we could have 4 more years of it! It’s absolutely sickening!

    I’ve fought in two wars for this country and I can honestly say I’m ashamed to be an American. I’m ashamed to be lumped in with the so many stupid people that would continue supporting such a provenly inept and corrupt regime as the cheney/bush administration!

    July 31, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  23. Clinton/McCain

    "This is not the John McCain voters thought they would be seeing in this presidential campaign,"

    Says who? I commend McCain for his latest and for standing up for himself and the rest of America after Obama played the race card, yet again.

    July 31, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  24. Dr.Mimi De La Cruz for OBAMA

    AFTER DOING MY RESEARCH ON MCMORON, I BLEW

    THE WHISTLE, & SCREAMED TO WHO EVER WOULD

    LISTEN OR READ, THAT MCMORON IS BY FAR

    WORSE THAN BUSH AND CHANEY. HERE IS A MAN

    IF YOU CAN CALL HIM THAT, WHO HAS CLOSE FRIENDS

    AND SUPPORTERS THAT HAVE NOTHING BUT CONTEMPT

    FOR THE AMERICAN VOTER OR FOR WOMEN. ONE OF HIS

    SUCH CLOSE FRIENDS SAID & I QUOTE "WHEN WOMEN ARE

    GETTING RAPED, THEY SHOULD JUST SIT BACK & ENJOY IT".

    MAN IS JUST A GREEDY PIG. THE DNC SHOULD CONFRONT

    HIM, HIS FRIENDS & SUPPORTERS HEAD ON & STOP PLAYING

    NICE GUYS, WHILE LOSING 7 OUT OF 10 ELECTIONS.

    NO CRIME OR DISGRACE TO CALL IT LIKE IT IS.

    THEY ARE MAKING IT UP & WINNING.

    July 31, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  25. John Kaleto

    The dems are desperate–trying to link Rove to McCain? Puh-lease!
    Someone needs to inform the Obama machine they're not running against the Bush administration!

    July 31, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
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