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. diningwithvivian

    Who would want to listen to anything from the Bush camp. Rove is sounding brass. This is a smoke screen. They need health insurance for the sickness in the Bush administration.

    August 15, 2007 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  2. Dolores Douglas, Dallas, Texas

    Given Rove's history, especially recent history, he has absolutely no credibility whatsoever. The fact that he helped elect our current Pres only confirms that fact.

    August 15, 2007 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  3. Jay Atlanta, GA

    Karl Rove on Rush Limbaugh ... two excellent examples of why people should not vote Republican.

    August 15, 2007 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  4. Tom P., St. Paul, MN

    Karl Rove's prognostication track record is not exactly stellar these days. This is a man whose party drop kicked control of the Congress to the Democrats after claiming that the numbers he was watching favored continued Republican control.

    Although there are questions whether Hillary Clinton will or should be the next president, there is no question that the country will be much better off now that Karl Rove is gone and George Bush is on his way out the door.

    August 15, 2007 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  5. Seth, Minneapolis, MN

    How is this news? KARL ROVE said on RUSH LIMBAUGHS show that Hillary Clinton is flawed? Anyone listening to Rush Limbaugh would never in a million years vote for any Democrat ever, so who cares what he said? Wow. Shocking. And all along I thought Karl and Rush loved Hillary.

    August 15, 2007 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  6. Jim Stephens, Hood Canal Washington

    Hey Samina,nice talking points, anytihng original in that melon of yours? Sheeesh! Get something original and quit wasting our time.
    GO BUSH!!!

    August 15, 2007 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  7. Jonathon, Los Angeles, CA

    Thanks again CNN for soft pedaling Rove's grotesque abuses against American democracy - now you give him the soap box to do what he seems to have born to do - sling filth for the GOP.

    August 15, 2007 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  8. Clark Brewer Boston MA

    Why Rove left:
    Rove and Bush had contests to see who could read the most boooks the fastest?
    Obviously Rove is leaving cause he the Harry Potter Series finished.
    Bush is still obvioulsy hoping to finish around Jan 09'
    Rove is a joke, without 911 he would not have been able to pull of 30% of the backward things he did.

    August 15, 2007 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  9. Chris Kankakee IL

    If Hillary wants to make a fool out of
    herself she can have at it. She can talk about Universal Healthcare all she wants.
    Bottom line:
    *9 trillion in debt
    *High tax evasion
    *Failed already
    *Violent economy ( but stronger than Bill's)
    Universal healthcare is not happening
    I'm all for food stamps, every CHILD insured, a temp. saftey net,
    and truly diabled people getting help.
    Anything more than that is bordering on Communism and is too expensive to
    pay for unless you raise taxes and lose a million jobs.

    August 15, 2007 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  10. Ron, Las Vegas, NV

    I can't believe the ruckus over this Karl Rove slams Clinton article. I don't care what party you are affiliated with, this was "Karl Rove" talking to "Rush Limbaugh". Two wrongs don't make a right and Rove talking to Limbaugh is about as wrong as two people can get about anything.

    August 15, 2007 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  11. West, Anaheim, Ca

    Hillary Clinton should be made invisible. There are a number of books out on her and Bill that people should read before they vote for her. She is a very evil person and is in it only for her own agenda and not for the people of the USA.

    August 15, 2007 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  12. NLR Annapolis, MD

    Maybe Karl Rove's conduct is fatally flawed and that's why he suddenly feels the need to spend more time with his family. Let's review. His tactics managed to put a semi-literate, draft-dodging drunk into the White House where he embarked on a Constitution-violating power grab; to drag this country into endless, senseless war; to devalue the middle class while lining the pockets of the rich campaign donors; and to undermine democracy by operating in almost unprecedented secrecy and disenfranchising voters. Rove's own conduct caused fatal flaws in his tenure and in his little drunken buddy's legacy. Badmouthing Hillary is just an attempt to divert attention from his own failures and the damage he did to democracy. In defense of Hillary, she has dedicated her life to working for real people. While she was racking up accomplishments, what was Bush doing? Drinking, bullying, oil speculating? The Bushes have never done anything for anyone but themselves, yet with all those negatives politcal handlers like Rove got the fool into the White House. So, negatives don't mean anything. It all comes down to how well the Roves do in stealing elections. What Rove needs is a good special prosecutor to dog him for 11 years.

    August 15, 2007 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  13. j. waters, san diego - cal.

    What a complete joke. who takes this idiot serious. he has been nothing but a scum bag his entire life and he can only get air time on the illegal drug doper himself limbaugh. And Cnn wants us to take this serious?

    August 15, 2007 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  14. Natasha, New York, NY

    I don't know who is worse Karl Rove or Senator Clinton's spokesman.
    It's sad.

    August 15, 2007 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  15. Jamie Rodriquez, Lexington, Oklahoma

    To Karl Rove and Rush Limbaugh: Neither one of you has any credibility. So in language you understand- SHUT UP. Sincerely, Jamie Rodriquez

    August 15, 2007 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  16. Yvvte - Dallas, TX

    Karl Rove should be more focused on the corruption that he was a part of while serving in the the White House.

    It is unfortunate that he and the White House has to take shots at others doing much better than the entire Bush Administration has ever done.

    Tell him to focus on himself!

    August 15, 2007 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  17. Johnny, Milwaukee, WI

    I find it amusing that while so many people seem to hate Hilary they hardly ever cite any actual issues that she stands for as the reason for not liking her. Okay, I've seen a couple of Heritage Foundation talking points about not supporting Republican health care ideas, but those haven't exactly been working that well so far, have they?

    It's so obvious that they main reason she's hated so much is because she's a woman. If she were a man she wouldn't be such a controversial figure.

    As far as saying we don't need another Clinton in the White House, how soon we forget the great prosperity we enjoyed under Bill. This was despite the GOP trying every dirty trick in the book to bring him down.

    Personally I'm more of an Obama fan but I'd vote for whichever Democrat wins the nomination. I don't care much for Edwards, though. The last thing the Democrats need is to nominate another boring (I'm sorry, I meant to say "safe") candidate. We need a fighter to win the election.

    August 15, 2007 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  18. Ed North Carolina

    The Clintons are very unethical. We don't heed any more Clintons in the White House.

    August 15, 2007 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  19. EB, Florida

    Before Rove can talk about other politicians' flaws, he should look in the mirror and keep his mouth shut...he's lucky that Scooter Libby took the fall for him!

    August 15, 2007 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  20. Craig Indianapolis, IN

    Good post Samina. I would laugh if it wasn't so serious, but its ridiculous for anyone to pay any attention to Karl Rove calling anyone or anything "fatally flawed" when the last 7 years have proven that nothing is more fatally flawed then neo-conservatism.

    August 15, 2007 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  21. A, W WA

    I find it fascinating that CNN changes the posted times on some of these stories to keep them at the top of the ticker. I think I'll keep an eye on it, but so far that I've noticed it seems to be on the Hillary stories.

    August 15, 2007 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  22. Michele - Chicago, Illinois

    Why is the Clinton camp bringing Obama into Rove's comments? They must see him as a bigger threat than the pundits.

    August 15, 2007 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  23. Brian Morrell - Midland TX

    none of those running for President in fact no national politician has a clue about what real life in the "trenches" is like and they never will.

    August 15, 2007 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  24. pl, at the UN, for a while.

    I am not American. I cannot vote. I just watch.

    Rove has been the President's kingmaker for 7 years. Stands to reason that Rove would not abandon ship if he saw some way out of the worsening wreakage.

    And then, abandon ship at the first Democratic volley? Having lost his traction in Washington and with judgment day drawing near he is just trying a redeeming final cleansing Act of what has been a tragic play.

    August 15, 2007 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  25. AT- Ocean, NJ

    Kudos to Karl Rove- fially someone has said what every American is thinking, but is afraid to say. How can Clinton criticize the Bush administration when she and her husband are responsible for the worst healthcare debacle in U.S. history. Thanks to the Clintons, we now have a mangaged healthcare system that is step short of criminal. So what if Rove is writing Obama's talking points- I think the country is ready for a fresh face in Washington.

    August 15, 2007 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
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