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. Patriot

    They lie about climate change, voter fraud, affordable health care, the economy, immigration, Bengazi, civil rights, and now Hillary... truly sad to be a conservative these days.

    May 18, 2014 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  2. saywho

    Rove is a has-been looking for a place in the dark.

    May 18, 2014 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  3. george

    A lier who says he stands behind his lie is still a lier.

    May 18, 2014 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  4. Alan

    Kudos go Rove, this has the media in a frenzy to defend their heir to the throne. Lead story on Meet the Press today – David Gregory & Andrea Mitchell both hyperventilating.HA!

    May 18, 2014 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  5. edocol

    Did Rove have any problem with John McCain being so old when he ran? If he didn't, then he's a hypocrite.

    May 18, 2014 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  6. john pickett

    Karl Rove
    Like he's a medical Authority?

    May 18, 2014 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  7. Rob

    I expect nothing less from someone that called Ohio the way he did.

    May 18, 2014 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  8. anne

    Did Rove object to Reagan taking office when he was 70?

    May 18, 2014 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  9. Tychi

    Rove can stand by his comments because he just insinuated there was a problem and then let everyone else's imagination take the lead. The GOP will take anything to try to bring down Hillary Clinton. They are scared out of their minds. It goes like this: "I thought I saw Rove's picture on a wanted poster for a Nazi SS trooper." I did not say he was a trooper, but I will let people wonder and question his past.

    May 18, 2014 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  10. Thomas

    How dose Karl Rove stay so young looking ?

    Embalming fluid ?

    Benjamin Franklin with out hair , dose Karl also speak fluent French ?

    May 18, 2014 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  11. WOW

    Rove.....has sold his soul to the special interest groups. He uses his book of dirty tricks to get what he wants. But here is the thing...he was tossed a side when he crossed the wrong other words he's just a fat republican who is chasing a bone.

    May 18, 2014 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  12. chatty

    Just a reminder Rove a women's life expectancy is greater than a mans also We have the best medical Health Care in the World Like she said once Their are millions of cracks in the Gender Ceiling

    May 18, 2014 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  13. carre1

    Duyba was an alcoholic. Did he grow back the brain cells he destroyed?

    May 18, 2014 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  14. Thomas

    Who was the only american politician to give up a known CIA agent ?


    May 18, 2014 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  15. ironman59

    Fat boy needs to just shut up. Someone like him who is 1 cheeseburger away from a heart attack shouldn't be talking about someone else's health.

    May 18, 2014 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  16. ngc1300

    "Dr." Rove's patient died on the table, Nov.2012.

    May 18, 2014 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  17. AS

    Any presidential candidate is fair game on this. We have a right to know. The same people that made accusations about Reagan and like to imply he was into Alzheimers as president, now dont want to question the health or mental aabilities of the their darling Hillary. What hypocrisy. Remember when they tried painting McCain as a hot head due to stress from being a POW?

    May 18, 2014 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  18. chatty

    No one has a look into the future as mr Rove showed us last time when Obama ran.Lets just hope all of us are on this
    Earth to see 2016 tomorrow isn't promised to anyone Maybe that is a reason mr Rove won't run for a major office he wouldn't win anyway not even a office pool

    May 18, 2014 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  19. sadlysensible

    Karl Rove, the Anti-Christ. Seriously though, it sounds like he's desperately trying to find his lost mojo after he lost tons of political investors' money and badly screwed up ON CAMERA calling the last election. Face it, boy, you're a has-been. The Republican Party has moved on without your so-called 'help.'

    May 18, 2014 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  20. craigorie

    I think that the best way to deal with Karl Rove is to dismiss what he says as the man is truly irrelevant. But of course, the media as to go on and on and on about things.

    May 18, 2014 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  21. Craig

    But Rove, a senior political adviser in the George W. Bush administration

    Does anymore need to be be said about this clown??...His 15 minutes peaked at the end of the last presidential election when he insisted that the numbers were wrong and Mitt won! Anybody that listens to this fool anymore is likewise, an idiot!

    May 18, 2014 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  22. Rove knows how to pick them.

    Carl Rove is a trip and a half. He is going after Mrs. Clinton, but had no problem with former "president" Cheney. I guess none of the following which apparently "raised questions", was consideree disqualifying or called into question by Mr. Rove. The source is Wikipedia.
    Cheney's long histories of cardiovascular disease and periodic need for urgent health care raised questions of whether he was medically fit to serve in public office. Having smoked approximately 3 packs of cigarettes per day for nearly 20 years, Cheney sustained the first of five heart attacks in 1978, at age 37. Subsequent attacks in 1984, 1988, 2000, and 2010 have resulted in moderate contractile dysfunction of his left ventricle. He underwent four-vessel coronary artery bypass grafting in 1988, coronary artery stenting in November 2000, urgent coronary balloon angioplasty in March 2001, and the implantation of an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator in June, 2001.
    On September 24, 2005, Cheney underwent a six-hour endo-vascular procedure to repair popliteal artery aneurysms bilaterally, a catheter treatment technique used in the artery behind each knee. The condition was discovered at a regular physical in July, and was not life-threatening. Cheney was hospitalized for tests after experiencing shortness of breath five months later. In late April 2006, an ultrasound revealed that the clot was smaller.
    On March 5, 2007, Cheney was treated for deep-vein thrombosis in his left leg at George Washington University Hospital after experiencing pain in his left calf. Doctors prescribed blood-thinning medication and allowed him to return to work. CBS News reported that during the morning of November 26, 2007, Cheney was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation and underwent treatment that afternoon.
    On July 12, 2008, Cheney underwent a cardiological exam; doctors reported that his heartbeat was normal for a 67-year-old man with a history of heart problems. As part of his annual checkup, he was administered an electrocardiogram and radiological imaging of the stents placed in the arteries behind his knees in 2005. Doctors said that Cheney had not experienced any recurrence of atrial fibrillation and that his special pacemaker had neither detected nor treated any arrhythmia. On October 15, 2008, Cheney returned to the hospital briefly to treat a minor irregularity.
    On January 19, 2009, Cheney strained his back "while moving boxes into his new house". As a consequence, he was in a wheelchair for two days, including his attendance at the 2009 United States presidential inauguration.

    May 18, 2014 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  23. Diane

    Why does anyone still care what Karl Rove says anyway? I do not understand why he is even given so much air time!

    May 18, 2014 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  24. tellingitlikeitis

    Isn't it ashame that the mud has to be slung by the GOPers when they began to realize they are on their way to losing again. Apparently, intelligence and common sense does not matter to the mud slingers. I wonder who's worse when it comes to ROVE and PERRY, or PALIN. They are becoming more irrelevant as they open their mouths ato sling mud.

    May 18, 2014 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  25. Josh

    Mr,. Rove is right. Just like he was about his Ohio prediction during the last election. He has a track record.

    May 18, 2014 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
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