May 18th, 2014
01:07 PM ET
5 months 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. mickey jones

    Over the last six years America's economic and military power has seriously declined. At a time the country desperately needs new leadership from a new generation, imagine how demoralizing will it be to see the two major parties that literally run the country top to bottom offer America another Clinton and another Bush. Worse, such an election could eventuate in someone with a brain injury wasting away in the Oval Office oversee America's economic and military demise for four or eight more years? The symbolism is inescapable, and incredibly tragic.

    May 18, 2014 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  2. Bill in Mill Creek

    Carl, old buddy. . . Since we are on the subject of "health", how is your "whale sized" carcass doing? . . . Let's talk about your health. . . Seriously, . . Let's have that discussion.

    May 18, 2014 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  3. S. B. Stein

    He's trying to sound important and to have conservatives rally to his side after his lousy calls during the 2012 presidential campaign.

    May 18, 2014 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  4. LeoMartin

    Rove is loving this. He hasn't had this much attention in years. Every time he opens his mouth, he proves he's a worthless hack.

    May 18, 2014 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  5. QbanMinotaur

    Funny.... Ronald Reagan was no spring chicken when he ran and he was a two term President... yet the Republican Party treats him like a God. But it was under Reagan that the assault on the middle class got going, anti union and he was pretty much for big business.

    May 18, 2014 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  6. rangermania

    At the rate things are going it won't make any difference if HRC runs, or anyone runs, as Obama and his Democrat crew are driving this country into the ground.

    May 18, 2014 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  7. Hillary

    Can't stand country western and nascar so icain't stand karl rove, thoughnot sure they can stand himleither.

    May 18, 2014 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  8. allens

    he is the perfect conservative republican. he knows better as most republicans do

    May 18, 2014 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  9. An American with a Brain

    WASHINGTON Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is an evil genius capable of masterminding the most elaborate cover-up in U.S. history and is also a frail old woman with brain damage, leading Republicans charged on Sunday.

    Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus led the attack while appearing on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” where he said that the American people should be wary of electing a woman who is capable of orchestrating the complex conspiracy to whitewash Benghazi while, at the same time, being too old, feeble, and brain damaged to serve in the Oval Office.

    “These two aspects of Secretary Clinton would have me very concerned,” he said.

    Mr. Priebus said he saw “no contradiction” between the portrayals of Secretary Clinton as an evil mastermind and a brain-damaged crone, explaining, “The one part of Secretary Clinton’s brain that works perfectly well is the part that creates elaborate cover-ups, and that is the part of her brain that is currently covering up the fact that she is brain damaged.”

    The R.N.C. chairman said he was confident that once the American people realized Secretary Clinton is both an evil mastermind and a frail old woman with brain damage, they would reject her at the ballot box.

    “The one thing the American people will not tolerate is double-talk,” he crowed

    May 19, 2014 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  10. dudley

    No, of course Hillary's health is not an important issue if she chooses to run. It's her private business and no one has the right to ask about it, just like they don't have the right to ask about her marriage, her former job as Sec State, her position on any talking points, or what she might do with nuclear weapons as president.

    Just can't ask, can't even refer to them clinically, so all of that is out. Like an endangered species she is protected and no one can question her, especially on the death of ambassadors while Sec State, things she said while campaigning for Pres., while first lady, while US Senator from New York, during Whitewater, or during her stint as a government lawyer when she was thrown off a case for being unethical. All out. Can't do it.

    May 19, 2014 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
  11. Tony Torres

    Why are we even discussing this,Rove is a weasel and will say,do anything to get attention so the money can keep rolling in. We are enabling this little turd by keepimg him on topic. Enough.already. She has not even declared she is running,the media should give it a rest.

    May 19, 2014 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
  12. jimmy24

    rove this... Clinton that. sigh. If you think you're open-minded and unbiased, then the real question is this: did she have brain damage or not? If she did, well, does she still, and do you want a brain damaged president leading your country? If she didn't, then why didn't she testify about Benghazi until after the election... when the magnitude of the state dept's mistakes couldn't impact the election? Either way looks bad – she either had serious brain injury which likely still effects her, or she lied to cover for Obama. Pick your poison.

    May 19, 2014 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  13. willie wonka

    Harry Reid has a complete copy of Hillary's health record and will release along with Romney's tax filings very soon. Stay tuned for this information coming from the floor of the Senate.

    May 19, 2014 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  14. Steve Allard

    Rove was married 3 times. I think that raises some questions about his own sanity.

    May 19, 2014 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  15. James Malenfant

    This guy is just dishonest, however, if he makes the GOP look stupid, keep going. He lies, spreads rumors, back stabs, personal attacks, anything he can do to win dishonestly. Kind of a poster child for the GOP. Keep going Karl, you are doing great!

    May 19, 2014 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
  16. ptw

    Only someone with brain damage would still believe Rove about ANYTIHNG at this point.

    May 19, 2014 12:54 am at 12:54 am |
  17. BeenThereDoneThat

    Prez Reagan was 69 in '80 election; 70 when shot in chest & arm 03/81; 77 @ end of his 2nd term. Rove is a sexist pig!

    May 19, 2014 12:55 am at 12:55 am |
  18. VirginaBlueRidge

    I am sure Clinton will have another CAT scan if she runs. Let it alone.

    May 19, 2014 12:58 am at 12:58 am |
  19. BeenThereDoneThat

    Hey Rove, is that all ya got? (see Reagan's age in '80). Karly-boy, you're not tough enough to bring down Hillary!

    May 19, 2014 01:10 am at 1:10 am |
  20. edutron

    Why is it that people never believe the truth.

    May 19, 2014 01:41 am at 1:41 am |
  21. Log

    uhhh, he's gonna get it! How dare him insult the queen in waiting. She was ordained by the gods to rule over this fair land. Lol. Her health and age are absolutely fair game! They have been in other political contests and should be in this one coming up. I get a kick out of people that wonder outloud whether she is going to run for office... of course she is Everything that she is doing and has done since losing the nomination in 2008 has been geared toward running in 2016. She figures that since she played nice after she was beat out of the nomination that her flock would reward her with the presidency. In her mind she was meant to rule.

    May 19, 2014 01:51 am at 1:51 am |
  22. gregoryjwiens

    I thought the GOP said Rove really smart?

    May 19, 2014 01:59 am at 1:59 am |
  23. thenitenurse

    If anyone had BIG TIME health issues it was Cheney. He had multiple heart attacks and actually had a blank letter of resignation ready to go in case he was incapacitated. Rove had an aging heart surgeon sign off on Cheney's state of health so that the American public believed he was in good health. Cheney was a train wreck health wise so ROVE SHUT UP!

    May 19, 2014 02:26 am at 2:26 am |
  24. Chad

    It's only absurd that anyone in the media thinks Rove's comments are unfair. The physical health of a potential president is a legitimate issue. This story is only further evidence that news coverage has become increasingly stupid in its blatant bias for socialist liberals. Go communism!

    May 19, 2014 04:30 am at 4:30 am |
  25. Ivan Terragon

    Teerd Blossom is at his old tricks again.
    What a dooche bag.

    May 19, 2014 06:06 am at 6:06 am |
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