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. Palin 2012

    Hillary is a joke and we don't need her to win this election.

    Palin 2012

    September 14, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  2. Clinton Supporter for Obama

    You know you've lost your integrity and honor when even Karl Rove is calling you out on your lies.

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

    Jim in Chicago if only you had a brain. What is the difference between
    Gov. Palin and Cheney? Lipstick.

    September 14, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  4. Steven in CA

    This man's opinion is meaningless. He's a liar, a cheat, and criminal.

    September 14, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  5. Chickens coming home to roost

    Niether do most of the Obama ads.

    I believe his campaign has been spinning lots of falsehoods: McCain and his 100 year war, Palin and her Holy war? – ANYONE WHO LOOKS AT THE ORIGINAL FOOTAGE KNOWS NEITHER OF THEM SAID WHAT OBAMA PRETENDS THEY SAID.

    Not to mention all the lies Obama told about HRC, and now Palin.

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

    So is he saying that all McCain ads will only speak the truth from now on? I don't trust Rove, Mr. Truthful, ha.

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

    It's a trap. Be careful.

    September 14, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  8. Helen,Ft Lauderdale

    To Jim in Chicago,

    Typical Republican. LIES, LIES, LIES and doesn't even care.

    Obviously a scum bag!!!!

    September 14, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  9. laura from Ga

    Buyers don't be fooled.Even if Rove really thought this he would not tell anyone.I think that this is another Republicain tactic.If it is true than Obama is on the right track by calling them what they are(liers)that will do anything.Obama/Biden08

    September 14, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  10. Kay

    Jim,
    goes to show how much value you place on your country, if you don't mind politicians lying their way to the white house. Bet you are one of the morons that voted bush in TWICE!.

    September 14, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  11. spiculari

    2% at the most.... 98% of it is pure mcbaloney...

    September 14, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  12. Jenny

    Duh, we didn't need Rove to tell us McCain is lying and being sleazy. His campaign offers me nothing but pure disgust.

    September 14, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  13. mpowers

    I do not like the shady ads either but they are part of the battle in
    getting your message on who you are and your ideas on the
    issues. There has been a lot worse though. Lynching, church-burning
    images. How dare they say any unkind words about Senator Obama.

    September 14, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  14. chippyarm

    Okay, Rove is saying it. Does anything else need be said about McCain and his campaign?

    September 14, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  15. Tainopwer

    So much for the bush and McCain claim? Looks like rove is on obamas camp. Will this means that obama is taking the bush doctrine?

    September 14, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  16. karen

    Wow! Jim in Chicago , That pretty harsh, I guess you are of the mind truth dosen't matter. Heaven help us if that kind of mentality gets into office.

    September 14, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  17. Paul C. Palmetto Bay, FL

    Truth from the master.

    September 14, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  18. kaygerard

    Who cares that we elect a president who's campaign is based on deceipt? Surely he won't lie to the American people once he's elected, right? Are you really that naive, Jim from Chicago?

    September 14, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  19. Rob

    Could it be that Oct. surprise is that Palin is gone . Rove must know something . What isn't he telling the public ?

    September 14, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  20. Pepou

    Really ? Coming from the mastermind behind them, that is interesting. So even a pig like Rove (with or without lipstick) has second thoughts !

    September 14, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  21. Pacomarj from SC

    I'm guessing he's saying this to try to look somewhat objective, so when he talks bad about Obama, he can say that he has also criticized McCain. I'm sure he doesn't mean this at all. He just looking out for himself.

    September 14, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  22. Kathy

    If Karl Rove is saying that McCain is going too far than its obvious that McCain will say and do anything to win. He doesn't deserve to be president, we don't need a disgraceful person in the White House!

    VOTE OBAMA/BIDEN 08!

    September 14, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  23. DV

    "The 100% truth test"

    That's hilarious. What Rove has done to this country is just disgusting. As Rove reminds us, he ran sleezy campaigns in 2000 and 2004 and "won", and he's made America resign itself to this as the norm. So much so that the man who was tarred by Rove/Bush in 2000 is now grasping desperately at Rove's own tactics and exceeding the slime and dishonesty that Rove pioneered.

    It is a sad day for this nation.

    David

    September 14, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  24. Bleating for Obama

    Please scrutinize the Obama ads- McCain never said he was for 100 yr war. Palin never said we were fighting a holy war with God on our side.

    Nothing but fabricated lies.

    A little fair coverage from the media would be nice.

    September 14, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  25. Lone Wolf MD

    It wouldn't surprise me if Rove said this in order to hide how much he is really involved with the McCain campaign. I don't trust anything that comes out of his mouth, as he has already proven he's as sleazy as they come. Thus, I suspect that the lies will continue to flow ffrom the McCain campaign.

    September 14, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
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