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. Peace

    Karl Rove has lost all credibilities. I do not understand who still contributes to his PAC. It is wastage of money. It will be difficult for him to convince people that age matters while we see McCain still has his full faculties till todate. He can't convince on Hillary's health either, while we see Hillary performing normal duties as usual. Karl is finished in political strategies, no more. It was those days.

    May 18, 2014 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  2. purpleiris55

    Currently, Hillary Clinton is a private citizen. Harassing her about her private, personal health records when she hasn't even decided to run yet, is very disturbing. Karl Rove sets a dangerous precedent that anyone who wants to attack someone personally, can use their medical history against them.

    May 18, 2014 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  3. Tampa Tim

    Rove's stupid comments sure get the brain dead RWNJs fired up. His stupid attacks worked against McCain, and John Kerry.

    May 18, 2014 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  4. Vijay

    Karl Rove has real dementia. His days are done... period.

    May 18, 2014 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  5. Vijay

    No one ever believe Karl Rove anymore... Even Fox News will ditch him by the end of this fall.

    May 18, 2014 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  6. live

    This just in G W Bush – just found his brain in a Box of Cracker Jacks. So why did ROVE not say anything about brain dead Bush or really his VP ? ROVE is a sensationalist. Period. At least Clinton has a Brain she could loose .... most of the GOP don't or at least that is what they keep showing by there comments and opinions.

    Or should I say ROVE found his brain in a Box of Cracker Jacks>>>

    May 18, 2014 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  7. Billy

    "I don't have a triple-chin."

    – Karl Rove

    May 18, 2014 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  8. Ted Striker

    Rove is such a clown

    May 18, 2014 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  9. maximusvad

    Rove still stands by his words that Obama didn't win Ohio either...

    May 18, 2014 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  10. Teapot dome and their tea bags

    I question Rove's sanity, patriotism, and moral fiber.
    Another republican chicken hawk owned by the highest bidder.

    May 18, 2014 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  11. True Patriot

    Karl Rove is about as credible as Dick Cheney - meaning, not at all credible. All these vermin from the Bush administration lie through their teeth and then they're proud of it!

    May 18, 2014 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  12. Brad Ster

    Sen. Dianne Feinstein just called someone "stupid"? Well, she IS an expert on being stupid.

    May 18, 2014 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  13. Solomon Walker

    Hilary Clinton is a medical liability that we cannot afford during these times of navigating through unchartered economic and political "waters" for 2016.

    Certainly there is one woman in the approximately 350,000,000 United States citizens that can lead this nation to greatness!

    May 18, 2014 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  14. John

    When he stated that her hospital stay as 30 days when it was actually 3, everyone immediately knew that it was strictly partisan politicking.....

    May 18, 2014 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  15. Ann Terhune

    Let's stop paying attention to Rove.

    May 18, 2014 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  16. Larry L

    Rove exemplifies the sort of slimy, hateful, low-life, unethical, political weasel we've all come to associate with Republican politics. He contributed more to dividing the America people than any other individual. Anybody who supports his political sleaze lacks the character required to be a good citizen, and certainly to be a good Christian.

    May 18, 2014 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  17. papanyk

    Shame on Karl Rove for believing in Freedom of Speech and questioning the the health and mental condition of someone who wants to lead the most powerful nation in the world. What was he ever thinking? I mean really, couldn't you have chosen something less dramatic like challenging her slide into the New York senator's seat faster than an oiled butt down a slide? No a damn bump on that ride. Oh, and how she labored so hard messing up our State Department then screamed at the investigative committee – "What does it matter?" Plain and simple, the Clinton wants to establish her own dynasty in OUR country by showing everyone who wears the pants in the family. Shame, shame, shame on you Karl Rove for telling the truth.

    May 18, 2014 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  18. Robert

    What else is he going to do or say but stand by his comments
    He has nothing else
    No viable candidates
    Might as well start spinning a web
    Try to get people to talk about something other than the failing candidates he has backed, or his own meltdown during the last presidential election

    May 18, 2014 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  19. age an issue

    the concussion was serious, and also serious as seen in the news lately with south korean 70+ captain sleeping during work then scrambling in underwear forgetting duty, plus sterling 80+ talking from the lip.....age is an issue, add a recent debillitaling concussion and there can be serious consequences

    May 18, 2014 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  20. Ctrygrl

    Was a great week for making stuff up. This along with FOX news story of how Hillary is directly responsible for those Nigerian girls being kidnapped topped the list. FOX took ONE fact. Boca Harom was not listed as a terrorist group when Hillary was Secretary of State. No explanation that the Nigerian government requested they not be listed, that all the experts on Nigeria did not want them listed, that Hillary insisted on listing their leaders as terrorists. From that FOX went on to accuse Hillary of not listing them because of her Husbands philanthropic work which has received contributions from Saudi Arabia. All this delivered in ominous tone like it was an absolute fact when it was totally made up out of whole cloth. FOX the official network of the GOP.

    May 18, 2014 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  21. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    That Rove creep should be in jail!

    May 18, 2014 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  22. theotherbob56

    If she runs, she'll have an uphill battle against the incumbent, Mitt Romney. Oh, wait...

    May 18, 2014 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  23. CR from CA

    Let Rove prattle on. He can waste another couple billion of the GOP's money on a losing effort.

    May 18, 2014 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  24. Bill

    Valid question in my opinion. One serious episode that took 6 months to recover from...69 years old when she takes office? Is a person capable of serving two terms. Reagan took office at 69, and by the start of his second term he was exhibiting signs of diminished mental capacity. When that call comes at three AM, do you want you grandparent answering it or one who is able to meet the 24×7 requirements of the office of the presidency.

    May 18, 2014 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  25. clintaft

    Really?? As if somebody really cares what Rover thinks, says, or does given his track record the last dozen years....can't think of any one thing he got right about politics in that time and that in itself mirrors the repugnant party successes or distinct lack thereof. His reaction of disbelief at the results of the popular vote counts for President in 2012 on the faux news broadcasts was just incredulous "that's not right, check again for updates", and his face as if he'd NEVER been incorrect before in his life. PRICELESS.....regardless which political view one has.

    May 18, 2014 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
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