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. Jeremy, Rome, Georgia

    I have no response to that.

    August 16, 2007 01:24 am at 1:24 am |
  2. Jms Dyer, Tn

    Carl belongs on a talk show hosted by a drug dealer and addict.He is as much a criminal for politizing all branches of government.

    August 16, 2007 01:31 am at 1:31 am |
  3. jms, Dyer, Tn

    Carl made the comments on his "criminal drug addict friend's" road show.Birds of a feather aren't they?

    August 16, 2007 01:41 am at 1:41 am |
  4. Lizabeth, Dallas TX

    Karl Rove is scared to death that Hillary Clinton might win this election. Rove has to be one of the most corrupt, sleaziest, negative, disgusting, hateful persons on the face of the earth. Thank God he's leaving Washington, but you can bet he'll still have his slimey finger in the upcoming election (maybe he & Newt can get together– now that's a team of real classy guys, huh?)
    Rove– go home, go away, just GO!

    August 16, 2007 01:43 am at 1:43 am |
  5. Antonio R., Tempe AZ

    Ticker: CNN 'fatally flawed'.

    Is Karl Rove slamming an opposition politician really news?

    August 16, 2007 01:43 am at 1:43 am |
  6. Tim Sawyer, NY

    The best hope the Dems have of winning this election is to nominate Obama. Clinton can be his running mate, and they should be able to pull it off.

    August 16, 2007 02:03 am at 2:03 am |
  7. Ivan, Sydney, Australia

    Fatally Flawed – that's a rich. This coming from a guy who's president friend has plunged a nation into a war under false pretenses in 2003 and then proceeded to announce a few short months later – Mission Accomplished!!!

    Just think people, with the amount of money that has been spent on the war the entire population of the US could have had affordable and universal health care.

    What else? Oh yeah......
    – Katrina Response.
    – Osama.... he's still around.
    – Record foreign deficit etc etc etc

    And Hillary is fatally flawed!!!!

    Not that I can talk, Prime Minister Howard isn't mush better but that will all soon change.

    August 16, 2007 02:16 am at 2:16 am |
  8. Ann, Marienville, PA

    I am a 58 year old Democrat. I have never missed voting in either a Primary or General election. I take my politics seriously.

    Mrs. Clinton claims she is the most qualified candidate to run for President, in part because of her years as First Lady. Yet while she was First Lady her husband was having a long-term affair. During their marriage Bill Clinton had several affairs, one of which was serious enough for him to consider divorce.

    If Mrs. Clinton didn't know about the "Monica" affair which was going on under her roof, and supposedly wasn't diligent enough to know of many of her husband's affairs, how can we know just how diligent Mrs. Clinton will be as President?

    We already have one President who is out of touch with reality. Do we need another who doesn't know what is going on under her own nose?

    August 16, 2007 02:35 am at 2:35 am |
  9. Richard, expat in Alberta, Canada

    Where can I sign up to fire the entire Executive and Legislative branches of our government, and to start over with a group of individuals that want to work together, instead of against each other, for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?

    August 16, 2007 02:38 am at 2:38 am |
  10. Jaime Reyes, Lubbock, TX

    Why can't this loser just go away once and for all???!?? He's been wrong since the mid-term elections. If he was that great, he would still control the puppet, instead of the otherway around. Go away for goodness sake!

    August 16, 2007 02:45 am at 2:45 am |
  11. David, Manhattan Beach, CA

    Karl Rove just made my decision a lot easier: if he dislikes Mrs. Clinton, then she must be doing something right. She now has my vote, because you are defined as much by your enemies as your fans. The more irrational Republican attacks on her become, the more appealing she sounds to me. We are supposed to take seriously the opinions of the main policy advisor of the worst Presidency in US history? Stick a fork in Rove, he's done.

    August 16, 2007 03:04 am at 3:04 am |
  12. Simon Peters, Seattle, WA

    The worst Democratic candidate is 100 times better than the best Republican one.

    Republicans (alias – "conservatives") are fatally flawed. They are selfish, greedy, impervious to the truth, without any morals, foresight, wisdom or courage.

    Every single one of them is a liar, a thief, a cheat and a coward.

    When they are in power they either fail at what they try to do (Iraq, Katrina) or they succeed in doing harm to the majority of Americans.

    Now if only the American people weren't so ignorant that they get misled time and time again by all the crap that Republicans spew out about god, guns, gays, abortion and their so called "war on terror" they would throw every single member of the Republican party in prison and declare it an enemy organization.

    You don't need to look to the middle east for terrorists – look no further than your local Republican office holder and party members.

    Karl Rove speaking to Rush Limbaugh? Two cowards, liars and traitors who should be indicted and hanged for their treason.

    August 16, 2007 03:15 am at 3:15 am |
  13. Angel, San Jose, CA

    I don't take offense to Karl's Hillary comments...I take offense that he has the nerve to comment on the presidency at all. The brain (or lack there of) behind this administration has got be high. He got the village idiot into the highest office in the land and as an American citizen I have never been more embarrassed.

    On the Hillary thing Karl...brains and strength are not "fatal flaws"...but why would anyone expect you to know that??

    August 16, 2007 04:39 am at 4:39 am |
  14. Mark, Dublin Ireland.

    What a complete farce, Rove and his "crew" have done nothing but use Clinton as a diversion to his unanswered problems.

    He is known as "Bush's brains", who would actually be proud of that title?

    August 16, 2007 04:55 am at 4:55 am |
  15. Simple Man, Alabama

    James Carville saying that the Republican party 'Lost a generation...' talking about younger americans proves he doesn't know America.

    August 16, 2007 05:01 am at 5:01 am |
  16. Jim, San Diego, CA

    Is it really a compliment to be referred to as "Bush's Brain"? I'd rather take credit for being Bush's personal trainer; he's done a fine job of remaining physically fit. We can't say the same about the functioning of his brain.

    As I recall this same fellow predicted that the Republicans would hold their majority in the 2006 elections. I suspect his days as a political fortune teller are well behind him.

    Goodbye, Karl. Thanks for saving us the trouble of having to loathe you for another fifteen months. Please stay off the TV and out of the papers.

    August 16, 2007 05:21 am at 5:21 am |
  17. Eric Wabash, IN

    It's sooo funny to hear Republican attack Hillary on health care. She is the only one who ever actually TRIED to get health care coverage for EVERYONE. Of course the republicans and insurance companies prevented her from accomplishing this, but she DID TRY. So if you are one of the millions of people with no health insurance and you want to keep it that way, by all means vote for republicans. And can you believe after all the crimes committed by this administration, there are still people out there talking about the TRAVEL OFFICE FIRINGS! HA. what a joke.

    August 16, 2007 05:37 am at 5:37 am |
  18. P.B., Philadelphia, PA

    The sad truth is that negatives and positives in the 40% range represent a much more favorable standing with the American public than what George W. Bush has held recently. It might not be that much better, but it is an improvement.

    And, btw, since when should we (people who care enough to read and think) care how the "American Public" polls? I'm tire of polls being considered predictive guidelines. It ain't over 'til it's over.

    August 16, 2007 05:43 am at 5:43 am |
  19. Worried about our true freedom, Valdosta GA

    What do you Expect Carl Rove to Say?
    He knows Hillary is going to win the nomination. He is just afraid of the fact that it is going to be history and a women is going to occupy the white house and the republicans can not exploit the emotion and sentiment of average americans and rule the country on fals propaganda anymore. Why dont he ask his Republican collegues like Sen. John Warner, Chcuk Hegel and above all the Veteran Sen. Lugar to see what they say about what is happening with this adminstration. A war that has crippled our economy is still being justified.Why is Carl Rove leaving? He is visualizing he could face the fate of Scooter Libby. Did anyone hear how the FBI director contradicted Attorney General's statement. Why the adminstration stops its employees to testify under oath? Do you really think Republicans like Ronald Regan will approve this??

    August 16, 2007 06:42 am at 6:42 am |
  20. Steve, Indiana

    More of Rove's "dirty tricks", to make questionable assertions and focus on the "negative" when commenting about the leading candidates of the opposition.

    August 16, 2007 06:43 am at 6:43 am |
  21. Sam-Lincoln, Nebraska

    I never fail to be amazed at Clinton haters like James of Phoenix, AZ, who continue to dredge up old allegations about Hillary Clinton that have been proven to be outright falsehoods make up by Richard Mellon Scaife, Kenneth Starr, and the rest of the vast right wing conspiracy. I think another poster got it exactly right when he said that these Hillary bashers can't stand to see a smart, independent, strong woman in politics. As for Karl Rove, well most of America thinks he's corrupt, dishonest, and sleazy. Before long he'll be yesterday's news.

    August 16, 2007 07:35 am at 7:35 am |
  22. Bruce South Africa

    As a non American, sitting on the sidelines I have to ask aren't US citizens tired of the same families owning power. You have had 12 years of Bush's now get set for 16 years of Clintons and then what? Will Chelsea Clinton be next. Come on now, enough is enough. If you want change get new people.

    August 16, 2007 07:45 am at 7:45 am |
  23. Mary, Beaver, PA

    Listen, nobody hates Hillary because she is a woman. They hate her because she has a humorless, arrogant attitude, gives the impression that she knows what's best for everybody, and espouses socialist policies. I also note how quick she was to jump on the bandwagon to support a popular war that is not so popular now. Four years after the fact, when it is too late to change history, she suddenly becomes a war critic. All she cares about is herself and self-glorification. And that remark by her spokesperson regarding Rove's writing Obama's talking points was a low blow that is typical of the candidate herself.

    August 16, 2007 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  24. Matt, Alpharetta, GA

    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."


    Nice change of subject, Mr. Singer. I see where Hillary 'liar' Clinton gets her strategy from.

    August 16, 2007 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  25. Karen Rothfuss

    If Karl Rove is known as "Bush's Brain," it's unfortunate he didn't resign from his post years ago. I'm
    not a screaming feminist, but I'm tired of the Hillary bashing. Hillary's
    political record is no more spotty than anyone's who has been in the political eye as long as she has.

    August 16, 2007 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
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