August 16th, 2007
08:52 AM ET
13 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. RICK WEAVER BETHANY, PA

    KARL ROVE SHOULD ALSO UNDERSTAND THAT HE HAS CREATED A PRESIDENT AND AN ADMINISTRATION WITH THE LOWEST NEGATIVE RATINGS IN U.S. HISTORY.

    August 16, 2007 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  2. Conor, Yarmouth, Maine

    What I don't appreciate is that Mr. Mooney, though a high-quality journalist, refered to Rove as "the man also known as 'Bush's Brain,'" when Rove in that same interview specifically addressed the point that he is not Bush's Brain, but in fact Bush is well-read and intelligent, just also common sense with a good sense of humor. Whether or not one believes this to be true, Mr. Mooney's little comment removes context and is thus somewhat unfortunate.

    August 16, 2007 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  3. Right On! Minneapolis

    She's too liberal and wants a nationalized health care system. While I agree that everyone in this country should have some type of health plan coverage, socialized medicine is NOT the way to go. Even Canada is reconsidering their system. If you think the middle class is struggling now, JUST WAIT until this woman gets in office. TAXES TAXES TAXES!

    August 16, 2007 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  4. Jayson, Columbusl,OH

    There are so many more important issues you could be reporting on instead of gossip. This man–Karl Rove– is clearly trying to manipulate the media into branding Hillary as flawed to tarnish her campaign in the minds of your viewers. I would like to see CNN practice journalism by investigating the issues and ignoring these insignificant remarks by political spin gurus. CNN has become simply tabloid journalism.

    August 16, 2007 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  5. DS Sfld,MI

    "Samina, Centennial, Colorado "

    Maybe you should really read instead of relying on CNN and the Dumborats talking points.

    August 16, 2007 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  6. Davo, Atlanta

    Reading the Hillary apologists, you'd think they'd never heard of "middle-America". You guys never fail to crack me up.

    August 16, 2007 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  7. Steve, Alexandira VA

    Hey America (and Libs), is you want a government that will control our lives from the womb to the tomb, and a government that knows what is best for us (even better than we know for ourselves), then by all means, cast your vote for Mrs. Clinton. After all, remember, it takes a village.

    August 16, 2007 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  8. Macker, Phoenix, AZ

    What I'd like to ask all of you supporters of Senator Clinton is: why would she want to keep all her personal papers locked up until after the 2008 election? What's she so afraid of? That we would discover the truth to her shrill behavior?
    Answer me that, Shirllary Fans!

    August 16, 2007 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  9. Kevin, Allison Park, PA

    Your polarizing headline is silly – Rove "Sharply Criticizes Clinton". He spoke of the facts re. her high negative polling and that noone has ever done well with those FACTS in place. His comments were quite objective, though few on the left would understand objectivity.

    August 16, 2007 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  10. Stephen Troutt, Murfreesboro Tennessee

    I think that its almost staggering that anyone can lend any credence to anything that Karl Rove might say about anyone frankly. His views on Bush and his 'Legacy' borders on the delusional. Of course, another 'Great Architect' Joseph Goebbels thought that Hitler was winning up till the day he died.

    August 16, 2007 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  11. Matt Busiek, Austin, TX

    I think Karl Rove is just calling a spade a spade.

    August 16, 2007 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  12. Joe, Burlington, VT

    I wish Hillary Clinton (and her husband) would become invisible... or just get lost.

    August 16, 2007 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  13. Mason, Loma Rica, CA

    Karl, please stifle! The angry Democrats will nominate Hillary, then she'll lose. Sweet, but keep it quiet so we don't miss this opportunity.

    August 16, 2007 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  14. Roger, Conway S.C

    Consider the source the architect of the most corrupt, secretative, untruthful, and fatally flawed administration in history should really clean up his own act before criticising anyone else regardless of the party affilation...but since it was on Rush's radio show what would you expect...he is also one who does not practice what he preaches

    August 16, 2007 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  15. Dan, Tx

    I just want to echo several posts- there was no call for Clintons people to bring Obama into the conversation. Are they really that afraid of him? I'm very disappointed.

    August 16, 2007 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  16. Peter, NYC, NY

    Republicans are going to win the third straight very close presidential election because of Hillary. This will keep libs out of the White House for 12 years and probably strengthen the conservative lock on the Supreme Court. Boy am I going to enjoy the anguish of the Libs. That will definitely be PRICELESS.

    August 16, 2007 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  17. Donald DiPaula, Falls Church, VA

    One thing we know about Karl Rove: he attacks opponents on their strengths, in an attempt to get people to question whether they really ARE strengths. So if he's attacking HRC, that shows that he thinks she is the Democratic Party's strongest candidate.

    If Rove REALLY thought HRC was "fatally flawed" and couldn't win, he would focus his energies on something he thought presented a valid threat of winning.

    August 16, 2007 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  18. Bill Phillips

    Pat P.

    Bush had a better business record and better grades at Yale that the two 'superbrains' he ran against – Gore and Kerry.

    August 16, 2007 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  19. Mike, Philadelphia, PA

    It is not the time for a woman President and it is not the time for a black President. It is the time for a Democrat President however. This country cannot afford 4-8 more years of Republican reign. What are the Democrats thinking? All the Republicans need to do is put a strong male candidate next to Hillary, Obama and even Edwards and he will get elected. Don't they see this. Don't they see how important to the future of this country it is that the Democrats win this election. Because if they don't say hello to endless war, rising deficit, ever-growing gap between the rich and everyone else, more job outsourcing, and say goodbye to Social Security, Medicare, healthcare for all, civil liberties, etc.

    August 16, 2007 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  20. John Naperville, IL

    What a great experiment it would be to have all of you fans of the left actually get Hillary as your president. Then she'd turn this country into a socialist Disneyland. High taxes, a Nanny state, Socialized medicine, and government control over EVERYTHING. Wouldn't it be fun to wait for that operation your child needs but OOPS, you can't get on the surgical calendar until next year. Awww – too bad. And Uncle Joe died last month while waiting for that transplant, but hey Hillary can't fix everything at once can she?
    I've been to France, Canada, and the UK among other places. If you talk to anyone with a brain they'll tell you that they have private medical insurance. They don't wait for the state nanny system to take care of them. But you witless tools keep wanting to have Hillary or Obama or someone on the left take care of you. Wake up, grow a pair and learn to take responsibility for you own life. Or if you rally like socialism that much, move to France, go on unemployment and live out your life on the dole contributing nothing, yet taking from the government everything you can get your hands on. The left offers no real answers, other than to keep the people at the top in power because they are "serving the needs of the people" absolute nonsense.

    August 16, 2007 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  21. Jim, Colorado Springs, CO

    Why are dems so concerned about President Bush's Yale GPA? His GPA was higher than Senator Kerry's. A C average at an Ivy League college would be a B or A GPA at your average public State University.

    August 16, 2007 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  22. Paul OH

    How many times do I have to say it...Bush isn't running so stop saying that they are going to "change" things...anyone elected will change things. So much hate for Bush you want to run against him again (you'd probably lose again because you put morons up as your candidates). In 2004 "anyone but Bush" didn't win because "anyone" didn't include a boob like John Kerry.

    August 16, 2007 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  23. Patrick Madison, WI

    Lets get real people. Americans are not ready for a women president and even if they were, she ain't the one.

    August 16, 2007 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  24. Pete S., Phoenix Arizona

    If Hillary is nominated any Republican can and will beat her in 2008. Everyone knows that she is just not an honest, friendly, or principled person. At some point during the campaign she will implode and the game will be over.

    August 16, 2007 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  25. craig st. louis

    republicans who have had health care all along are the ones slamming this ad so much. I had to file bankruptcy after having my second back surgury with no insurance... my first one was paid for as i hurt my back working my ass off at a low paying job.. they were forced to pay! i do fortunatley have health insurance now as i retrained and got a good job but i will not forget or leave behind the millions who don't have it! SHAME on america having children go without medical care in favor of the wealthy insurance companies and they're lobbyists!! SHAME!
    You republicans have shown us what you are alll about and you are for the wealthy and screw the workin class so why don't you all sit back and have a big ole cup of SHHHUUUUDDDUP! bush has wrecked america... that is unless you are filthy rich!

    August 16, 2007 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
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