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. Rockycreek, Austin, TX

    He also forgot "thin-skinned", just like her supporters. To Samina from Centennial...some here believe you "said it all". That may be true, you pretty much touched on every DNC/Moveon.org factoid. So, please allow me to respond.

    >>Its so outrageous that some of these right wing wacos are blaming Hillary on her campaign speeches.

    Actually, the left wing wacos (sic) aren't too happy with her either. Hence, Rove's astute point.

    1)Erasing Clinton's surplus

    Never was a surplus. The year Clinton/Gore claimed a balanced budget actually had a $180 billion deficit. And, of course, surely you remember the Clinton-Gore recession, the Clinton/Gore high-tech and dot.com busts? The Bush Administration had to overcome all of these, and has done so spectacularly.

    2)Attacking a sovereign country unilaterally who never attcked us

    Hmmmm, sounds like the Clinton/Albright/Clark plan for Kosovo/Bosnia to me.

    3)Falsely telling american people that Saddam has a link to 9/11

    Not only did he NEVER say this, he never even implied it. What he did say was the truth, that Saddam was one of the world's leading sponsors of international terrorism. But I don't give Bush credit for this, he was only repeating the case made by Clinton, Gore, and the Democrats in congress for years.

    4)Spending 1 trillion taxpayers money

    Since when did spending trillions of taxpayers' money bother liberals?

    >>on endless war

    It will end, the only question is do you want to win or lose (and I'm pretty sure we know your answer)?

    which benefitted comapnies like Exxon,

    Really, how so? Did it also benefit Occidental Petroleum, from which the Gore family fortune is based?

    Haliburton (Cheney connection)

    2 points - 1) Cheney divested long ago, and 2) Halliburton's international logistics subsidiaries have largely taken a bath on the Iraq operation. Also, I welcome any hard figures you might have on how much taxpayer money would be saved if our famously inefficient federal government were doing the work.

    5)disregard constitution

    Really? Which parts, and how so? In detail. Please offer something substantial, not just the standard vapid talking points. And if liberals want us to believe they care about the Constitution, they might want to start distancing from their activist judges who seem obsessed with rewriting it. What did Al Gore call it, a “living document”? Just stop with all the fake outrage, it’s always been the libs who find the constitution a real impediment to their goal of guaranteed equal outcome for all. There are several countries where this has been achieved. Cuba, N. Korea, China, and soon to be Venezuela. Why not go ahead and move to one of those workers' utopias?

    6)illegal wiretapping

    "illegal"? How so? Could you point us to the case, decision, or precedent making it so? Also, obviously you never heard of ECHELON, which operated during all 8 years of Clinton with nary a peep from the left. Go figure.

    7)mismanagement in Katrina like disasters

    This one I love. The whole world saw how liberals and blue-staters really treat the poor. Louisiana is the quintessential blue state. Nagin and Blanco should have been brought up on criminal charges, but with the help of the DNC and counterparts in the MSM, blame was shifted to Bush/Rove. Absurdity at its highest level….

    8)politicizing justice dept. by appointing lawyers from 3rd grade schools

    Despite the Harriet Meyers debacle, Bush's judicial appointments have been spectacular. Finally, the trend of activist, anti-constitution judges has been reversed.

    9)using executive priviledge to pardon Libby (who exposed CIA operatives)in order to protect Cheney and Rove

    Once again (now pay attention)...Pat Fitzgerald certified that Libby committed no "leak" crime and "exposed" no one. Jury members specifically stated that they returned the guilty verdict because they chose to believe Tim Russert's flawed memory of a conversation over Libby's flawed memory.

    Protect Cheney and Rove from what?? Both cooperated fully with Fitzgerald, who spent untold millions certifying that they did nothing wrong (his bitter post-verfict speech not-withstanding).

    Please read the DailyKos more carefully. Even they know that Bush didn't pardon Libby, he commuted his sentence so he wouldn't have to spend time in prison prior to his exoneration on appeal.

    10)making a big mess in health care which is benefitting insurance and pharmaceutical cos. big (seniors still buy from Canada)

    Good, I hope this means the millions of sick people around the world, but specifically Canadians, will see the light and stop streaming here for health care from our "big mess" of a health care system. Our health care system wasn't a "mess" until the government started monkeying with it. Laughably, liberals want the cause of the mess to be the solution!

    11)allowing power companies to pollute by saying that global warming is hoax

    Power companies? I thought it was the evil car companies (except for Toyota who makes the Prius, they're still on the "in" list, right?).

    Climate change isn't a hoax. It has always occurred, and will always occur. Despite claims from non-scientist Al Gore, the issue of mankind's contribution is far from settled. But don't let that get in the path of your pop culture bandwagon.

    Carbon offsets aren't a hoax either, they are a scam. Quite possibly the perfect scam in that both parties (scammer and scammee) enthusiastically publicize their participation in the scam. Wish I had thought of it.

    Bush correctly gave Kyoto the Heisman shove. Another outstanding decision for which we can all be greatful.

    12)non funding stem cell research on the pretext of religion and faith while not caring for thousand innocents who die on this useless war

    The absurd comparisons continue. What do the two topics have to do with each other?

    Plural-potent stem cell research is proceeding nicely without taxpayer funding. And, recent developments regarding new sources of plural-potent stem cells are about to render the argument moot. But don't let that stop the hate.

    13) creating fear amongst americans in the name of terror and on and on…….

    Actually, I'm pretty sure it was the terrorists that did that. I don't live in fear, why do you?

    But dealing in fear has always been the SOP of the left. Global warming fear, Social Security fear, Religious Right fear, SUV fear, welfare reduction fear, having to get a job to support yourself fear, etc., etc. I'm not sure I can remember when liberals offered anything but fear.

    >>Can these idiots come up with one achievement of Bush's 7 years in power?

    Well, the only idiots I see here are the liberal posters, so I'd have to say the answer to your question is no. For a few of his achievements, read above.

    >>Hillary has atleast tried to bring in universal care for all the americans, but these wacos haunted her all along.

    She was an arrogant, (truly) unelected, and unaccountable pseudo official that tried to force fascistic government-dispensed health care down our throats. Americans (remember them?) spoke on that issue. And it looks like they will do it again.

    >>Yes Clinton lied under oath! But, that is to protect his family from personal ebarassment.

    No, he perjured himself and suborned perjury in others. These are called crimes. Serious crimes. That is why he was impeached by congress, and disbarred by the heavily Democrat-supporting ABA. A much better way to save one's family from "ebarassment" (sic) is to not sexually molest campaign workers and volunteers, and not solicit oral sex from young, lowly interns.

    >>But, this administration has lied to american people

    Again, prove it. And think for yourself. No DNC/Moveon/DailyKos factoids/lies.

    >>and literally squandered trillions of taxpayers money

    Really? That's a lot. Where did it go, again?

    >>If that money had spent on american people, there would not be 42 million uninsured, and millions of homeless due to Katrina like disasters.

    “millions of homeless”? My, my, the hyperbole is in high gear now! Again, care to prove that with well-sourced facts?

    So-called social spending has grown shockingly under Bush. That's why his own party is displeased with him. Liberals, who should be lauding him for repeatedly giving into them, are too integrity-challenged to do so. Hate and regaining power are all that matter.

    >>If you don't admit that these policies were wrong, go ahead and rubber stamp another republican who still supports Bush's policies.

    A vote for Hillary will be the ultimate rubber stamp.

    August 16, 2007 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  2. Mindy Chatsworth, Ca.

    It's nice to know that Karl Rove resigned his post in the Bush administration just in time to start bashing Hillary Clinton. So much for putting him out to pasture. I don't think this is a surprise to anyone who has a brain. This is now his new full time job – destroy Hillary Clinton. After all, this is what he does best – attack, smear, destroy. He did it really well in the last election to defeat John Kerry.

    What he doesn't realize is that his time may just be up. No one paid attention to his usual attack ads in the midterm elections. It totally backfired and the Democrats took control of Congress. I would hope that the American people have had their fill of Rove's brand of poisonous, slimy campaigning. This may also backfire big time against the Republicans. It could unite the Democrats and succeed in making Hillary much more popular. We hear a lot about how divisive and polarizing she is, but the real expert in that area is Rove. It's his stock in trade. The Bush administration has managed to use wedge issues like gay marriage to divide Americans, and Rove has been the architect of that strategy.

    I hope that Americans will reject this blatant and coarse attempt to smear the first woman to run as a presidential candidate. Rove is just a lackey, an attack dog, a hatchet man, pure and simple. He is a disgrace to everything that is good and decent in this country.

    August 16, 2007 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  3. C. Tualatin, OR

    Thank goodness this site allows more rational, realistic minds to comment – such as Greg and James from Phoenix!!! I support folks like you because you show the real BACKBONE and fortitude that people like Clinton, Pelosi, and whiner Reid WISH they had! Huntington Station, NY, SFO, Wentzville, MO, and West Chester, PA; say, what's up with her files being locked up in hubby's library until after the '08 election??? Can't help but question where honesty, integrity, and accountability would explain that, hhmm? When I look into the eyes of the Clinton's, Pelosi, Reid, Schumer, and all their following...I see nothing but EVIL! I pity those who believe all their pandering. Apparently you've been demoralized or feminized into believing Hillary really gives a crap about anything other than domination and power. Oh, not to mention; Socialist government, the 'sleight of hand'. GET THE POINT. There will NEVER be a perfect President, not even your beloved Hillary 'wanna be'!

    August 16, 2007 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  4. Allen Ridge

    Hillary Rotten-Clinton is a flip flopper also.

    Voted for the war and then voted against funding our troops, in a political move to make the hate groups of the far-left happy.
    One thing Hillary and the Democrats have going for them and that is America's corrupt liberal wolfpack press.............who will have to work very hard at generating anti-GOP propaganda leading up to the November 2008 elections. But our liberal wolfpack doesn't mind at all.

    August 16, 2007 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  5. J. Philip, Mt. Olive, Louisiana

    You got that right Texas...

    Here's my question to Democrats.

    Would you vote in a Black Muslim for President ?

    August 16, 2007 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  6. matt millican

    You got the story wrong and lied in your article just as Rush said you would – even though the transcript is right there on his website – and I listened to the interview.

    August 16, 2007 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  7. Darin Green, Fort Worth, TX

    Lets Be honest. No matter how bad her ratings are and no matter how much the liberal media tries to build Ms. Clinton up, this country is not ready for a "Woman" president. I could run against her and win. 😉

    August 16, 2007 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  8. Jody, Washington, DC

    I can't believe the sexism that keeps showing up in people's reponses on this list. Haven't we evolved beyond this way of thinking? Obviously not.

    There have already been female heads of state in countries all over the world. The United States is way behind other countries, not only in health care, but also in female representation in government. I guess that is no surprise when statements like this go unchecked on this list:

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

    Posted By Lefty Loosey : August 16, 2007 10:43 am"

    If you don't like Hillary, don't continue to attack her because she is a woman. Sexist comments like these will only energize female voters all over the country to rally behind her.

    Since I happen to like Hillary, please keep it up! Sexist knuckle-draggers like you, Lefty Loosey, and you, James Day Sr., will only help the cause of finally having an intelligent, capable, and strong woman as President.

    August 16, 2007 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  9. Lance, Monrovia, CA

    Read Audacity of Hope, read Clinton’s book. Listen to the two of them speak. You’ll start to notice key differences.
    Hillary is trying very hard not to upset the existing system. She believes in taking money from lobbyists and she agrees with several tenets of the “war on terror.”
    Obama shuns lobbyists because as a newcomer to the Senate he’s seen what tremendous money being thrown at politicians is doing to control the issues discussed. He has repeatedly, for years, since before any other candidate DARED to talk about it, said that the “war on terror” is a fear mongering tool to control the masses. He has said, quite correctly, that 9/11 was a heinous CRIMINAL ACT, not an Act of War, as Hilary has said.
    That right there is the fundamental difference between the two. Obama realizes that you cannot go to war in the conventional sense with terrorists, who have no loyalties to borders and no infastructure.
    On the flip side, Clinton is still exibiting a 90’s sense of cold war mentality, the same US versus THEM mentality that Bush has crowed from every building top for six years.
    It is the difference between YESTERDAY and TOMORROW. A huge difference in cultural thinking and a world mentality versus an isolationist mentality.
    You cannot simply treat terrorists like we’re at war, because the danger of being perpetually at war is the elimination of our rights, for good… not to mention the stress caused heart attacks of thinking that THE ENEMY is going to jump up from any rock.
    Clinton would be either intentionally or niavely drawn into the use terror to control the population and her agenda, Obama would use common sense to change the stereotypes and get people thinking rationally and constitutionally again, that’s the main difference in my mind.

    btw, Karl Rove is a dweeb that deserves to be in jail, not talking to other people who deserve to be in jail on the radio.

    If he thinks resigning will get him and his administration off the hook for all the dirty illegal tricks he's played to keep Bush in office, he's definetely wrong.

    They're coming for you Karl.

    August 16, 2007 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  10. Richard, Orlando, FL

    Joel from San Fran is incorrect. The two sleaziest presidents in history are the past two whose names start with the letter "C" That's sleaze with a capitol "S"

    August 16, 2007 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  11. Mel, Cllarkston Michigan

    Hillary's the best thing that could happen.....for the republicans.

    August 16, 2007 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  12. elizabeth fenimore

    would someone please tell Rove to shut up and sit down?

    some people have the balls to stand up and run for office; some don't. those that don't become whinning critics.

    PLEASE! think for yourselves, people. ask questions and listen carefully at the answers.

    don't believe anything Rove or any of those right wing war mongers have to say.

    watch zeitgeist and then tell me what you think.

    remember: ignorance is not bliss; ignorance is the factor the few who run the world COUNT on to perpetrate their own financial gain.

    August 16, 2007 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  13. Michael D., Salem, OR

    In case some haven't yet noticed, we don't really elect presidents anymore. The fix is in: Hillary WILL be president. The tip-off was Murdoch's fund-raiser for her.

    August 16, 2007 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  14. Greg, NY, NY

    "You got that right Texas…

    Here's my question to Democrats.

    Would you vote in a Black Muslim for President ?

    Posted By J. Philip, Mt. Olive, Louisiana : August 16, 2007 12:24 pm"

    Sigh... he's not a Muslim, and he's not entirely Black either. Why we keep having to correct you uninformed people is beyond me.

    August 16, 2007 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  15. BJ, Spokane Washington

    Like or dislike Rove ... it doesn't matter much. The guy knows how to run a campaign. By your very admission that Bush is a buffoon, Rove somehow orchestrated consecutive victories for the President. Taking down Kerry and Gore along the way.

    Hillary has nothing to run on other than being Bill's wife. Tell me what she has done as a Senator? What piece of legislation did she write? What has the Democratic controlled Congress enacted over the past 8 months? The answer is NOTHING. She can talk a big game but her record is null.

    Rove is right. Hillary has too many negatives about her. There are enough people like me that would NEVER vote for Hillary under any circumstance. My detest for Hillary exceeds that of liberals and Bush. Hillary is far too polarizing of a figure and her numbers simply change much. There is little that Hillary can do to lower her negatives.

    August 16, 2007 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  16. James F, Toronto, Ontario

    Only Dick Cheney could give this man a run for being the most corrupt members of the Bush government. Give either of them a dime, and they will say anything, and do anything, to further the agenda of those for whom they work. I find it utterly unfathomable that anyone would give anything this man says any merit whatsoever. He is a bought and sold individual; futhermore and the actions of he and his cronies have stripped every American of many of their constitutional rights, and sold the country to the Chinese, who now own much of its uncontrollable debt.

    Americans need to stop giving into the climate of fear. The world does not hate Americans no matter what you hear on TV from the extremists and the news soundbites. This govt is unpopular because they have thrown out the rule of law. Whoever is the next President needs to have an administration that sets an example of law abiding and co-operation, and upholds the great American constitution, not shreds it – the world will respect this.

    Whomever Americans choose, seek strength of character, honesty, leadership and integrity. Seek someone who wants get your finances under control, and lead the world by example, not fear.

    Can Clinton be that person? I think it needs a team, including Obama, Wesley Clark, and I wish somehow Colin Powell (there is a person who got the royal shaft from this administration). I really don't see any of the Republican contenders having the right stuff. Time will tell whether Hilary has it.

    August 16, 2007 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  17. Lisa, Ridgewood, NJ

    Hillary's a wannabe fulfilling what she decided her destiny was years ago. She has a corrupt skirt-chasing husband who she holds on to for political gain, and she's NOT accomplished anything noteworthy in her Senate career that qualifies her to be President. The only thing that "qualifies" her is whatever Bill clued her into when he wasn't busy doing the 50+ women his secret service detail claims were in and out of his revolving White House door. They have no respect for each other or for the country – neither deserves the Oval Office. Don't shoot the messenger (Karl Rove) if the message is accurate and in this case it is – Mrs. Clinton is fatally flawed!

    August 16, 2007 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  18. Paul Greenwood, Ogden UT

    I am an average american and have listened to her. Please point out what she has done to support the comment made by Phil Singer "she has the strength and experience to deliver change"? She voted for the war and did absolutly nothing to improve health care availablity to the poor an d middle class. She sounds more like a nagging screathing girl friend than a presidential candidate.

    August 16, 2007 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  19. John Wilkenson

    I love reading these talk strings. They're like a bunch of fish trying to talk to a bunch of oil tankers.
    The truth is the polar opposite of Phil Singer's talking points. Hillary seems personality disordered (power mad) and misandristic to me, the mere thought of her as Prez scares me to death!

    August 16, 2007 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  20. William, Arkansas

    Women can barely run the kitchen, now we expect them to run the whitehouse.

    August 16, 2007 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  21. S. A. Tired, Waco Texas

    And what does Rove have to say about the horrible ratings the President he help get elected has right now??? Bush's approval rating is the worst any President has ever had.

    But, I have to say Rove does have a deep understanding of the term "Fatally Flawed." Since he is part of the most "Fatally Flawed" presidency this country has ever seen.

    August 16, 2007 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  22. matt, chicago il

    I love some of the leftist remarks on this site. Karl Rove, the evil Republican! Ha! He may be too far to the right, no arguments here. But branding the Republicans as the great Satan without acknowledging James Carville's contributions to the modern American political process from the Democratic side is decidedly without thought. As is most criticism of the Right by the Left, and vice versa. Start thinking, please.

    August 16, 2007 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  23. J.Brown, Buffalo, New York

    This country needs Hillary and I’m voting for her when she runs for office.

    Hopefully her campaign slogan will be, “Mi Casa, su Casa”, because I’m ready for a shot at the gravy train she indicates is heading my way.

    How else will we get her out of NY State? She’s done nothing, zippo, nada, in two terms and needs a real job!

    J.Brown.

    August 16, 2007 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  24. LandoftheFree

    Clinton's fatal flaw is clearly visible in these posts. Is this what we want 4 more years of??

    August 16, 2007 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  25. Bob H, Minneapolis,mn

    Hillary may have high negatives but she has an advantage no other candidate has ever had, a popular ex-president as a spouse. Bill campaigning is force to be reckoned with, it wouldn't surprise me if he drew bigger crowds than Hillary.

    Bill and Hillary will sweep up the Left and Middle, so it doesn't matter what the Right thinks at all.

    August 16, 2007 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
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