August 16th, 2007
08:52 AM ET
12 years ago

Rove slams 'fatally flawed' Clinton

Rove sharply criticized Clinton Wednesday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - He may plan to take a break from presidential politics, but soon-to-be ex-White House aide Karl Rove isn't holding back when it comes to his critique of Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton.

On conservative talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh's show Wednesday, Rove predicted the New York Democrat would win her party's nomination but said she was "fatally flawed" and would ultimately lose the race for the White House.

"There is no frontrunner who has entered the primary season with negatives as high as she has in the history of modern polling," said Rove, who announced Tuesday he was resigning his White House post. (Listen to Rove's comments on Bush, Clinton)

"She is going into the general election, depending on what poll you look at, with high forties 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," the man also known as "Bush's brain" added. (Related: Clinton happy to give Rove 'heartburn')

Rove also fired back at Clinton's recent campaign ad in which the former First Lady states, "If you're a family that is struggling and you don't have health care, you are invisible to this president."

"I am a little surprised she jumped out there and made such an accusation when she has a record so spotty and poor on health care issues," he said.

Phil Singer, a Clinton spokesman, brushed aside Rove's critique of her favorability numbers, saying, "It sounds like Karl Rove is writing Sen. Obama's talking points."

"The reality is that as the campaign now gets under way, Sen. Clinton's ratings are improving because Americans are seeing that she has the strength and experience to deliver change," he added.

TIME.com: Rove's final retreat 

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney


Filed under: Hillary Clinton • Karl Rove
soundoff (451 Responses)
  1. jim owsley

    Thats the pot calling the kettle black!

    August 16, 2007 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  2. Matt, Austin, Texas

    Re: Posted By John, Erie PA : August 15, 2007 3:55 pm

    "What a shameless, cheap and false thing for Senator Clinton's spokesman to say!

    Barack Obama has clearly stated in the past that he respects the Clintons and that he thinks she can win if she is the nominee.

    Karl Rove makes a comment, and instead of attacking Rove himself, Senator Clinton's spokesman somehow tries to tie Obama into the whole thing.

    If the Clinton campaign is really so confident that they are going to win the nomination, you'd think they would take the high road. They're nervous, though, and willing to do or say anything it takes to win, apparently."

    This is the best point made on this thread. Not many people on CNN give two craps about what Karl Rove says, but the fact that the Clinton campaign responded this way is the most interesting thing to note here. Obama would never say that Hillary "has too many negatives" and that she wouldn't win the White House if she got the nomination. Plus, equating a lifelong democrat and protector of the people like Obama to a dishonest criminal like Rove reflects nothing other than fear and hatred, something this country doesn't need any more of. To think that Obama's opinions are the same as Karl Rove's - on just about anything - is a huge insult to Obama, and I'm shocked to hear the Clinton campaign brutally attack another Democrat like this.

    Also, you Repubs can pretend that you want Hillary to get the nomination all you want to, but she would win the general election against any Repub and you know it. This country longs for what it had in the 90s when Bill was in the White House, and the people would do anything to get Bill back in there, even if it means electing his "wife."

    August 16, 2007 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  3. Bill, Bloomington IL

    Rove is partially correct. Clinton's record is spotty on more than just health care. She makes Obama's material easy to write.

    August 16, 2007 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  4. Jim, Texas

    I wouldn't be surprised if she won the election. After all, this country elected her dope smoking, cheating, draft dodging husband to office TWICE! Never underestimate the ignorance of the American liberal. She'll win simply because Republicans have held the office for 8 years. She'll win, but she will be a "one-term" wonder and then we can get back to seious business. I'm just wondering how much damage she will do in that 4 years, and how many attacks there will be on American soil in the first year after she takes office.

    August 16, 2007 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  5. Robert B. Ida, MI

    Hillary is too divisive of a person. If people think she will be as charismatic as her husband they are mistaken. Hillary and her husband have proven that they are anti-military and like it or not our next President will be a war President. People have to ask themselves, Does Hillary have the ability to win the war or lead us down a self-destructive path like Lyndon Johnson did? Will she be able to handle the threats to western civilization or just stand back and occassionally lob a few missiles in the general direction of the bad guys?

    August 16, 2007 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  6. Brad

    I think 8 years of the Clintons was enough for the voters to see what Bill and Hillary are made of; totally selfish behavior, "me, me, me," and no regard for the American people. They will say and do whatever is needed to get votes and have ABSOLUTELY no moral character. Out of 300MM Americans, aren't there any other families than the Bushes and Clintons that can run a Country?

    August 16, 2007 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  7. RightyTighty

    I'll be crossing over to vote for Hillary in this years primaries. Nothing like having two Republicans running against each other in this next election.. Yeah for America!!

    August 16, 2007 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  8. Emma, Greenwood, Florida

    If Rove was so bad at his job, then why do the Democraps spend so much time trying to picture him as a villain. How many people have died, committed suicide,used the media to make stories disappear(Remember Sandy Berger), and IRS to destroy enemies. Answer:The Clintons Who's the Villain?

    August 16, 2007 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  9. Nathan, Nashville, TN

    There is more than simply two families that have good ideas to lead in this country. I loved Bill too, but 20 plus years and 2 families in the White House is not democracy.

    August 16, 2007 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  10. Al M. Little Rock, Arkansas

    Some might say she would sell her soul to satan for the Presidency. I say she already has.
    She may very well be our next President. Those who put her in office will be responsible. She is not just "fake" like Edwards supposedly is...she is wicked.

    August 16, 2007 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  11. Ant, FL

    So let's do a little history...

    Prescton Bush does business with the Nazi's to start the family fortune off just right; Goerge H.W. has been mysteriously seen present in Dallas the day JFK was shot; and W. sends our military to war over lies, rapes the nation of its dignity abroad, while touts lowering taxes that, when the realit is that every American will have to eventually pay to the tune of $500,000+ per household over the next 75 years; is resonsible for billions of U.S. tax payer dollars being stolen by the Iraqi's, who he's still paying. Promised the big oil interests here in the U.S. 75% of the oil contract business in Iraq after the invasion was over (Oh wait... that was Cheney's idea during his secret "Energy Summit" with Ken Ley and the gang)but as President he is directly culpable; is listening to your phone calls and email regardless of what he sayd about " only listening to call that include a foreign entity", allows an Attorney General to lie to Congress and get away with it, has left our childrens education so far behind that local states rely on the lottery to try an make ends meet – while ensuring that any religious entity gets all the money they want and defying the seperation of church and state.

    And is directly responsible for the deaths of every American soldier, civilian and Iraqi civilian ( the totla reachin 500,000 quicly)as result of this war.
    You neo-con idiots should be used as chum for the sharks

    August 16, 2007 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  12. Jessica, Keystone, CO

    Rove, don't you get it. We've all been doomed for years now. Wake up, that's why you are quitting now...

    August 16, 2007 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  13. DC, Washington, DC

    Check out DC briefing

    August 16, 2007 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  14. Ronnie.Irving,Texas

    Only republican care what the devil Karl Rove thinks.His president Bush will go down in history as a murderer of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi's in a war that started on Bush lies.All republican share in the disgrace that is the Bush White House.How can that man ever show his face on television and bumble his way through a speech?He should be impeached and tossed in a dungeon in Iraq.All Americans are at fault,however,in November 2008 I hope Americans will remember what it has been like to have a republican as president and make the right choice for America and for the Iraqi people.

    August 16, 2007 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  15. Sal Lavino, NY, NY

    Clinton, Rudy, Obama, Mitt, it does not matter. Unfortunately it took segregationist Governor Wallace to reveal the truth that "there's not a dime's worth of difference between" Republicans and Democrats. The Democrats willingly went along with the War in Iraq, suspension of Habeas Corpus, detaining protestors, banning books like America Deceived (book) from Amazon, stealing private lands (Kelo decision), warrant-less wiretapping and refusing to investigate 9/11 properly. They are both guilty of treason.
    Support Dr. Ron Paul and end this madness.

    August 16, 2007 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  16. Patrick

    Not a supporter of Karl Rove–I believe he is politically flawed–if he resigned to take on the democrats on his own –so be it –but with all his devious behavior in the white house–what goes around comes around–we just need to be patient–Cheney will get his too.

    August 16, 2007 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  17. Bunny, Asheboro, NC

    Who's Karl Rove?

    August 16, 2007 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  18. Lane, Chattanooga,TN

    David in Salinas, CA:
    After 8 years in the White House and seven years as senator, would you enumerate Ms. Clinton's "significant accomplishment". Tell you what, I'll make it easy for you...name ONE.

    August 16, 2007 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  19. Sammy, Atlanta, ga

    "Bush's Brain", that is nothing to be proud of. Is it just me?

    August 16, 2007 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  20. Terry, El Paso, TX

    Bush and Rove on the one hand and Bill and Hillary on the other have one thing in common. Both came to power with a srong majority in both houses of Congress and both blew it. Both endured scandals and criticism until they lost their majority and their party was in shambles. During the Clinton and Bush years, the nation was gridlocked, major problems went unaddressed and unsolved. Since 1994, the country has drifted, arguing about whitewater and flagburning instead of sick children, crappy schools, overpopulation, the decline of the middle class, the environment, global corporations, and decaying infrastructure.

    If Clinton is elected president, Conservatives will start beating that same drum again. Their frothing, irrational hatred of the Clintons will once again paralyze the nation. Then, in 2016, we will realize that we have done it again. We will spend our time on politics instead of nation-building, and the nation that needs our attention most is US.

    August 16, 2007 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  21. Kyu Reisch, Radcliff, Kentucky

    Rove, you couldn't handle your own problem what you talking about Hillary.
    It is hard to believe you still have the mouth to open. The best thing is shut up and go to the church for confession what have done for our Country. I am sorry for Republican, there's no materials for party, Rove was Bush's aidvisor... What is the next wicked plan by Rove and Republicans?

    August 16, 2007 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  22. Derick, Richmond, VA

    As an independent tell me how I am supposed to reconcile the comments regarding smart and experienced with trustworhty and forthright when it comes to Hillary. The people who seem to most support her fault Bush for "lying" about the war. Hillary voted for the Iraq war and now says she was misinformed and again hides behind the right wing conspiracy blanket. As some of your bloggers point out she spent 8 years in the White House before Bush came into office and as a Senator had a resource who had first hand knowledge of the same intelligence used to asses the war situation. Are you trying to tell me she shouldn't have been the most informed senator who voted for the proposition? Are you trying to tell me her husband wouldn't have told her if he thought Bush was deceiving everyone? Which is it? Is she smart, experienced and well informed or is she naive, misinformed, easily misled and the first to point the finger and not pull the thumb when it comes to taking responsibility for their actions. How many times can she hide under the right wing conspiracy umbrella. I for one refuse to drink the kool aide of either party. At least Obama and Edwards stand behind their convictions.

    August 16, 2007 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  23. bkrane Pittsburgh PA

    Hillary is a lightening rod . . . . Rove is a burnt ember.

    August 16, 2007 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  24. Jeff Baltimore, MD

    A reliable source once told me, while they were in the Air Force and stationed at Andrews AFB, of a time back during the Bill Clinton administration; when then first Lady Hillary instructed her precious daughter that "You don't have to talk to them (them being the AF crew), they're beneath you". Now, take that comment with a grain of salt of course, but she does come accross as someone capabable of such a comment, and what's worse, of such a mentality, doesn't she? Please do whatever you can to keep this person out of our highest office.

    August 16, 2007 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  25. Geo.Y. Lynchburg, VA

    President Bush's grades were better than Kerry's and he has dined at the White House for 7 plus years because the Ds have under estimated his intellect and his statesmanship. Liberal values and what their base believe are categorically different than what keeps this country great, that is why they will lose in 08.

    August 16, 2007 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
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