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. joyce

    all the men try to protect her
    it reminds me of a dog in heat that hes been put in the kennel with male dogs

    guess what mcsain has first bite
    so men get over it

    September 11, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  2. Ryan, Denver

    Rove should be in prison.

    September 11, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  3. FLforObama

    Karl Rove is dumb! His idea for a good campaign ad is to make ridiculous statements like Obama is sexist. That's not a smart move, Karl. Americans want to hear about the issues that matter!
    Senator Obama please ignore this man, the more we silence him the better the country is!
    Obama-Biden '08!!!!

    September 11, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  4. obama 08-12

    karl rove ,you are an idiot.

    September 11, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  5. Jude

    Rove couldn't be more stupid and wrong. McCain and Palin are running on the premise that they are reformers...yeah..reformers my *ss. She asked for earmarks. She has no experience!!! So is Rove scared that "The Truth" about Palin and McCain will come out? I think so....that's why we shall all ignore Rove's politics.

    September 11, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  6. JPM

    When Rove speaks I always wonder, "what is his motive for saying what he is saying"...everything is contrived for an end purpose.

    That said, Schmidt – is adopted son – is as dirty as they come. And we gotta know that we've only just begun to see how low McCain will agree to go.

    September 11, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  7. Shari, NY

    Sen. Obama is not attacking her and you very well know it. The Republican is going down due to self-inflicted wounds.

    September 11, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    Why don't any of these Republicans think Gov. Congeniality can fend for herself?

    Maybe if she weren't so congenial she'd stand a chance.

    September 11, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  9. Give Me A Break

    Obama didn't attack Palin and they KNOW he didn't. Obama was referring to McCain's plan for the economy (putting lipstick on pig), but the McCain camp figures the more they say Obama attacked Palin the longer they distract the public from the issues and the more people will simpathize with Palin (which seems unforturnately to be working). People are stupid. Like Obama said, this is silly season

    Obama '08/'12

    September 11, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  10. Carol

    WAY TO GO ROVE – WAY TO GO TELL IT LIKE IT IS

    We need the experience at the TOP of the TICKET.. McCain HAS this in Diamonds! He's been there, DONE that. He's FOR the AMERICAN people, not the foreigners' that want pieces of America ! Foerigners want what WE ( Americans ) have. FREEDOM. Think about it. We need an experienced leader WHO is DETERMINED to Keep America FREE. We need someone who's not afraid to TAKE ACTION when action is NEEDED. McCain is that leader and his running mate will gain ADDED exsperience as she works the job. THAT'S HER POSITION AT THIS TIME. GET IT ? Obama ? EXPERIENCE AT THE TOP, not the bottom. (that is unless you are going to be following BEHINED your VP ? )

    September 11, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  11. Barack Obama Is Our 44th president

    Someone needs to hurry up and give a news flash to this Rove fellow and tell him his strategy of having Palin attack Sen. Obama is what's DUMB ! Because the American people need answers from the leaders on solutions to the economy wows and NOT attacks !

    I truly hope the American people will get it right this time and vote for REAL change and that is Obama. It’s definitely time for REAL change in Washington, it’s time to elect Barack Obama for president !

    The Obama-Biden team are wiser and stronger to solve the crucial problems that we have here and abroad !

    September 11, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  12. nerakami

    Karl Rove is a criminal and should be in jail. He has nothing to say to the American people... NADA !!!!!

    September 11, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  13. independentMind

    is hate too strong a word to use for my feelings toward the coward karl rove?

    September 11, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  14. Brian

    Do you people read your own comments before you post them????

    Don't believe everything you write

    September 11, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  15. Craig - Hastings, MN

    Underestimation of an adversary in any endeavor is extremely unwise. Even if you detest Karl Rove (which I do) the smart play is to listen carefully to what he says. It is however, a sad commentary on the state of our politics when you have to do something like that .

    September 11, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  16. OS

    Please shut your mouth, it is none of your business to talk about Democrats.

    September 11, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  17. American in Europe

    WHO IS THIS IDIOT?

    GIVING ADVICE TO THE MOST PRESIDENTIAL ONE WITH A LAW DEGREE AND JUDGEMENT WITH NO COMPARISSON TO THE 72 YEAR OLD OPPONENT JOHN MCAIN

    September 11, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  18. J. Sully, New York

    Shut up Rove. Who wants to hear from a criminal!!! You're a loser

    September 11, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  19. Nelson Colorado Springs Co

    Karl Rove you don't get it. Sen Obama is not attacking Mrs Palin but she can hide because she a woman. but mr Rove is right Sen Obama Democratic presidential nominee to avoid attacking Sarah Palin directly If Mr. Obama wants to win, he needs to remember he's running against John McCain for president, not Mrs. Palin for vice president." Let Sen biden take on Mrs. palin. Go Obama/Biden

    September 11, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  20. JusLaugh

    I hate to say it, but Rove is right on this one. Obama is taking the bait. He needs to come up with an economic slogan and turn the tables to his conversation and his own message.

    These distractions are how republicans win elections and they work every time. Obama needs to ignore the distractions and make the issues the center of attention, not Palin.

    Hopefully Obama's campaign will realize it before we hand the country over to the circus act of McCain/Palin.

    September 11, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  21. Barbara CA

    Hypocrisy thy name is Carl Rove!!!

    My hope for America is as that by seeing the worst of the "red meat" politics (mud slinging and lies) close up we will finally reject this type of politics for not being the best way to choose our most important and powerful leader. We are not only too wise to continue this practice; we are too desperate to continue this practice. I hope that America will finally understand and reject the kind of politics that discards our best and brightest candidates and elevates the candidates who make the most despicable “red meat” political choices.

    I personally will not vote for anyone who will forfeit their best and most valued beliefs to seize the presidency. I want the best person possible to be our president because we need and deserve the best person possible, especially now. A person who has no shame and no boundaries in getting the presidency will have no shame or boundaries being our president. America does not deserve this type of leadership ever again.

    September 11, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  22. nannie bouroughs, Kenosha, WI

    Attacking Palin may be REALLY, REALLY DUMB, but what else can Senator Oblama do? He cannot run on his record; he has none!

    Further, no one FORCES Senator Oblama to go negative, it is clearly a personal choice!

    Senator Oblama would make a TERRIBLE president, as all he does is flipe-flop, flip,-flop... you know like all political folks. it is just a bit more revealing when he does it as it really reflect his tremendous lack of any reasonable judgment...

    The real action here is fairly simple: Senator Oblama, as does the elites in the Democratic Party, simply want to be the first party to elect an African-American as president – no matter how unqualified – and this is good for AMERICA?

    September 11, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  23. ANAG LOS ANGELES, CA

    I think he might be right about this one.

    September 11, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  24. SPQR753

    Karl,

    WAKE UP BABY....Barak Obama is NOT attacking Sarah Palin, rather the nonsense that you suggest to McCain to use as talking points!!!!!!

    September 11, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  25. James from Boston

    If Palin lies to the American people repeatedly then she needs to be attacked, by Obama, Biden, you, me, everyone. She has done nothing but lie since Day One of bursting onto the national scene and the American people deserve better.

    September 11, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
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