August 16th, 2007
08:52 AM ET
14 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. Rove's final retreat 

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: Hillary Clinton • Karl Rove
soundoff (451 Responses)
  1. Wynter, Loudon, NH

    Don't listen to James from Phoenix, AZ...

    He keeps spouting the same lines over and over without a fact to back it all up. Probably an RNC goon sent out to throw rhetoric out here.

    Kudos to JP from Tempe though...for recognizing that half of this blog is corrupted with unfiltered venom from hacks in the campaigns or the RNC looking to spread more unfounded accusations.

    It would be nice if we could just stick to the facts and not start sounding like FOX news bashers. Did I say that out loud? 😉

    Telling it like I see it,

    August 16, 2007 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  2. Bruce R. Lawton, OK

    Let's see...Hillary is a powerful important person in this country with a great track record of accomplishments. Did I say that right?

    OK, let's list her accomplishments in order of importance.

    1. hmmm, no she didn't do that.
    2. no sorry not that either.
    3. well, I can't say she's done that either. Wow....this is hard.

    August 16, 2007 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  3. Mark G., Milwaukee, WI

    As a lifelong Democrat and veteran of many political campaigns, I can't agree with Rove more. Negatives don't go down and more than a third of the voters have already rejected "the other Clinton." The Dems are poised to blow the first chance they've had in 28 years to control the White House and Congress.

    August 16, 2007 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  4. Tom S., Baldwin, NY

    Hillary Rotten certainly is flawed. She wants socialized medicine. She wants to stomp out capitalism. She wants to raise our taxes and regulate our lives. Funny how she claims in her commercial that the troops are "invisible" to President Bush, yet she voted against the Defense Appropriations Bill that would have given our troops much needed equipment. How she continually declares defeat in Iraq, when our men & women in uniform fight every day to make sure the surge is sucessful. The only thing invisible here is her credibility and trustworthiness.

    August 16, 2007 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  5. Jim, NYC

    Joel, the sleaziest person in politics is Hillary, not Rove. Rove is one person. The Clintons ran the Arkansas Mafia in the style of Huey Long. Hillary was complicit in the Vince Foster murder cover-up and probably even caused it. From Tyson to Cattle futures to taking bribes from the Chinese, the Clintons are the slickest and sleasiest killers. She has the mainstream media in her pocket and will blackmail, crush and destroy all who stand in her way of becoming the Mgalomaniac Leader of the world.

    August 16, 2007 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  6. atl404

    To James in Phoenix, if that is the best criticism that can be laid on Clinton, she'll be a sure winner and fantastic president. It amazes me how her critics continue to babble whatever criticism they can think up or make up about her, as though it were significant or even noteworthy. It usually sounds more like some kind of 'last dying gasps' to me.

    August 16, 2007 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  7. Gary Strus, Kansas City, Missouri

    Anyone who would believe Rove – would have to me as dumb as W. Rove & the Right Wing Bigots are in abject fear of Hillary and her Progressive and Just Ideas!

    August 16, 2007 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  8. Jay, Millbury MA

    To Susan, Force Pierce, Florida

    The Democrats owned both the House and Senate when Hillary attempted her failed universal health care policy. It was before 1994. Nice attempt at rewriting history though. Another nugget for you. All her staff, that were employed to help her with the plan, were only allowed to work 32 hours a week. Why?? So they didn't have to be covered for health insurance. Do your homework!!!!

    August 16, 2007 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  9. Lefty Loosey

    Global warming is bad enough, we don't need a president who also gets hot flashes.

    August 16, 2007 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  10. taylor, Waverly, IA

    I really have no idea how Billary is going to do anymore. In one ear I hear nothing but seething hatred for her, and in the other I hear only praise and optimism. What's an Iowan to do?

    vote for richardson, of course

    August 16, 2007 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  11. Robbie, White Mills, NY

    It's amazing to see such laughable comments from the Democrat Kool-aid drinkers. No logic, just the "monkey-do" dance.

    August 16, 2007 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  12. justcurious, jacksonville, fl

    If she has nothing to hide why won't she give interviews to the press? We all know that no one will ask her any hard questions.

    August 16, 2007 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  13. Veronica, LA

    So Rove beat Gore and Kerry. Democrats need a scapegoat as to why they could not will the Presidency. They just don't see that Gore is a nut and Kerry is a twit. I mean, the American public is generally stupid but they are not fools. That's why Hillary doesn't have a chance at winning the election.

    August 16, 2007 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  14. Nan

    Rove is right. Hillary scares most people. the republican candidate will will the election, not for who he is, but for who he is not.

    August 16, 2007 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  15. Gerry Z Philadelphia PA

    It's absolutely amazing to see how many dipsticks still think that Clinton seems to be running against Bush. The Bush era is just about over and hopefully, the Clinton era will remain what it is – reprehensible history. What is it about politics in this country that attracts mostly bottom-feeders? Why do integrity and honor go by the wayside once elected? We need people of quality, not these miserable political opportunists. The real question is: Where are we going and why are we in this handbasket? And as far as Clinton is concerned – puhleeze – we should elect ANYBODY but that thing.

    August 16, 2007 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  16. Edward R, Sunnyvale, CA

    As much as I love Hillary Clinton, and as much as I detest Karl Rove, in this case he is probably right. It doesn't matter really what the reasons are, or whither they are valid or not, Hillary Clinton would have a really rough time getting elected.

    I am also quite offended by the comment of the Clinton campaign about Sen. Obama. She is not going to make herself more electable by saying and practicing the mean spirited and corrosive politics of the past.

    August 16, 2007 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  17. Mary, San

    I think we should get rid of everyone who have been in politics for more than two terms, total. It seems that 99.99% are only in it for themselves and their croneys. Also get rid of anyone associated with the trilateral commission, the skull & bones, the Bildenbergers, and any other of these groups.

    August 16, 2007 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  18. Jim, Cape Coral, Florida

    Hillary's problem isn't Rove, Bush or any Republican. Her problem is the very large group of Democrat voters that would never vote for her. Bill Clinton was able to get elected with less than 50% of the popular vote twice because of a third candidate pulling from the opposition. Hillary will need someone pulling at least as much as Ross Perot pulled to have a chance.

    August 16, 2007 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  19. Jak in Houston, Texas

    Pat's comments are hilarious. In her criticism of GW's intelligence, which I'd agree that there's plenty of room to criticize, she misspelled "he'd"...twice. Way to go Pat. Here’s your sign.

    August 16, 2007 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  20. JMD, Seaford, NY

    Hillary isn't "Bush lite" she is Mao Tse-Tung lite.

    August 16, 2007 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  21. BaltJoe in Cleveland, Ohio

    Go Hillary! Rove needs to go back to Texas! The American People are hurting and the Republican Politicians choose to ignore this! They think the american people are stupid as a whole. We need to take this to the voting box.

    I don't blame the democrats in congress. I blame the republicans and the president for blocking everything that the majority in congress is trying to accomplish especially in the senate.

    August 16, 2007 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  22. Robert, Longwood, FL

    Republican fears have broken through the surface. Both Rove and the Jr are making up lies about her. Apparently, Clinton deserves my consideration for president after all.

    August 16, 2007 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  23. joe yowsa. richmond. virginia

    rove makes some unflattering but true remarks about hillary. so the clinton spokesperson attacks obama. typical. eh?

    August 16, 2007 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  24. Mary B, Blairsville, GA

    Universal health care is what scares me about most of these candidates, especially Hillary. Read this and ask yourself if this is what you want for this country!

    In Canada, for example, patients are put on notoriously long waiting lists that span from a matter of weeks to several years. It can take three to nine months to even get a consultation with a surgeon. MRI technology is so rare that patients must wait months just to get a scan to diagnose their condition. Even when the doctor, patient and rare transplant organ are available, other hindrances may arise. In early 1999, "a lung transplant had to be cancelled in Toronto. A donor was available ... but ... [t]ransplant recipients require close observation in an intensive care unit following surgery and no ICU beds were available in Toronto" that day (Medical Sentinel July/Aug. 1999).

    Single-payer health care also means that doctors work for the government rather than for the patient; that is, the government, not the patient or his or her family, has the ultimate say in health care decisions. According to a French Canadian newspaper in late 1990s, for example, "hospital personnel took it upon themselves to disconnect a 76-year-old patient from a life-saving respirator."

    Then there is the hard cost to the patient once he or she walks out of the hospital and puts the wage earner hat back on. Though Canada's current system has been in place less than 20 years, Canada's Office of the Superintendent of Financial Services projects that by the year 2040, Canadian tax rates will be roughly 94.5 percent (they're "only" about 50 percent now) in order to sustain their health care system as it is now.

    Socialized medicine is essentially the HMO from hell, where medical decisions are based on saving money rather than saving lives, much more so than in even the greediest privatized system.

    August 16, 2007 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  25. Bill, Houston, TX

    Somebody from San Francisco calls Mr. Rove a "sleazy pol"–that is hysterical. Compared to James Carville, Rove is a saint. And the main article throws in that Rove is "Bush's brain"–such classless rhetoric–the whole left end of the political spectrum, which CNN anchors, is the deep bottom of the gutter of malignant sleaze.

    August 16, 2007 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
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