Akin accepts apology from Rove over murder comment
August 31st, 2012
06:04 PM ET
2 years ago

Akin accepts apology from Rove over murder comment

(CNN) - Karl Rove, a former adviser to President George W. Bush and now head of the conservative super PAC American Crossroads, apologized on Friday to Rep. Todd Akin of Missouri after a reporter published biting words Rove used to describe the embattled Senate candidate.

"We should sink Todd Akin. If he's found mysteriously murdered, don't look for my whereabouts," Rove said Thursday at a private fundraiser, according to a Businessweek reporter who was not supposed to be there.

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Akin has brushed off criticism from many Republicans and Democrats alike over his remarks earlier this month that a woman's body has biological means of preventing pregnancy in 'legitimate rape.' He has refused to withdraw his candidacy and vows to continue campaigning against incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill, a vulnerable Democrat.

Rick Tyler, an adviser to Akin, said the congressman received and accepted an apology from Rove by telephone on Friday after the comments were reported by multiple news outlets. News of the apology was first reported by the Associated Press.

"Karl's personal apology to Todd was appreciated and Todd did forgive him," Tyler said. "But because Karl has maliciously and disgracefully attempted to ruin Todd's solid reputation as a public servant, at a minimum, he should follow Todd's example and make his own contrition public."

The Businessweek reporter, Sheelah Kolhatkar, said in her article that she was invited to the fund-raiser as the guest of a financier whom she described as a "significant Republican donor."

"The financier knew that I was a journalist. At no point was I presented with, nor did I agree to, restrictions regarding the information I heard," Kolhatkar writes in the article. "Upon my arrival at the breakfast, I was not asked if I was a journalist. I gave my name, identified the person who had invited me, was handed a wristband, and ushered into the dining room."

Her story further details Rove's pleas for money from those at the event, a crowd of about 70 hedge fund billionaires and investors. It was held on the final morning of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, on Thursday.

Rove, she writes, was raising money for Crossroads, which has spent tens of millions on conservative candidates and causes this cycle. In his remarks, he presented data from focus groups on how best to try to sway supporters of President Barack Obama to the GOP column this fall.

"'If you say he's a socialist, they'll go to defend him. If you call him a 'far out left-winger,' they'll say, 'no, no, he's not.'" The proper strategy, Rove declared, was criticizing Obama without really criticizing him-by reminding voters of what the president said that he was going to do and comparing it to what he's actually done. "If you keep it focused on the facts and adopt a respectful tone, then they're gonna agree with you," Kolhatkar writes.

Rove said the group is two-thirds on its way to reaching its $300 million fund-raising goal. According to Kolhatkar, Rove said $200 million was budgeted for the presidential race, $70 million for the Senate, and $32 million for the House.

American Crossroads spokesman Jonathan Collegio took issue with the reporter's presence at the closed event and questioned her journalistic standards.

"Bloomberg's reporter unethically misrepresented herself to gain access to a private meeting, while reporters who followed the SPJ code of ethics were turned away," Collegio said.

He was referring to the Society of Professional Journalists code of ethics, which includes the line: "Avoid undercover or other surreptitious methods of gathering information except when traditional open methods will not yield information vital to the public. Use of such methods should be explained as part of the story."

– CNN’s Gregory Wallace contributed to this report


Filed under: 2012 • Karl Rove
soundoff (199 Responses)
  1. stew

    I mentioned this on another Political Opinion page and I was drubbed as being a liar. What I have known for some time going back into the 1970's is many people that hold on to one theory about politic's and only vote one way are foolsih.
    You can't say any truths to todays Republican voters as they appear to be blind and contest everything as false.
    Rove was caught and for years everyone knew of his behavior, so he didn't believe he was going to be found out, what a thoughtless fool he and his believers are.

    September 1, 2012 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  2. kim

    Rove has been the man behind the curtain for a very long time, the puppet master pulling the strings and controlling the Republican Party. His "scortched earth" policy of sacrificing the American middle-class for political gain has done more damage than any terrorist organization could ever dream of. Karl Rove deserves a special place in our history as the greatest traitor of all time. He makes a hick like Todd Aikin look harmless.

    September 1, 2012 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  3. James Taylor

    Bush, Cheney, Rove, Gonzales, Condi, Wolfie, Rommie all should be send to the HAGUE for CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY!! WOnderful GOP values who ruined our economic and killed over 200,000 innocent Iraq

    September 1, 2012 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  4. A not-so-stupid former republican

    Perhaps Rove should take his own advice and arrange his demise!

    September 1, 2012 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  5. Karrie

    Jonathan Collegio, Carl Rove’s American Crossroads spokesman, takes exception with the reporters presence saying that other reporters with ethics (SPJ code) were turned away. So I guess that means you had to be unethical to get into the secret meeting and keep your mouth shut afterwards. Yeah, great representation of the American people, well the stinkin' rich ones that is.

    September 1, 2012 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  6. TimP

    You think Karl Rove is bad enough saying thug remarks like this. Just wait until the GOP gets in office and sheds the facade and reveals their true intentions with how to run the government.It will bring the US closer to a civil war. Obama has not done much in office but the obstructionism is as unpatriotic as it comes...you just try to get anything done their when the GOP doesn't care about passing anything so to sink Obama and the country just to get Obama out in 1 term.

    BTW, I want government to be held accountable for misleading/false ads to the public...its getting ridiculous and whoever sponsors these ads should be shut down immediately, their money seized and thrown in court. It's "Freedom of Speech, not Freedom to lie" when addressing the American people.

    September 1, 2012 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  7. Martha in CF

    Oh it just so easy to say I'm sorry isn't Rove....It is comments like these that your party makes all the time. You should be on the FBI list to be watched. How many others have you maybe not made a public apology to but have had the same thoughts to which you are now publicly apologizing for.....This is all sad, very very sad.

    September 1, 2012 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  8. carlos

    shouldn't the FBI be investigating this criminal for his comments about a human being??...forget the apology, he never did to the families of the death service men killed in Iraq...a typical CON and REPUG bas_ard

    September 1, 2012 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  9. Bill

    No news here; Karl Rove is well named, has the same sort of ethos as Karl Marx. What surprises me is that Romney so obviosly followed in his business career, the guidon of Tony Soprano, with the Hassidic-owned motel, and the businessman who lost his sporting goods store. Romney/Soprano followed the bust-em-out, drive-em-under, make-my-money and run like a thief business method so typical of Bain and the New Jersey Mob (tip of the hat to fatso Christie.) Surprisingly Queen Ann and Romney actuallly bellieve their money in offshore accounts, does not rub shoulders with the very worst examples of rampant greed, from cocain cartels, to Russian oligarchs, to terroristic cabals, to the worst of the worst examples of the poor being ground down by their "leaders". Kind of makes me wonder if the pubs don't have that in mind for the good ol USA and all its citizens.

    September 1, 2012 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  10. joan

    I applaud Mr Atkin for staying in the race. Why run from what you truly believe. The GOP's only trying to kill this man because they think he will cause them to lose the votes. The GOP is master of deception. Mr. Romney when you have the highest power in the World please don't use it to bully the litte people. Obama I am sure does not believe in killing babies because he is a true CHRISTAIN. But Obama believe that each person pays taxes and should be able to access services of their choice. Just the same with the gays/lesbian. I am sure Mr. Obama knows that the bible clearly said it is wrong but it is not for him to punish these people by depriving them of the services they all paid into. This goes to sure how unselfish and caring this President is.

    September 1, 2012 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  11. JM

    If this man is trying to buy the election with super pac money he will do and say anything to win.

    September 1, 2012 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  12. America1st

    Really, I mean it. I'm a trustworthy guy.

    September 1, 2012 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  13. SCC

    If that was a Democrat – there would have been tremendous outrage – especially if one of members of
    the members of President Obama's would have made that comment

    September 1, 2012 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  14. GrampaSez

    Actually, a lot of DISHONEST LIBS are saying that ROVE ADVOCATED MURDER. But that's as DISHONEST as saying that TODD AKIN advocated murder of WOMEN because he was thoughtless and ignorant, in his apparant defense of the unborn, seemingly making the GOP stand for lack of safety nets, and not trusting a woman to manage her own health issues.

    The kind of dishonesty that quietly hid the DEMOCRAT PLANK WORDING of "wanting to make ABORTION RARE"...

    September 1, 2012 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  15. Pat

    What ever you may think of Karl Rove he is right about Todd Akin. the man is poison for the party and with him in the race? my moneys on McCaskill!

    September 1, 2012 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  16. Rosslaw

    A perfect illustration of right-wing mentality-a reporter "unethically" reported on Rove's comments to murder a Republican senatorial candidate. By the way, isn't Rove's remark an act of terrorism? A little water boarding should be in order.

    September 1, 2012 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  17. notogop

    This is just another example of how far right the right has gone. There are no limits to the outrageous things they will say and probably do. I thought Nixon was extreme in his actions. Oh to have Tricky Dick back and hear the voice of relative reason. Last night on the Colbert Report, John Huntsman opined how far right his party had strayed and was hopeful they would return to reason in the near future. I wouldn't hold my breath. I believe their convention demonstrated how far out of touch they truly are and Eastwood punctuated their delusions with a big exclamation mark.

    September 1, 2012 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  18. BillC

    With these guys (Rove and his gang), it's party loyalty first, country afterwards! It's unpatriotic that he advocated murder for Aikin because the guy speaks from his heart! An apology doesn't eliminate Rove's thought process. It goes to show that these people will do anything in the name of party loyalty! I wonder who else is on his list! Can we have more undercover journalists among them!

    September 1, 2012 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  19. Pete

    Mr.Taylor,you're most certainly right,147 countries have indictments for these eight republicans including their delushional leader Bush for violations against humanity and the Hague in the Netherlands is waiting for them to slip up to arrest them.All these extremists creating wars with lies,blood from thousands of innocents on their hands and Rep Issa,Grassley going after Att.Gen.Eric Holder over one border patrolmans death,how these hypocrites sleep at night is beyond me!!Go after Bush and his henchmen and tell Jeb to butt out or we'll go after him for federal racketeering charges of voters fraud associated with his brothers 2000 election win over Gore,he knows he stole Gore votes while governor of Florida,it was proven later but the damage,election was done!!Republicans have a proven history of being crooked in elections so why stop now right!!!

    September 1, 2012 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  20. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Karl Rove is the "Axis of Evil" and has committed a terrorist threat, if it were you or I we would be immediately arrested without any public apology. Rove is a danger to society.

    September 1, 2012 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  21. Drew

    Rove is what Rove is. He's a thug. But what people need to understand is that the GOP continually says one thing publicly and says something else entirely privately. It's only when we see them unguarded that they spill the beans on what they're really thinking. And, quite often, it's pretty disgusting and ignorant stuff. If people knew what the GOP really believes and thinks, then the GOP never win another election except among voters who are either very wealthy, very racist, or very ignorant. That is their base.

    September 1, 2012 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  22. carlos

    anything happens to the Bloomberg reporter and Mr. Akin.........the criminal rove should immediately be charged with murder, even if he didn't do it.......

    September 1, 2012 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  23. carlos

    did willard and ryand condemned potato head's threat to Mr. Akin???....we are waiting for the two LIARS to speak up....willard what about your TAX RETURNS?????cheater and evader...

    September 1, 2012 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  24. ms. blanco

    The only reason the republicans are upset at Akin is that he spoke their party line and they
    had been trying to bury it to get the woman voters back. He brought it back to the surface. Ryan and Akin
    have voted together on these issues against woman and abortion. If they succeed in taking over
    this country, the next thing they will do is take away womens right to vote! Woman out there stay
    smart or we will all be wearing Burkas with no rights. We will all be serfs at the hands of the greedy
    rich and powerfull.

    September 1, 2012 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  25. steven harnack

    Boy, with all of the secrecy surrounding these GOP operatives one would think that they are running a criminal operation. I can't recall any instances of Democrats ever being so reporter shy. As for reporter ethics on infiltration, it's obvious that with the GOP phobia about excluding the press, the only way that Americans can learn anything about the cabal that wants to dominate the world is through under cover reporting.

    September 1, 2012 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
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