March 29th, 2008
10:45 AM ET
12 years ago

Rove turns his attention to Obama

Rove spoke at the winter meeting of the Republican National Committee in January.

Rove spoke at the winter meeting of the Republican National Committee in January.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - On the sidelines during presidential campaign season for the first time this decade, former presidential adviser Karl Rove couldn't resist taking shots at Democratic frontrunner Sen. Barack Obama.

Rove focused his firepower on the Illinois senator at a speech to the Young America's Foundation in Washington, D.C. Friday night, barely mentioning his Democratic rival, New York Sen. Hillary Clinton.

President Bush's former chief strategist, who left the White House in 2007, pegged Obama as a do-nothing senator who talked big and achieved little. "What bills has he sponsored?" Rove asked.

The fact that some Democrats are still hoping that former Vice President Al Gore will bring the party together, said Rove, is a signal that the party is in disarray. "You know you got a problem if the answer is Al Gore," Rove said to laughter.

Rove expressed cautious optimism that a conservative would be in the White House come next January, telling the crowd "there's a long time until November."

–CNN's Jeff Simon and Jillian Harding

Filed under: Al Gore • Candidate Barack Obama • Hillary Clinton • Karl Rove
soundoff (88 Responses)
  1. Ian

    I wonder which conservative he is referring to, since McCain is the Republican nominee.

    March 29, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  2. HP Boston

    Mc Cain is a moderate, he will be a good President!
    Barack Obama? who knows about him, he is being served up as a fresh change of meat. I hope they know what they are doing!

    March 29, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  3. Paul

    Why isn't Rove in prison yet?

    March 29, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  4. Tom T

    There you go, Rove wants Obama out, so the Republicans can kick the **** out of Clinton. Tells you all you need to know.

    March 29, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  5. John Zeger

    Karl Rove's comments are indicative of how the Republicans will be attacking Obama - on his lack of experience and accomplishments and as a man who has talked big and done little. They will probably be pretty successful with this line of argument too. Remember how they destroyed John Kerry on his lack of consistency on the issues? Wake up, Democrats! You are committing political suicide by supporting Obama.

    March 29, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  6. Ifeanyi Azubike Houston Texas

    In any other decent society, Rove should be in prison doing nothing. Obama does not need to do the sinister things that Karl Rove appreciates to be electable. Obama is like an airfreshner that will obliterate the odors of the past.

    March 29, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  7. Tommy in St. Louis

    Rove was optimistic that a conservative will be in the White House come January? Yeah, right, whatever. None of the three who are left standing in this campaign are conservatives. McCain is not a conservative and I remember the thugs on talk radio complaining endlessly about that.

    Conservatives themselves would not vote for Romney, a man who is as close to Reagan as they will ever see again, because they were too bigoted to vote for a Mormon. So it's their own fault. They can either cry about it whenever McCain decides not to pander to them, or try to lie to themselves like Rove is doing. They made their bed; let them lie in it. And who cares if they take potshots at Obama while they are lying.

    March 29, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  8. lol

    rove is absolutely correct. he knows the democrats will lose in november if obamas the nomination. next to mccain he looks exactly like the inexperienced, do nothing, empty suit that he is. throw in the black supremacist "mentor", and the swiftboat people will have a field day with him. he can't even win the big states against hillary.

    March 29, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  9. shane

    You know Obama is doing fantastic if the person who helped George Bush steal the election from Al gore is attacking him! ANd what exactly has Rove's candidate done for this country besides make the wealthiest 1% even richer? JOhn Mccain is toast no matter who the democrats nominate. Im for obama but will vote for Hillary in a heartbeat over Mccain!


    March 29, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  10. Jack Bini

    Do people still listen to Karl Rove? Was it not Karl Rove who created President Bush on the 8th day?

    March 29, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  11. Allen from Visalia

    Your fear of Obama betrays you Lord Turdblossom. Never underestimate the power of the good side of the force as represented by Obama and the Democrats. Just as in Return of the Jedi, your evil empire is doomed to fall.

    March 29, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  12. DA

    Like they always say if they are talking about you, then you must be scared. LOL

    I smell fear in the air. LOL

    Oh and let's not forget this was the man that was telling everyone that the Republican would hold the Congress in the last mid term elections.

    I think Rove is pretty much over.

    March 29, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  13. Leo b

    can anyone say scorched earth?

    March 29, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  14. Greg

    This is of course the same visionary who projected the new Republican majority for decades to come? The amazing strategist who held led the Republicans to a crushing defeat in 2006? Why does anyone still listen to what he has to say?

    March 29, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  15. outsider

    Rove defends criminals. Rove attacks decent people. You do the math.

    March 29, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  16. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    No Karl Rove, the democrats and the world will have a problem if we listen to you. Karl Rove has been part of the problem for 7 years and left the Bush administration with one solution only in attempt to save his you know what. Karl Rove is no master mind, he just worked for stupid people. A master mind would have a solution to this mess George Bush created. Karl Rove you are a master mind at creating disaster.

    March 29, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  17. Dan VA

    Romney a conservative? I'm laughing so hard it hurts. He's a liberal who dressed as a conservative for Halloween.

    And yes, Rove wants to dispatch Obama now because they watn to face Hillary.

    Fortuantely, even Republican monkey business isn't enough to put Hillary ahead.

    It's going to be Obama vs. McCain, and Obama will win.

    March 29, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  18. Kirk in New York

    Rove....on the sidelines?

    His name, which you reported on, appeared on the fax transmission lines of McCain Texas delegation map. He may not be visible, but he's still Head Coach.

    March 29, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  19. Wake Up!

    Karl Rove does not need to mention Hillary's name, because it would be a waste of breath. Just the idea of Hillary will bring the Republicans out in droves. Obama hasn't sponsored any legislation? Rove doesn't believe that, but he hopes you will. Let's talk about McCain's legislation: McCain-Feingold, election reform - now that will sell with conservatives. What about McCain's call for amnesty for illegal immigrants? Another win. McCain is an EASY target, people! Stop listening to Karl Rove, stop spewing nifty little phrases you pick up from the media or your candidate's slanted missives, and think for yourselves, the one thing these politicians hate. The GOP is terrified of Obama, because he is threatening to change the terms of the debate, the ONE thing the conservatives have had going for them all these years.

    March 29, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  20. Andrea

    An extension of Bush politics in America... What a joke. Americans are tired of the same OLD people making the same tired statements. Rove should really get a life.

    March 29, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  21. Georg

    The world does not need the kind of man that Barack Obama represents. His arrogancy and his oratorial masterpieces will not be understood. A man who always has to keep his head and cheaks too high and a man who looks down at others has no international future. Obama will not have the abilities to restore the reputation of the United States abroad. As a matter of fact I strongly believe that Barack Obama and his supercilious behavior and language will create anger in foreign relations. He is not a diplomat!

    March 29, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  22. BTW

    You Obama-haters need to pool your money and invest in a dictionary. It's difficult to take you seriously when you write like grade-schoolers.

    March 29, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  23. Jessica, MI

    Karl Rove is the scum of the earth. When he attacks Obama, it actually makes Barack look better.

    March 29, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  24. justobserve

    It is ultimately the voters' choice of the president. Obama is winning for his above- dirty old politics, the past and change- for- the- future; the Clintons are for the same old past dirtiest politics, fear, race, gender,.... Republican is for conservative values, fear, race, gender,... So voters have a very clear choice. They can listen to lies, spins, ... to incite fear, hate, ... and choose one with the street- thug campaign or a better one.

    March 29, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  25. Robu desu

    This ends NOW! Would all the people who say they know nothing about Obama please open your eyes and ears?!! Do you live in a cave? Watch his speeches, listen to his sincerity, look at his exemplary Congressional record, his years at the University of Chicago, Illinois state Senate, read Dreams of my Father, Audacity of Hope. You will see how truly remarkable this man is! Stop watching American Idol and get involved in politics! This man has so much experience it would blow your minds. Obama is what America needs, right now more than ever! Ignorance has led the country astray for the last 7 years, don't let it happen again. Don't waste your vote by supporting Clinton or McCain! Obama won! Let's all come together!

    March 29, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
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