[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/01/10/art.rove.gi.jpg caption="Karl Rove had some tough words for Obama."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Karl Rove is getting tough on Barack Obama.
The man behind President Bush's two successful presidential bids, who once offered advice to Obama on how he could defeat Hillary Clinton, is now taking direct aim at him - calling the Illinois senator "lazy" and "given to misstatements and exaggerations."
"Mr. Obama has failed to rise to leadership on a single major issue in the Senate," Rove writes in a Wall Street Journal Op-Ed. "In the Illinois legislature, he had a habit of ducking major issues, voting 'present' on bills important to many Democratic interest groups, like abortion-rights and gun-control advocates.
And in a rare move, Rove praises Clinton for her "humanizing" moments on the campaign trail, and calls Obama just "as calculating" as the New York Democrat.
"For someone who talks about a new, positive style of politics and pledges to be true to his word, Mr. Obama too often practices the old style of politics, saying one thing and doing another," he said.
The comments are the latest musings from the man often refereed to as "Bush's brain" on the Democratic race for the White House. In an "open letter" to Obama last month, Rove suggested he "Blow the whistle on Clinton when she tries to become a victim."
"Find a way to gently belittle her whenever she tries to use disagreements among Democrats as an excuse to complain about being picked on," he said then. "The toughest candidate in the field should not be able to complain when others disagree with her. This is not a coronation."
- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney