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. Tim

    Both have promised a new direction and as the election grows near, it just seems politics as usual. This turns off the mildy interested independent and young voters disproportionately to the hard right voters Palin has attracted. Same ol' GOP mechanics in action again.

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

    What is UP? what are you planning? You Karl Idiot
    You are a disgrace to American democracy.

    September 14, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  3. Jay, Raleigh, NC

    The only reason Rove is saying this is because McCain's lies have become so egregious, they can be disproved by a simple search of public records or factcheck.org.

    Rove has no problem with lying... he's just smart enough to not get caught. Apparently the same cannot be said of McCain.

    September 14, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  4. Susan from Scotts Valley, CA

    ya think? One step too far? How about a mile? Talk about a bridge to nowhere. That's what the McCain/Palin ticket gets you.

    September 14, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  5. Ex-mod-GOP for Obama

    When Karl Rove thinks you're being sleazy you know you've really gone into the gutter.

    September 14, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  6. gre

    The master of slash and burn politics calling someone else 'over the line'? Hello pot, meet kettle.
    Rove has no moral authority, because he has no morals. He is the current king of 'win at any cost' political strategy.
    He is the embodiment of what President Washington and other founding fathers warned about when they decried political parties.

    September 14, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  7. KH

    Who cares if the ads are lies. America went to war based on lies, why not choose a president based on lies too.

    September 14, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  8. Tony

    Wow. The devil must be awfully cold right now.

    September 14, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  9. Peter E

    I'm laughing my head of! When convenient the democrats call Rove a liar, but when convenient they quote him. Make up your mind! You can't have it both ways!

    September 14, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  10. Kathy in TX for Obama

    So what does that say about Republicans, Jim? You know McCain is lying, and you don't care as long as you win. That's why the country is in such sad shape today... too many people buying into the lies. It's also why I'll never vote Republican... I actually have morals and integrity.

    September 14, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  11. jim hawkins

    Who the hell cares what windbag rove thinks..I'm a republican and
    have been all my life.This time it's Obama for me.Our party has left
    me down for the last time.The party of WAR.McCain said he wants
    change....then he picks this palin lady to win the election..Thats not
    country first thats politics first !!!!!

    September 14, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  12. Kathy from NC

    Its sad when people who support the McCain/Palin ticket are OK with this (look at Jim from Chicago's post). What kind of country is it that contains people content on lies and slander because "its working"? I'm ashamed to call them my fellow Americans.

    Disgusted,
    K

    September 14, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  13. Carl

    Jim, Chicago: Who cares? Who cares that McCain and Palin are lying? Look, forget Obama for a second. if you want a President in the white house who doesn't mind to lie to get elected – do you expect him to be honest with you?

    McCain and Palin are liars and hypocrites and therefore in good conscience I cannot vote for them. She claimed she told Congress "thanks but no thanks" on the bridge to nowhere, yet in reality Congress pulled the plug.

    September 14, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  14. Independent

    Lair..lair..pants on fire! Rove america knows that already tell us something new.

    September 14, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  15. Will, Lincoln

    It's working because people like you and other unintelligent americans are buying it.

    September 14, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  16. Brad Hurt

    Rove is a crooked and belong in jail along with bush and chenny

    September 14, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  17. Kimberly from Houston, TX

    Jim, Chicago, I will pray for you.
    This is what's wrong with politics as usual.

    The truth isn't important, the issues that matter to the American public aren't important.

    It's winning at any cost, (Bush/McCain style) and look at what that and the last 8 years has cost us and America!

    Obama/Biden '08

    September 14, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  18. concerned American

    When I read that headline, I literally burst into laughter...It takes a liar to know a liar!

    September 14, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  19. Rhonda

    Jim in Chicago, "Are u serious?"...WHO CARES, IT'S WORKING? ...are u for real? Tell me that is not the actual moral barometer by which you live your life...I am STUNNED!!!!!

    September 14, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  20. Jacques

    Who cares? People who like to hear the truth from candidates. I cannot understand how one campaign can continue to lie soo much. It is crazy! Obama, I am an independent voter and you now have my vote.

    Obama/Biden for real change!!

    September 14, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  21. SD

    OMG OMG OMG!!!! Has Rove had a change of heart after all these years of being a criminal???? Good for you Rove, but the blood is still on your hands!

    September 14, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  22. Anonymous

    This is just one more indication that John McCain is willing to sell his soul to be President. I once thought he was an honorable man. Unfortunately, he is just another sleazy politician.

    September 14, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  23. Clear the decks

    I love Sarh Palin- she is a breath of fresh air in the stale old politics of male egomania and double talk.

    September 14, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  24. joe

    Wow, if even Rove thinks you're lying, you must be pretty sleazy.

    September 14, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  25. vee

    Jim, It's sad to think that you would say who cares, American cares that's who cares. Do we really want our kids/grandkids growing up thinking and staying who cares and think it's right to lie as long as you get want you want. I DONT!!!

    AMERICA CARES!!!!!!!!!

    September 14, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
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