May 18th, 2014
01:07 PM ET
4 years ago

Karl Rove stands by his Hillary Clinton comments, says Bill Clinton backs him up

Updated 3:45 p.m. ET, 5/18/2014

(CNN) – Republican strategist Karl Rove on Sunday once again defended his controversial comments about Hillary Clinton’s 2012 concussion, this time trying to use former President Bill Clinton’s own words to back him up.

“Her husband told us something the other day we didn’t know: It took her six months to get back,” Rove said on “Fox News Sunday.”

Clinton suffered a blood clot in December 2012 as the result of a fall. After first going to the hospital for testing, Clinton later was admitted for a three-day stay at a hospital in New York.

Rove argues that Clinton is likely considering the injury as a factor while she weighs a second bid for the White House, injecting the issue of health and age into the ongoing “Will she or won’t she?” debate.

Her husband defended Hillary Clinton last week, saying she’s “strong” and “doing great.” But he also acknowledged that the episode was a “terrible concussion that required six months of very serious work to get over.”

Hillary Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill said last week, "Karl Rove has deceived the country for years, but there are no words for this level of lying." As for Clinton's health, Merrill added, "She is 100%. Period."

Critics, including her husband, blasted Rove for trying to paint Hillary Clinton as damaged goods.

But Rove, a senior political adviser in the George W. Bush administration, said Sunday he doesn’t have any doubts about her physical capability.

“I'm not questioning her health. What I'm questioning is...whether or not it's a done deal when she's running. She would not be human if she did not take this into consideration,” he said. “She will be 69 at the time of the 2016 election. If she gets elected and serves two terms, she’ll be 77.”

A spokeswoman for Correct the Record, the communications and rapid response arm of a pro-Hillary Clinton super PAC, said Rove's latest comments are a textbook example of his "sleazy tactics that are offensive and ineffective."

"Dr. Rove knows if Secretary Clinton chooses to run for President, it’s a done deal," Adrienne Elrod said. "He knows he and his fellow extremist conspirators will be finished, and the Party that keeps its deals with the American people, the Democratic Party, will stay in the White House and continue leading and looking to the future. "‬

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, also defended Clinton Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union,” calling Rove’s comments “stupid.”

"In my view, she's in the prime of her political life. She's got the energy. She's articulate. She's got the background. She's got the smarts," she said. "She has all of the elements of a good leader."

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Missouri, described Rove’s comments as a “cheap political shot.”

“It's the kind of politics that make people not want to participate, and it's too bad,” she said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

CNN's Dan Merica contributed to this report.

Filed under: Bill Clinton • Hillary Clinton • Karl Rove
soundoff (279 Responses)
  1. labman57

    Karl Rove is employing his standard unethical political tactics: it matters little whether his rhetoric has any basis in reality. All that matters is whether he can sell it to the voting populace.

    His objective: If he keeps repeating this evidence-devoid, speculative innuendo over and over, eventually some people will conclude that it must be true, simply because they continually heard it being uttered.

    May 18, 2014 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  2. jefflz

    Karl Rove is an expert in the Big Lie technique – repeat something often enough ad people will begin to believe it. He studied the propaganda methods of Joseph Goebbels, Hitler's Propaganda Minister, whom he greatly admired. Rove used the Big lie Technique successfully during the Bush Years of Terror and he is now back at it again. Can't believe a word he says.

    May 18, 2014 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  3. jorge washinsen

    Even with health problems it would be a relief from the mess we have.

    May 18, 2014 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  4. WakeUp

    It is of course OK to question the health of those who seek the Presidency, it is quite something else to blatantly create and give them ailments they do not have. And to do it so obviously... Rove is subtle like a gun. Anyone with half a brain can see through his attempts. I particularly liked it when he said she had been in the hospital for 30 days... It was 3 days Karl! Have a problem with math? I wonder if all of the numbers you use for your arguments are off to a similar degree?

    May 18, 2014 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  5. yerkiddinright

    It's 2 years before the election and Karl Rove is already in desperation mode.

    May 18, 2014 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  6. SAM

    forget the concussion REMEMBER BENGHAZI repeat Benghazi

    May 18, 2014 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  7. don in albuquerque

    Rove's comments were stupid. Therefore Rove is.................

    May 18, 2014 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  8. jim

    Rove is a has been!

    May 18, 2014 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  9. tallulah131

    Of course he does. Rove has a tenuous relationship with honesty, and would say anything to promote his personal agenda. He successfully exploited and widened the cultural gap in this country and helped create the deadlock we have in our national politics - all in the name of his own personal gain. Karl Rove is a traitor to the well-being of this nation and should be treated accordingly.

    May 18, 2014 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  10. Brian

    Rowe is such a poor excuse of a human being and all around republican imbecile its not even worth it to say more.

    May 18, 2014 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  11. tim

    Why is anything Karl Rove has to say relevant ?

    May 18, 2014 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  12. Monomachos

    Whatever one's politics, no one is as healthy at 69 than s/he was at 45 and is not going to get healthier as time goes on. It is a valid consideration.

    May 18, 2014 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  13. George

    This guy is just stupidly intelligent! Literally took hundreds of dollars from donors and convinced other stupid people that Romney's win would be a cake walk!! We need people like him. I am already sensing a Democratic win even though I am not a Democrat. Independents are having a ring side seat to watch two hypocrites (Democrats and Republicans) fight it out!!! Who needs cable?

    May 18, 2014 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  14. Guest

    This is not new news. It's been reported for months. Maybe the Obama propaganda networks haven't reported it but it's been all over the internet. And now Bill admits she took 6 months to recover-that within itself shows her problem is significant.

    May 18, 2014 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  15. Rick Norris

    Karl Rove is and always has been a lying, deceitful, manipulating and untrustworthy person. I would not believe him if he said the sky was blue.

    May 18, 2014 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  16. Annie in Atlanta

    This is politics at it's ugliest, and no one does it better than Rove. He'll keep it up until Hillary decides to run or not. And if she does, we can expect even uglier from him. How he is still relevant knowing all we do about him is beyond me. We need to get the ugly (and the money) out of politics and let it be a fair playing field based on issues, not whispering campaigns started by Mr. Uglier than them All Karl Rove.

    May 18, 2014 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  17. bill

    when anyone questions the left it is called an attack???? b\ut when this network asked the same questions of the right it is to seek the truth????? joseph goebbels is proud of your network.

    May 18, 2014 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  18. KP

    Reagan was 70 when he first took office and was worshipped by the sane republicans who question Mrs. clnon's age! Again, the RDS- republican double standard!

    May 18, 2014 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |

    Can't wait to see Rove,Sheldon Adelson,Rupert Mourdoch,Grover Norquist and the GOP stuff Jeb Bush down the tea party's throats EXACTLY like they stuffed Romney down. The drumbeat is getting louder.

    May 18, 2014 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  20. 2_indy1600

    And again, tell a Republican a lie and they're outraged, tell a Democrat the truth and they're outraged. Once again, one concussion is a brain injury, two or more is Concussion Syndrome, and you don't even want to know about that; bad news for Clintons, but Rover needs to move over unless he can take the heat. Sounds like Billy Bob Bubba Slick Wild Waco Bill was po'd or trying to make rover look bad. A concussion is a brain injury, although not necessarily brain damage. No more drunk texting for HRC, though.

    May 18, 2014 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  21. TM

    The Grand Old Tea Party couldn't have cared less about age when Saint Ronnie was running for President in 1980, and he was the same age as Mrs. Clinton will be in 2016. So what has changed? Her party affiliation, or her gender? After bragging about a "permanent republican majority" in 2008, and his hissy-fit tantrum after Ohio went for President Obama in 2012, ensuring his re-election, "Turd Blossom" Rove is ranting to any audience that will listen, trying for some kind of relevance. Go home Karl, your 15 minutes are long over.

    May 18, 2014 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  22. Randy, San Francisco

    Carl Rove, the master of dirty politics, will never apologize for his despicable deeds or words. Republican political operatives are obviously running scare and will resort to dirty politics because of Hillary's high poll numbers.

    May 18, 2014 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  23. ncmyk

    First it was "she's faking it not to testify on Benghazi."
    Now it's "she's so injured she has brain damage."
    So which is it GOP?

    May 18, 2014 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  24. MB

    If KR the troll is so confident is his diagnosis of Hillary then he should every confidence that he could debate her and win.

    So come on Karl, send her an invite so we can see how you will do!!!!

    May 18, 2014 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |

    how much botox has she had?

    May 18, 2014 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
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