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. barb'sbarb

    Karl Rove should crawl back under the rock from which he sprung....

    May 18, 2014 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  2. steve

    G.H.W. Bush had Lee Atwater. G.W. Bush had Karl Rove.

    May 18, 2014 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  3. Freddy

    I think Rove knows more than he is admitting. Love him or hate him, he's tapped in to politics. I bet someone at the hospital leaked information.

    May 18, 2014 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  4. jeremy

    I think the bottom line here is that Rove knows for sure, that if Hillary runs, the election is a done deal. The Dems would be back in the White House, without question. This is why he's saying these things. Him, and his screwed up party(GOP, Tea Party) are absolutely terrified of Hillary and are saying anything. I think it will not change any American's mind about whether to vote for Hillary or not. They'll not even consider Hillary's fall an issue!!

    May 18, 2014 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  5. ky7ups

    What else would you expect from a criminal pardoned by a president.

    May 18, 2014 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  6. Vader

    Of course 'ol Turdblossom is going to stick by his words. He is, after all, the master of the Republican "big lie" strategy; say something often enough, regardless of its truth or validity, and the witless hordes upon which the far Right relies for election will, of course, accept it as fact.

    May 18, 2014 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  7. tonyb

    he's an idiot- where was his health concerns with Cheney and his 5 heart attacks?

    May 18, 2014 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  8. America1st

    Rove is the guy who blew $350,000,000 dollars of campaign contributor donations into confetti out his APPS. Run Rove Run. We Democrats love ya.

    May 18, 2014 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  9. Dennis Leas

    Dear Mr. Rove,

    It was with great interest that I read your article regarding Hillary Clinton's glasses. Imagine! Glasses that can improve brain functioning! What a boost they would be for me, with my normal functioning brain!

    I directly inquired of my ophthalmologist about such eyewear. He knew of no prescription for this express purpose.

    Since you know more about these "brain functioning" prescriptions than my board-certified doctor, I demand that you immediately share these numbers (the prescription specification) with your readership. The numbers – Mr, Rove – now.

    By the way, haven't I seen a picture of you wearing glasses?

    Dennis Leas

    May 18, 2014 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  10. Sandy

    Rove is an idiot and the GOP is scared of Hilary

    May 18, 2014 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  11. LWJR

    Was she ducking the Benghazi hearings? That's what ROVE is after. Good mission.

    May 18, 2014 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  12. Don Jacobs

    So, where was all the outrage about comments on the health of public officials when Ed Schultz of MSNBC called for Dick Cheny's heart to be ripped out, stomped on and stuffed back in? Or when they said he had brain damage from all of the heart attacks? What a. What a bunch of thin skinned hypocrites! It's politics, and that's what politicians do!

    May 18, 2014 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  13. spudnik56

    Rove...another American clown...

    May 18, 2014 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  14. Me

    69 is my lucky number. This woman will be just fine, Ham Rove.

    May 18, 2014 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  15. Jbolin

    You liberals are quite entertaining! I find it hard to believe with all the crap this administration has pulled including Benghazi clearly a cover up you'd support them. Wake up you flock of sheep! You are the same ones that 70 years ago listened to Nazi propaganda and believed it in Germany! Smell the roses because you are embarrassing to knowledgeable Americans.

    May 18, 2014 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  16. Mike Green

    Rove was disgusting!!!!

    That was as bad as Bill Maher andother Democrats making fun of Trig Palin for having down syndrome. Oh I forgot the rules it is ok for the Democrats to mock peoples health, but the Republicans are barred from making any comment about the left.

    May 18, 2014 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  17. Stevie D

    And how old was President Reagan?

    May 18, 2014 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  18. keeeleee

    Rove speaks with proofs. Any problem?

    May 18, 2014 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  19. The Only Thing That Matters

    Say what you want about Karl Rove, there is no person in American politics who looks more like Porky Pig.

    May 18, 2014 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  20. ComeOn2013

    He has nothing to apologize for!!

    May 18, 2014 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  21. Dave

    Ham Rove claims she was out thirty days in the hospital... it was barely three- he also fails to remember he originally said she was faking it to avoid questions about BENGAHZI-BENGAHZI-BENGAHZI! WHY can't he remember these important facts??!? Is Ham Rove suffering from brain damage ?

    May 18, 2014 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  22. Anonymous

    Her behavior over the last year definitely suggests diminished mental capacity. Whether this diminished capacity is related to her brain injuries and related neurological problems should be addressed by physicians and neurological experts.

    May 18, 2014 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  23. harrisonhits2

    Karl Rove's only legacy is that he's a torturer, war criminal, war profiteer and should have been sent to the Hague for helping start the illegal war in Iraq for the sole purpose of corporate profits.

    Funny that when Saddam killed a single civilian it was a war crime, but the US killed minimum 60,000 Iraqi civilians and it was laughed off by Bush, Cheney, Rove and the rest of the neocons as "collateral damage". They all should have been sent to he Hague for crimes against humanity.

    May 18, 2014 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  24. Bill in Mill Creek

    Hmmm, Thank you Carl Rove for letting everyone know who it is the republicans are afraid of. But as of this moment, she is not running.

    May 18, 2014 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  25. Pianofan

    Karl Rove – trying hard to be relevant again….

    May 18, 2014 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
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