September 14th, 2008
03:54 PM ET
4 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. lucy

    unfortunately there might be enough limited information voters to put mccain over the top. but regardless of what you think about obama, mccains ethics have hit a new low with some of the ads he has run. between his uncontrolled temper, his lost ethics, and his age and health issues, he is too dangerous to elect.

    September 14, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  2. Lloyd

    Jim, Are you saying that lying is an acceptable trait for a President and that people should believe lies? Let's tell the truth & let the voters decide on issues.

    September 14, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  3. kssilaph

    I care and so do millions of other people who care to vote in an administration that will work to clean up the mess Bush and his Republican friends are leaving behind.

    September 14, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  4. welches, oregon

    the GOP is pulling your chain people.

    September 14, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  5. Rodger

    When Rove says McCain's are not truthfull, you know they are less than 1% truthfull. You better work on him making them 100% lies, now they are only 99% lies...show him the Rove way!

    September 14, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  6. kimbo

    Well Jim, that why our country is on such a downhill slide. Nobody cares about the truth or the issues. If we could concentrate on the issues, there may not be such a divide in this country. Instead, pure hatred entered the political contests with the advent of Karl Rove and the so called Religious right. You can have your opinion and I have mine. Our country was founded on the notion that maybe we could meet in the middle. When hatred and prejudice enter the equation, it spells nothing but doom.

    September 14, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  7. Ashley

    Finally Amercia is waking up and seeing the real Obama- which is a man that has done NOTHING and on his way to NOWHERE fast.. He is a total joke. No experience, no judgement, and a total fraud. GO MCCAIN/PALIN!!

    September 14, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  8. Nat, NYC

    Who is Karl Rove? The guy didn't want to testify before the Congress because he is up to neck in ... dirt.

    September 14, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  9. Brian in CA

    Jim, what on earth do you mean "who cares"?? Does the truth not matter at all, anymore? Jesus, what corrupt cynical world are you living in?

    September 14, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  10. Jewly Thompson

    I'm a former Hillary supporter, voting for Obama.

    Because McCain can't fool me.

    September 14, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  11. susan

    I am amazed. I never thought there was a too far or too low for Rove. On the other hand, most of the dirtest ads done for Bush were done by 527s.
    McCain is doing his own filth.
    Perhaps Rove is just warning him that he is being caught directly in too many lies, smears and distortion ads.

    September 14, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  12. Bri

    If Rove says it then it has to be sleazy. One sleaze can recognize another.

    September 14, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  13. Raluca, Chicago

    Might he be somewhat interested in no longer holding the record for the sleaziest campaign ever?

    September 14, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  14. Annette, Washington, DC

    Folks know the game the ads have no effect they are down the tube. No Way, No How No McCain.

    Obama/Biden08

    September 14, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  15. So Cal Gal

    When your to sleazy for Karl Rove, that's really saying something! Old man McCain and his Moose hunting bimbo are going down!

    September 14, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  16. Active Duty For Obama

    Of course he has gone way past the truth. McCain is telling outright lies. Its sad that it takes the women on The View and Karl rove of all people to say it. Why isn't the mainstream media doing their job in calling out McCain on his campaign lies. The media was kicking them selves after we invaded Iraq for not asking tougher questions and being in lock step with George Bush. They have an opportunity to make up for it now by asking tougher questions and by holding these politicians feet to the flame. They are failing terribly. If Tim Russert was still alive he would be ashamed of the way the media has covered this campaign. McCain's camp has already said this election will be won on personality and not the issues. I guess the mainstream media agrees with them fully. It's a sad day for the news and for Americans in general when you have Karl Rove call out possibly the next president for lying.

    September 14, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  17. Maseud

    Get ready for the draft and a few attacks on American soil if McCain is selected. Not to mention all of our jobs will be outsourced to foreign countries because we will be to busy fighting the world. Incase you have forgotten other countries exist in this world and the grand majority have selected Obama to do business with. Fall for it once shame on you. Fall for it twice shame on me. Is there a saying for falling for something three times?

    September 14, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  18. ABinOrlando

    wow, unbelievable, so the bushies still don't like mccain, huh? mccain-feingold, mccain-kennedy, mccain-lieberman, the cons and the neo-cons have long memories.......let the battle begin !!

    September 14, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  19. Liv O'Connor

    Did you mean McCain-Palin ? What stupid idea for stupid people and lost country!
    Let's go China, India, etc. Every empire has an end. This is the true end of US Power. Any empire run by idiots reflects the intelligence lever of its people and the impossibility for the empire to last long... There you are US, US , US and the bannana republic as weell.

    September 14, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  20. Erik

    You know, the New Yorker cover is starting to make more sense now. We truly have reached a level of ads where reality is imitating satire.

    Yes, it is working, just as Swift Boating did.

    The only difference (and hopefully the crucial one) this time is that there is a movement behind Obama not willing to allow it to go unchecked. Last time, it was a typical election with a lackluster candidate. This time, it is an historic event with a leader who embodies the great American ideals of equality, freedom, and tolerance in a more tangible way than any other candidate since our founding.

    His opponent, at best, represents the same course and his running mate represents the provincial, xenophobic, "Drill, Baby, Drill" intellect of the same people that brought us Iraq, Corporate hegemony, the housing scandal, the oil scandal, and a pariah reputation in the world with regard to our once strongest characteristic: human rights.

    September 14, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  21. FRG

    There were 935 lies told that got us in the Iraq war—McCain & Palin will set a new record!

    September 14, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  22. Anna

    Give me a break...mr. whiny pants. All he is, is a big fat lie and it's dishonorable what he is doing with the McCain campaign. Hopefully Americans aren't as ignorant and stupid as Rove thinks we are.

    September 14, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  23. Girl in the South

    DUH! – We don't need Karl Rove to tell us that!- Wait a minute, doesn't Rove consult McCain's campaign.... I don't trust this man!

    September 14, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  24. Winston

    Unfortunately, a lot of people think like Jim from Chicago. They couldn't care less about the truth, honesty, and doing the right thing for our country.

    With multiple military conflicts, gas in NC now at five bucks per gallon, and jobs no where to be found, the republicans, like our friend Jim, says who cares. Just keep piling on the lies, harder and faster, and keep talking about pigs in lipstick... hoping to run out the clock and drown out Obama's message.

    Carl Rove, George Bush, John McCain, and Sarah Palin cannot be trusted. They all fail the 100% truth test and they know it.

    September 14, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  25. Dollar Bill

    To (Jim, Chicago)as and outsider what do really think of america

    September 14, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29