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. The Fact of the Matter

    "Rove stands by Hillary comments" As well he should. Liberals usually have a difficult time dealing with the facts.

    May 18, 2014 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  2. John line

    Mr Rove has never lied before (rolls eyes)

    May 18, 2014 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  3. dirksterdude

    Karl Rove is speaking nonsense. These type of comments don't help the Republican Party. It feels like an attack on women as well as an elderly woman. If Hillary Clinton is elected President of the United States in 2016 she will be 69 years old at that time. If she manages to serve 2 terms she will be 77 years old when she leaves office. Ronald Reagan was 78, George H.W. Bush was 69, and his son George W. Bush was 63. No one ever said Ronald Reagan didn't do his job because of age infirmities. Medical issues are something you don't talk about unless you have proof of some kind.

    May 18, 2014 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  4. WGB

    Was she born in the United States? Yes. Then cant use the birther agrgument.
    Can we blame her for Bill's dalliance with the blue dressed girl? Um, no.
    Can we keep blaming her for Benghazi? You can try, but it's getting old with no new evidence.
    She's brain damaged from a fall two years ago!!! Yeah, go with that!!!
    Result: Democrats get both houses and retain the White House.

    May 18, 2014 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  5. Mlmarsh

    Take a look at Ronald Reagan' s age when president . Not much of a difference from Clinton's
    Plus Hilliary has a brain.
    Poor Karl Rove what a disgusting waste.

    May 18, 2014 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  6. steve

    A blood clot in the brain is called a stroke to everyone except a presidential frontrunner.

    May 18, 2014 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  7. Thom

    Dr Rove is a little "worried" about Hillary hitting her head, but not about any of her opponents, who probably all hit their heads at least once too.

    May 18, 2014 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  8. bobhamiltonchicago

    It is bekause of Karl Rove that the Democrats will have the White House for at least the next 18 years, and have had it for the last 6. Thanks Karl!

    May 18, 2014 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    The only brain damaged person in the conversation is Karl Rove

    May 18, 2014 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  10. jcs6

    He's still waiting for Romney to be announced as president.

    May 18, 2014 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  11. rapadou

    Rove you caused enough problems, do us a favor and "Shut The Front Door" also please retire immediately.

    May 18, 2014 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  12. Richard

    Karl Rove is the only one who is brain damaged person in the room.

    May 18, 2014 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  13. Rod

    Carl Rove is not a "Dr." of anything . . . he's a dropout from the University of Texas who used the same type of deceit and innuendo to unseat Gov. Ann Richards in Texas with Bush . . . unfortunately, it worked. He's a conniver . . .

    May 18, 2014 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  14. surkhem

    Rove who? Don't give so much importance to creeps who cheat and lie to get their candidate elected with no regard to the country. Ignore him

    May 18, 2014 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  15. Bertha

    I wonder if any of you out there who back this mean spirited guy, Karl Rove, ever had an injury that require months of treatment/rehabilitation? If so, now consider yourself unable to perform any function. How do you feel now?

    May 18, 2014 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  16. Bertha

    Remember, John McCain had cancer. Has that limited him to merely sitting on the sidelines? Nope! Not at all...he just got meaner.

    May 18, 2014 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  17. jinx9to88

    I think Hillary should show her health record if she runs but her age shouldn't be a factor, remember Ronald Reagan was 71 years old when became president. The GOP will make a big deal out of it anyway.

    May 18, 2014 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  18. RoveNeedsAtkins

    If Rove is worried about anyone's health he could start by taking a long look in the mirror at the sweaty tonnage he is carrying around with a heart three sizes too small.

    May 18, 2014 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  19. Jackson

    So, which version is he standing by? The time he claimed she was faking it to get out of testifying, or the time he said it was real.

    That's the GOP in a nutshell. They change the talking points to suit their own needs, regardless of the fact that one day's message goes in direct opposition to the prior day's message.

    May 18, 2014 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  20. Kanageloa

    She isn't a spring chicken anymore. She's nearing 70. She took about as much time to recover from a concussion as a older person does from a stroke. Bill says she's 100%. I'd say more like 90%. Read the medical literature. She has problems that she and Bill won't admit to. I'm voting Libertarian. The Democrats and Republicans have abandoned the American public.

    May 18, 2014 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  21. William

    I think he's right to question her health.

    May 18, 2014 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  22. busterkat

    this anti-American fascist republican is a disgrace and belongs in prison for his role in the illegal election (appointed) of bush and his role in 911 conspiracy role as well ,,,, just another fascist living off of America and a taker ,, most republicans are takers

    May 18, 2014 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  23. Steve696

    "Merrill added, 'She is 100%. Period.'" Is that the same period that Obama used in the "You can keep your doctor. Period." statement? If so, one has to ask, "who's lying?"

    May 18, 2014 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  24. Marie MD

    And doctor rove still thinks the twit won Ohio.
    Did he ever say anything while Reagan slept through his presidency and was really in the first stage of dementia?

    May 18, 2014 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  25. Quark ok

    I prefer a leader that is proactive rather than one that responds retroactively. Sec Clinton's lack of effective proactive security measures for Benghazi disqualifies her.

    May 18, 2014 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
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