August 20th, 2007
09:52 AM ET
16 years ago

Clinton: Karl Rove 'obsessed with me'

Senator Hillary Clinton, D-New York

(CNN)-Senator Hillary Clinton said she does not expect any support of her candidacy from outgoing White House political adviser Karl Rove, despite his recent public discussion of her campaign.

"Well, I don't think Karl Rove's going to endorse me," the Democrat from New York joked Sunday, during a debate with the other Democratic candidates in Des Moines. "That becomes more and more obvious. But I find it interesting he's so obsessed with me."

On Sunday, Rove expanded on his recent comments regarding Clinton's candidacy. He says voters' opinion of Senator Hillary Clinton are a problem for her.

"She enters the general election campaign with the highest negatives of any candidate in the history of the Gallup poll," Rove said Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press." "It just says people have made an opinion about her. It's hard to change opinions once you've been a high-profile person in the public eye, as she has for 16 or 17 years."

Rove would not say whether the GOP was hoping to ultimately face Clinton in the general election. "It's going to be what it's going to be," he said. "The Democrats are going to choose the Democratic nominee and the Republicans are going to choose the Republican nominee."

When asked for his opinions on Illinois Senator Barack Obama, another Democratic front runner for the nomination, Rove was less vocal, "I've said enough," he said.

Rove, President Bush's political strategist, adviser, and the man Bush called the architect of his 2004 re-election bid - announced his resignation from his White House position Monday and will leave his post at the end of August.

- CNN Political Desk Editor Jamie Crawford

Filed under: Hillary Clinton • Iowa • Race to '08
soundoff (197 Responses)
  1. Pat P., Huntington Station, NY

    Just by the shere amount of comments articles about Hillary garner, it is clear that Rove and company are scared out of their witts if she's the Dem. nominee. Why? Because unlike the other dem contenders, she's the only one who can really give the repubs a real fight.

    August 20, 2007 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  2. Ted Great Lakes Region


    How long has it been, Hillary, since a man has paid so much attention to you?

    August 20, 2007 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  3. Bea, Hoboken, NJ

    I have grown to like Hillary very much. I may not agree with everyone of her proposals, but I admire her intelligence, her spunk and her wonkish knowledge of policy issues.

    I had never realized how small she is physically (she's 5'4") until she was standing next to the other candidates at the first debate. She almost seemed vulnerable, at least until she started responding to the questions presented to her. At which point she appeareed to me to be as tall as any of the men surrounding her. The more time passes, the more presidential she seems in my eyes. I think that our country we'll be just fine if she does become president.

    August 20, 2007 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  4. Mindy Chatsworth, Ca.

    I think all Democrats should just let Rove do his dirty work, ignore his pathetic and disgusting attempt to character assassinate Hillary, and make up their own minds. Trying to ascertain whether or not Rove is trying to help Hillary by attacking her and coalescing Democratic support, is just a waste of time. Analyzing his tactics, trying to determine if this is just a sham and he is really after Obama and Edwards is also pointless. Rove is going to do what he always does – be the hatchet man for the Republican party. He will attack whoever the Democratic nominee is. It's all he does – attack, attack, attack and try to manipulate public opinion and divide Americans. The less we think about whatever putrid garbage comes out of his mouth, the better off we will be.

    The truth is that any of the major Democratic contenders would be head and shoulders above the lowly crowd of Republican pretenders. We should celebrate the fact that we have three such worth candidates in Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards. After the debacle of the Bush administration, we really have nowhere to go but up.

    There are going to be spirited debates and disagreements among the top tier of Democratic candidates. That is as it should be. But focusing on scum like Rove just serves as a distraction. I think this is our election to lose and if we play it smart, we can take back the White House, and hopefully, our country.

    August 20, 2007 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  5. Michael T. - South Carolina

    Karl Rove has left the relatively low paying White House job to become an
    "independent political consultant".

    He's just getting started. BWAH HA HA HA HA !!

    August 20, 2007 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  6. Bob, San Francisco, CA

    Conservatives with a short memory_

    Yes, you people ARE obsessed with Hillary! I've seen so many "HIllary is so delusional"-type comments here it's ridiculous.
    There's more anti-Hillary books in the bookstores over the last decade than any other politician. Maybe there's more about Bush now–I don't know–but Hillary was NEVER a president (yet!).

    August 20, 2007 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  7. Randy, VA

    Hey Hillary supporters, here are some of your fellow supporters, "Heidi Fleiss isn't the first former Madam to express support for Clinton's White House Bid. Deborah Jeanne Palfrey, also known as the D.C. Madam, said last May she's pulling for Clinton. And, famed porn star Jenna Jameson has also said she is supporting the New York senator." Do you feel stupid yet?

    August 20, 2007 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  8. daniel

    At this point there are 106 comments on this blog – more than all of the other columns.

    Thanx Rove – for the free publicity!

    Ask yourself, if Rove is a master of campaign trickery as he proved for G. Bush, why would he want to give publicity to someone who is a threat to republican presidency. Read between the lines.

    August 20, 2007 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  9. Dale, Birmingham, AL

    Rove has to attack Clinton. Clearly the frontrunner, she is already focusing on the general election. He attacks Clinton now because the Republicans are busy attacking each other.

    Did Rove acknowledge that Hillary's negatives are coming down at the same time the republicans' negatives are going up? That she beats all the Republican candidates in one-on-one polling? Of course not. Rove has no vision for this country. His only vision was to win regardless of what lies had to be told. Remember what he did to John McCain in South Carolina? Distributing leaflets accusing him of fathering a black child. He is even willing to attack an innocent adopted child for the benefit of his ego. How can any decent Christian in this country stand behind or beside this truly evil man? He and his form of politics disgust me and the majority of thinking Americans.

    August 20, 2007 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  10. Mary Joe, Salt Lake City, UT

    Its pathetic that someone from Virginia is assuming that the support from Hollywood Madam or DC Madam to Hillary would tarnish her image. Do you expect a support from some evangilical person to Rudy Guliani would enhance his image? Remember-Dobson an evangilical preacher who was a staunch supporter of the republican party was a homosexual living two lives. Does that mean that all these sex offenders who are preachers are for republicans? It is stupid for CNN to give a headline and at the same time these idiots who make such comments have nothing intelligent to say against Hillary on policy issues make these stupid remarks to show their low level brains.

    August 20, 2007 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  11. Randy, VA

    Mary Joe, how many priest are child molesters and how many evanglist are sex offenders, 2% or less maybe. How many prositutes are posititutes, 100%? Get the point, or are you spinning? Larry Flynn also supports Clinton. Ever wonder why? Think about it. Before you question someone elses brain level you should evaluate your own first. Would you like a prositute as your moral guidance or larry Flynn providing the reading material for you schools? Wake up and smell the college and consider a GED.

    August 20, 2007 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  12. Paul, PA

    Mary Joe, if a person was supported by organized crime what would you assume? I think that is the point the person was attempting to make. I don't understand your association of an evanglist with being a homosexual. I miss that. Please explain your point. Doesn't Hillary and the liberal left fully support homosexuality. I think the point the that the person was trying to make is the old addage of birds of a feather.

    August 20, 2007 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  13. Anna, Woodbridge, VA

    Just what poll was Rove using for his "negative numbers" on Hillary Clinton? Who was polled and how were the questions worded? Statistics can be made to say anything and, in Rove's case, twisted to his advantage. Unless he can show that the polled group was a ramdom sampling and the questions were not leading, I'd take things with a barge of salt.
    And for those who look to the Republicans to save us from the evils of gay marriage and abortion remember this – The Republicans had the majority in both House and Senate and control of the White House, so why did we NEVER see an amendment to totally ban either? They could easily have passed either into law, but then they would have lost their hot button items for the elections. And the sleaze goes on....

    August 20, 2007 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  14. James, Phoenix AZ

    Mary Jo ~ Salt Lake City

    Before calling others stupid and remarking about their "low level brains" you MIGHT want to engage yours.

    Dr Dobson has never been gay. It was Ted Haggard, Colorado Springs Evangelical Leader, that confessed to seeing a male prostitute.

    Most people find it a bit ironic that "Madams" and Porn stars are coming out in support of Hillary, Bill Clinton's wife. It's just another reason Hillary will be the most divisive candidate in the next Presidential election.

    August 20, 2007 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  15. Tyler, CA

    Clinton fans are as blindly loyal as Michael Vick fans. They are completely oblivious to facts and believe anything they say regardless of the facts. I don't understand it. They make excuses for the negatives and do not even have a clue about who they REALLY are. It has to be the medication.

    August 20, 2007 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    The Republicans always have to have someone or thing to hate whether it be the communist or welfare mothers. that is their great achilles heal they do not

    know how to govern in the majority. Hillary will not lose. You guys are dreaming. Does the country want another 4 years of a Republican Ppresident?

    August 20, 2007 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  17. Kelly Pittsburgh PA

    Filled with veracity that Hillary does have an incredible negative rating and yes, that is alarming, even to someone like me, a huge supporter of Hillary. But, are we not all forgetting a very important missing piece of the puzzle..her running mate? Her running mate Obama? That ticket will be unstoppable, make history, and bring the needed change and experience.

    August 20, 2007 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  18. jules slc, ut.

    Mark Ramsey

    YOU are simple.

    Ever heard of reverse psychology?

    Don't under-estimate rove.

    He got our sorry excuse for a prez, elected twice.

    August 21, 2007 01:15 am at 1:15 am |
  19. Tricia A Charlottetown PEI

    Of Course Rove is Obsessed with Hillary. She's the Front Runner!
    This is Rove's "Actionable Intelligence" Strategy! It's just too bad that neither He nor Bush has any intelligence. If they did, they would know the world sees right through their window of deception.

    August 21, 2007 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  20. Tricia M Charlottetown, PEI

    E. C. of Houston, Texas writes:

    “Can one even imagine a Female Hormonal, loud, crass President like her… battling Fundamentalist Islamic Extremists when Muslims don't even acknowlege 'the Female Gender?'”

    I think you may be confused EC.
    The Loud, Crass, President is the one all the world can't wait to get rid of, His Name is Bush. And he's on his way out thank heavens!

    August 21, 2007 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  21. John, CA

    does Rove think that by speaking out against Clinton it will hurt her chances...He has to know hes one of the most reviled people in this country...Its another shrewd tactic, this time to get Hillary elected.

    August 22, 2007 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  22. Scott Cary, NC

    The only obsession out there is with the Clintons with the White House. Nothing wrong with that generally, but she's going to go about it in such a manner that I think she'll lose. She already has a huge base of people that are against her and as per any longterm Congressperson running lately, she has a record of not doing anything constructive and just pointing fingers, making excuses and wasting money while voting for raises. This goes for both sides. I think the winner of this election will go to the person who has some experience but is not the political lifer that you see normally running. That person will have charisma and not be viewed as a Washington insider. That being said I think it will boil down to Obama and either Thompson or Giuliani. I would lean toward Thompson at this point just solely due to the fact that he hasn't said anything that would pose a problem for himself. I think that Obama will get the lead soon since he is the only one giving an actual distinction for himself as being against the war from the beginning and also stating that he'd talk with leaders of enemy countries. All the other dems have attacked him on that. He'll win the nomination just for that reason.

    August 23, 2007 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
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