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. Mark, Lower Makefield PA

    The audacity of this man to critique!!
    His "Agenda" has crippled this country. His "Ideas" whispered into the ear of a gullible and simple political puppet have mired this nation in a conflict that has cost almost 4000 American Patriots their lives.
    When he steps forward and takes responsibility he will have the right to critique but until then he should keep his opinions to himself and spend a little more time in self reflection.
    His "Architecture of Destruction" has poisoned the United States and it will take decades to recover from this debacle.

    August 15, 2007 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  2. Kathy Callan, Palo Cedro, CA

    John Edwards is by far the most electable of any of the Democratic candidates. In two recent Rasmussen Reports, John Edwards was head and shoulders above all the other Democrats in head-to-head match-ups against all the Republican contenders. His working class message, integrity, and bold policies have broad appeal with both Democrats and Republicans. He will win the nomination.

    August 15, 2007 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  3. David, Dallas, Texas

    As a life-long Democrat, I can't understand why Senator Clinton has already been annointed as the 2008 nominee. Karl Rove is right,she CAN NOT win in the general election and Obama talks the talk, but he can't walk the walk. I keep wondering why the Democrats can't figure out that John Edwards is the best candidate to win in the general election.

    August 15, 2007 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  4. Tom G. Anaheim, CA

    What does Karl mean when he says Hillary is "fatally flawed?" That sounds like a threat against her resolved by a fatal act. I hope the Secret Service interviews him and asks him why he threatened the presidential candidates life.

    August 15, 2007 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  5. Neill C.

    Hillary Clinton has already admitted she is bought and paid for. She refuses to do away with money from PACS and special interest groups.

    This person is bought, paid for, and already stamped "MINE" by way too many special interest groups.

    NO THANKS! Not another incompetent Clinton in the WH.

    August 15, 2007 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  6. JP, Tempe Arizona

    You know what I'd like to know? How many of you people who are writing these comments actually work for the RNC or a Republican Candidate? You sure have their talking points down!

    Rove is an underhanded, sneaky and terribly disgusting person, void of all moral character. Look at what he did to John McCain in the 2000 election? And now, McCain -who would make a decent president- is STILL dealing with the consequences of 2000's nightmare. The fact that Rove was able to buy...I mean...GET GWBush elected is an amazing feat and he should be commended – very much like Houdini was commended for his "smoke and mirror" tactics.

    Finally, if Hillary were a all would be offering nothing but praise and adoration. But, because she's a all fear her.

    August 15, 2007 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  7. Luis, Miami, Florida

    GOP so scared of Hillary....

    like in star wars

    "it is your destiny"

    Hillary is your destiny....

    if the GOP had anyone able to beat Hillary, anyone with the strengh and experience the Senator from New York brings we would not have to go thru this but all the candidates in the GOP could not make one that will stand and reach Mrs. Clinton ancles.

    August 15, 2007 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  8. James, Minneapolis, MN

    I dont like Rove but if he sees Hilary as not winning the white house I got to believe it cause he is defenitely going to be involved in the 08 race.

    I just dont think she will win, I know too many that just dont want to vote for her or are only doing it to keep the GOP out.

    I dont think there is a difference between her and the current boss.

    August 15, 2007 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  9. Michael, Gallatin, TN

    Hmmm...if Clinton is such a loser, I wonder why Carl Rove even bothers to mention her?

    August 15, 2007 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  10. Rebecca, New York, New York

    :):)... mean ELIZABETH EDWARDS, right?

    August 15, 2007 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  11. Cindy Meyer


    Good Riddance, climb back under the rock in Texas you climb out from under...

    August 15, 2007 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  12. C.LyOns, New York, NY

    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."

    -Cheap shotx10 here folks...she may be right in respects to the neo-con uncaring attitude towards the middle-class, but she has lost all respect from me in that Sen. Obama has never asseted that Clinton was unfavorable or unelectable, but explicitly referred to her as 'Bush-Cheney-Lite'...which these types of smear campaigns grossly reflect....

    August 15, 2007 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  13. Ed, Fort Lauderdale, FL

    These blogs are interesting in that I think they generate more responses from political hacks working on campaigns than they do actual Americans.

    August 15, 2007 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  14. Clyde Luther

    yes, Senator Clinton is fatally flawed, but so is Mr. Rove and most of the Bush/Cheney organization. They have ALL failed We The People.
    There are not any candidates currently running or publicly contemplating a run, who care at all about the people of The Untied States of America.

    August 15, 2007 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  15. Shawnie - Grants Pass, OR

    We Republicans just HOPE Clinton wins her party's nomination!

    August 15, 2007 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  16. Jim, Atlanta, GA

    Enough of bashing the Bush White House. I voted for him twice and I am now an unhappy conservative with the Bush group and the Congress. Please, to all Dems in the race, tell me why I want to cross over, and stop beating the dead horse, he's gone Jan '9 anyway.

    August 15, 2007 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  17. Tom G. Anaheim, CA

    This doesn't matter anyway. Cheney already has a plan to postpone the election under martial law (war with Iran) and not relinquish power in January 2009. 4 more years of Cheney/Bush!!!

    August 15, 2007 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  18. William Sykes, Raleigh, NC

    Makes me want to change and vote for Hillary. Rove has zero credibility.

    August 15, 2007 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  19. C.LyOns, New York, NY

    If she is so hated, bad and useless how come she leads in all polls?

    -Name's all branding this will change the more she is splattered on the tv set make unsubstantiated claims and continues to not reveal her plans for the presidency...other than 'fighting' conservatives and being our 'girl'...Mrs.Clinton how do you plan to bring this country together-Dems & Repubs? Answer that then maybe we can take you seriously.

    August 15, 2007 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  20. Susan, Fort Pierce, Florida

    Hillary haters make me sick. Republicans make me even sicker! This country never had it so good as when Bill Clinton was president! After six and a half years of rotten Bush and Company destroying this country and everthing it stands for I would welcome another Clinton in the White House!
    If ever there was a "fatally flawed"
    candidate it was Bush!
    What a joke it is to say that you don't trust Hillary! Look who's talking! You fool Republicans trusted Bush! What does that say!
    As I recall, Hillary tried to get universal Health care through but the idiot Republcans,along with the pharmacy lobby, had a hissy-fit and destroyed it!!
    If Hillary gets the Democratic nomination I will support her 100%
    But then I will support any Democrat over the lousy Republicans!

    August 15, 2007 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  21. Sarah, Kansas City, MO

    The republicans are salivating at the idea that Clinton will be the nominee. I wonder what kind of sleaze they will bring out against her and of course the media will aid in that area. And if she wins we will have 4 more years of devisive politics because the far right can't leave it alone .

    I think we would all be better off if both parties pick less devisive canidates. That means that the republicans will have to let go of Guilliani; he is just as devisive. He would mean a continuation of the last 7 years.

    August 15, 2007 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  22. Karl Rove, Washington DC

    Don't Shhhhh me! It is not like the Democrats ever listen to any good advice any way.

    August 15, 2007 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  23. Dave Washington DC

    Well when she was First Lady she tried to get some form of health carre going and again she was fought at every turn by these treasonous cowards. Now all of a sudden the deserting coward and the draft dodger are thinking about health care. I wonder how they expect to make kick backs on this. They sure make enough from the drug companies since they sold the medicare system to them and seniors have to pay more for their drugs. These traitors actually lobbied to stop the government from being able to buy drugs like the VA does and the VA save tremndous amounts of money.

    August 15, 2007 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  24. Tom Dedham, Mass

    "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.

    What is in this sentence that is not true to you Clintonista's?

    I am no fan of Rove at all, but he is speaking the truth.

    She DID vote AGAINST giving a tax break to people paying for their own healthcare.

    She DID vote AGAINST people being able to take more control over their lives as it relate to SS and healthcare.

    Tired of hearing how strong a "woman" she is, strong women don't cry when someone answers back their taunts.

    Strong women don't say "I am your girl".

    Strong womem don't put up with a husband who cheats not once but MULTIPLE times that we KNOW of.

    I would respect her more if on the floor of the Senate when she got elected she called him out and said on the spot "I want a divorce" and flipped him off in front of the world.

    Weak is the way to describe her as she stayed with him in a loveless marriage just to use him for political expedience. Period.

    She will not be the next President as much as CNN would like that to be.

    These 2 tickers have been front and center today as it appears that she is taking on the "vast right-wing conpiracy", how good of a job did CNN do when she was in front of the AFL-CIO lying about jobs leaving when it was her and Billy boy who enacted NAFTA and that is causing good jobs for lower and middle class workers to GO AWAY?

    Was that the top ticker story for 2 DAYS. Nah, don't think so.

    Go Biden, he has the most experience and is the best candidate for the Dems.

    August 15, 2007 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  25. Dan Kibler, Centerville, Ohio

    Karl Rove helped steer the country into the crapper as George Bush's 'brain '. His comments reflect his failure to help lead the country. Our nation needs a President with a brain of her own. And she is brilliant.

    August 15, 2007 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
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