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. Jerry Voltero

    Pat P. First and foremost, Rove is a republican not just a hired gun. Secondly, The guy who invented the Hershey Bar failed and went bankrupt 5 times before inventing Hershey's Chocolate. The President graduated from both Yale and Harvard regardless of his GPA and was reelected to the TX Governorship in a landslide victory. Rove is probably right she has high negatives already before the primaries and of course once she is the nominee she will have to deal with all of her past mistakes which will come out all over again and lastly and what some people seem to forget, when she was the first lady she was seen as difficult and polarizing, she is seen by New Yorkers as a carpetbagger and has no governing experience. Remember the last Senator to get elected to the Presidency was Kennedy and believe me she is no Jack Kennedy

    August 16, 2007 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  2. Rockycreek, Austin, Tx

    S. A. Tired from Waco

    >>And what does Rove have to say about the horrible ratings the President he help get elected has right now???

    He says they are going up (they are), and that he will be at 40% or better near the end (we'll see).

    Here's a way you can tell if Bush's ratings have bottomed and are remaining steady - "Journalists" at the NYT drop their references to it from 5 or 6 per "article" to 1 or 2. And if it is going back up, 1 or 2 per article to zero.

    >>Bush's approval rating is the worst any President has ever had.

    That's news to Jimmy Carter.

    If I were Mrs. Clinton or B. Hussein Obama, I would worry about the Democrat congress's approval rating, which most polls put in the teens. As much contempt that some might have for the President, an overwhelming (80%+) majority of Americans have much more contempt for Reid, Peloi, and Co. And that is a serious problem for any candidate that is part of that group.

    August 16, 2007 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  3. Don R Cheshire, CT.

    I'm with Richard the expatriot in Alberta Canada. It's sad to see that the puppets on the left and right do as they are told and hate the other side so much. They let us fight amongst ourselves as they all get rich and rob us. When will you dummy's wise up and join a movement to take our country back from these crooked lying politicians. Vote everyone out and start over with citizens who work together for the best for the people of this country. Now go back to your non stop my party is better than your party banter.

    August 16, 2007 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  4. Jules C., Toledo, Ohio

    I just couldn't bring myself to vote for the woman...every time I listen to her, I am reminded of my ex-wife's mother.

    August 16, 2007 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  5. Dr. Van, Beaverton, OR.

    Never forget that the Clinton's and their cronies trashed the white house on their way out of office. Tons of damage to the place, and it's fixtures.

    Bush was too much of a gentleman to mention it, even though his staff begged him to prosecute them.

    They also stole the White House furniture. Are your memories that short? Some of it still has not been recovered. A complete lack of moral standards.

    Like when they and their staff decorated the Christmas trees in the White House with condoms, and rubber dildos. Plus, how the white house computers were often used to download child pornography, using govt. issued credit cards. That from the Secret Service's reports.

    Did anyone read the Hillery Health Care program that she tried to get passed? I did. You should be able to google it up on the web. It was literally taken word for word from Russia's medical program.

    If you did not want the socialist system doctor assigned you, and paid cash for your own doctor, you and your doctor would be imprisoned.

    No thanks. I personally do not want people of that low character in the White House again.

    August 16, 2007 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  6. Tom, Dallas, TX

    As a lifelong Democrat, I agree that Hillary can't win.

    She and Bill spent 8 years lying to the American voters. She tried to ram Socialised Medicine down our throats using the same same closed door, secret meetings that Cheney is accused of.

    Her Rose Law firm documents show up mysteriously, well after they were due.

    Bill's guy Sandy Berger stuffs his underwear with damaging documents to the Clinton administration.

    The list of immoral and likely illegal things done under the first Clinton administration is way too long to go into here. I wish we had a strong viable candidate.

    There is no way I can vote for Hillary in the primary, because she can not win a general electon.

    August 16, 2007 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  7. oldnsmart, oxnard, ca

    Hillary has experience?? What experience??

    August 16, 2007 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  8. Becki, Minneapolis, MN

    Hilary won't win because she will not talk to anyone. Although she talks AT plenty of people. When the time comes to begin fielding questions from the public, which any candidate ultimately has to do, she'll crash and burn.
    Plus, she's icky.

    August 16, 2007 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  9. CW2

    I love how you sorry leftist claim Bush is a criminal. Outsmarted all of you twice and your only answer is he cheated. Your pathetic, and with two tours to Iraq I can tell you, None of the Dems have the military vote and never will. Go run your white flag up somewhere else. And the moron who said she would be a great Commander and Chief, you need to stop the crack habit. Our military was cut under the Clintons. Paid for by the Chinese. Guy in Canada, Stay on your side of the border with your comments. Don't see us sticking our noses in your socialist business.

    August 16, 2007 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  10. J. Philip, Mt. Olive, Louisiana

    Well,, I know this, you Democrats got some tuff choices coming up, and you better get off your high-horse and Bush-Bashing long enuf to fiqure out which Presidential Candidate you are gona vote for.

    The Republicans have it easy, we know Bush ain't running for office in 2008 and a Romney, Giuliani, or even a Thompson would beat a Hillary, or a Hussien.

    Either way, I sure hope the NAACP and the ACLU keep an eye out for those dead Democrats that keep voting out of Chicago.

    On another note; Hey New Yorkers, is it true that Hillary secured her NY Senate seat when President Billy Bob Clinton gave pardons to the 4 convicted imprisoned Jewish Greenwich Village Business Partners ?

    Tell me it ain't so.

    August 16, 2007 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  11. Marsha, Portland, OR

    Posted By Dr. Van, Beaverton, OR. : August 16, 2007 3:42 pm

    I'm sorry you expect people to believe these people to believe this as true? You've got to be joking, right?

    August 16, 2007 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  12. Dusty,Austin Texas

    Hillary is the best thing to ever happen to the Republican party, and we are very happy she is the front runner. Senators are very easy to deafeat. Look at the history.

    No one in modern history has ever been as devisive as she......:)

    August 16, 2007 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  13. jackouy seattle wa

    What experience does hillary have???the only experience she has is being married to bubba

    August 16, 2007 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  14. Ricardo Maxwell, Orange Park , FL

    Hey Pat Did you attend Yale? Harvard? Cornell? Princeton? As a former Yale graduate student, I can tell you that a C average there is not very easy to acheive for any talented bright student who would otherwise earn A's at another university. You sound just like every other petty, jealous, resentful liberal.
    I suspect that even Karl Rove couldn't get Mrs. Bill Clinton elected. She has far too much baggage and her shrill voice sounds like fignernails on a chalkboard. Four years of that? I don't think so.

    August 16, 2007 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  15. WmLambert

    If disinformation is the name of the game, then the Leftist attack will continue. Bush entered the White House as the most bipartisan President in generations – coming from a state in which State Democrats supported him. He invited Teddy Kennedy to write his NCLB education bill, and instituted bipartisan groups which enacted the planks in the Democrat party platform that they never were able to accomplish on their own. Any divisiveness came when Dems unilaterally withdrew from these working groups and started a Bush-bashing strategy to replace their legislative unity.

    August 16, 2007 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  16. Joseph H., Columbus, OH

    Well Mr. Rowe in the history of exit polling, a candidate that was double digits behind has never come out on top, that is until Bush and company ran for a second term. Who is to say Hillary cannot overcome the negative. She has plenty of time. Again, you are wrong Mr. Rowe. When will you ever shut up and go away? When will you give us comments we want to hear about? When will you and Bush ever tell the truth about the war? Now that you have stepped down, please do us all a favor and stop making your lame predictions. None of them have come to past in the last 6 years, and they are not going to start coming to past now that you are out of the house!

    August 16, 2007 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  17. J. Philip, Mt. Olive, Louisiana

    Read it and weep and go Google: Clinton pardons Jewish Businessmen.

    Here is a snip

    New York Investigation

    In New York, federal prosecutor Mary Jo White is conducting a separate criminal probe of the matter, including whether commuted sentences for four Hasidic Jewish businessmen were granted in exchange for votes in support of Sen. Clinton on Election Day, sources have told The Associated Press.

    Many Hasidic communities tend to vote in blocs and because of that, politicians aggressively court their leaders.

    Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton has said that she sat in on a December meeting with supporters of clemency for the four Hasidic men who were convicted of stealing millions of dollars from the federal government, but said she played no part in her husband's decision to commute their sentences.

    "I did not play any role whatsoever," she said when questions arose about the case last month. "I had no opinion about it."

    August 16, 2007 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  18. Joe, Rocklin, CA

    Hillary Clinton winning the Democratic ticket would be the best thing that's happened to the GOP in years.

    It would almost guarantee a Republican would remain in the White House.

    IMHO, Hillary Clinton will never be the President of the United States.

    August 16, 2007 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  19. GR Chase, New Hampshire

    Rove has shown an uncanny knowledge about the voters of America. I am certain that his facts are correct in this case as well. Hillary is unelectable for the same reasons as Newt. More people dislike her than like her. The current Dem primary polls do not tell the whole story. Karl Rove will engineer a Republican victory in 2008

    August 16, 2007 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  20. Chip Celina OH

    Re: Caren...

    If you're gonna bag on someone, learn to spell.

    "anybody with the last name Clinton scares the be-jesus out of Republicans."

    I definitely can't dispute that one! But, it's not exclusive to Republicans.

    "Most of you on here voted for him."
    That's generally how politicians are elected.

    "Now we got to flavors of kool-aid"
    I think you mean two. And, we should be possessive (e.g. we've).

    "Drink up all you weak minded easyily psyched folks."

    Is that how a strong mind spells easily?

    Maybe there should be a test for voting just as there is for driving.

    August 16, 2007 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  21. Bob H, Minneapolis,MN

    "Rove has shown an uncanny knowledge about the voters of America. I am certain that his facts are correct in this case as well. Hillary is unelectable for the same reasons as Newt. More people dislike her than like her. The current Dem primary polls do not tell the whole story. Karl Rove will engineer a Republican victory in 2008"

    This is the same Karl Rove that organized the 2006 mid-term elections and predicted that the Republicans would retain control of the House and Senate. I would look for another crystal ball if I were you.

    August 16, 2007 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  22. xtina - chicago IL

    to Jim Silberman of NY:

    please hit the CapsLock key- it's on the left side third key up. Thank you.

    August 16, 2007 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  23. Darth Rove

    Mrs.Bill Clinton will win the Democratic nomination but will lose the Presidency all the same. It is so sad to read the comments from the libs on this site. A bunch of generalities and half truths about how bad things are in America because of President Bush. Instead of countering Roves political analysis of Mrs.Bill Clintons chance at winning all we read is how terrible things are all because of one man in the Oval Office so this just assures Hillary will win. You libs are filled with hate and irrationality. Why would any majority of Americans trust you with running the Executive Office? Pathetic losers!

    August 16, 2007 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  24. Dave Martin, Marina, CA

    It cracks me up whenever I see all of you Bush-haters become enraged whenever Karl Rove's name is mentioned. All of you sound just like Hillary-screeching apoplectic shrills who will demonize anybody that disagrees with their vision of a "no place" utopia. They fake compassion for the supposedly disenfranchised vunerable masses by promising to overflow their cups with manna from a more responsive government if only you vote for them. Then it's free bread and circuses for everybody except the rich, the Christians, and those who generally oppose their scheming Elmer Gantry-like plans to obtain more prestige and power. Rove hit it right on the mark when he talked about her negatives. People don't like her because she is a phony and a fraud and they believe that they can manage their lives better without government intrusion in their lives and their wallets. But why listen to me? I'm just a right-wing hate monger that serves proudly in that VAST RIGHT WING CONSPIRACY that Ceasar Hillary rails against all the time.

    August 16, 2007 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  25. G West, Onley, VA

    It's that voice...that's why "Shrillary" has such negatives. Sounds like she's auditioning for the role of Eva Peron. Politically, her politics are closer to Hugo Chavez than JFK. Maybe she should try some fatigues and a beret.

    August 16, 2007 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
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