Huckabee, Gingrich blast Rove for 'murder' comment, both citing Giffords
September 2nd, 2012
12:25 PM ET
6 years ago

Huckabee, Gingrich blast Rove for 'murder' comment, both citing Giffords

(CNN) – Newt Gingrich and Mike Huckabee both had harsh words for conservative strategist Karl Rove on Sunday after Rove joked about murdering GOP U.S. Rep. Todd Akin, whose controversial comments about rape and pregnancy drew the ire and condemnation of most Republicans. Both Gingrich and Huckabee referred to former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords as they condemned Rove's joke.

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

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Gingrich, the former House speaker and presidential candidate, called Rove's remarks "terrible" on NBC.

"In the age of Gabby Giffords it is not a joke to say that a member of Congress ought to get murdered," he added.

Giffords is currently recovering from gunshot injuries sustained in a 2011 shooting incident in Tucson, Arizona. She resigned from the House in January 2012.

Mike Huckabee, also a former presidential candidate who served as governor of Arkansas, wrote on his website that Rove's remarks were worse than Akin's original comment, in which the Missouri lawmaker suggested that pregnancy is almost impossible in cases of what he called "legitimate rape."

"If making a foolish remark about rape is bad, then making a joke about a United States Congressman being murdered is as bad or worse since Akin didn't wish anyone to be raped, just spoke awkwardly and incorrectly about the likelihood of pregnancy in the event of a rape," Huckabee wrote.

"In light of the attempted assassination of Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, the remark was disturbing," he continued.

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.

"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."

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.

CNN's Kevin Liptak and Ashley Killough contributed to this report.

Filed under: Abortion • Karl Rove • Mike Huckabee • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. Anonymous

    "In light of the attempted assassination of Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, the remark was disturbing," he continued."

    Yeah. You'd think Romney and Ryan would have gotten that this wasn't appropriate, too. Apparently not. Too busy focusing on Ann's dresses and Ryan's lies, I guess.

    Then again. Karl Rove is running Mitts campaign behind the scenes ...

    September 2, 2012 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  2. Ann'sTheMan!

    Betcha $10K Romney lets Rove keep running ads for him against Obama...

    September 2, 2012 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  3. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Huck and Newt are angry that Karl would not support them in their attempts to become president. Is this the first time that they found out that Rove is an influence peddler?

    September 2, 2012 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  4. RNC's movie moment: 'Empty Chair vs. Warm Stool' featuring Batty Harry!

    Not a fan of either man, but a golf clap to both for calling out Rove and his "humor".

    September 2, 2012 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  5. Disgusted X's 2

    When I was growing up, we were taught by all of the caring adults in our lives to watch our language; that words do matter. I've been a political junkie for many years now and have never seen politicians sink so low. From blatantly disrespecting the President of the United States to this latest disgusting comment I just wonder where's the bottom? To those of you who engage in this behavior, I hope you know that your children and grandchildren are watching and learning from you!

    September 2, 2012 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  6. Pander Bear

    An yet Mitt says nothing. Why? Because he needs Karl Rove to help lie his way to the Presidency. Rove threw Gingrich and Huckabee under the bus as part of his permanent majority plan because they don't toe the line. And now they're getting a small measure of payback.

    September 2, 2012 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  7. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    A right wingnut walked into a store and said, "I would like the biggest ammo clip I can get."
    The clerk responded, "Sir, this is a library."
    The wingnut then whispered, "I'm sorry, I would like the biggest ammo clip I can get."

    September 2, 2012 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  8. Jack

    To say that Rove was insensitive is an understatement.

    September 2, 2012 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  9. tcaros

    My nickname for Huckabee is Hug-a-Bee...

    September 2, 2012 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  10. Vote for Seamus, elect Kolob's next dog catcher

    Nut jobs. Rove, Akin, Newt, Huck, Rush, Beck, and all the other citizens from Republistan. Shooting people is how they do business.

    Regardless, is all the liberal reporter's fault.

    September 2, 2012 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  11. bb

    There's nothing humorous about advocating violence against anyone. Sick!

    September 2, 2012 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  12. Turning Texas Blue

    Who is surprised to hear Karl Rove say something abominable? Not me. It's said, "Out of the mouth, the heart speaks."
    And our words tell others who we are as a person. He's awful and it isn't breaking news...

    September 2, 2012 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  13. Chutzpah

    I'm a dedicated liberal and was disgusted by the ignorance shown by Akins' original remark (which I don't see as all that different from Republican orthodoxy), but even I can tell that Rove's remark was a joke. His meaning was crystal clear.

    September 2, 2012 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  14. Skee

    This is yet another example of Republicans having their utmost integrity towards "WINNING AT ALL COST", or "ANY MEANS NESSECARY" to gain power......

    Karl Rove expressed his depth of how bad the Republicans need to win that Senate Seat, he understands that Akin will in all likelihood loose to Claire McCaskill because of his backwards thinking when it comes to women and rape, albeit the Republican Platform for the RNC is IDENTICAL to Akins position, and don't forget the Paul Ryan cosponsored a bill with the same language....

    Karl Rove and most Republicans care nothing about the integral workings of leading the nation and governing, they simply want POWER, this notion of "COUNTRY FIRST" is the biggest SCAM on WHITE AMERICA that I can think of to date.........

    September 2, 2012 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  15. nobikiniatoll

    When rats begin to eat their young it's usually a sign of stress in the colony, such as cage overcrowding.

    September 2, 2012 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  16. David

    Where was the outrage when Palin was putting rifle scope images on Democrats?

    September 2, 2012 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  17. Yonni

    Vultures now turning on each other. That is priceless

    September 2, 2012 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  18. Gabriel

    Eventually even a professional liar like Rove let's the truth slip out albeit accidentally.

    September 2, 2012 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  19. Barry

    The Repubs, correctly sensing disaster have already begun eating each other alive. Just wait till November 7th when the feeding frenzy begins in earnest.

    September 2, 2012 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  20. Dyslexic doG

    Karl Rove is a cancer to this great country. Insidiously destroying all that once was great about America.

    September 2, 2012 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  21. rasjr1957

    These republicans are a sick group no problem with murdering their own raping anybody. So tell me why do people vote the them? Oh and not to mention they enjoy sending USA jobs to communists countries. I'm at a lose as to what people see in them. Don't forget about the debt they put us with wars and ill advised tax cuts. What a irresponsible group they are.

    September 2, 2012 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  22. Surfer George

    First of all, I think it's a crime to make such statements and

    SECONDLY, really Mike/Newt? You should know that for Rove, that's probably just business as usual, how he thinks of handling things.

    September 2, 2012 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  23. stars

    I feel sorry for Akin because some nut out there may try to take him out.

    September 2, 2012 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  24. Marie MD

    Hypocrites! I don't remember any rethugs coming out against the AK mutant and her crosshairs after the Giffords' shooting.
    The only reason rove apologized, if you call saying that he didn't know there were reporters at the meeting is an apology, is that he was caught with his pants down.
    He meant it. It was not a joke but he meant it. Unfortunately, the teapublikkklans need rove and norquist and the koch brothers money so . . . . . who will be it be next time?

    September 2, 2012 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  25. cali girl

    Even though I did not approve of Akins comments onrape, I am disgusted at Rove's comments. If that reporter had not been there to observe the verbal threat, would we ever know? It makes me wonder what is being said when there isn't anyone there to confirm it.
    It just goes to show what kind of people we are dealing with. Not just current GOP members but everyone who associates with them.

    September 2, 2012 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
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