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. John

    I am sure that age won't come into it. I am sure Hilary won't use as a political weapon her opponent's youth and inexperience, whomever that opponent turns out to be.

    May 18, 2014 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  2. Dean Kazel

    We need a younger more active president. We have too many senior citizens in government, that aren't keeping up with what the citizens want. Like the congressman that is more concerned about his orchard than government.

    May 18, 2014 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  3. Guest

    We already knew this. She has serious eye problems too. She tells about her eyes in her biography. I knew something was up when it took her 6 mos. to get over a fall.

    May 18, 2014 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  4. 2_indy1600

    Anyone who votes for an elderly, brain-injured co-conspirator in "quid pro quo" pardons that your current DOJ helped out does not deserve my vote. Examine pardon gate to smell the brain you want in office.

    May 18, 2014 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  5. brian

    i would expect nothing less from karl rove, he is such a champion of humanity

    May 18, 2014 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  6. amonmouse

    Scott@3:30PM, could you please refresh my memory on which Dems made an issue of Reagan's, Dole's and McCain's age, and what they said? I can't seem to recall it. (Must be my age) Thanks!

    May 18, 2014 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  7. Mister P

    The fact that Mitt Romney is the most vocal member of the GOP, and that Karl Rove is their most active attack dog speaks volumes about the current state of their party. After they lost in 2012 they promised sweeping changes and proceeded to elect the same Speaker, the same RNC chairman and all of the same party officials. The comon theme that runs through it all is failure.

    May 18, 2014 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |

    If one were to look up the words disgusting, scum, contemptible, scurrilous in the Oxford English, this person's photo would surely be used to signify the meanings in the purest form......

    May 18, 2014 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  9. 1776usa2016

    What else would you expect from Rove, Mr. Cheap Shot ??


    May 18, 2014 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  10. amonmouse

    Let's not forget that Karl Rove is the same conniving politician that once bugged his own office in order to try and make political hay.

    May 18, 2014 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  11. Juvenal451

    If Hillary decides to run or not, how about we settle the question of each and every candidate's mental acuity with a good old fashioned spelling bee?

    May 18, 2014 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  12. Drake

    They must be pretty scared of her.

    May 18, 2014 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  13. tom

    Rove is such a joke

    May 18, 2014 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  14. TheSadTruth

    Rove is no more a doctor than he is a mathematician- as was proven on Fox News of all places.

    May 18, 2014 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  15. Bob Ramos

    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.
    Does Rove talk to either Clintons? No way. The GOP must be terrified of Hilliary if they go to these lengths even while she is still trying to decide.

    May 18, 2014 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  16. Steven Brooks

    Rove – trolling the left and the right.

    May 18, 2014 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  17. 2_indy1600

    Red Rover has been wrong about a lot of things, but the Clintons are not one of them. Glad to see OFA off the SOFA, even if it's after noon. All you champions of all things Clinton need to read up. There's still a little info left on the internet if you don't believe in books anymore. It will truly be the blind leading the blind if you nominate HRC.

    May 18, 2014 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  18. Pooky

    He needs to finish his undergrad degree first before he opens his mouth..

    May 18, 2014 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  19. MarcTheDuck

    It's a legitimate concern. We already know that a number of NFL players who have suffered concussions have developed violent and/or suicidal tendencies. The effect of concussions can be seen in brain scans years later. Brain injuries are serious and can have life changing results. It's a legitimate question to ask what the effect has been on Hillary, especially given that it was serious enough to require 6 months of rehabilitation.

    May 18, 2014 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  20. Bert in UT

    Well, wait a minute, Rove should know about mentally damaged politicians, lord knows, he's worked for enough of them.

    May 18, 2014 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  21. sweetness34

    Rove also said the election wasn't over, when it was over. When was the last time Rove was right? 2000 – "McCain fathered an illegitimate black child" Everything he said from 2001-2009. "Ohio isn't over" Well, Trump may be more reliable than Karl Rove.

    May 18, 2014 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  22. workaround63

    Honestly, I think this is great. Karl Rove and Hillary Clinton are both horrible, malevolent people and I find this entertaining. I hope someone eventually throws a punch.

    May 18, 2014 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  23. gop greed selfish piggys

    Not gonna work gop. aka liars.

    May 18, 2014 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  24. Patriot

    Rove is a hasbin; no one cares what he says or thinks.

    May 18, 2014 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  25. woodie

    This is the same person who lied about endangering a CIA operative and was indicted. Far as I'm concerned this man should have done jail time and shouldn't be in politics anymore.

    May 18, 2014 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
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