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. Gerry Daley

    Why don't they just drop the "blossom" from this creep's nickname. Just plain "Turd" would be much more accurate.

    May 18, 2014 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  2. Luckjoe

    It was ok for the Democrates to raise questions about John Mccain's health. Why not question Hillary's fitness? She was off the grid for 30 days.

    May 18, 2014 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  3. Dennis L M

    We should all being questioning a politician's mental health especially Karl Rove's. He is delusional without question.

    May 18, 2014 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  4. mcp123

    Republicans always double down on their stupid comments.

    May 18, 2014 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  5. john

    I may be a conservative Republican, but I think Hillary Clinton is going to be "the one to beat". She's a brilliant woman, she has impeccable credentials (She was First Lady for eight years, a United States Senator, and Secretary of State, and …to give her a LOT of credit, she's had to put up with Bill and hold her head high despite some extremely embarrassing incidents and yet she had the integrity to stick it out with him. Few Republicans that are prospective wanna-be's can match that. It's too early to tell what will happen, but a lot of people admire Hillary and she has the Washington connections and knowledge of how the system works. If she were to win, I wouldn't have any problem with it.

    May 18, 2014 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  6. Michael

    The man is nothing more than a Has-Been and a GOP JOKE! How can the GOPers that think he is relevent be so ignorant?

    May 18, 2014 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  7. jig is up karl

    i think this means its time for rove to retire. he sounds old and mentally deranged. he has been braindamaged since romney lost the election and guess what???? romney is going to lose AGAIN and don't get me started on mccain from the sun devil state who should be impeached
    i guess i just figured out who rove has in mind for president. hilary.

    May 18, 2014 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  8. don in albuquerque

    Where did little Karl get his medical degree.

    May 18, 2014 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  9. Paul

    Pressed ham doesn't move on its own.

    May 18, 2014 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  10. say what?

    Karl Rove = has been

    May 18, 2014 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  11. DMR

    I take it Rove is also standing by his predictions that Mitt Romney would win by a landslide. And we cannot forget Rove's temper tantrum the last Presidential election night when Mitt did not win Ohio. Carl Rove is a symptom of the problem with present day politics, not a solution. His attacks on Mrs. Clinton are little more than a poorly orchestrated smear campaign by Carl Rove. Rove is seeking favor with his donors.

    I do wonder when Carl Rove had time to get a medical degree and when Mrs. Clinton has an appointment to see him as a medical professional. ... You mean Carl Rove does not have a medical degree and is not a medical professional?

    May 18, 2014 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  12. Keith Scott

    How did Rove and the RCN get Clinton's personal medical history? Do you think maybe, their plumbers told them!

    May 18, 2014 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  13. Anastasia Beaverhausen

    While I do think Carl Rove knows something about mental illness, having spent more than 8 years with Dubya, his comments about Hillary only reveal the GOPs fear and desperation. They know if she runs, she will win.

    May 18, 2014 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  14. JustASec

    "... what a drag it is to see you."

    Yeah, you Karl, walking insult.

    May 18, 2014 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  15. buzzerj

    All I know is that listening to Karl Rove and his Republican groupies will give anyone brain damage. Just look at George W. Bush. See what I mean? Let him spout. It's not worth listening to.

    May 18, 2014 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  16. TM

    Karl is a rumor starting idiot.

    May 18, 2014 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  17. ThinkAgain - Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.

    Karl Rove is a liar; Hillary Clinton spent 4 days in the hospital, NOT 30, as Rove claims.

    And those sunglasses Mrs. Clinton was wearing when discharged that Rove claims "are only for people who have traumatic brain injury"? She's been wearing those sunglasses for years – probably because they are a comfortable style and she likes how they look. They are nothing more than run-of-the-mill sunglasses.

    But Rove knows he can spout his lies because the gop/tea bag base will believe him. After years of being lied to, they have to much invested in admitting they've been played for fools all these years to ever consider otherwise. Plus, Rove and fox and the whole gop/tea bag media continue to push on their followers the notion that anything that contradicts what they've been told is a lie.

    How utterly pathetic the gop has become! But what else do you expect from a group of people who know they can't run on their record of accomplishments (name one!) or their policies (all proven failures).

    May 18, 2014 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  18. geminidb

    Rove= Ignorant Swine. Ugly man with Deceitful Tactics.

    May 18, 2014 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  19. idiotusmaximus

    Karl Rove stands by his Hillary Clinton comments, says Bill Clinton backs him up...... about spinning.....blimpo is back on it going strong......

    May 18, 2014 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  20. ThinkAgain - Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.

    @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!"

    Here's the problem, Alan: KARL ROVE IS LYING. He just doesn't have the stones to admit it. Because at the end of the day, he is a weasel.

    What's that say about you, Alan?

    May 18, 2014 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  21. Wade

    People that are complaining ROVE was unfair forget how the DEMS went after McCain. 100 times worse. Of course he should stand by what he said and everyone should be asking what is she hiding?

    May 18, 2014 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  22. ThinkAgain - Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.

    @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."

    Yes, it's a legitimate concern; but KARL ROVE IS LYING. Hillary didn't spend 30 days in the hospital; she spent 4. Her sunglasses were the ones she's worn for years (photos of her in them are all over the Internet); they aren't special ones for people who've had head trauma.

    Hillary had a brain clot – WHICH DOES NOT MEAN SHE HAD A BRAIN INJURY. Besides, Hillary's clot wasn’t technically in the brain itself, but in a vein draining blood from her brain.

    The reason I'M SHOUTING IN ALL CAPS is because you seem to be hard of hearing. Or perhaps it's just the stuff that collides with your delusions that you tune out?

    May 18, 2014 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  23. mark

    Mr. Rove has made a career and a fortune being a liar, and at this late date that's all he knows. He should be in prison as a war criminal.

    May 18, 2014 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  24. midgick

    I watched the FOX NEWS interview of Rove on TV and all I could think of was a pathological liar keep saying the same thing over and over trying every which way to restate his taped comments.
    That FOX news actually took him on for this was absolutely a first for me.

    May 18, 2014 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  25. ColoRN

    Most of the post here are poiticaly driven with NOT much facts or intelligence.
    as society is NOW coming out of the dark ages and realizing the impact of concussions (witness all the NFL activity as well as ALL the concern now at high schools and little leagues..coaches being trained to assess for concussions, Terry Bradshaw and his public acknowlegment of memory loss) you must NOT discount the impact of a concussion...any head trauma!
    The questions are VALID, just because you don't like the messenger, doesn't mean the concerns aren't valid!
    Therefor, the questions raised are valid as to ones mental acuity. cognitive ability and memory.
    and if Bill Clinton states that it was awhile for Hillary to make the comeback, there is more proof.
    Additionally, and REMEMBER, back when Dick Cheney was VP, suffered cardiac related issues; MI, and partial collapse of the left ventricle, MANY people were asking is he medically fit too be a heart beat away from the presidency?
    To Cheney's credit, he march his doctors out in front of the national media to answer questions about his health, and put to rest any hysteria or unfounded information.

    May 18, 2014 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
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