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. aaron in mn

    LOL, the title for the sleaziest campaign has been voluntarily surrendered by the previous title holder.

    September 14, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  2. Jim the Dem

    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 |
  3. CTM

    McCain has lost all my respect, Palin never had it.

    September 14, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  4. USAF RET

    Jim, Chicago, you said:

    September 14th, 2008 2:14 pm ET

    Who cares. It's working and Obama is on the way down for the count.

    Americans who are concerned with the integrity of the person in the Oval Office care. Believe it or not, flat out lying is not the type of experience some of us are looking for in our president.

    September 14, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  5. Jeremy

    Palin was picked by Karl Rove.She was not Mcains choice.Mcain was for Joe Lieberman but Karl Rove personally called Lieberman and instructed to call Mcain and withdraw from the race. Rove is saying this out of desperation.He selfish plans have been unearthed!....OBAMA/BIDEN 08

    September 14, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  6. John

    Jim, YOU should care. If MY candidate was proved to be lying I would at least have second doubts. I don't like having liars at the helm.

    September 14, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  7. Dan Collins

    Ha Ha HA! Karl Rove saying that lying is going too far?! what a joke! That is the funniest, most absurdly ridiculous thing I have ever heard the man say! He is the king of political underhandedness and deception: A liar's liar. The most despicable human to ever enter american politics! If he is saying that then there must be a trick to it. He must be trying to get us to think that there was some truth in McCain's ads when in actuality they were not a little too far over the line, like McCain's little toe crossed over, but blatant in your face, I don't give a flip what the filthy little facts are, bald faced lies. funny funny funny! Good one Karl.

    September 14, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  8. beth

    It is painful to watch Mr. McCain, the once respected war hero, being reduced to a pathological liar. I believed he had more honor than what he has shown.

    September 14, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  9. abdoulayes

    Wow. The pot calling the kettle a bigger liar.

    September 14, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  10. Kelly in CT

    Sorry Jim it's not working.... The Obama camp is laying low until this whole Palin Hype is over then they are going in for the kill.
    The only thing these ads proof is the slimy kind of person McCain truly is and also shows that that's all he has to try to win. He won't win on his credentials Nor will he win having Hockey Mom Barbie at his side. That's for sure.
    If The sleeze bag Rove is saying the ads bad, you know they must be bad..after the slimy ads he did for Bush.

    OBAMA 08

    September 14, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  11. georgia jones

    John McCain is a desperate old man and he will do anything to win. That's not change, that' s the same old politics. Palin is a freak , how can he stand to listen to that horrible voice. What has America come to?

    September 14, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  12. Tony

    Wow, Jim of Chicago (supposedly) doesn't care. he must not care about democracy if candidates need to lie and cheat their way to the top. You are a great American Jim. George W. Bush would be proud.

    September 14, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  13. hi dough boy

    is "creepiness" an essential republican membership qualification?

    no wonder they have bill clinton and obama,

    as those two guys are too charming and sexy!

    September 14, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  14. patrick

    Jim, i doubt it!! Furthermore, a Mccai/Palin ticket will take this country back to post 1960's era. Furthermore, what does that say about 'Your" character?? if you are willing to support a ticket based on lies, racism, and voter fraud??

    September 14, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  15. Amin in KCMO

    He knows that there is no way McCain will win and won't be running for next presidental election due to his age. Be nice old man

    >>>>>Obama/Biden 08>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    September 14, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  16. Marie

    To Far? Really? Why didn't he think of that when he created them? Bush didn't nickname him 'Turd Blossom' for no reason. He lives up to his name every time.

    September 14, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  17. Daniel

    So Jim from Chicago you like your politicians to be sleazy and dishonest so be it support McCain.I actually have principles and I will vote for Obama!

    September 14, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  18. texasgreenacres

    smells like a dead cat in the wood pile huh?

    September 14, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  19. Steph

    That is bad when ever Rove thinks someone has gone too far.

    September 14, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  20. Jeanne Beans

    Speaking of Palin,

    Is it being sexist or just being a child advocate to ask who is staying with Palin's children while she and her husband are gone from home thru the election? She stated she won't return until then, and her husband is flying with her.

    As a mother, I am outraged!

    September 14, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  21. Razor Willy

    McRove the sleeze bag would know when he sees an add that over the top. He produced most of the one for McBush.

    Jim in Chicago do you have brain freeze in the mid west already?
    Who cares it's working... well thats helpful... you get right down to the important detailed issues of the day.

    September 14, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  22. Joe

    It's pretty obvious the McCain/Palin campaign is lying about pretty much everything and trying to pull the dirtiest tricks in the books.

    "The McCain campaign said Gov. Palin opposed the bridge to nowhere, but now we know she supported it. They said she didn't seek earmarks, but now we know she hired a lobbyist to get millions in pork for her town and her state. They said she visited Iraq, but today we learned that she only stopped at the border. Americans are starting to wonder, is there anything the McCain campaign isn't lying about?"

    I am terrified at the thought of Palin in the White House and the kind of danger she could get our country into. Talking smack to Putin without even looking at the underpinnings of the Georgian/Russian conflict? Really? That's a good way to get us into another Cold War.

    Look at the issues people, look behind the ads, read the platforms. Greenspan said yesterday that the McCain tax cuts will destroy our economy!! We are genuinely screwed if these guys take the White House!

    September 14, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  23. Dane NC

    Keep telling yourself that, Jim. Everyone should care whether the campaign is being run honestly, no matter what side you're on. Anyone who resorts to smear tactics and lies proves that they don't have enough substance to back up their argument, and McCain's campaign is hoswing that weakness over and over again.

    September 14, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  24. Matt

    Wow- you know McCain has stepped over a line when Rove, the king of negative campaign, says he has.

    September 14, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  25. John, North Carolina

    Jim:

    Who cares? People who care about democracy care. The founders built a system around an informed and enlightened electorate.

    Peddling information that you know is a lie is in direct opposition to the spirit of democracy. You're not voting for or against a candidate if the impressions you've been given are all illegitimate.

    September 14, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
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