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. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    Karl... You need to lose some weight... You're not going to need such insulation where you're going. It's already plently warm!

    May 18, 2014 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  2. steve

    Karl Rove is damaged goods, he helped give us the iraq war, the greatest foreign policy blunder in or national history,,,,

    May 18, 2014 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  3. MutantSubhuman

    Release the medical records and this all goes away.

    May 18, 2014 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  4. Cynthia

    Who has a damages brain, Karl? That would be you and your boy pals....Limbaugh 'Chelsea is a dog", Beck attack on Malia. Personal attacks, false, misleading rhetoric is a trademark of these small men. Dang, if they thought they could make the same money as a liberal they would run across the aisle.

    May 18, 2014 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  5. larry the conquerer

    So i guess Rove is conceeding that a Hilary victory means automatic re-election. Rove represents everything that is wrong with US politics. Republicans and FOX should distance themselves from this egomaniac, whose sole agenda is his own glorification rather than what is truly good for the country.

    May 18, 2014 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  6. Old Timey

    Is Karl Rove now taking money from the DNC or other liberal donors? It sure seems like it for him to keep bringing this up. It only helps the Democrats.

    May 18, 2014 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  7. ss

    Of course he stands by his comments, this is what Republicans do. Stick with ridiculous accusations by all means necessary. It seems that Republicans defend age in the White House when it pertains to Reagan, especially after he had signs of Alzheimer's.

    May 18, 2014 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  8. unblvble

    Definitely her health is an issue If she had blood clot in the brain and what if she gets a stroke if she becomes the president? There was a question about mccains health and what if he dies question. So this is a fair question to Hilary. If American people don't ask this question then it is not fair for americans

    May 18, 2014 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  9. pkrbkr

    Karl Rove......just go away! You are delusional, as you were too when you were in disbelief on Faux News that our President had been re-elected!

    May 18, 2014 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  10. Chris

    Heck release her medical records... It's that simple and lets see who the liars are...

    May 18, 2014 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  11. mindstorms1

    Karl Rove is only doing what he always does. No one should be surprised about anything that comes out of his mouth.

    May 18, 2014 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  12. Sal

    It was a stupid comment by karl rove, but what else can you expect from the mean spirited party? 

    May 18, 2014 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  13. kalo

    Well, good to see him ruining the Republican party's image like the 2012 primary debates. Thanks Mr. Rove!

    May 18, 2014 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  14. GTS58

    Regardless of who said it – health issues are always "fair game" when evaluating a Presidential candidate, always have been, always will be! Hillary would be 69 if she decides to run, she has not had an easy life and have been mired down in countless scandals not to mention she is married to a infamous whoremonger! She does no look good and moves in a slow and deliberate manner, not a healthy one. Also, she has obvious weight issues which could lead to diabetes, stroke or heart attack. Sure our country can do better than this.

    May 18, 2014 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  15. burnerburns

    Just the same way that McCain's health and ability to complete his job for the entire term was an issue, this should be an issue. Just look at Obama since he has took over- It has aged him tremendously. Imagine if we had someone in bad health- the stress of the job alone would be enough to put someone on the edge health wise over it.

    May 18, 2014 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  16. Dave

    Obviously the lesson learned here is that Republicans always double-down, especially when they are wrong. They are such arrogant and dishonest people they'll pretend something is true, and everyone else is the problem, rather than own up to any mistake.

    You people on the right are just plain awful. I lack a different word to describe you that isn't more offensive.

    May 18, 2014 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  17. Cap

    Bush WH (inc Rove) and Silverstein's group did 9/11. CIA confirms. See CIA Asset Susan Lindauer pdx 911 Truth on Youtube – or reports on Veterans Today site. All of Congress knows and only two try to take action. US News Media is complicity by perpetuating bush lies.

    May 18, 2014 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  18. Pat in IL

    If Rove is supposed to be so smart, why can't he see that he is an idiot, liar and bully. Not just now, but always has been.

    May 18, 2014 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  19. Robert constant

    Anyone who has followed the career of Carl Rove know that he is a liar and a political opportunist.

    May 18, 2014 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  20. Robert constant

    Karl Rove claimed that Hillary Clinton was in the hospital for 30 days. She actually was in the hospital three days. This man is lacking in scruples and is not to be believed.

    May 18, 2014 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  21. the truth

    EVERYONE that has suffered a cerebral hemorrhage or undergone a craniotomy has suffered a brain injury. PERIOD.

    Its simply a fact.

    May 18, 2014 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  22. SeattleReign

    The Lee Atwater school of politics is alive and well. Now let's talk about where Rove stood on a sitting president who was in the initial stages of Alzheimer's. Bet that didn't bother him a bit, even the part about Nancy bringing in an astrologer to advise. And then there's the doddering McCain with his inept running mate. Where were Rove's concerns about fitness then? Or was the end going to justify the means? Time for Turdblossom to find other entities to mess with. His last venture didn't quite work out the way he expected, despite his desperate attempts.

    May 18, 2014 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  23. Rick McDaniel

    I give Rove that one........we didn't know it took Hillary 6 mos. to become fully operational again. Of course, the amount of information our government withholds from the people is enormous.

    May 18, 2014 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  24. Tom Joad

    Rove was a spokseman for a gang of war criminals. He would be wise to keep his mouth shut, I doubt if his past would bear close scrutiny. In a civilized country, he would probably be incarcerated.

    May 18, 2014 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  25. bailee

    Down the wrong road again! If Republicans could just get their act together, and realize that politicians like Karl Rove will absolutely be no help to them in the next election! Karl Rove lost his "common sense" a long time ago!! And no money will support his hope to ever get it back! I can only imagine all the excitement of politics in 2016! Wonder whose birth certificate will be parsed then? Maybe Marc Rubio! For afterall he is of "Cuban" heritage!

    May 18, 2014 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
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