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. Mary Cimino

    We(the public), have been getting the impression that Karl Rove is the man behind these ads. Also, we are in a sorry state when Juliani can use Obama's Ivy League education against him in the same sentence that he used the famous "community leader" (translation: black socialist)
    He made the socialist charge today on Meet the Press saying that Obama is trying to 'redistibute the wealth" The Republican campaign has begun to use buzz words for the "non-readers".

    September 14, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  2. Ray

    I don't agree with the ads, but I think it's quite funny that Obama thinks he has a leg to stand on. What about the "Mccain wants to be in Iraq for a 100 years" ad? What about the constant comparison to Bush even though Mccain has been the most anti-Bush republican in the senate? What goes around, comes around.

    September 14, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  3. Arizonan for Obama/Biden

    Wow is this a version of Rethuglicans eating their own?
    McNotsomuch and Palin are the two worst people to be in the White House. When are we going to get some real truth on Palin in the mainstream news?

    September 14, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  4. Sad but true

    Sadly Jim, Chicago reflects the reality of the voting public:
    "Who cares, It's working..."
    GOP voters don't care about the lies, racism and general lack of morality; they just want the "power" that comes with a slim majority.
    McCain HAD honor 40 years ago; that's long gone.

    September 14, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  5. ericstone

    It's surprising that McCain has not pulled ahead, if those ads were really working.
    The convention hysteria is subsiding and Americans will vote in Nov based on the issues.
    Aho is going to give you a bigger tax cut?
    Who will create more jobs?
    Who will provide healthcare for everyone?
    Whose plan will fix the economy.
    Unfortunately for McCain: He took the experience card off the table with his nomination of an inexperienced Gov of a petro-state. Alaska does not have the same budget challenges like most states.
    All Camp Obama-Biden really has to do is to tie McCain, the Republican to Bush and drump up President Clinton's Economic Successes. That's the key to winning.

    September 14, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  6. Perspicacious Chicagoan

    To Jim, Chicago who says – "Who cares? Its working..." if you like being led by liars who feed you propaganda and restrict your freedom, go live in Stalinist Russia! Get out of the USA! You are not an American and do not deserve to live in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

    September 14, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  7. Andy

    Rove gave us 8 years of incompetence and blundering. McCain / Palin or is it Palin / McCain will give us the same old people pulling the strings behind the scenes. NO THANKS.

    September 14, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  8. Tayo, NY

    UNFORTUNATELY LIES AND NEGATIVE ADS WORKS!

    AMERICANS DON'T WANT THE TRUTH

    THAT IS WHY THEY ARE BUYING McCAIN'S LIES.

    IF ONLY WE CAN ALL SEE THROUGH HIS LIES MOVE ON.

    McCAIN WILL CERTAINLY DO AND SAY JUST ABOUT ANYTHING IN ORDER TO BE ELECTED.

    THIS IS SHAMEFUL AND WE SHOULD NOT FALL FOR THIS.

    September 14, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  9. Loren

    Yikes! Jim, do I read your post correctly that you don't care if the person you are electing is a sleazeball?

    September 14, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    oh mine, has hell frozen over? karl rove telling the truth? this is indeed, something else

    September 14, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  11. Liziman

    Did you mean McCain-Palin ? What stupid idea for stupid people and lost country!
    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 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  12. Jeremy

    Jim in Chicago, you have got to be kidding. Who cares? We care! The American people care! To say it's okay that they are lying and running a despicable campaign as long as it's working is just plain ridiculous. It's one thing to run a negative campaign. I think we have come to expect that which is sad enough. But it's another to consistently lie to the American people in these ads, basically admit they are lies, and insist that it's okay because it's working. Do you have any decency? I am a white male, 9 year veteran of the Army, and I have a college degree. I have supported Sen. Obama since the Iowa caucus. I knew we were going to fight an uphill fight and that a lot of people would never vote for him because he isn't white. But come on! This is insane! You're trying to tear him down, spew lie after lie, and basically do anything you can as long as he doesn't win. I pray Sen. Barack Obama becomes president of the United States. John McCain and people like you are what's wrong with this country!

    September 14, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  13. cilla

    Wow you know you got problems when Karl Rove calls you a liar.

    September 14, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  14. rozie

    anybody, anybody but that woman, she is enough to make you sick. imagine being brutally raped by some monster and getting pregnant and not be able to attempt to make a productive life for yourself because of the choice you did not have in having this child. she would be in favor in overturning roe v wade, not to mention other lies she has told since the announcement. this women is like a wolf in sheep's clothing!! don't believe her lies and her politics, she just is not believable...a controlling barracuda in high heels. i don't like her, i don't like what she stands for and she WILL NOT be our next vice president. GO BACK TO ALASKA !!!

    September 14, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  15. Laura

    Re: Sue,

    If Rove knows ANYTHING true about Palin, he knows more than the rest of us! When does the public media get to question her? The media is not doing their job of vetting Palin. Please don't vote someone into office you know nothing about, beyond her twisted and misleading stump speech!

    Obama/Biden '08!

    September 14, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  16. Don't Vote For Hate

    I would like to think McCain grew a pair and told Rove 'no' for once. But I graduated kindergarten, so i know better.

    September 14, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  17. Rose

    I did not think there was anyone in this world LOWER and SLIMIER than Karl Rover. Now I know–IT'S JOHN McCAIN!

    Obama/Biden08

    September 14, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  18. D

    So when did Rove, all of a sudden, care about integrity?

    September 14, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  19. Eric Washington

    Who cares? I do and millions of other people care. The fact you say "who cares" is very sad. The straight talk express is a lie. MOst of us know it. The people who still will vote for non- truth telling people are a disgrace to the Unitied States and it's true values!!

    Obama/Biden '08 ( the true values ticket)

    September 14, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  20. Sarah Bell, Cleveland, OH.

    McCain: From American Hero to Sleaze of sleaze. You sold out John. You sold out.

    September 14, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  21. Gerry

    Senator McCain: you know you've gone to far when your behavior makes a rat gag.

    September 14, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  22. Kristen

    I'm sure this is just part of turd blossom's new strategy. The McCain camp is truly pathetic, and the uninformed voters who buy into their rhetoric are even more pathetic. Have they not learned anything after the last 2 elections, or are they just that racist? Obama/Biden 08

    September 14, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  23. Jeremy

    Obama/Biden '08 YES WE CAN!

    September 14, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  24. Anna

    Well, if it was somebody credible accusing others of lying, I would say a Field Day is in store for Barack Obama.

    But we are talking ROVE, here.
    nuff said.

    September 14, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  25. Brandon

    Jim from Chicago is lives life void of any morals, values or character. It is amazing that someone would even try to spin this stuff. It has become so cynical that it is amazing. How do the repubs keep spinning this stuff when they are intelligent people. Its okay to say a man with family wants to teach kindergarten kids about sex ed. The distortion has gotten where I am feeling shame as an American about are values.

    September 14, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
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