May 18th, 2014
01:07 PM ET
6 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. Bobber

    They see her as a future threat to maybe win, so they are trying very, very early to discredit her. The same happened to Christie. This is why the people that are not the sheep in their parties, hate politics. Find the dirt - that's your job. Forget winning because you have brains or vision.

    May 18, 2014 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  2. Nora

    Sure Karl, double down on stupid! Anyone should know that after your melt down on FOX election night your opinion is reliable!

    May 18, 2014 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  3. Thomas

    Republican strategist Karl Rove on Hillary Clinton , The ACA and Death panels for Grandma ?

    “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.” , 2008 – John McCain's age, 71

    Karl Rove , age 64 , admits his age is not important , he admits being forgetful at times , yet his good looks make up for it .
    He still be leaves in his heart of hearts Romney won the election .

    May 18, 2014 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  4. fabulouslystubbornoldgoat

    Rove is pure scum

    May 18, 2014 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  5. YOUR NAME HERE

    Men of quality, respect women's equality. PERIOD. If you don't, then you're not.

    May 18, 2014 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  6. TLORop

    Why are we listening to this senile old coot?

    May 18, 2014 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  7. Scott

    It is alright when the Dems used it against Reagan, Dole and McCain, but the Republicans are evil saying the exact same thing about Hillary (just as old) AND she suffered a severe blood clot in her brain no less. She might have made a good president if elected in 2008, but her window is gone.

    May 18, 2014 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  8. Pogostick

    The presidntial election is two years away and she has not said that she will run yet Rove is questioning her medical stability to be president. Plus, he is not a doctor. It is up to her doctor to determine if she is at further medical risk and then she must decide. That Rove would question her ability to be president at this point in time shows that she is a threat to Republicans.

    May 18, 2014 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  9. Red

    "Lizabeth! Old Karl has been into the dummy cookies again!

    May 18, 2014 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  10. Mister P

    Not to worry! Any moment the results from Cuyahoga County should be coming in! Honest!

    May 18, 2014 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  11. snorincats

    OK Karl, how about W's brain damage from years of alcohol abuse?

    May 18, 2014 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  12. Mike

    Doubling down on stupid and vile!

    May 18, 2014 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  13. RB

    Mr. Rove just admitted through his statements that she would likely be elected, not once but she would serve eight (8) years as the President!!! How nice of you Mr. Rove the "Republican Mouthpiece" to accidentally imply that she is to be the next President of the United States!!!

    May 18, 2014 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  14. ted

    Rove is just a rightwing republican moronic delusional idiot, trying just like Palin and some of the other knuckle dragging rightwingers to stay relevant, which he will not be to intelligent people. I still remember him on election night in 2012 trying to fight the overwhelming evidence against him that Obama was reelected and his rightwing TOOL romney lost. That was special.

    May 18, 2014 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  15. Bob

    Simple answer to Rove – he belongs in a home for mentally ill.

    May 18, 2014 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  16. Dan

    If it weren't for low information bigots the republican party would get less than 1% of the vote.

    May 18, 2014 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  17. David

    Rove is simply doing what unethical political operatives (is that redundant?) have done for all time. Use innuendo and indirect personal attacks to smear the opposition. The only thing I don't get is why those who claim to be Christian politicians allow such nonsense to occur for their personal benefit. For example, George W. Bush asserts that he is a compassionate conservative CHRISTIAN, and yet he allowed Rove to utilize these types of smear tactics to occur unchecked just so Bush could be President. Clearly, these strategies run counter to the teachings of Jesus Christ. I get the fact that this is a part of American politics. What I don't get is the hypocrisy of those of the Religious Right who allow the Republican Party to traffic in such inappropriate personal attacks. Maybe they should go back and read Proverbs, and study the Book of James for some fundamental moral instruction. God knows America needs it. Maybe a good starting point would be if the political party that keeps wrapping itself in God would start to act like it a repudiate Rove and his sinful tactics.

    May 18, 2014 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  18. Rob

    Good point and scary that she is even considering running.

    May 18, 2014 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  19. Rob

    Maybe its the concussion that caused amnesia where Benghazi was concerned?

    May 18, 2014 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  20. Anonymous

    This newzzzzzz...yaaaawn... is not news, it's political manure slinging from those with no platform to stand on. Your publication of it affirms Marshall McCluhan's assertion that, "all media exists to invest our lives with artificial perception and arbitrary values".

    May 18, 2014 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  21. cgalliher

    the only person that's brain damaged is anyone who believes this pathological, self serving twit. Karl Rove is a GOP litmus test for lemings

    May 18, 2014 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  22. Wayne Rizor

    And the conservative icon Ronald Reagan was 70 when he began his term.

    May 18, 2014 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  23. dondiego

    Thank you, Dr. Rove. Your service to the country has not gone unnoticed.

    May 18, 2014 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  24. Bill

    Obviously Rove is suffering from his own brain issues.
    Sure making a fool of himself, again...
    Time for him to retire.

    May 18, 2014 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  25. Paul P Valtos

    Well the world was supposed to end many times forcast by fundamentalists, we were to be hit and destroyed by an asteroid, and I guess that Karl Roveadove has spoken his wisdom just as he was determined by willpower, I guess that Romney would win the general election. His wisdom is questionable and fallible. HIs jjudgement is worse.

    May 18, 2014 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
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