October 10th, 2010
02:18 PM ET
4 years ago

Rove to Obama: How dare you

(CNN) - Karl Rove is lashing out at President Obama and the Democratic National Committee over a new ad that alleges the former top Bush aide is “stealing our Democracy.”

"They are tossing out these baseless charges," Rove said Sunday during an appearance on Fox News.

The comments come the same day the DNC announced it is launching a national television ad targeting Rove and another former Bush aide, Ed Gillespie, over their involvement with an issue advocacy group called Crossroads GPS that by law - because it is established as a non-profit - does not have to reveal its donors.

The organization has spent millions airing anti-Democratic ads in key races and faces charges that they are bending campaign finance laws by structuring itself as a tax-exempt "social welfare" 501(c)(4) organization.

The ad also takes aim at the United States Chamber of Commerce, a pro-business lobby that heavily donates to Republican candidates across the country and which Obama and other Democrats have accused of using money from foreign donors -– a charge the chamber has denied.

“Karl Rove, Ed Gillespie: They're Bush Cronies. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce: They're Shills for Big Business,” the ad’s narrator says. “And they're stealing our democracy. Spending millions from secret donors to elect Republicans to do their bidding in Congress. It appears they're even taking secret foreign money to influence our elections.”

The president leveled a similar charge while on the campaign trail last week in Maryland, saying, “Just this week, we learned that one of the largest groups paying for these ads regularly takes in money from foreign corporations.”

The charges were first made by the liberal blog Think Progress, which reported last week that the Chamber has opened up offices abroad that fundraise for the group. But a spokesman for the group said any fundraising done abroad does not fund political activities.

"Have these people no shame?" Rove said of the attacks leveled at him and the Chamber. "Does the president of the United States have such little regard for the office he holds that he goes out there and makes these kind of baseless charges against his political enemies? This is just beyond the pale. How dare the president do this?"

“This is a desperate and I think disturbing trend by the President of the United States to tar his political adversaries with some kind of enemies list, without being unrestrained by any facts or evidence whatsoever."

Appearing on CBS’s Face the Nation, Gillespie also responded to the charges leveled against him and Rove in the new DNC ad.

“Karl Rove and I don't run American Crossroads. We're fully supportive of it. I've helped to raise money for it. I encouraged it to come together because I think we need something like that on the conservative side because there's so much money on the liberal side. You know, $400 million was spent in 2008 to help elect Barack Obama.”

Gillespie went on to address the allegations against the Chamber of Commerce.

"That was based on a blog posting that the President of the United States repeated that was put on a website that's affiliated with Center for American Progress, a liberal nonprofit advocacy group that does not disclose its donors."

soundoff (218 Responses)
  1. Person

    Karl Rove crying about so called "baseless" charges (actually, true charges) or dirty campaign games. The hypocrisy writes itself.

    October 10, 2010 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  2. ThinkAgain

    Truth hurts, don't it, Karl?

    And his yammerings are all a typical response from Rove: Claim your enemies are what YOU really are (shameless, beyond the pale, disrespecting the office of the Presidency, etc.), in an effort to deflect their criticism.

    Rove is the one without shame; he has elevated smear politics to a level that would make his former mentor, Lee "Willie Horton" Atwater proud.

    Rove and his cronies ARE stealing our democracy, with the help of US and foreign corporations.

    October 10, 2010 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  3. Tom

    "How dare the president do this"? Really? This guys has no credibility...just look at his trail of lies, smears, and smug from the past ten years – the first eight of which were spent getting Bush to drag the country down to the lowest point since the Great Depression. He.has.no.credibility! The closer to the truth these allegations are of foreign and corporate donors to his "social welfare organization", the louder he screams.

    October 10, 2010 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    Me thinks he doth protest too much

    October 10, 2010 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  5. The Big J

    Karl Rove is a snake oil salesman. It's sad that anyone would take this silly man seriously. Because of people like him, our country runs in a fevered degree of emotions and dogma. Ignore this man and let the people use their intellects instead. Are we ever going to act like adults or just behave like ignorant, scared children forever? I, for one, am tired of and embarrassed by these hucksters.

    October 10, 2010 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  6. Jon G.

    So much of what Rove said applies to him, and the rhetorical questions he asks of the President are ones he should have asked himself.

    October 10, 2010 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  7. vic nashville tn

    America cross roads mean road to bankrupt America

    Karl Rove control the America cross roads when he was in white house 2001 to 2006 he was adviser for G.W.Bush what happen they bankrupt us

    To Karl Rove: how dare you will come to us and say you’re Mr. Clean

    October 10, 2010 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  8. usualone

    Why is it okay for the Roves to throw stones at the Democrats? "How dare they" is an insult to the thinking American who had to put up with his distructive nonsense for way too many years. If anything the Democrats are too gentle with the Roves of this world.

    October 10, 2010 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  9. Whatever

    There's a old saying.. A hit dog hollers...... Rove knows that the President is right. Rove should be embarrased to utter the phrase, Have these people no shame. Where was and is his shame and that of his party and the chamber?

    October 10, 2010 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  10. gerrie

    Obama is a disgrace. If you can't state the facts right, stay in the White House. We know what he thinks of people who oppose him, does he think of those who do support him are so stupid as to hang on every word he says as fact too? Times have changed in the past 1 1/2 yrs. I for one will vote my disapproval in Nov.

    October 10, 2010 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  11. Bill

    I wouldn't expect anything different from the likes of obama. He was taught well by Rahm Emanuel, and he does well what lawyers do "Lie"

    October 10, 2010 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  12. Ron, Jr.

    "There you go again, Karl." to quote Reagan.

    October 10, 2010 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  13. James B.

    It is disturbing to see the influence of corporate and international money that is flowing into our elections and buying our elected officials and our democracy. Republicans, it appears, as the main beneficiaries of the largess seem all too happy to take the money. The problem, of course, is that while we sit on our collective butts, our unique lifestyle is seeping away.
    Sadly, politicians have re-directed us to fight amongst ourselves over the margins - immigration, NY Islamic center, healthcare, taxes for the wealthiest 2 percent, lifestyle, religion etc. While we are distracted, they are making off with the proverbial booty, all the way to the congress of the United States.

    In my opinion, the real problem is not with those who are different from us, but with those who have influence (media) and power (corporate entities) and those that do not. We are increasingly becoming part of the latter. This election is an opportunity to shake the chains of our past and vote - hopefully democratic. I am under no illusion that Democratic politicians will solve all of the country's problems, but it appears at least we have a well informed and thoughtful leader in President Obama, who with enough support might be able to push the congress in the right direction. What I am sure of is that republican politicians and others, including Boehner, Gingrich and Palin have not articulated one thoughtful solution to the vexing problems that plague us.

    As the president likes to say, do we put the car in drive (D) or do we put it in reverse (R). I am ready for a long road trip in drive.

    October 10, 2010 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  14. Cody3

    "They are tossing out these baseless charges," Rove said Sunday during an appearance on Fox News.
    roflamo Classic

    Im no scholar but Irony anyone ?

    October 10, 2010 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  15. Sarahdoh

    Rove calling ANYone "shameless" is laughable. He wrote the book on 'desperate and disturbed'.

    October 10, 2010 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  16. Four and The Door

    Yeah, but look at it from Obama's perspective. He has to support his fellow Democrats running for office by saying something.He could talk about their successes in the last 18 months but most of those have already been debunked. So all he is left with is helping attack the opposition. Expect plenty of this in the next 3 weeks. That's right, more than we have already seen. Sure, it's undignified but when has this ever stopped team Obama?

    October 10, 2010 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  17. Carisa

    okay, is it just me or is Rove crying wolf about Obama and his "cronies" doing the same thing Bush and his "cronies" did during Bush's terms in office? How is this kind of underhanded, middle-school tactic NEW to either side? BOTH sides employ "bending the rules" methods to get what they want, that's why the politics as a whole has become nothing more than a giant playground full of spoiled, self-indulgent 4th graders. I wouldn't be surprised if what they're saying about Rove is true, but I also wouldn't be surprised if something like that surfaced about any of the high-profile fanatical democrats either.

    Return to Sanity!
    10/30/10

    October 10, 2010 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  18. steven harnack

    You can always tell when you have hit on the truth about the Republicans because they do every thing they can to demonize the messengers without ever referring to the allegations. The Chamber promotes all sorts of lies and then wants people to believe them when they claim that foreign money is separate? Chamber money is Chamber money, how do you put different labels on it?

    October 10, 2010 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  19. Jim in Florida

    Obama should be very well versed in foregin contributions. Anyone who believes that all the 750 million he raised to buy the Presidency in 2008 was raised domestiically is a moron.

    I can just see operatives with paid devbit cards sitting on the Internet in China and sending money to OBAMA, $50 at a whack, click, click, click

    Obama lies

    Americans are left homeless and out of work

    October 10, 2010 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  20. Reggie from LA

    No...How dare YOU!!
    You wanted back into the fray. If you can't take the heat, then POOF, BE GONE.

    And by the way, you are. You are dusting off the old "play book" and doing the same things you did in the days of the Bush administration.

    YOU have "no shame". What are you...and your kind?

    October 10, 2010 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  21. brian mullan

    Rove is a cheap suit.

    If you are NOT ashamed of promoting a cause you believe in then you shouldn't be afraid of linking your name to that cause.

    There should be a law requiring ALL contributors to ALL political Advertising to be disclosed. If not for any other reason than to make sure Foreign Governments or Foreign business's and Foreign Billionaires.

    For instance do you really want Saudi or Iranian Oil money funding U.S. political ad's for an election ?

    How about Foreign owned Banks ?

    Hiding your name usually means you want to hide something else. Perhaps the VERY same people Rove & the Republicans gripe about the Democrats for (big business and extremely wealthy) are the contributors and it would just be darn embarrassing to admit that to Middle-Class Americans

    Notice Rove voices his "outrage" on Fox News - Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal owns a 7 percent stake in News Corp — the parent company of Fox News — making him the largest shareholder outside the family of News Corp CEO Rupert Murdoch.

    October 10, 2010 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  22. John N Florida

    Karl Rove, the architect of the 'baseless charge' whining about getting called out?
    Give me a BREAK.
    If it weren't for the 'shell game' made possible by Judge Alito, et al., we'd know EXACTLY where Rove is getting his money from.

    October 10, 2010 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  23. H

    of course rove is angry he just got caught....

    October 10, 2010 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  24. maf

    Wow, Karl Rove asking "have these people no shame?" He of baseless, shameless policies and politics.
    Just when I thought the last election cycle couldn't sink any lower, we come up to the 2010 mid-terms with an even goofier slate of insanity. Are there any ISSUES that are being debated. Hopefully the voters can make INFORMED choices as to who their representatives will be.

    October 10, 2010 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  25. Bob

    If Rove is so upset about this-reveal who donating and how much....he won't because they're letting others do their dirty work.

    October 10, 2010 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
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