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. VB Lincoln Park NJ

    To Freedom Lovin Patriot....

    YOU SAID IT ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 11, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  2. Csokas

    Rove needs to get his facts straight and if CNN was doing their job, they'd have skipped this article because it is factually inaccurate. Barack Obama has not attacked Palin.

    I heard my own radio station 710KIRO in Seattle actually say to their listeners that if they want to learn more about the candidates, then they should look up the candidates websites and go to congressional reports, etc. Pardon me, but while I don't mind doing extra research to make sure I'm comfortable with my vote, my job is a funding coordinator at a leasing company. Their job is to report factual news. They've won some Edward R. Murrow Awards, but I think, with that statement, they – and any news agency that feels the same way – should return them and accept no more. Edward R. Murrow turned over in his grave when he heard that.

    September 11, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  3. L Wright

    Does any intelligent , educated person out there really give a "hoot" about what Matt Damon or any of the rest of the "Hollywood celebrities" think politically? What could they seriously know about protecting and running this great country. Most of them, and I said "most", do not derserve to live here anyway. All they ever talk about is how bad of a place it is...well, they certainly would not be where they are now if they resided in any other country. Jane Fonda should never have been allowed back into this country ever! I say if they think this country is so bad, why don't they GET OUT!

    September 11, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  4. Jacob

    This is outrageous, coming from someone who as disrespected this country by being aided to be above the law!!!! Serving and contesting for an election is no more honorable, about the truth and the concerns of the majority of the American, it as to be lie your way through it, create deception and divisiveness, bully people and show how much dirt you can throw. I guess other countries must be asking themselves, is this the same DEMOCRACY we want to enforce them to follow?It is a shame.

    I thought election was about who has the best ideas, goal and is ready to lead the country to a better future, but it seems to me that the voice of the good people of this country has been so silenced that they can't even stand up and say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH, do not reduce our country to a personality contest. Well, in a country where the American Idol contest is more popular and spoken about than what affect the lives of ordinary people in this country and around the world, no wonder that why people are taking advantage off.

    I thought McCain prefered the Small-towns-Rural-Area debates style, but now he is a celebrity, and the celebrity format of large crowd is now what he needs. People wake up, that is how he is going to dump you once he gets what he needs. Haven't they dumped you enough, well, probably not yet enough.

    Hey Rove, just pray that McCain wins in November, otherwise, I know that the American public can't wait for you to anwser all the questions and lies that you and your party as put us through in the past 8 years. And to inform you, keep pouring out your stupidity,deceit and deception, remember that the only constant thing that rules is TRUTH.

    With the fooolishness of those that are been lied to, I can tell you that other countries are looking at us and laughing:

    China, will say, they have not learned from the mistake, let us get them more into debt, distract them and subdue the little countries to gain country.
    India is saying, lets give the best education to our own as they get divided more on who should privatize or not.
    South American countries are in waiting to take as many jobs as possible, you only need to tell them lies, because if you tell them the truth and even show them the result of lies, they don't care they prefer to whine.

    The world and countries that lobby us are sure watching and waiting to see the next best trick of lies to tell us, so that they can take more jobs, give more grief to those who will lose morethan ever had.

    Rove, wish you the best after November, because one thing will sure happen, you either will get through this world and congress that has not held you accountable, but you sure will be answerable to the greater One that gave you an opportunity to serve, but misused the power.

    Thanks CNN for accepting my comment, or this truth is also to hard for you to swallow. As many that can speak the truth more, the better it will be for the country.

    September 11, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  5. JB, Austin

    If we Democrats lose this election in November, Shame On Us!!!!!!!!!!

    September 11, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  6. jstertn

    Obama just getting back what he dished out. After doing what he did to Hillary Clinton my vote will be for John McCain like the rest of the women . Obama is too arrogant. Ohio please vote for McCain.

    September 11, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  7. Jim

    We can all agree that Washington has really screwed the pooch.

    Electing someone whose spent 26 of the last 34 years of Republican control we can certainly rule out McCain.

    He's old and has no clue about the issues today. He's still fighting on behalf of the same issues we've been talking about for 40 years and meanwhile we're losing ground with China and the rest of the world. He seems content on starting more wars that got us in the economic jam we're in now. It's more of the same.

    Seems to me that the Republicans are at times still fighting the civil war. They seem obsessed with talking about race, sex, morals, and history – they have taken their eye off the ball.

    September 11, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  8. Katy

    CNN... why are you even giving attention to Rove ? This is just ridiculous!!

    September 11, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  9. Making Changes

    The Hill reports that Democratic Congressman Henry Waxman is considering legislation that would prevent future administrations from having Karl-Rove type advisors:

    Huffington Post / July 7, 2008

    September 11, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  10. KLJ

    This is amazing. He is trying to present himself as this unbiased columnist. He continues to be a player behind the scenes for the republican Party and the McCain campaign. He is also the same man who 1-2 months ago said Gov. Kaine of Virginia was to inexperienced becasue he had been mayor of a small city (Richmond population 200,000) and Governor for a short period of time (2 years). He has been quoted as saying Gov. Palin is qualified because of her experience as mayor (Wasilla population 7,000) and her tenure as Gorvernor (2 years). Need I say any more!

    September 11, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  11. mk in coning ny

    This is typical of Karl Rove. He's the spin meister from hell. He's also a criminal. This is a man who should be serving time in jail. Yet he continues to mastermind the politcal strategy of the Rebublican party. Hasn't he done enough damage to the integrity of our nation already?

    Obama has not attacked Sarah Palin. John McCain used this very phrase to refer to Hillary Clinton's policy's on atleast four occasions. There are video clips to prove it. This incident is what's referred to in psycological terms as "projection". Except that in Rove's case it's more likely intentional.

    I agree that a poll should be taken reflecting his popularity. Although I think he's weaseled his way back into favor with a lot the Rebublicans. Bush is the ultimate bad guy at present while Rove still roves behind the scenes, sewing duplicity whenever he opens his mouth.

    September 11, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  12. Jon

    Karl Rove needs to be in jail! He and his cronies have caused this nation undo hardship. Why does America continue to fall for his election tactics? This is just another part of Idiocracy come to fruition.

    September 11, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  13. how

    Anonymous September 10th, 2008 10:54 am ET….most comments are for the REPUBLICIAN candidate……Don’t BE fooled by these bloggers, who are really repubs getting PAID…McCain daughter Meghan's present for finishing at Columbia University was a $700,000 loft in a hip section of downtown Phoenix, whose only job at moment seems to be blogging on her father's behalf….PAID FOR BY CASH….More TRICK OF TRADE to FOOL the American VOTERS…….

    Through this ENTIRE election I have never seen McCain WHINE for his million dollar BARBIE doll LIKE he is WHINE for the Pit bull....hum.....

    September 11, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  14. MJ

    Probably good advice, a Harvard grad doesn't have the experience to challange a mother of five.

    September 11, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  15. Matt

    They just found a letter from Zwahiri to operatives in Iraq complaining about their "ineffective and dishonest propaganda" techniques (http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/meast/09/11/alqaeda.letters/index.html).

    Funny...al Qaeda is one step ahead of the Republicans in self-reflection too.

    September 11, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  16. ROVE THE A$$WHOLE

    'Nuff said.

    September 11, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  17. Trysh, Los Angeles

    But her attacking Obama makes sense?

    I think the Republicans believe that they have a girl on the team and she is allowed to hit him, but he is wrong to hit her back. NO!! If she wants to play in the bigs, then she is going to have to play by the rules. No special rules just for her.

    September 11, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  18. b Jiggy

    Mccain has used that lipstick on a pig line about 7 times this campaign season! wow, now who's sexist?
    :)

    September 11, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  19. Emily

    What happened to our issues? Karl Rove advice? That's what made this country's politics go down in the past with his advice to Bush.

    What happened to our issues? I want to hear discussions around issues, no more of these personality attacks, gossips, etc.

    Yesterday, I saw two refreshing videos, one is from Michelle Obama, advocating for working mothers and how tough it is for us these days. We can not take days off to take care of kids or aging parents, and that was right on. I want to hear more from her. She is like Hillary Clinton, very smart and caring.

    Another one is from Ron Paul and Ralph Nader, about why they are trying to run.If they could really bring this charade back to 1) economy, 2) foreign issues, 3) environment / energy, etc....

    But Karl Rove, no value add to sway this race.

    September 11, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  20. Matthew

    Regardless of what people may think of Rove's tactics, the man is a genius when it comes to elections and got Bush elected...twice. He's not on anyone's payroll this year, maybe Obama should listen.

    September 11, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  21. Danny

    I really dont think he should be opening his mouth, one on September 11th and second about a democratic candidate. This just shows how the republicans use 9/11 to scare up votes and put it as a trademark.

    Rove for Prison '08!

    September 11, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  22. Working in Texas

    Of course, this is Karl Rove. He's just using the same tactics: first, lie about the situation, then lie again and again. He knows that most Americans aren't political junkies; all they will hear is "Obama should stop attacking Palin" - that's what he's trying to convince average Americans. He's getting into their minds subliminally by lying: give advice to Obama to stop doing something that Obama isn't doing.

    What I want to know is: Where are Obama's surrogates in all of this? What the heck is wrong with Biden? Why are the Democrats putting Obama on an island and leaving him at the mercy of the entire Republican attack wing? The only Democrat who tries to help is Rendell, and even he gave a compliment to Palin. TAKE OFF THE GLOVES, FOLKS, this is a championship fight. Start acting like you want to win!

    September 11, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  23. KOOKOO Va

    WELL MR ROVE IF YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE, I SUGGEST YOU GIVE IT TO MS PALIN TO STOP FORCE LIES AND ATTACKS ON BARRACK BECAUSE IT IS GOING TO BACK ON HER.
    THIS IS HOW IT GOES, OBAMA VS MACCAIN
    BAIDEN VS PALIN IF PALIN THIS IS EASY TO ATTACK BARRACK , THEN I AM SORRY SHE IS MAKING A BIGGEST MISTAKE

    VA

    September 11, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  24. JK

    Rove is smart..... Obama is attacking the wrong oppenent this is where Biden should attack Palin with FACTS!!!! This is where someone like Hillary would of been excellent because she could fight back.

    Obama will lose if he continues down this path......He looks weak and way off message. DEMOCRATS WAKE UP,,,,, or you will have another 2004.

    September 11, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  25. Sandy

    I would say prior to the current spate of irrelevant attacks on Obama, I was someone who saw McCain as a possible choice, now I see someone who wants to win more than anything. I see someone who doesn't care about issues of global warming, fixing our economy, leaving us secure if he should not survive. His judgement has been overtaken by Karl Rove and his subordinates. We've already had 8 years of someone who listens to the voices that have brought us all down into the mud. Sorry, I'm no longer buying the Maverick. Too much Brittany and Paris, Palin and lipstick. I'm sick of it. I'm voting for Obama.

    September 11, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
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