September 14th, 2008
03:54 PM ET
3 years ago

Rove: Some McCain ads don't pass '100 percent truth' test

Karl Rove had some rare criticism for McCain Sunday.
Karl Rove had some rare criticism for McCain Sunday.

(CNN) – Former Bush adviser Karl Rove suggested Sunday that John McCain had gone “one step too far” in some of his recent ads attacking Barack Obama.

Rove has leveled similar criticism against Obama. “McCain has gone in some of his ads - similarly gone one step too far,” he told Fox News, “and sort of attributing to Obama things that are, you know, beyond the ‘100 percent truth’ test.”

Watch: The campaign ad wars heat up

The Obama campaign immediately leaped on the quote. "In case anyone was still wondering whether John McCain is running the sleaziest, most dishonest campaign in history, today Karl Rove - the man who held the previous record - said McCain's ads have gone too far," said campaign spokesman Tommy Vietor, in a statement sent to reporters minutes after Rove’s on-air comments.

Listen: the Obama camp slams McCain in Sunday conference call


Rove masterminded both of President Bush’s successful White House bids, including a tough primary season battle with John McCain in 2000.

UPDATE: Rove said Sunday Democrats e-mailing around his quote without noting that he levels similar criticism against Obama were distorting his meaning. “Of course, they fail to say anything about the fact I said they were even more misleading,” he told Politico.


Filed under: John McCain • Karl Rove
soundoff (720 Responses)
  1. Jim, Chicago

    Who cares. It's working and Obama is on the way down for the count.

    McCain/Palin 08'

    September 14, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  2. Sue in MI

    OK what's up Rove's sleeve now? Or has he finally realized that he could fool enough of the people twice and that this time around we realize that the country is in too much trouble to fall for it again? Or does he know something about Palin that the rest of us don't yet?

    100% truth test? When was he even worried about 25% of the truth being told? Geez.

    September 14, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  3. Zion

    Rove, honey, you can't do the job of the Main Stream Media. Everyone knows McCain is not telling the truth, but its just a case of not voting for someone who looks a little different than the other presidents. We can pretend to be progressive all we want, but we know what this is about.

    September 14, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  4. No Hillary = No Obama

    Me thinks Darth Vader feels upstaged by McCain's team of pit bulls. This is laughable given that Rove was one of the most eregious deceit spinners to come along. What, did he find religion?

    September 14, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  5. Susan

    You KNOW it is sleazy if Felon Rove thinks it is! McCain=Slezeball tactics!

    September 14, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  6. Javone

    LOL There is no honor among thieves LOL

    September 14, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  7. Bajanluv, Newport Newss

    OMG, pigs do fly!!!!!!

    September 14, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  8. Los

    McCain may be fanning the flames, but Rove is the one who started the fire. We wouldn't be facing a potential Palin/McCain nightmare if it weren't for him.

    September 14, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  9. Bob

    Ya Think !! No wonder they say Rove is a genius.

    September 14, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  10. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES

    GOP is nothing but LIES

    NIXON BUSH BUSH REAGAN CHENEY RICE ROVE PALIN McCAIN and on and on and on

    September 14, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  11. Darryl

    "Since naming Gov. Palin as their vice presidential nominee, the McCain campaign has distorted, distracted and outright lied to the American people about her record in a desperate attempt to hide the fact that a McCain/Palin administration would be nothing more than a continuation of the failed Bush policies of the last eight years," the memo read.

    Among other things, the memo cited the Iraq-visit dispute, as well as Palin's claims to be a fiscal conservative despite significant growth in the Alaska state budget

    September 14, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  12. Jinny Lee

    Even Rove had awakened.

    September 14, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  13. Julie

    Who is to talk? I am surprised he is even speaking about it. He is the sleaziest of all, so he should know.

    September 14, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  14. me

    The Karl Rove photo diet. Was just going to have breakfast when I saw that close up of Rove's face. My appetite disappeared.

    Would somebody please tell that pig to put on some lipstick?

    September 14, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  15. Renee- Florida

    This is strange...Why is Rove speaking the truth? What's the strategy now?

    September 14, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  16. Mike

    When 'Rove' says McBush has gone to far and is dishonest. That pretty much settles it.

    September 14, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  17. Yngvai

    Wow....that tells you something when even Rove is criticizing McCain's ads

    September 14, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  18. Grace Needed

    This man, Karl Rove, is going to have to answer some day for his words and actions and he may be starting to realize the gravity of what he has done. God have mercy on his soul for the way he has misled this country.

    September 14, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  19. A Liar For All Americans

    Apparently, the Straight Talk Express just drove off the end of the Bridge to Nowhere.

    The Liar's Liar is calling McCain & Palin a liar.

    Getting sillier and sillier.

    September 14, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  20. Central Scruitinizer

    It appears that the snakes of the rupub propaganda machine are beginning to bite each other !!! How delightful .. .. ... Rove either has a guilty concious or has suddenly decided to tell the truth

    September 14, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  21. Brian B (Va)

    The republicans are saying that the negative ads are Obama's fault for not agreeing to do the town hall meetings. #1. Obama respectively turned down the meetings. #2. McCain does not get to set Obama's campaign strategy.

    As far as negative ads and who is at fault, Obama did not mention McCain's name in any ad until after month long of name slinging by McCain in August. More lies, more of the same.

    September 14, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  22. ken

    obama should run ads about nafta because mccain supports nafta 100%,here is an example in lowa people know mccain is against ethenol in mccain is not even close in that state,but peple in Ohio in Mich in Penn have no clue mccain is 100% for nafta,if obama just run ads like crazy about nafta in those states mccain wont come close to winning those either,what is obama doing his ads are dead as hell,he have to start running ads about how mccain supports nafta how simple is that,gosh.what the hell is he waiting for.

    September 14, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  23. John

    I guess that sums it all...
    Wake up America for the sake of our country

    September 14, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  24. gluvnast

    if even rove is saying it, then mccain KNOWS he's way out of line...

    ROVE! of all people

    September 14, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  25. White and Black support for Obama

    If Mccain going to tell lies to win, how is he going to address issues tuthfully?
    I can't admit on the view that his campaign is lying about Obama children ad and He Mccain at the end said i approve this message.

    Mccain can't tell lies and call himself maverick.
    Or is that how to be marverick to lies, or smear, destort Obama recond to win an elction?

    I thought he said he is putting American first, why is Mccain putting America first when he lies against his compatriot?

    The old Mccain just want to win at all cost!!!!

    Are you fool to believe Mccain is putting his country first?

    September 14, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
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