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. xtina chicago IL

    Reply to Buffalo Jen:

    Wal-Mart has $4 scripts of some of the most widely used drugs; did Hillary have anything to do with that? She boasts bringing "low cost prescriptions", so what exactly did she do?

    In New York, Hillary was a big proponent of the "morning after pill", which encourages people to have irresponsible sex with people they don't particularly like. You must be proud.

    August 15, 2007 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  2. David, Chicago, Illinois

    Name me a Republican that stands above the pack with high enough ratings to win.

    August 15, 2007 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |

    I agree that Hillary Clinton has some flaws.It doesn't take much to figure that out, but for this corrupt, egotistical individual to call someone 'flawed' is quite amazing.The country is in a state of utter meltdown, and it's this president, and people like Rove, who are behind it.It's going to take YEARS to undo the damage done by these people.Hillary Clinton may be as flawed as they come, but I don't think a lying, sneaky, snake like Rove, or any other Bush boot-licker, should say anything about flaws. It's the pot calling the kettle black.

    August 15, 2007 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |


    August 15, 2007 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  5. rearose. mtn. view,ca.

    bush killed alomsot 4000 soliers and dont care about american people. which one is flauwed use your brain. kiddo,

    August 15, 2007 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  6. Juanito, Washington, DC

    Ok...this is another example of what bothers me about Camp Hillary. This issue is about what Karl Rove said, so why did her spokesman throw Senator Obama under the bus here? What was the intent? Linking Rove to Obama is beyond the pale and another reason why so many democrats cannot bring themselves to vote for her.

    The sad thing is that for a brief time, I was considering voting for her, not because I liked her policy positions (which are non-existent), but just to be able to see Sean Hannity's head explode.

    Can't vote for her now.

    Lastly, I would strongly encourage everyone here to take a few minutes and see Obama's forum in Cedar Falls, Iowa's on C-Span's website. He was terrific, and even won the support of a young GOP guy who asked him a question about values voters. The guy later said he was impressed with Obama and would be voting for him.

    August 15, 2007 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  7. A. Thomas, New York, NY

    Regardless of Hillary's imperfection and wrinkles, she has my vote, my wife's votes, and my 4 daughters' votes. She is also the role model for all my grand daughters !

    Hillary is winning and the republicans are whinning ;=)

    August 15, 2007 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  8. Hillary, Communist Russia

    Dear American People,

    My good buddy Karl says that I am fatally flawed, but I can assure you that I'm not dead yet. Now that Bill and I have divided you all up into different classes (rich, poor, black, white, hispanic, union, non-union, etc.) and labelled you all as some type of victim, I'd like to unite you all for the purpose of electing me as your shrill, feminist, lawyer-in-chief for the next 4 years, or longer if possible. I propose promising you anything and everything you want, (but please, don't expect me to deliver on any of these promises). Eventually, the government I create will make you all dependants of a socialist society, and you will have lost all ability to think and do and live as you please, but at least I'll be in power, which is all I've ever wanted. So please, unite with me to destroy the evil right-wing conspiracy (which really doesn't exist but which does make a good boogeyman to rail against). Just, please please please vote for me. You aren't invisible to me now, but you will be soon after I get my seat of power. And don't vote for Obama, or I'll screech like Howard Dean. (Oh wait, I already do that!)



    "I'm Hillary Clinton, and I approve this message."

    August 15, 2007 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  9. Ed, Chicago, IL

    I'm going to be honest. I am a Republican and let me clue you all in on something. Republican big wigs are chomping at the bit hoping that Hillary succeeds at getting the nomination. They are banking on Repubs coming out in droves to make sure ABC (anyone but Clinton) becomes the next president. And frankly, I don't see how the Dems can actually win in ANY scenario. A Giuliani/Thompson (or vice versa)ticket will deliver the South and New York to the Republicans. Think about that...NEW YORK (and yes, it would go Republican...enough of NYC itself would vote for Giuliani to combine with Long Island to give him the state) ...with this country so polarized, do you really think the Dems are going to be able to turn enough red states to blue to make up the THIRTY ONE electoral votes that NY will bring to the Repub side?

    August 15, 2007 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  10. Joe, Ft. Lauderdale, FL

    Hillary Clinton is one of the most wicked and deceitful persons who has ever entered the American political scene. She is a self-serving wench who will destroy anyone who may stand in her way, even if all they've got is a little information about her. Examples of this are Vince Foster and Ron Brown, who were killed under extremely suspiceous circumstances (i.e. they were probably murdered by Clinton.) If Hillary Clinton had the power, she would be as evil as Adolph Hitler.

    August 15, 2007 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  11. Cindy, Illinois

    I AM ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE THAT MRS. CLINTON TALKS ABOUT IN HER TV AD, AND I DO FEEL THAT MR. BUSH THINKS THAT I AM INVISIBLE. I am a single Mom who cannot afford child care, and I have no health insurance, even though I work full-time. Mr. Bush, however, sees only Iraqi problems (that he helped create). He's throwing our good American money down a hole over there.
    God help those 500 people who were recently blown up there.....

    You can plainly see how threatened the Republicans are that Mrs. Clinton is going to win the Presidency--look at how strong their attacks are. No one can match her, and the more people attack her, the more popular she will become. It will unfortunately turn into looking like "males" are saying that a "female" cannot be a good leader, and this will anger capable business women, and working women, and women in general and men who support strong women, and people will give her capabilities and experience a long look, and will know that the the political & personal attacks against her are, in fact, groundless.

    She stands for HOPE for people...and is a mirror reflecting all that has gone wrong with our great America in the past 7 years. We Americans want our America back, and we WILL get it back.

    August 15, 2007 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    Mrs. Clinton has a big mouth.,and who wants a leader with this past ,she is the last person you want to vote for,anybody with a litle wisdom can see ,she has a lot of hot air ,she sound like a big bully,she forget one thing that God is in controll and not her or me.

    August 15, 2007 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  13. Mole Man, Las Vegas, NV

    To Pat P., Huntington Station, NY, who wrote " was successful in getting a failed business man, Yale C-average, barely two-termer former Texas governor into the White House."

    Another Yale student got a C for writing a business plan that imagined an overnight mail delivery service. That student later founded Federal Express, which is a multi-billion dollar business.

    You can't accuse Yale of grade inflation.

    An "average" Yale student is way above the average student of the general population.

    August 15, 2007 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  14. Kyu Reisch, Radcliff, Kentucky

    David, You are a real gentleman, honest American citizen and righteous. I watched Hillary's public life since 1992 Campaign for her husband. She is the most brilliant and powerful woman in the world. Haters are narrow minded, low and mean people. Their lives are miserable that's why they like to destroy another person's great success. Republicans are scared at Hillary's nomination. Republicans are supporting Obama for their designing. They knew Obama is a piece of cake at General Election for them, not Hillary. But Americans are smarter than Republicans, so Hillary will win, Hillary is my girl and our girl, nobody can change our mind.

    August 15, 2007 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  15. Larry B Boston MA

    Fatally flawed? C'mon Rove look at her competition and tell me she won't win by a wide margin in the general election:

    Mitt Flip Flop – votes for gay unions – then changes his mind – votes for stem cell research and then changes his mind - talks tough on immigration while illegals mow his lawn - nice hair, but belongs on cover of GQ and not in the White House - too stiff and rehearsed - just a good looking Al Gore.

    Mr "Rudy I am the 9-11 Man" – weak on family values (he don't walk the walk); a "devout" Catholic who is technically ex-communicated from the Church becasue of his divorce and marriage to his cousin; a son who would rather play golf then help on the campaign; a daughter voting for Obama; a man with his hand in the lobbyist pocketbooks; out of step with mainstream conservatives.

    John (bark bark) McCain – will not have enough money to attend the Republican Convention; too linked to Bush's Iraq war; in bed with Kennedy on immigration; too old, quick tempered, and grumpy (bomb bomb bomb – bomb bomb Iran).

    The DA from Law & Order – gimme a break - he will file his papers 2 weeks after the first 5 primaries.

    Newt "Another Contract with America" Gingritch – No chance – not a return to the past so soon after a dismal Republican run in the White House. And he did not keep his last contract – why believe he will keep a new one. Moral issues a problem (he dogged Clinton on Monica while carrying on his own affair - trust an issue for many)

    No, voters will put in Hillary and despite their dislike of the Democratic Congress – they dislike the Republicans more. The public will want to give the Dems the reigns in the White House, Senate, and House – in the hopes that with total control of the agenda and both chambers, they can get something done – and get us out of Iraq.

    And besides, we will get to see the "First Man" in action - that is something voters will be dying to see. So we follow a Father and Son White House with a Husnabd Wife duo. And look for Joe Biden to be on Hillary's ticket - he is SOLID and experienced - As for Obama - he disappears for a while – and gets the call for a Cabinet Seat -

    August 15, 2007 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  16. dakota - Richmond, Virginia

    I remember back in 1990 – watching Bill Clinton campaining for health care changes – he never did anything and Ms Hilary will not either – this is just a Clinton tactic to get a vote -= and take another free RIDE –

    August 15, 2007 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  17. Velia Calderon , Los Angeles, Ca

    Hello ! Isn't it obvious that noone cares what Rove has to say.

    He has been called " Bush's brain ".

    That sounds more like an insult than a compliment.


    We're tired of it !!

    And if he really is the one who has been instructing Bush regarding all the atrocities that have occurred in the last 8 years, well, I wouldn't be so eager to go around claimimg that title.

    August 15, 2007 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  18. Matt, Detroit MI

    I couldn't care less about this ridiculous banter that is occurring. Take a look around people, the government is nothing but a machine built to enrich those of wealth and power, and if you are not in the club, then to hell with you. I used to buy into the propaganda spread by our media, including CNN, however I've had an about face. PLEASE deliver REAL news, and not bickering between 2 people that will NEVER be our president. What ever happened to investigative reporting????? CNN is among a VERY large group of news organizations that touts the views of a very strict and scrutinizing government. Seriously, if you really think YOUR vote will count, then you are lost to the concept of democracy.

    August 15, 2007 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  19. geoff smith canada

    look in the mirror and say to yourself–this political system makes sense. And then look at Karl Rove.......

    August 15, 2007 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  20. KD, Madison

    Even if you extremely dislike Rove you have to listen to him on this one. He's got a lot of experience as political strategist and I completely agree that Hillary will be very difficult to elect. It first occurred to me when some commentators on Fox news all of sudden became nice to her after years of Clinton bashing. The truth is they know that with such high negative ratings it's going to be very easy to rally people against her, no matter who her opponent will be.

    Another thing that Karl Rove and many republicans think but absolutely will not say out loud is that large part of the electorate will not vote for woman or non-white. I'm not saying that this is right, but it might be ugly political reality.

    August 15, 2007 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  21. Anonymous

    Rove...get out of town with some of your Swift Boat buddies.

    Fatally flawed...did I miss something??? Was he talking about bush?

    Look folks if this Rove guy was bush's brain...then that has to be the two dumbest people on the Earth.......mean...hurtful...divisive..

    When bush said (I mean Rove said)...I am the great mean Uniter...poor bush...must have gotten all those verbal screw=ups from flying so many missions over the Alabama skies protecting folks from the dreaded Vietnamese Air Force...

    Karl...just go away...but not before you go on all the conservative media and take cheap worm!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Keith Guice
    Franklin, Tn

    August 15, 2007 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  22. Mark, Las Vegas, Nevada

    Love him or Hate him, Karl Rove knows a thing or two about politics! He was able to work a miracle and get W. Elected not once but twice. The Republicans are licking their wounds after the butt whooping of a dissatisfied American public. IF the Democrats think that the call for change was because of their superior ideas and policies, then they have a sad awakening come election time. The best thing that could happen to the Republican Party is Hillary winning the Democratic Nomination. She will experience an initial boost in fund raising and polls because of her name recognition and loyal "Clinton" followers who want a chance to correct the wrongs of President Clinton. Because of the same name recognition, she may be the most disliked candidate in History. There are four good candidates on the right who would beat her easily in a head to head race for the Presidency. Taking cheap shots at Sen. Obama adds fuel to the fire.

    August 15, 2007 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  23. Lynn Edward Ensley McCaysville, Ga.

    When I was a little boy and got hurt, or sick or anything I always ran to mom. She took care of everything, every time. Tonight I called her because I needed to. I'm glad I did. Women are smarter than men, more responsible, more honest. If women could lift more weight men would not fit in this society. Women can fix things., and if ever things needed fixing, it is now. I hope we can last long enough to elect Hillary. If anyone can pull this country back from the mess the Bush clan has gotten us into, it will be PRESIDENT CLINTON, Hillary and Bill, The best that ever was and two for the price of one.

    August 15, 2007 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  24. Andrew Jackson, New Orleans, LA

    Yeah, and thanks to Rove we've had 8 years of the worst Presidency in American history.

    Typical Republican political stunt, slander the Democrats to make their nominee's look better. All the Republicans have running for the presidential nomination is a card board cut out, a late to the show TV actor, and a mayor with more skeletons in his closet than a Halloween party

    Listening to Rove is like listening to fingernails on a chaulk board, useless but it gets a few seconds of attention.

    August 15, 2007 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  25. craig madison wisconsin

    Hillary haters use such cogent logic–

    Hillary is Bush-lite –what an original criticism, and so based on fact! Simply because someone is adult enough to see that compromise sometimes is what moves an intractable issue off of the dime is far ahead of these bumber-sticker quoting wonders who wouldn't be able to manage a lemonade stand on their own in the real world.

    August 15, 2007 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
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