November 17th, 2007
10:12 AM ET
15 years ago

Rove: Obama missing opportunities to knock Clinton

Rove says Obama is missing chances to knock Clinton off stride.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Former top Bush aide Karl Rove said Thursday he thinks Sen. Barack Obama has missed key opportunities to knock rival Hillary Clinton off track.

In an interview with CSPAN, the man behind President Bush's two White House wins cited a recent debate in Philadelphia when Clinton was asked why more of her records as first lady have not yet been made public.

"He missed the opportunity," Rove explained. "If he had stood there and said, 'Senator, with all due respect, it is entirely within the power of you and your husband to immediately order the release of those documents. And your failure to do so reveals legitimate questions in the minds of the American people about what you might be hiding and it's not going to be good for the Democratic party or for you if you allow those questions to persist,' it would have been a moment, it would have been a big moment."

"Instead it was a vague and wandering around, and weak, and insipid," Rove continued. "There have been a number of occasions like that where a sharp and clear and respectful contrast would have created a moment."

Rove also said the Republicans will lose in 2008 unless they "articulate a positive agenda and a positive vision."

"Otherwise," Rove said, "The American people will say, 'You know what? I have got my doubts I have got my concerns and you haven't given me the confidence that I will do better with you.'"

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

soundoff (320 Responses)
  1. John from America


    Your not clever – your a lying sack of crap! Moral value people – is this the person you listen to?

    November 18, 2007 12:50 am at 12:50 am |
  2. Lance in Monrovia CA

    Anything Rove says Barack Obama should completely ignore. Barack has pointed out very key differences and he's talked very matter of factly about Hillary not releasing her papers. Rove is simply trying to make Obama look incompetent while still making digs at Hillary. In fact, it was Obama, not Edwards, who attacked Hillary more forcefully, that has risen in the polls since the debate two weeks ago. Obama is playing a brilliant line, a very narrow and well calculated one, where he attacks without being a brute, where points out differences without going totally negative. He needs to have the respect of all the people and by being a bulldog he won't get it.

    You're wrong Rove. He didn't miss any opportunities, YOU DID,when you didn't improve this country who's care you were given. You have made the biggest blunders in U.S. History and only a man as talented as Barack Obama can actually bring us back on track.

    Obama Rising.

    November 18, 2007 12:59 am at 12:59 am |
  3. John, Euless, TX

    Seeing Rove again just reminds me how important it is to elect a Democrat for President. We need to turn this country around after the last 7 years of hell. Go DEMS!!! Go HILLARY GO!!!!!

    November 18, 2007 01:09 am at 1:09 am |
  4. MCD, San Francisco

    WHY would anybody think Rove is "a genius" or "politically brilliant"!??

    Anybody who is willing to lie, cheat, smear, use dirty tricks, use propoganda... anybody who has no moral integrity... anybody who feels that the ends justify the means.. anybody who has no soul... could achieve the very same disasters that he has achieved... and, unfortunately, heaped upon this country!

    He is NOT brilliant... he has no soul!

    November 18, 2007 02:25 am at 2:25 am |
  5. katharine, Drammen, Norway

    for Karl Rove to try to discredit Obama just makes Obama look better. Sorry, Karl, Obama said it best when he said, 'I don't do nasty'. Is Karl Rove attacking Obama because he has started to figure out how many dissaffected Republicans have defected to Obama? This just shows what a strong candidate Obama actually is, that Karl Rove himself feels he needs to go after him so early. And Obama can take it, because his brand of natural integrity and honest engagement is something Rove and his cronies have no understanding of and no ability to fight. Rove can only fight someone running the traditional washington style campaign, and he knows it.

    November 18, 2007 03:50 am at 3:50 am |
  6. Ronnie.Irving,Texas

    Who cares what Rove says?He is a hack,evil man.

    November 18, 2007 05:02 am at 5:02 am |
  7. Trang, Fremont, ca

    Or maybe Rove just sees Obama as a good person and he wants to help him win – points out some strategies. Republicans have switched parties in order to vote for Obama because they want to see him win. When you see a good person like Obama emerges, you have to grab onto it and work to change the tide. He is good and he is strong. He has a better chance of uniting the country. With Hillary, we will continue to have the partisanship, because she attacks them a lot. They might be uncooperative when she is President and we would be in gridlock and nothing gets resolved.

    November 18, 2007 06:25 am at 6:25 am |
  8. A. Thomas, New York, NY

    Rove is a scum and dirt bag. What CNN gives time to him?

    November 18, 2007 07:54 am at 7:54 am |
  9. Anonymous, Newport News, VA

    "Seeing Rove again just reminds me how important it is to elect a Democrat for President. We need to turn this country around after the last 7 years of hell. Go DEMS!!! Go HILLARY GO!!!!!"


    "Turn around" to what? The 8 years Clinton prior to Bush's was equally, if not more, scandalous and corrupt. Get you head out.

    ENOUGH OF THE BUSHes AND THE CLINTONS. Enough of the petty, childish comments, as evidenced by the comments posted to this ticker. We need an Independent candidate to step forward.

    November 18, 2007 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  10. Dan, Minneapolis, MN

    Judy from San Francisco, expresses my sentiments. The Republicans speak of civility when they were the primary source for such Machiavelian transgressions. The neo-fascists such as Rove, Bush, Neocons, Limbaugh... should simply pack their bags in order to fight on the front-lines in Iraq. Instead their chubby cheaks are visible statements of their wealthy status, safely tucked away from such realities. They, the neo-fascists, are frigging "-holes" and no (!) I don't want to be civil. This I have learned from those esteemed cowardly elitist!!

    November 18, 2007 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  11. laurinda, ny

    The way you people write on here and you call yourselves religious people. To me you all are like satan worshippers. I want nothing more to do with any of you. The only one you are helping is your own self egos. Go hang your crucifixes upside down.

    November 18, 2007 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  12. RightyTighty

    Rove's greatest accomplishment is in exposing the biased media's attempt to sway elections by continously publishing mindless dem hate. Isn't this a crime yet??

    November 18, 2007 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  13. Sam, San Francisco, CA

    I wish I could claim authorship, but I read this on another board:

    "I wish I had been in high school with Rove so I could have been one of the hundreds of kids who beat the crap out of him".

    November 18, 2007 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  14. Ron Nebraska

    The way you people write on here and you call yourselves religious people. To me you all are like satan worshippers. I want nothing more to do with any of you. The only one you are helping is your own self egos. Go hang your crucifixes upside down.

    Posted By laurinda, ny : November 18, 2007 12:49 pm

    laurinda, correct me if I'm wrong but I suspect you listen to Fox news and are a fan of Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and any other right wing propagandist and you call US unchristian because we recognize the vileness that is Karl Rove? Stunning!

    November 18, 2007 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  15. Global citizen linda, Columbus, Ohio

    Karl Rove,

    Generation Obama does not need your advice – remember that in the eyes of us his supporters, Obama is the Political Messiah – deal with that.

    Also remember this quote from Obama the Messaih himself: "I don't do nasty"

    November 18, 2007 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  16. McCain-in-4, Clarksburg MD

    To think for one instance that Karl Rove is generously giving valuable information to any Democrat is delusional at best. Every prayerful and thinking person knows cavorting with people who have caused egregious harm in the past can only lead to further tears in the future.

    This period of time should be preserved in the history book as a time when blistering emotion overcame independent thought, and Karl Rove's accomplishments prominently mentioned above President Bush and Vice President Cheney.

    November 19, 2007 04:26 am at 4:26 am |
  17. Frank tulsa, ok

    Yo..... Meks, FTL, FL

    If you didn't realize it before my blog was a bit sarcastic, the Dennis Miller reference should have tipped you off. So my whole blog was fictional making my 'error' in calculating K Starr's tab somewhat moot.
    Everyone else seemed to get it.

    Perhaps the one's that should not be blogging here are the those who don't read the whole blog and understand the context.

    November 19, 2007 07:28 am at 7:28 am |
  18. Alex Chicago

    Rove may have helped Bush steal one election and barely win another, but he also helped Republicans lose control of Congress in an historic landslide. What a winner.

    Posted By Jeff, Minneapolis : November 16, 2007 5:14 pm

    Are you retarded JEFF? Nobody stole an election, you see in the US we go by ELECTORAL VOTES..DO you know what they are??? You democrats have the mental capacity of a 6yr please get back on your short bus it is time for you to get to school....

    November 19, 2007 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  19. Hilary, Rochester NY

    Something whispers to me that it isn't just liberals who dislike and distrust Karl Rove. I think he also turns the stomachs of a lot of people who could care less about trivial distinctions such as "liberal" and "conservative."

    Or he would, if anyone outside of Washington paid him any attention anymore. The Ticker aside, I don't think most people are sitting at home trying to figure out whether Rove is using reverse psychology to further the nomination of an unelectable Democratic candidate. They're probably watching Buffy re-runs or weather-stripping their windows or something.

    November 19, 2007 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  20. Maliek Washington DC

    Ok folks take a big breath. Obama is no fool, and he will obviously take heed to Rove's advise. Rove did put a president in the white house for 2 terms. And as far as divisive politics, Obama is against Hillary and we all know how low the Clintons will go. So Obama drop the nice guy routine asap.

    December 3, 2007 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
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