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. sparky, Chicago Illinois

    "fatally flawed"????????????

    YOU and your MONKEY boss are fatally flawed you fat non-rapping bald headed slob, except you send someone else to suffer the fatalities!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I've friggin heard everything now.

    August 15, 2007 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  2. Edwards, somewhere in the USA

    In my opinion she is a worthless thug. I would vote for Obama before I would vote for Clinton, and I don't like Obama either.

    August 15, 2007 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  3. Jennifer, Evergreen, CO

    Why is anything Karl Rove says "news". This is a classic case of the pot calling the kettle black.

    August 15, 2007 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  4. María Soledad Cervantes Ramírez, Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico

    Look at that, the sociopath Rove is bitter because Clinton is not so easy to micromanage as Bush. Also, she's enraged because the Clinton ad told the truth. It's obvious to the world that their own people, living in what is effectively a war economy, is invisible to the corporate/war-mongering elite. In fact for sociopaths like Rove & Bush peoples the world are visible only in terms of the resources they represent, no more.

    August 15, 2007 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  5. Mary, Rolla, MO

    We already know Hillary's not the "second coming". That's a fact.

    And as far as "honesty & likeability", it's hard to like a woman who wants into politics to be in the most powerful state. I mean.. she didn't become senator of ARKANSAS.. why not? She's not in it for changing life for the betterment of American people – she's in it for the power. She liked the power, she liked the money. I cannot believe the NY people let her run them over like that – she had NO interest in NY until it provided her with a Senatorial seat, and that's the ONLY reason she moved there. Come on! Honesty? Pfft. That's about as honest as "I support equal rights to marriage on a state level" – which translates to "I don't support gay rights to marriage – I want to see them fighting more for years to come and never really getting the satisfaction of being able to rest their head in any state they want as a married couple." That's about as honest as Bill's campaign promises to the gay people, about 7 years before he signed DOMA. These are not very honest people, and the worst thing is, they don't care that you can see it! It's RIGHT THERE for anyone who wants to look it up!!! They're not honest, as they say one thing then do another! "I support the gay right to marriage on a state level" doesn't support equal rights to marriage. That is not honesty – that is talking in CIRCLES. And who can like a person with morals like that? Who seriously likes people who talk like that? Don't you feel you have to watch your back with people who can't give you a straight answer, and stick behind it? Jesus – at least when the Republicans say they hate gays – they stand behind it. That's honesty, regardless of whether you like their stance or not.

    August 15, 2007 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  6. Jen, San Francisco, CA

    Who cares what he thinks?!

    August 15, 2007 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  7. Yvan,Indio,CA

    The Clinton's have a legacy of sucesses, while Rove has one of failures. Rove run the Bush administration for 6 years based on deceiveness and lies. So before Rove can stand and talk about legacy and legitimacy in American Politics, He should prove to the American people his effectiveness and his leadership. Here is a man who has constantly lied and manipulate the system to fit his own agenda and ego. Rove will be remember in history as the architect of a policy failure who cost the live of 1/2 million irakis, and almost 4000 American soldiers. Nothing to be proud of in my book.

    August 15, 2007 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  8. Jake

    Can we all see from the very high number of polarized comments on this discussion board how polarizing Hillary is??? Let's face it, the last thing we need is another polarizing president in the White House, and whether you like her or not- there is no question she is a polarizing figure already!! Let's get away from the Clintons and Bushes.

    August 15, 2007 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  9. Jason, Ann Arbor, MI

    The name-calling and the slander and the deflections and insinuations are just silly. The details of specific decisions and mistakes made by either Clinton or Bush and his advisors are important but secondary to the big picture that they add up to...
    I honestly feel that; 1) I am the least proud I have ever been to call myself an American, 2) the global opinion of the US is as negative as I can remember, 3) more than ever, our administration pushes ideological agendas that are near contradictory to sound and solid and often scientific and practical advice.
    These feelings indicate, to me, some "fatal flaw" in the way the current administration is running things. The presidential election in 2008 cannot come quick enough to give us a chance to change this. no wonder campaigning and primaries are starting earlier...

    August 15, 2007 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  10. Dan B.

    I'm a lifelong Democrat who voted for JFK in my first presidential election, and I've voted Democratic ever since (except 1972 when I didn't vote). I will not vote for any Democrat at any level if Hillary Clinton is on the ticket. I'm tired of being embarrassed by the occupant of the oval office. Hillary and Bill are the reason we have had two terms of George W. Bush. No way should they be rewarded with another chance to make a mess of the presidency.

    August 15, 2007 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  11. Marianne McKelvey, Ash Flat Arkansas

    Rove is leaving the white house to keep from answering question. If he is Bush's brain, no wonder the USA is in such a mess. Hilary Clinton is not perfect like Rove is!!! She is the hope of America and has Bill Clinton to back her up. Bill was one of our best presidents and Hilary will do as good or better. All Rove has is his big mouth and his friend Bush,billionaire Bush, I don't think he got all that money by working. Bill Clinton has come clean on his Monica rap, why does Rove?

    August 15, 2007 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  12. Sharon, Mesa, AZ

    Fatally flawed - out of the mouth of someone who is hardly what you would call forthright, honest and fair.
    I'll take Hillary any day over the Republican's pining for the position. Hillary = intelligence, engaged, articulate, understands politics without being spoon-fed by Rove, etc.
    You go Hillary - all the way to Pennsylvania Avenue!

    August 15, 2007 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  13. Mary E, Banner Elk, NC

    As a lifelong democrat I can honestly say I would NEVER vote for Clinton. She is petty, dishonest, and has not accomplished anything of value for this country. I would sincerely like to vote for SOMEONE I could trust – even if I couldn't agree on all the issues.

    August 15, 2007 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  14. Jayson, Beale AFB, CA

    The complete lack of intelligence in this thread is amazing. Which is almost as amazing as the fact that so many people are blinded by personal party politics and are only capable of blaming the other side.

    Well as an Independent, all I can say is that both sides have screwed this company up. It is time for change, hopefully that change comes quick enough to save us from the fear mongers from the Left and the Right.

    August 15, 2007 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  15. L. Saly, Riverside, CA

    The one instance I remember of Hillary Clinton during her husband's campaign for President, was her promise that all American's would receive health care under his administration. Since that never occured, how can we believe her now?

    August 15, 2007 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  16. Jayson, Beale AFB, CA


    I hate when the Left and Right get me riled up enough that I start using the wrong words

    August 15, 2007 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  17. B Joss / Vancouver , British Columbia, Canada

    This is the same guy who has been giving his opinions and advice to George Bush all these years right?

    August 15, 2007 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  18. ms, Seattle Wa.

    How could Karl Rove even say that. She tried desperately to get universal health care for all American citizens in 92 and 93. The initial plan failed, but Hillary authored and initiated the S-CHIP Program, WHICH COVERS ALMOST 7 MILLION CHILDREN. I just can't believe some of these ludacris comments. Bill and Hill are not to blame for the screwed up health care system. They saw the problems and took the initiative to atleast try and fix the system. And now, look where we are. Where would we have been if the healthcare initiative passed? What has the current president done to help the situation? NADA He's even threatened to veto an expansion of S-CHIP.

    August 15, 2007 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  19. martin, houston tx

    As if we really care what a criminal such as Karl R. has to say?? Get real.

    August 15, 2007 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  20. RRO, Broadwater,NE

    Keep on hitting Hillary with all the negatives you want. Do these people think the American peopl are so stupid to listen to all the crap. See that is what is wrong with this President. He thinks if he says it you will believe him. And we don't Mr. Bush. Nor do the people that actually listen and pay attention to fact believe all the bull they hope to spread. I know take the bull-- back to the Bush ranch. And for God's sake stop all the smears and talk the issues Obama and Edwards. Your starting to turn people away from you....If you can't play nice leave the park...

    August 15, 2007 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  21. Linda Feldman, Los Angeles, California

    As far as flawed candidates, the Republicans have their share with Romney, Guiliani and McCain. Unless someone emerges who has the stature to not only repair the damage of the last 8 years but also has the statesmanship to restore our image in the world, 2008 is shaping up to be a choice of the flawed versus the very-flawed.

    August 15, 2007 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  22. Drew - Eden Prairie, Minnesota

    America needs to take the blinders off because the future of this country hangs in the balance. This has nothing to with political party and is more about common sense.

    If you look at what the current presidential candidates are saying you'd notice that they using words that envoke feelings like – "You are being ingored" or "Are you struggling ?" Or they might say we have a responsbility to something..Or we are on the verge of a crisis so dire that we must act now.

    If candidates could not focus on feelings and talk strictly on policies and fact would we find that there is no excuse why anyone should not be covered by a health care program. That there are programs in place to cover everyone who chooses to. Would we also find that man caused climate change has been disproven and acknowledged by Dr James Hansen of NASA and that the goverment's energy policies are causing high fuel and corn prices.

    The future cost of electricity, gas, and how much more we will pay in taxes all hinge on who is elected president. If you have a job in a private company and make over 30K a year or if you own a small business consider supporting a conservative candidate for president. Goverment liberals are planning some of the largest income tax hikes in US history all to fund more failed programs that always need more money to succeed.

    Common sense sadly is not common right now. And when people are only fed one point of view thats when this country falls short of the America we could be.

    Check out

    August 15, 2007 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  23. Terri, Stephenville, Texas

    As a woman, I hope that Hillary Clinton doesn't win the White House. She comes across as fake and untrustworthy to me. I don't have a problem with a woman in the White House, but Hillary isn't the right person. Her universal healthcare plan was horrible, a lawyer in charge of healthcare reform, give me a break. One of the reasons insurance is so expensive and healthcare cost increase yearly is due to lawyers. I am a nurse and when I was working in the hospital I daily saw people talking about potential lawsuits over surgical procedures that had a complication and the potential for the complication was explained before the surgery and the patient signed for the procedure knowing the potential problems. Hillary's goal has always been to be in the White House and she is willing to take the money from anyone, no matter who they are or what they do, offering it to get there. Her voting record stands for itself, she ignores the middle class and we are the ones suffering under taxes, etc. I am not defending Bush either. No cadidate running appeals to me. Any chance we could elect a president who is from the middle class and knows what the stressors are... I forgot we are all too busy working in real jobs to run for office.

    August 15, 2007 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  24. Mary T. New Freedom, PA

    Rove may say all these things about Hillary Clinton, but she has my vote. What's the matter Karl, sour grapes for a failed/flawed administration and the biggest mistake America ever made in electing you and your cronies?

    August 15, 2007 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  25. Patrick Peavy Plano, TX

    I just wanted to say, as a Hillary supporter, that I am sad to see people on my side of the argument resorting to childish insults. We all have members in our families with different political views. Let's be as respectful to each other as we would to them. Please.

    August 15, 2007 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
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