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. Chipster

    Oh my, I truly never thought that I would ever agree with Karl Rove on anything but this is shocking.

    McCain has become progressively more pathetic, less ethical. His VP choice is imploding on closer scrutiny. Claims the he is a "maverick" are just plain silly now. Since the 2000 election, he has supported the herd, following Bush/Cheney every step of the way.

    Palin's abuse of power and recklessness as mayor are being exposed more every day. She turned a surplus into a 38% tax increase and accepted those earmarks that she falsely claimed she turned down. Sure, she reversed her position on the bridge but took the earmark money anyhow. This is the sort of thing Rove means about the "truthiness" problem with McCain's sleazy ads.

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

    i think Karl rove is an Obama supporter and will vote for Obama

    September 14, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  3. Derek

    A politician would LIE to get elected...imagine that!

    September 14, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  4. LouAnn

    Coming from the king of sleaze himself, McCain must really be the new sleaze king, according to Rove. Dishonesty never wins and the republican party has been rift with it over the last 8 years. The end has come for them.

    And sorry, but Obama has got this election beat.

    September 14, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  5. Lyndon,CA

    Irrelevant, America votes in black and white!

    September 14, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  6. jbob

    "Who cares. It's working"
    just what i'd expect from a mccain supporter.
    this is not a team sport, fan boy.

    September 14, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  7. John Kellermeyer

    So now Hell's representative Doughboy finds even McCain's lies more repugnanat than his own?

    What a team!

    September 14, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  8. Kathy

    McCain and Palin "crooked talk express" will be their downfall.
    They have told too many lies in too short of a time, and this will dog them for months in this campaign.
    We can't afford more of this in America.

    September 14, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  9. CJ/PA

    Thank you, Karl Rove, for a glimpse of humanity and integrity. If it's even too much for you, imagine how the rest of us feel!! McCain and his new sidekick are running an ugly, nasty, sarcastic campaign that is indeed short on the truth and has nothing to do with the issues. I hope the American people are smart enough that it backfires right in their smug little faces.

    September 14, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  10. Chipster

    Jim, Chicago: "Who cares. It's working and Obama is on the way down for the count."

    So, this is what's meant by "Republican values?" That's the reason I left the Republican Party – actually, it left me – years ago.

    September 14, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  11. FRG

    Bush & Company told 935 lies about Iraq-McCain & Palin will break that record!!!!!

    September 14, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  12. Cathy

    For the first time EVER, I agree with Rove...but that man is up to something. Obama's campaign or anyone else should not trust him one bit.

    P.S. Jim: Your comment is actually why this country is where it is today. I feel sorry for you and your twisted mind.

    September 14, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  13. Xavier

    Its working? Are you saying that you want McCain to tell lies so he can win the presidency? WHat kind of example are you asking him to set for our children? WHat does that say about you? Its people like you that have caused the decay in our American sence of right and wrong. I have never met you sir, but judging by your statement I have to say that I suspect that you are a horrible human being.

    September 14, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  14. Delores Stephenson

    John McCain should hang his head in shame for the lies he been spreading.If Karl Rove the sleaziest person ever decried his ads you know he he has sunken to the gutters..Shame on u John Mc Cain

    September 14, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  15. Sarah M

    For a party that claims ownership of chistian values, how hypocritical that their candidate will do anything to win including lies.
    They are giving christianity a bad image for the rest of us decent christians.

    September 14, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  16. RapidRay

    Now if that don't get ya thinking, nothing will.

    September 14, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  17. Garrett

    Jim.. Your comment is a sad statement about the morality of Republicans.

    September 14, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  18. Montana is Obama Country

    Karl Rove is a dirt ball..!!

    McCain is once again is using the POW cry for an excuse.... but obviously he has never heard of technology.. or even ADVANCED technology..

    can he use a pencil...??? well if he can use a pencil or even a pen for writing checks.. he can use a keyboard..!!

    pity party for the POW whimp...


    Tie for change is now..

    end the lies... end the excuses....VOTE for change..

    Obama/Biden... 2008

    September 14, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  19. Brenna from Portland Oregon

    So. First we have Bill O'Reilly complimenting Obama, saying how impressive he was and how sincere he was last week. Now, Karl Rove is saying that McCain has went too far? WHAT?! WHAT DIMENSION IS THIS?! Did that atom smasher start creating weird black holes already?! Is it the end of the world!? This election is nuts!

    Obama/Biden 08!

    September 14, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  20. marymary4868

    when the adds mc cain put out are out and out lie's ,YES, the LOOSE CANNON has gone too far, His huge ego and short temper will do him in before it's over and when the truth all comes out about palin,(bush in a skirt) then he will have real worries! The party wil fall apart at it's poorly sewn seams, the only change the republicans will make is their underwear! Sad but true! mc bush,and bush in a skirt, wow what a team!

    September 14, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  21. tuff Col. Oh


    September 14, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  22. Zman.Indianapolis,IN

    All mccainpalin supporters are mostly uneducated anyway those polls show the exact percentage of smart and dumb america

    September 14, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  23. Nik

    Just in case anyone missed in the article– KARL ROVE just said the campaign ads were dishonest, and had "gone too far". If this doesn't tell you about the so-called "Character" of John McInsane– then I don't know what will.

    Seriously America– wake the hell up and realize that the Republicans have stolen this country out from under us over the last 8 years– we need to take it back!

    Obama-Biden 2008 or Write-In Ron Paul

    September 14, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  24. nellie

    Americans have the right to vote for whomever they choose. Whenever the process comes down to slander, it's pathetic. I personally don't think McCain is this type of person. Once again, His advisors are running his campaign. To the people of this country, put on your blinders and vote for the best candidate, all other feelings aside. I do wish the MSM put a stop to asking their guest "what can Obama do to get the white vote". This line of questioning is offensive and what do expect these people to say?

    September 14, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  25. Pepou

    For Jim in Chicago : For you the end justifies the means, any means. For me this is just ONE among many reasons why I support Obama, campaign and donate $$ for him. Because this kind of dirty politics, lies, deception is unworthy of the American people. You should be deeply ashamed of yourself.

    September 14, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
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