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. LifelongDem, Dubuque, Iowa

    I am a democrat, but Hillary's people are driving me away from her. Hillary's camp had perfect opportunity to fight back at Rove and the rest of the Bush fiasco but NO!!!! She attacks another democrat. I thought she was going to bring the country together. A uniter, I think not, she is a divider. I am an undecided Democrat who thanks to Hill's people have decided anybody but Hillary- I want change not more of the same!!!!!

    August 15, 2007 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  2. Deb, Cleveland

    Oh my, if Samina from Colorado did not say it all, then I don't know what else to say! She said it all. Look at the current administration's record for the last seven years, and I will vote for ANYTHING except a so-called conservative republican. This country needs a change. What really needs to happen is for all parties to put aside their differences and work together for change. No more political parties. One for all and all for one. Wishful thinking I guess.

    August 15, 2007 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  3. David Siqueros LA, CA

    I am not a huge Hillary fan but Rove better thank his lucky stars that W was not running against her and not those wimps Gore and Kerry!

    August 15, 2007 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  4. wittgenstein, Scottsdale, Arizona

    Rove and company have the same attention and compassion for the average joe as any elitist group does, that is to say, none. They will, however, manipulate said group while giving endless lip-service to Mr. and Mrs. person on the street. As for Rove's attack dog comments on Hilary, while I'm not a big fan of hers, I'd still take her over any of the crowd competing on the opposite side of the aisle. Any modest examination of Geo. Bush Jr's pre-presidential credentials and verbal gaffes after election paint a picture of mediocrity, evasion, mendacity and hypocrisy hard to match in modern politics. Further, Rove essentially created Bush and elected him because he was an easily manipulated political tool. The quasi-theocratic undertones to the two of them, including Bush's sense of divine 'guidance', gives me hives. I don't shove my spiritual agenda on others, but they have no qualms. Other than the above, Rove is a great guy, if he stands still and doesn't speak.

    August 15, 2007 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  5. HAWK, TEXAS

    I SEE WE STILL HAVE A BUNCH OF BRAIN DEAD REPUBLICANS RESPONDING ON HERE, KARL ROVE IS JUST TRYING TO TAKE HEAT OFF OF HIM AND THE BUNCH OF LYING THEIVING SLOBS THAT HE HAS BEEN ASSOATING WITH THE LAST SIX YEARS. 62 MILLION SPENT BY THE REPUBLICANS TRYING TO GET SOME THING ON THE CLINTONS BY KEN STARR AND THERE WAS ZIP.

    August 15, 2007 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  6. Jen, Buffalo, NY

    This is what Republicans do: 1. take a conventional wisdom, 2. repeat it over and over again, even if it no longer holds true = result, no one bothers to know the facts anymore, so they automatically think the "conventional wisdom" is true. While people remember that Hillary could not get Congress to pass the health care reform while she was First Lady, they don't know that, in her past six years as Senator she has passed several pieces of important health care legislation.

    August 15, 2007 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  7. David, Salinas, CA

    James of Phoenix, Ariz –

    Will you please give me an example of Senator Clinton’s “anger management issues”?

    In the twenty years I’ve been watching her public life I’ve observed remarkable composure and significant accomplishment. Have you been watching the debates?

    I think those of you who persist in labeling Senator Clinton “shrill” just can’t face a powerful woman who disagrees with your failed ideology.

    August 15, 2007 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  8. Papa Grego, York, PA

    Hillary would be a disgrace as president. While she's wasting her time in trying to make videogames less violent, kids are buying guns from gang involvement and terrorists are blowing themselves and civilians up unchallenged.

    August 15, 2007 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  9. Ralph, San Deigo, CA

    Let’s face it, Mrs. Bill is a very smart lady to be the first out of the gate. Unfortunately, Rove’s comments are dead on! She is has such a caustic and negative personality that will only come out more as the campaign runs along. Has anyone even seen the ad? Instead on criticizing Bush, who by the way isn’t running in ’08, she should be telling us what she will do to address those see says “are invisible the president.” She doesn’t tell us what she will do, other than say “you won’t be invisible to me,” because she has no plan to do anything! Negative ads, pointing fingers and blaming others… Mrs. Bill tells what you are going to do and take responsibility for your poor voting record! Obama/Edwards ’08!

    August 15, 2007 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  10. Mark, Charlotte NC

    What's with the cheap shots at Obama?

    It's no wonder no one likes her.

    Obama '08.

    August 15, 2007 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  11. Scott Crawford, Fresno California

    Karl Rove is a pig.

    He is the epitome of the dishonest, arrogant and self promoting political hacks that are parasitically sucking this country dry of it's spirit and sense of integrity.

    August 15, 2007 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  12. Myron, Honolulu, HI

    Blaming Clinton for not being able to reform healthcare on the first try is like blaming women for being raped.
    Crooked money hungry politicians don’t like health care insurance reform. Clinton has worked for health care reform for at least the last 16 years.

    Anyone who really thinks that Obama is any kind of "new blood" evidently is too young to have heard these same lines by every politician that ever ran.

    "I am a uniter not a divider", Obama and Bush, both have the same line. No suprise Obama is a Bush-like
    Bush-lite.

    You cannot have healthcare insurance reform and a for profit healthcare insurance industry. Any money going for health care insurance profits is not going for health care.

    August 15, 2007 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  13. Joanne Spaziano, Cranston RI

    Who cares what Karl Rove thinks? Let the judicial branch catch up with him while Georgie hangs out in Texas.

    August 15, 2007 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  14. Jim, Manchester TN

    Hillary SUCks and was a lousy President's wife, disliked by the White House Staff. Why does she believe the people will have her near that place again. I'll vote for anyone against her but never in my life will give her the time of day...

    August 15, 2007 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  15. Scott, Newport, KY

    Hush, Karl! Let them nominate her before they find out that she's a lousey nominee.

    August 15, 2007 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  16. Dick Marti, Tifton, GA

    Who is Karl Rove to talk about who is "flawed"? He should look to himself and his former boss first.

    August 15, 2007 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  17. A. Thomas, New York, NY

    For more negative than positive side, Rove should look at his mirror. He has been arguable one of the most hated persons in the Bush administration!

    As it stands, at least according to the polls, Hillary beats any republican presidential candidates even she has subject under a microscope for decades. The leading republican candidate (Giuliani) has yet really under a microscope for bad things to surface (other than his 3 or 4 marriages, strange wife, bad feeling ex-wife and kids, unhappy new york firemen & other former staff, etc). When the presidential election draws near, Giuliani may again drop out as he had done when faced Hillary in her first senate election.

    Rove is bad for predicting election at all. I recall a news clip the day before the last electioon day for congress and senate, that he told a CNN reporter that the republican candidates would win the congress and senate.

    Rove is become more and more irrelvant every day.

    August 15, 2007 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  18. Joseph

    The best way to improve her rating is for Rove to say negiative things about her. his rating are like 6% like him at all the thinks he is a liar .. hopefully the nasty guly man will dis apear

    August 15, 2007 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  19. John MacDaniel, Huntsville AL

    After telling everyone how 'she' was going to operate the 'new' health plan, during her husband's presidency, and then floundered after it crashed, she has not had much to do with politics until New York. Not much to be said on her ability to get along with different folks with different strokes on a major issue, so why should we believe her now? I do not believe her, and Medicare STILL does not cover dental and vision needs. So much for the loud voice about what 'she' can do, but little substance in what 'she' has not done so far.

    August 15, 2007 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  20. xtina chicago IL

    Sorry , but where's Hillary's specific accomplishments (other than signing off on more tax money moved from point A to point B to give to unmotivated citizens)? I'm still going around the internet to find WHAT HILLARY HAS ACCOMPLISHED other than fight for more of my tax money to give to lazy people who don't want to work.

    How hard is it to simply sign off to take more of my tax money, or worse DEPRIVING OUR AMERICAN TROOPS of funds to give to lazy people who don't want to work.

    Hillary hasn't done ANYTHING to qualify her for the Presidency ! She is bought and sold by lobbyists to get money for her state to give to people who don't want to work. She wouldn't know how the do THE MAIN JOB of the President, which is to protect our country from enemies ! She's NOT EVEN CLOSE to being Presidential material.

    August 15, 2007 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  21. Ron, Pittsburgh, PA

    Calling Rove a "spin doctor" insults those who spent years in med school...but that's what he his. He has spent his useful, adult years twisting truth and attemtping to manipulate people...as he does here with Hillary.

    People must understand that nothing that people like Rove say is real, it is all carefully considered, researched and vetted. They aren't speaking "from the heart," they are only saying what will enrich them personally and professionally.

    Piltdown Man

    August 15, 2007 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  22. Joe Ossai, Bedford, NH

    I'm a democrat but I can't stand sleazy politicians. Hilary attacking Obama instead of Karl Rove makes me sick. In 2006 she advised Bush to take Nuclear weapon off the table when it comes to Iran but when Obama said something more reasonable about Pakistan, this idiot jumped all over Obama. What a hypocrite. She took a page out of Karl Rove play book. This chic will flame out in the next few months. I was kind of neutral about Hilary, but now I can't stand this loser.

    August 15, 2007 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  23. Norman Williams, Jacksonville, Fl

    I have spoken to several Democratic women who say they will not vote for Hillary. Why? Because she stood by her adulterous husband who slandered the women he had affairs with and lied to his country and family. They said by doing so, Hillary sent the wrong message to our children and abused women.

    August 15, 2007 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  24. Andre Dalworthington Gardens Texas

    RE: It sounds like Karl Rove is writing Sen Obama's talking points.

    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 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  25. E.B. Johnson Spring Texas

    Clinton is DOOMED huh? How does Karl Rove know this? Does he planned to fix the electionagain like he did in 2000?

    August 15, 2007 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
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