September 14th, 2008
03:54 PM ET
7 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. Roslyn

    McCain will use anything to try to accomplish his agenda and that is why he is using Sarah Palin. She is such an idiot. She can't see herself being used by McCain. When he lose the campaign, he is going to blame it on her. This is called the Rattlesnake and the Boa campaign all twisted in the Carl Rove snakehole.

    September 14, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  2. Gee, Alabama

    The republicans have now been caught so many times in telling 'little white lies' and half truths that it is impossible to tell what's real anymore. I wonder how many republicans are publicly professing support and towing the party line while crinching on the thought where there party leadership has taken them.

    September 14, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  3. SteveO

    Fact Check: The title of your article is deceptive, singling out McCain. Read the transcript – Rove criticized both campaigns.

    September 14, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  4. anyonmous

    even rove say mccain campaing ad have gove to far mccain is pathetic

    September 14, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  5. Chrsitne

    Ditto! Who cares?! All you narrowminded Obama supporters only see your own side of the story. Your own candidate is a liar and a flip flopper of the worst kind and he has made some rather sexist hateful remarks of his own. Anybody remember Hillary? Well, now he needs her doesn't he? Just because the wimpy news media is afraid to call the community organizer or should we say "Jesus" down on anything doesn't mean he tells the truth and isn't just as much a manipulative "politician" as the rest of them. By the way, what was that saying!?! If you put lipstick on a pig it's still a pig. Well it works both ways doesn't it? it's just sour grapes time because Obama is slipping in the polls. It is what it is!

    September 14, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  6. All for Palin

    Palin for truth. Who cares about the "Pant suit" Hillary followers. You got enough from Obama camp. Find your leader in Palin. She is real and all for the women. Vote Palin to office and make our voice heard. Moderate women, follow Palin for the better good of this country.

    September 14, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  7. Jesse from Maryland

    Obama has his truth problems as well, let's be fair about this. And Obama's ad about McCain's problems with computers (stemming not from lack of intelligence or experience, but from his war injuries) are just the same.

    I think both candidates should focus on the issues instead of these silly sideshows.

    September 14, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  8. whitman

    Don't trust Karl Rove either. One liar calling out another liar. It just has to be disheartening to a republican with intellect and knowledge of the issues and know he/she must support this ticket based on party affiliation and narrow minded strong headed loyalty. The republican platform is purely based on holding on to power. That's ALL it's about. Not this country issues and future but pure power. This country was founded on the very principles that state the contrary. If you are a republican supporting this ticket, deep down in your gut, you know this. This repub. ticket is not about helping the country and getting going in the right direction but about making sure they keep the White House for their own personal gains.

    September 14, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  9. CB

    Thanks Rove! You were the one who showed us just how lying and dirty politics could be.

    Rove, you brought us the Iraq war. You think Americans are stupid, that's why you play it to the lowest common denominator. I lay the blame for the mess we're in squarly at your feet.

    September 14, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  10. Rob indetroit

    Wake up people , the repub's don't care about you.


    September 14, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  11. barbara

    How can anyone say "who cares." Oh, I forgot, the Repbulicans don't care about the issues and they don't care that the majority of people realize they running on nothing but lies.

    September 14, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  12. Rose

    How all of you Obama supporters jump on this but you failed to mention that Rove also said that Obama's were worse. Like Obama hasn't lied a time or two. Does anyone really believe that he sat in his church for twenty years and did hear the smears from his Rev. Wright.
    He exposed his children to that kind of garbage and Michelle did nothing but spew hatred of whites in her Princeton Thesis. Don't you find it interesting that the Obama's did not want to release her thesis until the day after the election. Are they ashamed of her thesis or just afraid of the content.

    September 14, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  13. Denise

    He must be taking thte same stuff as Rush Limbaugh. Isn't Karl Rove the mastermind here? Look in the mirror! "Thou shall not bear false witness against thy neighbor."

    September 14, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  14. Sam

    As McCain said, politics is tough business. Dems are sexist anyway.

    September 14, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  15. rmax

    Straight Talk Express has transformed into a Crook Express. McCain is in his second childhood ambition. America has to wake up,otherwise we'll be in the same situation. Republican voters made a mistake on Bush, now is the time to correct that mistake.

    September 14, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  16. RyanD.

    Whats the difference between Bush/Cheney and McCain/Palin?


    September 14, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  17. Sarj

    McCain and Palin have won the richman's popularity contest. I know for a fact, these two cannot run the US of A, and if attempted will make it plunge into total darkness whereby the entire world will have their nuclear arsenal pointed towards us. The world is angry at the current administration for making grave errors with Iraq, and another 100 years in Iraq according to cowboy McCain, we will be drained of our financial resources all the while the people of the US of A suffer with a failing health system, crime, housing foreclosures, economic downfall and other problems not addressed by this lousy current administration.

    Go Obama & BIden, we'll see you in the Whitehouse in January 2009.


    September 14, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  18. Valentine

    no one ever said he had any regrets about not picking hillary, once again that's something sarah palin made up in her small mind

    September 14, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  19. Mario

    Although I'm wondering about Rove's intentions, I must admit the Republicans seem to be running campaign ads that offer up more lies than the Democrats. All we're getting are sound bytes taken out of context and no longer resemble the truth by the time they make it to air. And McCain says he supports this message!

    September 14, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  20. Carl J

    Whats sad is these ads work, because the majority of Americans are sheep – they'll swallow anything they're fed or they're one-issue voters.

    Picking the President should be one of the toughest and most researched decisions you make.

    And yet I haven't seen anyone be able to cogently explain why a McCain administration, surrounded by some of the same Republican leadership as the last 8 years, can effectively put us back on course. McCain's a prominent senator, how come he couldn't change Washington beforehand?
    McCain knows about winning wars, how come he couldnt help us win this war sooner?

    If McCain wins because of sleazy ads and a voluntarily uninformed public eats them up – then we all deserve the government we're going to get.

    September 14, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  21. RyanD.

    LOL @ McCain not being able to use a laptop due to WAR INJURIES.

    Is this really the GOP talking point?

    My grandmother is 76 with rhemthoid arthritus, heart issues, etc. and she uses email just fine.

    September 14, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  22. Bruce

    Rose – is McCain ashamed of his military record?

    September 14, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  23. Roberta

    Shouldn't he be in jail? He speak with fork tongue....

    September 14, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  24. RyanD.


    Bush Redux.

    September 14, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  25. McCain is Shameless

    A man who behaves badly on the campaign trail is a man who will behave badly in office. The way you run your campaign is a testament to your character. John McCain is showing us that whatever character he had in Vietnam, he left there. Shame on him. No more lies, please. Let our next president be decent. Be honorable. Be a man of character. Be Obama.

    September 14, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
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