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)


    August 15, 2007 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  2. Tom, Austin, Tx

    The truth hurts! If you are Republican, or one of the 3 in 10 people still unable to extract your head from your…well you know. I don't support Hillary, but this is nothing but the truth, about the most disgraceful President in the history of this great country. He makes Nixon look like a Boy Scout.

    August 15, 2007 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  3. Jim, Providence, RI

    I think that Rove's (and the White House for that matter) willingness to take on Hillary is demonstrative of the Republican's desire to see Hillary as the Democratic nominee. By directly engaging her on a Presidential level, on a party v. party level, a Democrat v. Republican level, the Republican's have tipped their hand.

    They want her as the nominee. They want her to get the nomination.

    Now it is up to the Democratic party to recognize this, and decide on someone more able to 1) unite the country and 2) defeat the Republican candidate, such as Obama.

    WAKE UP PEOPLE – HILLARY IS NOT THE ANSWER. More of the same is not the answer...Do we really want Bush/Clinton/Bush/Clinton?

    August 15, 2007 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  4. Charles, Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    I'd like to see Rove multi-task and beat up on the campaign of the next President of the United States, Hillary Clinton, while also advising Americans who the Republican party could possibly have 'up their sleeve' to do a better job and front run for the Republican Primary. Being unable to multi-task or answer without George Bush's permission, I'll assist. No one.

    August 15, 2007 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  5. Kevin NH

    When Karl Rove attacks Clinton and the first thing her campaign can think about is Obama, you know they are running scared. Obviously they are beginning to realize that all the media driven national polls that show her leading does not reconcile the polls in iowa, NH and SC where voters arre not impressed by her 30 second soundbites and scripted appearances. I'm still waiting to find out what she stands for.

    August 15, 2007 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  6. Fred NH

    I can't decide whether the Clinton/Obama "war of words" is real or not. Politicians (all of them) and their advisors are so dishonest and manipulative that I just assume they don't even know when they are telling the truth or trying to score
    popularity points with their constituents.

    August 15, 2007 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  7. Marsha, Portland, OR

    Looking at the comments on this blog I would say Obama is clearly a divisive enough peronality that he would split the country in half. Republicans aren't going to vote for him, and we've got half the democratic party criticisizing one of the strongest democratic presidents we ever had, and one of the strongest democratic candidates that we have had in years on the basis of what – a sex scandal. Who cares? This voter doesn't. And odds are those of you that do are all commenters on this blog and supporters of Obama.

    As for those of you who are Obama supporters, I would rather have someone that forgave her husband for adultry and knows her stuff, than someone who doesn't know crap and can't talk about anything but the Iraq war and stutters as bad as Bush anytime he is asked anything unscripted. And if you take time to look at their voting records – they are practically identical. Obama has modeled himself off of Hillary minus the ex-presidential spouse.

    August 15, 2007 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  8. D. Richards Knoxville TN

    Maybe, just maybe, it is time for Karl Rove to shut up. I doubt history will be kind to kim, his puppet the President (W Bush), and Dick Chaney.

    August 15, 2007 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  9. Kay - Rapid City, SD

    How does anyone in their right mind expect Hillary Clinton to be President. She can not run her own marriage and family much less the government of the United States. Sorry, but her shoddy showing during her years in the white house have proven that their are alot more women much more qualified then her. All blow and NO go!!! Her dismal attitude and snotty remarks only show me that she is desperate to stab everyone else in the back for the best job in town.

    August 15, 2007 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  10. Steven in Charleston, SC

    Ok, let's think about this.

    Karl Rove is a partisan Republican. He is also a political strategist and, regardless of whether or not he has an official position in this Administration, or with any of the GOP Presidential candidates, we have to assume that he wants to see the eventual Republican candidate win.

    So.....given that he is a partisan Republican AND thinks and acts strategically, is it reasonable to think that he would publicly say "Hey Democrats, don't nominate Hillary because she won't win" if he believes that to be true? Or is it more likely that he actually DOES see her as a threat?

    If he truly believed what he is saying, Rove the Strategist would keep quiet about it.

    The reality is that the GOP is always more focused on playing partisan mind games than they are actually putting forward candidates and legislation that actually serves the American people.

    Hillary Clinton is a strong candidate and will be a formidable leader should she get elected. The GOP is ~terrified~ that she will win the nomination, because they know that for every person they turn out that hates her, the Democrats will turn out one that loves her, and that the voters "in the middle" mean it when they say they are sick of the Republican's purposeless war, runaway spending, utter lack of ethics, and scandal of the week, and will vote for whichever candidate the Democrats select.

    August 15, 2007 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  11. Mike Schild, Binghamton, New York

    Hillary Clinton has more intelligence and integrity than Bush and it is clear to me that America- Republican, Democrat, middle class, working class whatever, everyone will be better off if she is elected and not another polarizing, and narrow minded social conservative from the republican party.

    August 15, 2007 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  12. Colleen Apple Valley, Ca.

    Loke for Rove and Hastert to be the pitbulls for the GOP. They can and will say anything, do anything, to get the GOP relected. They are the highest paid prostitutes in the country.

    August 16, 2007 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  13. McCain-in-4, Clarksburg MD

    Bye bye Karl. I dare not say you will be missed. Your grasp of political science was very Hollywood, your compassionate conservatism quite the opposite, and you led this President down the rosy path by sequestering every protesting voice out of earshot and tuning every television in sight to Fox News.

    Yeah, like I'm gonna believe you now...

    August 16, 2007 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  14. Lyons Steve

    Heh. A fatally flawed psychotic is finally forced from the White House as his legal troubles multiply like flies on Cheney. As he leaves under a cloud of smelly programs and decisions, like a dying rattlesnake, a last strike, a "snake-y lick", at Hillary Clinton.

    Such an honorable, straightforward politician – I'm sure influenced!

    August 16, 2007 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  15. lucky in Cincinnati, OH

    What better endorsement for Sen Clinton than the idiot "Bush Brain" to bash her on the impartial Rush show. How does one become know as the brain of the most ignorant president of all time and then be covered on "mainstream" media like CNN

    August 16, 2007 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  16. Keith VanZandt Hudson,Mi.

    Hey Rover get on with your retirement because you and your ilk have ruined this countries standing in the world

    August 16, 2007 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  17. Jim J,Hudson WI

    Figures, Rove on the Rush program. Believe me when I say I trust Hillary Clinton's word over Karl Rove any day! I trust Hillary's word any day. Who would you leave your children with? Hillary '08

    August 16, 2007 12:55 am at 12:55 am |
  18. Melissaczca

    Ooooooo! Fatally flawed! Oooooo! Boy, does that sound scary! But in exactly what way is she fatally flawed? I can't wait to hear! How frightening! How exciting! What a bunch of nebulous meaningless crap from the master of spin!

    August 16, 2007 12:58 am at 12:58 am |
  19. Sam, Dallas, Tx

    Rove is the only brain that baby bush has and that is not much. If this country contious to exect morons or let their family fix election then we deserve what we get. Get out of Iraq and elect someone that will lead this country in the right direction.

    If you truly believe the baby bush is the one then God Help Us. This man is the worst thing that has happened to the US since LBJ. I am a die hard Dem but both parties have their idiots.

    Let's put another Clinton into office and pull this nation together.

    Not everyone in Texas likes the bb ofice.

    August 16, 2007 12:59 am at 12:59 am |

    Just vote Obama.

    August 16, 2007 01:01 am at 1:01 am |
  21. Randy Rice Warren, PA

    The only reason someone of this stature attacks so soon in the campaign is because they are really scared.
    Let me get this straight George bush wins in 2000 because the supreme court says stop the counting while bush is ahead. after the count is finished the total show that Gore won but Rove pats himself on the back and says we lost the election but we are in the white house.
    Four years later the election comes down to one state and the counts are sorta funny and bush wins again. Rove clears his throat and walks back to the white house.
    then the 2002 elections come around and the people have said that enough is enough. the lies about why we need to go to war in Iraq, the spiraling cost of gasoline and heating gas, the problems of me here in our country mean something.
    Rove and Chenney just laugh and go on about what they have been doing. Rumsfeld is now gone the attorney General has no respect in the house or Senate.
    Rove says it is time to leave, hey george you are on your own. In 18 months we as republicans are going to be in real trouble. I think the people are really upset with us and the next election is going to go real bad for us so I am getting out when the getting is good.
    Once outside to government I can say a lot of bad things about Hillary and I can say all of the good things we accomplished. If I have some time away I am sure I can think if something we accomplished in the second term. There has to be something that was done in the second terms to help the everyday people here at home. Let me think for a month or so and I will find something.
    My health care insurance is going up 30% per year, my state income taxes went up last year, My local taxes went up, my school taxes went up and my state is looking at raising my sales tax. But wait my fed income tax went down or did it?
    remember what Gore said about the surplus in the budget he would put into the social security trust fund. thanks to george that surplus was wiped out and there may be no social security fund in my future. Go ahead an Go back to Maine Or Conn. or wherever you came from before you claimed Texas as your home. The Democrats will have to clean up the mess you have left the country in.

    August 16, 2007 01:05 am at 1:05 am |
  22. steve Loudon, TN

    Hillary is a mini Marxist and has said we are going to take from those who have it and give it to those who don't. This isn't the gov'ts money, the hard working earned it. She can't even remember which lies she has told. and continues to hide papers that define her beliefs. Bush isn't any genius for sure, but he has a belief system, whereas Hillary has an amoral character. Whatever is convenient, and the method of personal attack. She wins the nomination and gets creamed by the public in an election. Why is she a senator from NY, that is not her home....she bought PR votes, by getting hubby to pardon PR assassins who killed members of house of representatives. Remember

    August 16, 2007 01:11 am at 1:11 am |
  23. Charles, Brooklyn, NY

    All I see from Democrats in the debates and elsewhere, including Hillary, is constant Bush bashing. When am I going to hear some substance? In other words what are they going to do to change things.

    August 16, 2007 01:13 am at 1:13 am |
  24. E. C., Houston, Texas

    Rove is right on usual!
    There is NO way that Hillary will win the election nor, possibly, the nomination. At this time in our history, we must have a man who is more well-respected, experienced and and qualified. Further, Hillary is too controversial to win, for she cannot be trusted.

    August 16, 2007 01:20 am at 1:20 am |
  25. E. C., Houston, Texas


    August 16, 2007 01:22 am at 1:22 am |
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