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. Ralph

    Obama is getting desperate...They now believe Karl Rove? Go figure....

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

    MCcain even your buddy adviser is saying your a liar. liar liar pants on fire and karl Rove is holdin the matches

    September 14, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  3. Third Eye

    McCain = lies, lies, lies. I remember he has the word honor in his vocabulary before. Apparently, he lost it recently, or he never understand the meaning of that word. Palin? Any person you random grab from the street know more about our national and international policies than her. The only thing she has is a pretty face. Empty, shallow, big lier.

    September 14, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  4. Amazed

    Are you serious? I am shock. Grasping for air because I have a heart attack.

    September 14, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  5. HiLLARY SUPPORTER

    HAHA SO FUNNY.. THAT IS WHY I VOTE DEMOC THIS YEAR ROVE.

    September 14, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  6. Dylan

    Memo to Rove...there's no such thing as "100 %" truth. It is either true or or not true. Quit trying to rationalize your peoples pack of lies and sugarcoating it.

    McCain and particularly Palin indeed are 100% LIARS.

    September 14, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  7. Sage

    what are you when scum calls you scum? McCain!!! LOL, the mastermind of the Bush debacle calls McCain out, you know you are in trouble..wake up America, the alarms are ringing

    September 14, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  8. Clinton

    WOW!!! For once in my life I agree with Rove. If the lowest scub bag on earth, sleaziest, compulsive liar, potatoe head, convicted felon, and man who has ran the most disgusting ads for bush in 2000 and 2004 says this....America please take heed.

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 14, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  9. Olivia

    I think Karl is bored. This gifted man is looking fora new client to "make'. Well, he may have fertile ground in Obama who seem to be very maliable.

    September 14, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  10. Shannon

    Rove must still be upset with McCain about the 2000 campaign.

    September 14, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  11. Jen

    Karl Rove gains a conscience? Has the world gone mad?

    September 14, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  12. David in Indian Wells

    When the lowest form of life in the country, Karl Rove, calls you out on your lies you have clearly sunk to a new low Mr McCain.

    I guess in order to run as the GOP candidate for president you had to check your HONOR at the door. I used to respect you Mr McCain, but you have now earned my disdane!

    September 14, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  13. Dandelion.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    WOW! How much of a low-life are you, to have KARL ROVE call you out?!?

    September 14, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  14. Elaine Burger

    It's as the saying goes, what goes on in the dark will soon come to light. McCain needs to start telling the truth since he says he is a Christian!

    September 14, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  15. enough already!

    There you have it folks - Our War hero role model character model and his Dick Cheney in a dress sidekick are running the most dishonest campaign ever.

    And you heard it from the master of dishonest campaigns.

    September 14, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  16. Happy New Democrayt

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

    So – the Straight Talk Express just drove off the Bridge to Nowhere.

    I'm ashamed that have voted Republican all my life.

    September 14, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  17. Maggie

    Yeah Jim- real bright! Who cares if its the truth- when they get into office they will change their tune anyway.
    Enjoy four years of worse than Bush.

    September 14, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  18. QJP

    Republican's are the NASTIEST when it comes to elections. THEY will say and do ANYTING to get fear in people to vote for them. To think that biggot Rove himself thinks it gone to far is very scary!

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

    Obama campaign wake up, the American people are idiots they will believe every thing McSenile and Palin feed them.Even when they are shown to be lairs over and over.If McSenile is elected there will be a third world war. Your children and grandchildren 's dreams will go down the tube. Old poor, white, women for OBAMA/BIDEN
    Connie from Indiana

    September 14, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  20. SF

    Karl Rove knows a thing or two about sleazy campaign ads as he is the master of them. The main stream media is finally realizing that McCain's campaign is based on lies, and, soon the American people will to.

    September 14, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  21. Chris

    the real question is whether or not the media will hold their feet to the fire

    September 14, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  22. Mar

    Do you think any of the people planning to vote for McCain and Palin will take note and actually think about how much truth there is in most of McCain's ads. Hey, what about the Evangelical base? I thought they held themselves above such things. After witnessing the lie after lie and exaggeration after exaggeration from Palin in the last two weeks, that is one group I have no desire to be a part of.

    September 14, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  23. KH

    McCain's ads have been downright dishonest and untruthful. I think the American people deserve a president who will be truthful for once, and McCain certainly does not fit the bill.

    September 14, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  24. some dude

    C'mon..."you know-the 100% truth test"??
    Lets just call them what they are:LIES.

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

    Here it is from the horses mouth, ( Karl Rove).....McCain has gone too far on the truth department.........well, that is a surprise isn't it?
    Their whole campaign is not run on facts/policies or anything remotely to do what is best for the country......it's smear and lie and the American people should be sick of it.
    It is because the McPalin ticket is so shallow, they feel they have no other choice......if you have no real solutions to this country's problems lets just attack the other side that will do!
    Dear God America please wake up before Nov and do the right thing for this country and send these two wanna B's packing.
    McCain is right on one point though....COUNTRY FIRST, not be used just as a slogan but too make sure this country is put first by voting for the real issues facing this country.

    September 14, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
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