September 11th, 2008
01:50 PM ET
6 years ago

Rove to Obama: Attacking Palin is dumb

Karl Rove is offering unsolicited campaign advice to Obama .
Karl Rove is offering unsolicited campaign advice to Obama .

(CNN) – Karl Rove is again offering unsolicited advice to Barack Obama, this time advising the Democratic presidential nominee to avoid attacking Sarah Palin directly if he hopes to win the White House in November.

“It's a match-up he'll lose," Rove writes Thursday in his regular Wall Street Journal column. "If Mr. Obama wants to win, he needs to remember he's running against John McCain for president, not Mrs. Palin for vice president."

Rove notes past attempts by Democratic presidential nominees to attack the No. 2 on the GOP ticket have largely fell flat, and says the issues Obama is hitting Palin on are ones the Illinois senator is weak on himself.

"If Mr. Obama keeps attacking Mrs. Palin, he could suffer the fate of his Democratic predecessors. These assaults highlight his own tissue-thin résumé, waste precious time better spent reassuring voters he is up for the job, and diminish him - not her," Rove writes.

Specifically, Rove says it is not in Obama's interest to attack the Alaska governor on her lack of experience or the earmarks she has requested - two issues, Rove says, on which voters may also question Obama's record.


Since she was named to the GOP ticket two weeks ago, Obama has rarely called out Palin directly, often attacking both her and McCain together as representing a continuation of President Bush's policies. But in an interview on CNN last week, Obama suggested his executive experience surpassed Palin's.

“My understanding is that Gov. Palin’s town, Wasilla, has I think 50 employees," he said. "We've got 2500 in this campaign. I think their budget is maybe 12 million dollars a year – we have a budget of about three times that just for the month."

He also on Sunday called out her claim she is an anti-earmark reformer, saying "I know the governor of Alaska has been saying she's change, and that's great…[but] when you've been taking all these earmarks when it's convenient, and then suddenly you're the champion anti-earmark person, that's not change….you can't just make stuff up."


Filed under: Karl Rove
soundoff (494 Responses)
  1. Joe, from NY

    Rove you're running the campaign of the now dishonorable and pathetic McShame...you chubby old liar you.....

    September 11, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  2. Never Barak Obama (PUMA)

    everyone knows it but the better judgment candidate – yet the tide has changed and its time that America gets a true leader in John McCain & Sarah Palin.

    September 11, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  3. FreeNLovIt

    Isnt it a great country?

    September 11, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  4. W O W WO W

    O B A M A ::::::I ---D I D--–I T----M Y---–W A Y...............

    September 11, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  5. Benjamin

    The pure fact that the man who has been subpoenaed for contempt of Congress (Karl Rove) is not in prison right now is a huge part of this mess right now. This toxic creep is continuing to infect our political system and he has the gall to give Obama advice. Obama should give Karl Rove some advice and tell him to jump off a cliff.

    September 11, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  6. Credibility

    Just knowing that people will fall for Karl Rove's rhetoric is enough to drive a man insane.

    P.S. – If you are bashing Republicans and their acquaintances, it might lend you more credibility if you spell correctly and make better grammar choices.

    Educators for Obama/Biden '08

    September 11, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  7. Johanna

    Uncle Karl to explain what to do is all we need!

    Why doesn't he go to Hollywood? He would do amazing scripts over there!

    September 11, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  8. Bill in Charlotte

    Don't you love it when Karl Rove talks about Obama's lack of "Executive Experience" and "pencil thin resume"? Who ever had more "Executive Experience" and thick resumes than Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld? Let people judge where that got us.

    September 11, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  9. karac

    Never underestimate the stupidity of Tony! Palin is with McCain because she brings the crowds. Obama is toast so we can expect another 8 years of wailing and gnashing of teeth from Tony and friends.

    September 11, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  10. Melly

    I am tired of hearing about ROVE OR PALIN.
    Let's hear about issues. I am going to ignore reading any article about PALIN from now on.

    September 11, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  11. Judy in Minnesota

    I wouldn't believe anything this guy Rove says. Gee, do ya think he might try and sabotage the Obama campaign?
    Pat... dont' think that Mccain or Palin are evil. However, I do think that many of the hacks they surround themselves are mean spirited, dishonest and dishonorable...and neither Mccain or Pain is doing or saying anything to stop it.
    I don't know anything about Palin, butwould have thought Mccain would be above this stuff
    Obama is as qualified as Mccain. And...he's a whole lot younger and healthier.

    September 11, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  12. Dem for unity

    I am not a Rove fan but he may be on to somthing here. Obama should focus on MCcain and leave the #2 to be battled with Biden. I think Biden can handle her.

    September 11, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  13. carol kesling

    karl rove is a pig, just like the rest of his buddies... he should keep his mouth shut!!!! hopefully he will go to jail with bush and cheney.. but then who would talk on fox news???? he should be the last one to give OBAMA advice, maybe he should take some advice and ZIP IT !!!!!!

    September 11, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  14. carolflowery

    is it just me, or isnt obama a liar

    Seems that ever since the 30th of August our sweet brothern at the democratic party have had a pig dressed up like Palin on their web site. Complete with brown wig, pearls, make up, and a suit that looks remarkably like the one she was wearing last wed. Of course obama will squirm, and um ahh, say he knew nothing but frankly i’m sick and tired of him and his excuse. What is he going to throw the entire party under the bus? Let’s cook obama’s bacon while the fire’s still hot.

    September 11, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  15. sandee in Portland

    Who in the world would listen to one of the biggest crooks of our time. Obama hasn't attacked Palin and if he's referring to the lipstick topic, he must not be watching the news programs. McCain has used the line many times in the past but when the democrats use the same line, they're sexist.

    As an older white woman, I am appalled by the Republican tactics and their campaigning. I can't believe that the majority of Americans are better off than they were 8 years ago......only the wealthy are better off and that is not the majority! WAKE UP PEOPLE.... if you really are worse off now than you were, just think where you'll be in another 4 years if you elect McCain.

    In the most important election in the history of our country, people are voting based on gender and name recognition rather than on issues. I challenge any Republican to tell me McCains plan on economy, global warming, health care, etc.

    September 11, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  16. Jason

    I hate to say I told you so Dems – but . . . at the very least it should have been a Clinton/Obama ticket and then Obama could debate Ms. Alaska beauty queen all he wants, but that's not the case and he needs to attack McCain and now!!!!!

    September 11, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  17. Didine - Maryland

    Mr. Karl Rove, you are the dumest person I have ever see, Obama did not attack Mrs. Palin, the expression "Pig with lipstick is still a pig' is not an attack on Palin. That Expression has been used more than four time by McCain, today you want to used it against Obama. You Republicans, just don't get it. You will loose in November. It is just a matter of time and Americans will discover your dirty politics.

    Obama/Biden '08-'12

    September 11, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  18. HAVE YOU MAINTAINED EMPLOYMENT OVER THE LAST 8 YEARS?

    -IF YOU'RE BRAVE CNN, YOU'LL POST THIS--

    Stop the MC-CANE "BIRTH OF A NATION" CAMPAIGN RUN BY CARL ROVE.

    GET INFORMATION ON THE MOVIE AT GOOGLE OR WIKIPEDIA

    September 11, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  19. Jaime

    Pat, you must be one of those in the 5 million club that McCain considers wealthy. Do you know how many houses you have?

    September 11, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  20. MCCAIN 08

    THE REPUBLICANS GOT INTO OBAMAS HEAD.HE IS SCRAMBLING AND DEMS ARE ALL MESSED UP NOW. HA HA HA I LOVE IT. GO MCCAIN/PALIN

    September 11, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  21. REPUBLICAN NOT VOTING FOR MCCAIN/PALIN

    Karl Rove is a fine person to be giving advise. Yea – right!!
    Thanks – but No Thanks.

    The people that are so caught up with McCain/Palin need to look at the people in Alaska. They aren't happy with her. Wait tell her abuse of power charges are complete. Ask the Librarian what happened. Palin is power crazy. If you get in her way she will run you down.

    McCain will need a big fork to Moose when this is over!!

    We must turn the economy around, create jobs, bring our military home, turn the housing situation around and have affordable heatlh care for all. These are the issues – not how many fish they can catch, animals they can shoot, or people they can fire. McCain/Palin/Bush/Rove

    Obama/Biden

    September 11, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  22. Michael in Houston

    Go away Rove...just please go away. And take Commander Bunnypants Bush with you

    September 11, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  23. brenda

    okay people. have you even considered that larl rove's advise may be an attempt to get obama to continue to smear palin? you know...reverse psychology?

    September 11, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  24. Marie

    The fact that Palin and MCain have so many Bush advisors orchestrating every move and annnouncement on the Republican pause, should give most people pause. These are the same people who micromanaged Bush into office....twice...and where has that gotten us? They are doing the same thing again...forget about the issues, and just lie your way into office. I didn't fall for it with Bush, and will not with McCain. Do people not see a pattern here????? Do not be fooled again, have the past 8 years taught people nothing??

    September 11, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  25. Javier

    Country First. McCain has 26 Years of Senator experience with military background. Obama has none.

    September 11, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
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