August 1st, 2008
07:15 AM ET
8 years ago

Obama camp says McCain tactics worse than Rove's

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 • John McCain • Karl Rove
soundoff (219 Responses)
  1. They are right

    McCain has snakes in his head? The McCain of late is not a straight-shooter talking civilly and respectfully about the issues. This is a man who has taken leave of his adulthood.

    August 1, 2008 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  2. Ryan

    McCain should do a new Ad right NOW while this subject is still hot (race card). Showing Obama saying the comment before about him being black and the recent dollar bill remark. Then have a narrator say "Shame on you Obama for using race for your political ambition. Please stick to the issues in this campaign." – that would hit home!

    August 1, 2008 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  3. Susan

    McCain is "proud" of his latest ad against Obama comparing him to Brittany and Paris. Well, Mr. McCain you WOULD be proud, YOU MARRIED A BIMBO just like Britany and Paris. Why wouldnt you be proud. McCain is an idiot and it shows!

    August 1, 2008 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  4. Crush Rush

    Carl will look good in shackles and an orange jumpsuit.

    August 1, 2008 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  5. Carlie

    To David Plouffe - Careful not to exaggerate. The voting public expect Obama to rise to a higher standard. The ad is not a big deal. Don't make it one.

    August 1, 2008 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  6. Tony

    McCain and Rove. Two of a kind.

    August 1, 2008 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  7. Typical White Person

    Obama seems confused. First he campaigned against George Bush, and now he is campaigning against Karl Rove. I guess he still hasn't figured out how to campaign against his real opponent.

    August 1, 2008 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  8. Bubba

    Ooops, you did it again. Hit me baby one more time if I vote for those villains. That's SO NOT HOT.

    When I see pictures of Obama getting out of a limo with no underwear and a dazed look, I'll suspect Karl Rove is involved.

    August 1, 2008 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  9. Kristin

    Karl Rove? Didn't he defy a subpoena and skip court? Why wasn't he issued a contempt of Congress citation and arrested?

    MCain's ads are sickening. His entire PR staff should be fired...I can't believe he actually said he was "proud" of his most recent ads. People are sick of it already, and if he keeps this up Obama is going to win in a landslide.

    August 1, 2008 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  10. Next Door Neighbour

    McCain said he would not run a negative campaigne during the primaries and now he is even nastier than the Hillary camp and the Rove attack machine. This is the number one flip flop of McCain so far and it puzzle me as to what or are the American people so stupid to even listen to this ma. I guess those who do just don't are just too ingrained in racism and could give a dam if everthing fall apart around them as long as a black man never get the chance to excel how ignorant are these people.

    August 1, 2008 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  11. Mark, Gainesville, VA

    No the tactics are nowhere close to Rove, but it might feel like it since Obama is hardly ever pressed for answers or substance. Whenever Obama is challenged he launches into his rant that this is 'politics as usual". Obama acts like that is all he has to say. So far the press is permitting his lack of response with substance. Why because the press knows that if they truly examined Obama and scrutinized him for the public to see he would fail miserably. If you don't believe me then don't be angry when CNN or another new agency decides to do it. In fact encourage CNN to do just that and watch Obama flounder in the polls. The question is whether CNN and the other more liberal news channels want to cut their noses off for a real story.

    August 1, 2008 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  12. sick of BHO's arrogance

    To the BHO camp people ,Barack You-know-who Obama is not only a GOD, He's THE GOD. ANY ad against BHO is downright nasty. ANYone against BHO is commiting blasphemy, and deserves to be throw stones at, even if the anyone means Dems like HRC. BHO's arrogance was again shown during the trip, in which he declared that his presidency is"the moment the world's been waiting for".Correct me if i am mistaken, but i thought the election was still 90-what days away.And there's BHO announcing that his era has come. As if that weren't enough, he literally said the following:"I admit that our trip.....was a SUCCESS".It doesn't take a English professor to tell you that most of the time when you are using the phrase"I admit that........", you are refering to some wrongdoing or mistakes you've made. A typical example would have been:"I admit that our trip was a TOTAL FIASCO.", which would have also been closer to the facts. Why is the BHO camp so annoyed at the ads anyway, BHO is so ARROGANT that CRITICISM SIMPLY BOUNCES OFF HIM.

    August 1, 2008 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  13. Tony

    I'm sure Obama would rather be compared and seen in an ad with Britney Spears and Paris Hilton, than in an ad with Bush or Cheney.

    Just once I would like to know what McCain is for, instead of always hearing him whine about what he is against, but when you have no record of your own to run on you have to be negative and attack.


    August 1, 2008 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  14. arc, Lugano CH

    John McCain already has Republican voters wrapped up. The die-hard red state 'Values Voters' would follow the GOP into a second Great Depression and a third World War as the age-old philosophies of the Right are enough to garner their support, even if economically the GOP will do little to help those conservatives who actually need it.

    John McCain's latest attack strategy is to appeal to Fear of Hillary’s followers, who have been salivating at any new refreshing justification for their bitterness and veiled prejudices.

    God Bless America.

    August 1, 2008 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  15. T Guy

    There is nothing Obama can do when they appeal to uneducated voters . This is how republicans control the country by lying to the dumbest. The politics of fear is a good tool when people are easily lead down the road. IGNORANCE is plentiful and americans are proud of being IGNORANT.

    VOTE OBAMA...08

    August 1, 2008 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  16. Proud army and navy mom

    Rove looks like red pig. lovely!

    August 1, 2008 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  17. Scott, Phoenix

    When has political campaigning not ever been dirty? If the Obama camp can't handle a little heat than how can they handle runnning this nation and dealing with the problems of Iran and N. Korea ect,. Being an inexperience senator it appears that Obama is not ready for prime time.

    August 1, 2008 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  18. Cindy

    John McCain obviously has nothing to add to the political debate regarding issues and how we are going to deal with the mess Bush has left. He has been whining for 2 weeks now instead of offering proactive ideas and solutions. His campaign is becoming desparate and he is appearing pathetic and truly useless as a problem-solver, which is what we need so badly right now. History is going to run you down, John. A sad ending to a truly once honorable man.
    Come on John, you are better than this!

    August 1, 2008 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  19. New Day

    I am shocked at McCain's total reversal of philosophy. He is becoming the George W. Bush-type candidate that crucufied him to a tree in 2000. His campaign says Obama is risky? What's riskier than a man that's willing to betray his ideals and morals to become president?

    August 1, 2008 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  20. Cheri

    I knew that McCain would get down and dirty and wallow in the mud to win this election, and I was right!! That is the way the Republican party does things...anything to win.I wish that the media would show the clip of Cindy McCain saying that John would rather loose the election than to run a negative campaign... but I guess that would help Obama so they won't do that.The media is so in the tank for McCain.

    August 1, 2008 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  21. tigerjcs

    It's fair game. Both sides play political games. What do you expect? If he can't handle the heat, gets out of the kitchen.
    Since when politic is nice and fair game? Obama is just as guilty as any politicians. He is a politician no matter how much he critized Washington. He is one of them there in the c apitol. Who do you think he is trying to fool. I am sick of him thinking that he can use his speeches to undermind my intelligence.

    August 1, 2008 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  22. Vigla

    All of McCain's advisors are "senior" advisors...

    McCain's ads are really dumb.

    August 1, 2008 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  23. joseph marcucilli

    Barrack needs to get back on message and do what the opposition does not want.Why not have a press conference outlining his energy and tax policies which will show that he is not an empty suit and McCain is wearing the same old suit.

    August 1, 2008 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  24. Phil in KC

    Worse than? That would be pretty hard. Rove is about as low as you go, when it comes to political tactics. But the McCain campaign is getting right down there in the gutter with him.

    August 1, 2008 09:05 am at 9:05 am |

    Obama stepped into himself when he made that comment in MO. It is sad for me to say but I think he took himself out.

    August 1, 2008 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
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