August 16th, 2007
12:00 PM ET
16 years ago

Clinton happy to give Rove 'heartburn'

Clinton said she feels 'lucky' to give Rove 'heartburn.'

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Senior White House aide Karl Rove has stepped up his attacks against Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton, and the New York Democrat said she couldn't be happier.

“I feel so lucky that I am now giving them such heartburn,” Clinton said Wednesday while campaigning in Iowa.

Clinton was referring to Rove's recent assertion on Rush Limbaugh's radio show that the New York senator was "fatally flawed," and would lose a general election match up because her negative favorability ratings are too high.

"She is going into the general election, depending on what poll you look at, with high 40s on the negative side and just below that on the positive side. There is nobody who has ever won the presidency who has started out in that position," said Rove, who is often referred to as "Bush's brain".

Clinton's campaign spokesman Phil Singer quickly took the opportunity to link Rove - one of the left's most despised figures - with Illinois Sen. Barack Obama.

"It sounds like Karl Rove is writing Sen. Obama's talking points," Singer told CNN.

Obama has repeatedly made the argument he can unite the country better the Clinton can. He told the Washington Post Tuesday, "I think it is fair to say that I believe I can bring the country together more effectively than [Clinton] can."

UPDATE: Responding to the Clinton campaign's comments, Obama spokesman Bill Burton tells CNN, "I just don’t think voters are looking for four more years of scorched earth politics from their White House." Rove's final retreat

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: Hillary Clinton • Karl Rove
soundoff (90 Responses)
  1. Rigo, Somerville, MA

    Hillary is right, i like to see them squirm. When she wins, and she will, i want to see the republican's faces. it will be priceless

    August 17, 2007 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  2. Shawnie - Grants Pass, OR

    Republicans absolutely hope Clinton gets the nomination. Dems, please vote her in!

    August 17, 2007 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  3. Ken, River City, Iowa

    Senator Clinton, in her last election, won:

    73% of voters under 30.
    69% of moderate voters.
    65% of voters who earn $100,000 or more.
    64% of Independent voters.
    58% of white male voters.
    57% of rural voters.
    56% of white Christian voters.
    20% of Republican voters.

    I wonder how she'd do if she weren't do 'polarizing'?

    August 17, 2007 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  4. Dave, Oakland, CA

    Chip as much as I don't like Mrs Clinton that 200 million dolllars going to Russia is obviously for the purpose of getting rid of Russian nukes since that is what highly enriched uranium is used for.

    And seeing as how many problems they are having with them not being able to maintain security on their own nukes (at least not without outside funding) I have no problem with that type of appropriation. However I do think that we should be getting more bang for our buck from the Russians in return. The same would apply for any other country that is receiving money from us.

    August 17, 2007 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  5. Dale, Akron, OH

    Well, I'll have to break it to you Hillary, you'd give anybody heartburn. you're a plate full of refried beans.

    August 17, 2007 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  6. James, Phoenix AZ

    "I wonder how she'd do if she weren't do 'polarizing'?

    ~ Ken ~ River City, IA

    Ken, newsflash – this is a national campaign – not a senate race in a traditionally liberal state. (Barbara Boxer keeps winning in California ... think SHE could win a national election?)

    Hillary already has the highest negative ratings of any previous candidate running for a nomination. Articles are running how Hillary can hurt the Democratic Party (these are democrats talking, Ken).

    You keep thinking that Hillary is a uniter – not a divider. It's what the republicans want! No other candidate mobilizes republicans more than Hillary.

    August 17, 2007 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  7. Bill Both, Terrace, BC


    Dave of Oakland (we have so many Daves I think I need a scorecard!) makes a valid point. I think we can all agree that converting weapons grade nuclear material to energy grade is a good thing.

    The more of it we convert the less there is that can fall into the hands of rogue nations and terrorists. Also, the more of their scientists employed in this work, the fewer left unemployed to be used by said rogue nations and terrorists.

    The "bang for our buck" is not having the big bang go off in NY, LA, or Chicago. We spend little enough on foreign aid (about .1% GNP). We can surely afford this.

    The section numbers you cited for the Patriot Act don't correspond with any I found. There are some measures amending previous laws concerning nuclear material, but the law she introduced is different. The Patriot Act is a HUGE bill. There are many provisions that everyone, including Senator Clinton, agrees on. There are others that are controversial.

    I don't know what you mean when you talk about the tip of the iceberg. We've discussed the Russian nuke bill. The senator's record may be top heavy with measures that were introduced this year and haven't been passed yet because she was not in the majority until this year and it is easier to pass bills when you are in the majority. Again, speaking as a Republican who voted against her in 2000, I, along with the overwhelming majority of New Yorkers, approve of the job she has done as senator.

    August 17, 2007 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  8. Bill Both, Terrace, BC

    Many are talking about how Hillary will energize Republicans against her. The vast majority of Republicans and independents who hate Hillary would never vote for a candidate to the left of Reagan or Goldwater (BTW, Hill supported Goldwater when she was in high school. She became a confirmed Democrat at Wellesley).

    I am a lifelong Republican. I voted against Bubba both times and voted for Dubya both times (to my regret). I worked for McCain in NY in 2000. I would still support him, but I don't think he has a chance of getting nominated. I will probably vote for Hillary and I believe she will be nominated and elected next year.

    August 17, 2007 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  9. Chip Celina OH

    Dave of Oakland, Bill Both,

    Thank you for well thought out comments. I agree that producing energy grade is better than weapons grade , but the fact is, we don't need to send the Russians money to do this.

    Most likely the 200,000,000 (boy that's a lot of zeroes!) will not all go directly to the Russians, much may be spent providing employment for US experts to lend technical assistance (and that's a good thing). The fact of the matter is, the Russians have the skills to do this themselves and the other provisions of the bill should already be underway as part of counter-terrorism.

    The Patriot Act reference I made Sec4(2) was a poor job of providing a reference on my part. I was highlighting the similarities of S.1705 sec 4(2) which contained goals which can only be accomplished with the "infringement" upon civil liberties many gripe abut with the Patriot Act.

    As far as reducing the number of nukes Russia has, that falls under INF and other frameworks.

    I'm not sure blaming not having a majority in Congress isn't reason to withold introduction of a bill. (Wait until you think it will pass) that's almost like NOT voting for the candidate you think is best so you can vote for who you think will be the winner.

    I'm glad you are happy with her performance as Senator.

    Thanks for some meaningful discussion, both of you.

    Have a good weekend,

    Have a good day,

    August 17, 2007 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  10. Bill Both, Terrace, BC


    As to the bills, it isn't as simple as that. Before a bill can be voted, it has to pass the relevant committee. For instance, the nuke bill has to go through the energy committee. If the other side controls the committee, it can be very difficult to introduce legislation.

    We need to spend the money to convert the nukes and keep the former Soviet scientists employed. If we don't, treaty or no treaty, the Russians aren't likely to. Do we really want to leave our security in their hands? Don't think so.

    August 17, 2007 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  11. Chip Celina OH


    I'm aware of the process.
    "We need to spend the money to convert the nukes and keep the former Soviet scientists employed."

    The bill doesn't mention converting "the nukes" unless you refer to "the nukes" as the reactors, perhaps a mistaken assumption on my part.

    I'm not sure that lack of an employment program for Russian scientists is leaving our security in their hands. If anything, we could grant them amnesty and bring them to work in the US, building new reactors here to generate power and reduce our dependence on foreign supplies.

    I have several colleagues that are Russian scientists whom I worked with for a period when I lived in D.C., they loved America, I'm sure we could get more of them over here.

    The last nation we provided tribute to regarding nuclear reactors now has a nuclear weapon. The build up of that weapon was not a product of the 'failed foreign policy' of the Bush administration, it had been in the works far prior to that.

    As for waiting until the "waters are right" on whether or not to introduce a bill, a consensus builder or true leader might have the skills to get that done.

    I've enjoyed this discussion. You've brought a couple points to light I hadn't considered, hopefully I've done the same on your end.

    Have a great weekend,

    August 18, 2007 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  12. Bill Both, Terrace, BC


    I appreciate the discussion as well. What I haven't liked about some of the other posts is that they focus on personal animus without regard to specifics.

    As to the nukes, specificity is needed. Your original post refers to the conversion of weapons grade uranium to that used for energy production. Russia already has the bomb, so we aren't talking about giving them new technology. We are just funding known technology to facilitate conversion which, I believe, is in our national interest. Hopefully, once the conversion work is finished, we can offer some of these scientists work in the West.

    In principle, the idea of a consensus-builder sounds appealing. However, in modern politics, there is great pressure by both parties on individual members to conform and only the most courageous will defy party leadership. This is all the more true for Republicans when the Democrat making the proposal is Hillary Clinton.

    August 18, 2007 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  13. Mark, Los Angeles, CA

    Clinton would be a far... Far... FAR Sight better than Dubya, who is, as we all know, the WORST President in History. Period. End of discussion.

    August 20, 2007 08:01 am at 8:01 am |
  14. mike, coarsegold, cal.

    I think carter wins 'the worst president' award.

    August 20, 2007 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  15. Bill Both, Terrace, BC

    I'm not sure that either Dubya or Carter would beat either Buchanan or Harding if presidential historians were asked to pick a worst president. In Dubya's case and even Carter's, more historical perspective is needed to fairly judge them.

    August 21, 2007 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
1 2 3 4