August 16th, 2007
08:52 AM ET
12 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. Donnie Rio Grande City, Texas

    Anything coming from Rove, Cheney, Bush, Delay, etc. is obviously not worth repeating. Crooks, liars, and thieves.

    August 15, 2007 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  2. Samina, Centennial, Colorado

    Its so outrageous that some of these right wing wacos are blaming Hillary on her campaign speeches. Hillary in her speech has blamed Bush's policies (not Bush personally)and to those hopefuls who still support him. Look at Bush's records: 1)Erasing Clinton's surplus 2)Attacking a sovereign country unilaterally who never attcked us 3)Falsely telling american people that Saddam has a link to 9/11 4)Spending 1 trillion taxpayers money on endless war which benefitted comapnies like Exxon, Haliburton (Cheney connection) 5)disregard constitution 6)illegal wiretapping 7)mismanagement in Katrina like disasters 8)politicizing justice dept. by appointing lawyers from 3rd grade schools 9)using executive priviledge to pardon Libby (who exposed CIA operatives)in order to protect Cheney and Rove 10)making a big mess in health care which is benefitting insurance and pharmaceutical cos. big (seniors still buy from Canada)11)allowing power companies to pollute by saying that global warming is hoax 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 13) creating fear amongst americans in the name of terror and on and on…….
    Can these idiots come up with one achievement of Bush's 7 years in power? Hillary has atleast tried to bring in universal care for all the americans, but these wacos haunted her all along. Yes Clinton lied under oath! But, that is to protect his family from personal ebarassment. But, this administration has lied to american people and literally squandered trillions of taxpayers money, and precious lives. If that money had spent on american people, there would not be 42 million uninsured, and millions of homeless due to Katrina like disasters. If you don't admit that these policies were wrong, go ahead and rubber stamp another republican who still supports Bush's policies.

    August 15, 2007 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  3. Pam Eugene OR

    I am a democrat, I do not work for any of the candidates and I like to think I am open minded. That being said; I simply can not stomach HRC. I will take anyone BUT her! I don't understand why people like JP in Tempe assume that when anything negative is said about Hilary it must have been said by some right wing conspirancy. There are lots of good people out there on both sides of the fence that just know she can not be trusted. Please, give me Obama, Edwards...anyone except Hilary.

    August 15, 2007 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    Hey Chelsea was first daughter, she could be Hill's VP. Apparently experience is all about being related to Bill..

    When will you people get it, the world has changed. Electing Hillary will not bring back the prosperity of the 90's. The underveloped nations of the world are starting to wake up to the fact that theyve been collectively "screwed" by the Western nations, and they arent going to take it anymore.

    Furthermore, can we have enough of this "Shes a women, and you men hate here bs". There are a lot of women out there who despise her just as much as we men do.

    Hey, I know, lets elect Rosie O' Donnell. She's the perfect combination of both..

    August 15, 2007 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  5. Mark Rosoff Herndon, Virginia

    So the "other Ann Coulter" still won' t shut up.

    August 15, 2007 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  6. PF Hull, IA

    This is precisely why anyone who really cares about not letting republicans keep the whitehouse for another four years shouldn't vote for hillary... take it from someone who lives in the heart of one of the most republican counties in Iowa; there is so much knee-jerk and irrational hatred towards her that she cannot win a general election. If democrats want to win the next election, we need to offer America anyone but Hillary

    August 15, 2007 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  7. Jack Atlanta

    "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!"

    We completely agree with you Susan. You are sick.

    August 15, 2007 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  8. Joan Nicholson, Austin, Texas

    If anyone is "fatally flawed," it is Karl Rove. Who cares what he says, anyway; he's out. He and Mush Limbo deserve each other.

    August 15, 2007 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  9. you can be one two

    Clinton's camp is out of line. Obama has never addressed "Clinton's favorability."

    More Carville? Forget the future, let's party like it's 1992. Vote your past. Vote Clinton.

    August 15, 2007 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  10. Robert Wooller Bradford England

    Obviously he is flawed and not her. He has gone and his career is over whereas she is running for president, which he never did. Good on her! I think he is just gealous because he never did.

    August 15, 2007 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  11. Michael James -- Illinois

    Rove certainly ought to know a divisive political figure when he sees one!!! He is definitely correct about the fact that a lot of people are going to vote for anyone but Hillary, but completely wrong about who the Democratic nominee will be.
    Barack Obama is going to win and, once people start paying attention as the primaries/caucuses draw closer, they will see that he is a superior candidate and the one best equipped to bring about the kind of change we need. The undecideds should break his way in large numbers. As for his alleged lack of experience, let's talk about the record of those with experience in terms of Iraq. Iraq is a case study on the kind of decision-making a president faces - serious consequences at stake, imperfect information, passionate voices on both sides. Barack sure nailed that one, didn't he? Where did all of Hillary's alleged strength and experience lead her on this question? Barack had the same general information we all did and he chose wisely, despite the prevailing political winds at the time. Hillary didn't even read the entire National Intelligence Estimate. I will take Barack's considered good judgment over experienced people making a mistake every time.

    In short, no other candidate from any political party will be able to repair America's standing in the world as well as Barack Obama. No other candidate appeals to such a wide variety of people both within and without the United States. No other candidate has more sheer intellectual talent combined with the leadership skills and record of getting things done. Deep down, I think Clinton's campaign knows this, which is why they are so eager to try to tear Obama down and try to get everyone to accept the premise that Clinton's nomination is a foregone conclusion. It's not going to work, but it's pretty much their only hope since they can't win on the issues or on who is the better leader.

    August 15, 2007 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  12. L. Palmer, Nashua, NH

    Thank you Carl Rove for stating the obvious! Fatal indeed. I have such a sick, sinking feeling whenever I hear Clinton speak. There is no foundation to her and certainly no heart for the so called "invisible" Americans. I despise her dishonesty – and have no respect for anyone who stands by a man after being made a fool in front of the world.
    How sad that the first woman who has made it this far in a man's world is so base that I can't vote for her. Shame on us for giving such individuals the stage to perform on.

    August 15, 2007 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  13. Andre' Green, Dalworthington Gardens, Texas

    My argument with this is not that Clinton and Rove are sparring, but rather how Clinton's people (Singer) are quick to drag Barack into every scuffle they have. Te problem they have should be with the current administration, not with each other. If you can't mend fences in your yard, how in the hell are you supposed to be a spokesperson for change and ethical reform as president?
    what draws me, and I hope other voters, are these candidates who don't have the ability to avoid the mud slinging. If Ann Richards could have done that 13 years ago, who knows, we possibly wouldn't be in the situation we are in now.

    August 15, 2007 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  14. Andre' Green, Dalworthington Gardens Texas

    My argument with this is not that Clinton and Rove are sparring, but rather how Clinton's people (Singer) are quick to drag Barack into every scuffle they have. Te problem they have should be with the current administration, not with each other. If you can't mend fences in your yard, how in the hell are you supposed to be a spokesperson for change and ethical reform as president?
    what draws me, and I hope other voters, are these candidates who don't have the ability to avoid the mud slinging. If Ann Richards could have done that 13 years ago, who knows, we possibly wouldn't be in the situation we are in now.

    August 15, 2007 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  15. Caren

    RE:Chip Celina OH
    A complete scan of this blog shows that if idiots were money we wouldn't have a national debt. It also proves what most of you don't want to admit and that is anybody with the last name Clinton scares the be-jesus out of Republicans.
    Now everybody KNOWS why Rove is leaving the white house. They want him free to dogg Clinton's heels.They know how to play you guys that's how you got Bush. Most of you on here voted for him. Now we got to flavors of kool-aid Obama-lite and Rove-evil. Drink up all you weak minded easyily psyched folks.

    August 15, 2007 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  16. Shawnie - Grants Pass, OR

    We Republicans HOPE Hillary gets the nomination.

    August 15, 2007 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  17. MikeM, Sacramento

    Meanwhile, back in Iraq, terrorists killed 500 people in a series of truck bombings yesterday, as a direct result of Bush and Rove's fatally flawed (and probably lost) war... And we're supposed to worry about the dead case of the Rose Law firm and Vince Foster.

    Sorry, gentlement, but the American voter is smarter than that.

    August 15, 2007 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  18. zeke k

    Just a thought on one of clinton's comments in her ad,

    "If you're a family that is struggling and you don't have health care, you are invisible to this president."

    I would suggest saying this, "if you are a family that is stuggling and don't have health care, don't blame someone else. Don't wait to be noticed and wait for the government "daddy" to take care of you. Get yourself in gear and take matters into your own hands. Don't wait around for the govenment to take care of you. it is your job to do that for yourself.

    This is a viewpoint coming from a minority young single white male who had digged in ditches, washed dishes 60+ hours a week, and has lived without health care on more than one occasion.

    No matter how bad anyone thinks this administration is, you are still living in a country with more freedom and more opportunity than anywhere else.

    If you are waiting on Clinton to notice you and look out for you I wish you luck but in the mean time I am out working and making a living and a future for myself.

    August 15, 2007 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  19. KP, Detroit, MI

    Me thinks someone is scared! And justifiably so.

    August 15, 2007 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  20. Adam, Plano, TX

    the obama shot was truly classless. i don't care about rove, or bush, they've already shown they are without class. to bring obama into this is just absurd, and just trying to provoke a reaction from him in hopes of making him look bad.

    August 15, 2007 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  21. James, San Antonio, TX.

    Karl Rove, Thats with a "K"(Nazi) is whistling in the Dark because Rupert told him its "TIME TO GO"! the 9/11 Play Book is closing in on Him! He knows that Hillary knows, so shoot the HEN, BEFORE IT LAYS EGGS.

    August 15, 2007 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  22. shirley ridgeway, Hendersonville,n.c.

    I listened to Karl Rove on Rush Limbaugh and found him to be very intelligent and his service to our country is very much appreciated ! He is right about Hillary Clinton, she is a socialists and we don't need her likes in the White House. She is worse than Bill ! President Bush is one of our best presidents ever. The media has been very cruel to him. He is a Christian and is very DECENT ! The liberal biased media should be ashamed. They will have to answer for every " EVIL " things they have said and done. God sets in the heavens and laughs at them that critisize. Karl Rove will be missed . I know my remarks won't be on this blog because CNN is a Bush Basher and very biased toward Bush ! Shame on you.

    August 15, 2007 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  23. Rex, Toledo, Ohio

    Lets just face the facts.
    Hillary is no good for the Country.
    Rove is no good for the Country.
    Now that we've come to that conclusion, lets move on. Check out Ron Paul. Yeah, he's running on the Republican ticket.
    But the man makes sense folks. He cares about all of you.
    Oh, and one other thing. CNN, could you please stop using the word SLAM, when depicting ones comments.
    Ron Paul '08

    August 15, 2007 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  24. David, Athens, GA

    Hey Sen. Clinton, How did you make this about Obama. You are as wicked as Rove and just lost my vote.

    August 15, 2007 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  25. Kim, Midland MI

    Tom,

    I suspect you are not in a successful marriage. You think the strong person is the one who chucks it all away when your spouse acts out?

    Anything that doesn't kill you, makes you stronger. This lady has a pair of brass ones!

    How about you?

    August 15, 2007 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
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