August 1st, 2008
07:15 AM ET
4 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. v.a.

    i dunno about worse than rove's, but mcsenile's campaign is pretty sleezy. good thing nobody even pays attention to that nearly petrified old man. this negativity will backfire and when it does all the attack dogs will have to sit at home with their thumbs up their – – -es while the Dems fix the disaster that's taken place over the last 7 and a half years.

    can we please bring back the teleprompters for mccain so we can watch him trip over every last word before rotates to the next prompter? PLEASE?!?

    August 1, 2008 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  2. Not being fooled

    John McCain has proven that he is an amibitious, opportunistic politician who will stoop down whatever level necessary to win.

    He has gone back on his word to the people of America regarding how he would run his campaign, it won't take him long at all to go back on every word he has ever uttered.

    August 1, 2008 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  3. Debby

    Hey Plouffe voters are loving McCain's stand he is telling the truth. Your campaign put on the media circus in Europe not McCain's. Your candidate is getting to sure of himself with no ideas of his own or flip/flopping on time tables for troop deployment in Iraq. If anyone is to blame is Axelrod he called it wrong in Europe and his candidate is paying the price in the polls.

    August 1, 2008 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  4. Robert NYC & Miami

    Oh, Mr. Obama, there will be nothing left of you after the republicans finish their dinner. They' are just munching now.

    Bone and skin and a nice speech to say goodbye.

    August 1, 2008 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  5. can't do it

    with his poll number continuing to fall, obama has to reach out to anything that could save his nosedive. next, the pope will be targeted for be a bush backer. desperate times call for desperate action

    August 1, 2008 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  6. Message for PUMAs

    LISTEN UP ALL PUMA

    If you all play mischief in this Election, you can kiss goodbye to your ambition of seeing your ‘girl’ ever trying for the Presidency. If Obama looses this Election, we will know why and we will NOT forget that. If your girl then tries for 2012, we will make sure we will put a Republican into the White house ahead of your ‘girl’. So, if you want ANY political future for your ‘girl’, work HARD to put Obama in the White house in November.

    August 1, 2008 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  7. kay

    Obama should take a good look at himself and the path he decided to take.He is now being called to task for his racist remarks.
    He used the same tactic against Hillary and the press blamed Hillary.
    The press has treated him like a god and that he can do no wrong.
    His judgement about Iraq is a false reason say he can lead this country.I thought going into Iraq was wrong and that doesn't make me qualfied for president.
    HE IS A SPEECH AND EMPTY SUIT.

    August 1, 2008 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  8. vjh

    It's very sad that a Presedntial candidate can stoop so low and state how he is proud of his campaign. McCain is 72 years old and it is disheartening to see a person of that age act like a 3 y/o, I guess he never learned to be play nice and be gracious. On a side note, CNN please don't post pictures of Rove, he is an eye sore.

    August 1, 2008 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  9. bluebird

    The Obama camp are such whiners

    August 1, 2008 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  10. Supporting Obama in Georgia

    McCain should be ashamed of himself.

    He has been BLATANTLY DECEIVING the American public with the offshore drilling scheme...he knows that there will be no benefit from that drilling for at least 10 years and even then it will not amount to anything and we will end up in the same energy boat we are in now.

    He has been desperately trying to some way to drag Obama into the mud... and now he has enflamed this contest by accusing Obama of the race card. What Obama said is true. The Republicans are using dog-whistle techniques to remind the public that Obama is different...very different and much much "riskier" than past candidtes.

    The question is how many Americans will fall for this AGAIN?!?!

    Americans voted for Bush after he invading Iraq without proper cause...it can happen again.

    I really hope the mainstream media has finally decided to stop treating McCain with kid gloves (or an old person,s gloves).

    August 1, 2008 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  11. Joy

    We all knew that was what the Republicans were going to do, given their track record of ruining the economy.

    They just want to scare us to death of voting for a Democrat, forgetting it was a Democrat that gave us the last budget surplus.

    August 1, 2008 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  12. Tony

    Obama played the race card against Hillary and now he is doing it against McCain. I can't wait until this empty suit is defeated in November.

    August 1, 2008 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  13. Marie

    The Obama Campaign should respond with an ad of their own;

    It stars JOHN MCCAIN playing DR. EVIL right out of the AUSTIN POWERS MOVIE series. JOHN MCCAIN LOOKS and SOUNDS just like him. He to will take the American people to further wars.

    August 1, 2008 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  14. Emma

    I am so glad the court sided with Congress yesterday in its ruling regarding "executive privilege." I look forward to Karl Rove sitting before Congress with that smirk of his removed from his face.

    He is racist and thinks he is above the law. Go get him Congress!

    August 1, 2008 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  15. southerner

    Obama is the most thin-skinned presidential candidate EVER. He's been treated with kid gloves the entire campaign, and every time even the smallest criticism of him is levelled, he bawls like a baby.

    I cannot imagine this whiner being president. I really can't.

    August 1, 2008 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  16. raheen PA

    Obama Hillary08

    August 1, 2008 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  17. FYI !!!!!!

    McCain's campaign had taken a "nasty turn” with its "Karl Rove-style ploy.".........McCain's Senior Advisor Steve Schmidtil in charge of day to day messages is a long time Prote'ge' of Karl Rove .....Low Road Politics......Enough Said!!

    August 1, 2008 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  18. Rudy NYC

    Must be flattering to have your name added to the dictionary for such an eloquent term that describes such despicable concept.

    August 1, 2008 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  19. Marc

    There is only one reason that McCain has stayed close in this race. His flip flop on oil and joining the 69% of Americans that support drilling.

    Obama has to cross the aisle on this issue. He has to show some leadership and say he's going to listen to the desires of the majority. He has to somehow adopt drilling into the rest of his energy policy.

    August 1, 2008 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  20. Tony

    McCain and Rove, just two more crooked clowns in the republican party. How about some real news for a change CNN!

    August 1, 2008 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  21. joey peps

    Stop crying...

    Bush = Mcain

    Obama = Paris Hilton

    What's the problem?

    August 1, 2008 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  22. The Media swiftboated Hillary

    omg....McCain is pathetic compared to the brilliant negative attacks of Rove.

    What a stupid comment by Obama. I thought he was suppose to be so smart.

    August 1, 2008 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  23. paul mooney

    ok, enough already. we have a about 90 or so days before the election. It is time the two presumptive nominees started spelling their believeable idea as to how they are going to lead this country over the next 4 years and stop attacking each other. Karl Rove is the past. We need to look at the future.
    I had a knowledgable journalist tell me that you can't win an election without going negative. I disagree. Stop the bickering and give me a solid reason to support either one of them in November.

    August 1, 2008 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  24. Reggie

    As much as I dont' like Rove either . . . .his playbook worked. Who cares if the losing team didn't like the strategy, if it worked . . . .it worked

    August 1, 2008 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  25. Now ill know...

    This Time we'll get to know if americans are STUPID for real !

    I mean the republicans LIED and misguided about john Carry to still the election.

    They LIED and STOLE the election from AL GORE

    they've been lying all the way about IRAK...

    and now you people wanna GIVE McCAI ANY CREDIT althought he does not even have the integrity to recognize that Bush' policies dont make any sense

    August 1, 2008 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
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