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. kevin from alaska

    Karl Rove knows who the Democrats' nominee will be.

    March 29, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  2. rove = farmer john pig

    Karl Rove can't even spell Al Gore.

    March 29, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  3. sam

    Rove has met his match in Obama–all Obama has to do is let Rove keep digging himself into his own grave. You can fool some of the people some of the time, and you can fool some people all of the time, but you can't fool all the people all of the time–be careful Rove your character is starting to show!

    March 29, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  4. Vridar

    Rove won't admit it, but he is absolutely terrified of Obama and knows that President Obama's administration will eclipse that of Bush/Rove in both substance and tone. Right now it's all about legacy and an Obama Presidency will cement Bush/Rove's as inept, partisan and short-sighted (despite claims to the contrary).

    Also, it seems more and more likely that Rove will be called to testify before Congress regarding his political meddling in the prosecution of Alabama's governor. Hopefully, he will even be prosecuted.

    March 29, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  5. Precious

    It takes strength to cross a finish line (even when in last place), it takes strength to overcome an illness (even when bedridden), and it will take strength to run a country (whether male or female). I strongly believe that all this separation and division would not have gotten this bitter, if the democratic party had not put "Sen. Obama and Sen. Clinton" to run against each other, at a time when both are trying to make history. We would have a great and more united party, if Sen. Obama (in his belief to unite) stood up with Sen. Clinton, and said "this is your time", and in the next election", Sen. Clinton stood up with Sen. Obama and said "this is your time". In the end, we would not only have a "united party", but a "party united". The sad thing is that "hatred/anger usually clouds good judgment".

    But the reality is that America/World are already divided (party vs. party; rich vs. Poor; religion vs. religion; country vs. Country; etc.). Only God can change the World”. What each of us have to hope and pray for, is the "strength to overcome it all".
    God Bless America.

    March 29, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  6. tupac

    Only superjerks would believe what this jerk has to say. People, don't let others take you for a ride. Everyone around the globe thinks we americans are stupid, and part of that is because we listen wholeheartedly to loonies like this like this guy

    March 29, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  7. Bob, Florida-RFO

    Rove is about as reliable and worthy of listening to as Golum!

    March 29, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  8. James Shwarpshaka, UK

    I can see that the GOP are sick with Obamafever. No wonder they are begining to roll out their arsenal of the dirty playing Karl Rove and Ralph Nader. After withstanding, with dignity and sanity the desperate "kitchen sink" strategies from the Clintons, I see Obama as unstopable. This guy is where he is ever because he is sound and has earned his oars. Who says hard work and integrity doesnt pay.

    March 29, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  9. A Latte Lover

    Well, since Rove is Hillary's mentor, and she learned everything she knows from him, of course he would be attacking Obama. Lets add Nader to Hillary's list of cronies, this just gets funnier and funnier.

    March 29, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  10. Ratgurl

    A conservative will be in the White House? Really? Who? 'Cause the Republicans don't even have a conservative nominee...

    Remember McCain's little "misspeak": I am a LIBERAL... uh, oops, conservative Republican." (*knocks on own head*) "Hello, anybody in there?"

    Uh, no John, there's nobody in there.

    March 29, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  11. Terry Richmond, Va.

    Rove opinion matters how?? I too would like to know why isn't he in prison yet?

    March 29, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  12. philosopher

    Georg, without an "e" . My only advice to you is to look in the dictionary for the spelling of George and the meaning of diplomat. You must have been one of the people who voted bush into office twice. At this point in time, the reputation of the united states is in the gutter, and even a goat will do a better job of restoring it than the president you helped vote into office.

    Are you scared of having a president who actually knows what he is talking about. Are you scared of having a leader who doesn't just jump on the bandwagon because it looks cool. But someone who will actually think, analyze and make a rational decision on our national affairs. I think intelligence and honesty really scare some people and I am not sure if that is the case here or just the inability to actually understand what is going on.

    March 29, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  13. Hillary-Monster

    Sorry Sue. Rove didn't mention Hillary because she has no realistic chance of being the democratic nominee. Rove would love to have McBush run against that the divisive old bat which is why he is attacking Obama. Get a clue.

    March 29, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  14. jw, canadian,ok

    Rove is 60 years too late, the dude could've been a great Fascist.

    March 29, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  15. Jan Johansen

    Rove talks about Obama's achievement or lack of them. I just wish we could talk about his boss' lack of achievement but sadly President Bush has acheived a lot these last 7 years which all of us are paying for now. Let's hope that senator Obama won't ake too much notice of advisers like Rove and can give back a little of what we have lost during President Bush term in the White House.

    March 29, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  16. been burrito

    It's appalling and at the same time, psychologically interesting to see how the obaaaaama followers twist everything around. it really is fascinating, everytime somebody, anybody says anything slightly controversial, yet true, about obama, the followers get so twisted. Rove, is right in his appreciation of obama. he will be pumeted, if he is the DNC candidate. Hillary is strong and will fight to the very end if she is the candidate. That's why I want her for my President. Because she is strong.

    March 29, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  17. Craig TX

    I think Rove is dissing Obama because the Reps have taken a good look at him and, like many Dems, don't want to even think of such inexperience leading our nation and the world. He knows that, with all the hoopla about Obama now and with all the lemmings following along, Obama just might become the nominee. The very thought that the USA could fall into such hands is terrifying so, really, the Reps would much rather take their chances with Hillary. They know that if she should win the presidency, she's at least capable, accomplished, experienced, diplomatic, and level-headed. As far as Rove and the Republicans go, they'll take Hillary as an opponent, not because they necessarily believe they can beat her in Nov., but because, to them, she is the better of two evils.

    March 29, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  18. Shirley

    If Hillary is the Democratic nominee you can bet Karl Rove will be insisting she release her 2000 thur 2006 tax returns and he will make sure the voter's are aware of the Federal case, Clinton vs Paul. Hillary is a defendant in a criminal case accusing her of accepting 1.2 million dollars in illigal campaign funds. Senator Obama has kept his campaign clean but the Republicans will tear Hillary apart , and they won't have to 'mis-speak' to do it. She will never win the election, the public needs this information NOW. Why is this case being swept under the rug and why hasn't she been forced to release her tax returns.

    March 29, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  19. PeterM.

    How surprising. He rattled off the typical conservative talking-points. Nice work.

    March 29, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  20. Ben

    Rove, you American traitor, why aren't you behind bars in San Quentin for your shameful outing of a CIA agent, which compromised America's secret missions to ferret out WMDs?

    As for Al Gore, whatever you may think of his politics, the man served with distinction in Vietnam. What have you ever done for your country, Karl Rove? Where were you when your country called? Where were you during our conflict in Iraq? Apparently busy exposing our own CIA agents for political purposes.

    Karl Rove, you no longer sit in our halls of government, God be praised. You are just a big mouth, blowing hot air. You have no power beyond your own feeble, malicious words.

    Traitor, traitor, traitor!

    That is what you are, and how you shall ever be known for all time.

    Down with the traitors, and up with the Star!

    March 29, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  21. Concerned Canadian

    Whether you like to admit it or not, Obama will be a lame duck if he gets the nominee to challenge McCain for President.

    The Republicans got so many weapons to use now against Obama he'll be swiss cheese. Barack does not have a strong foundation to fight from versus McCain. I'll bet anybody dollars to donuts that McCain will win handily versus Barack and the Democrats will have to wait another 4 years to try for the White House.

    March 29, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  22. Scratching my head

    I can't believe anyone pays this guy to come and give a speech. I think most Americans would chip in a few bucks to put him in a retirement home and have him go away...forever.

    March 29, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  23. TheLeftNut

    You should try "Doing nothing", Karl.

    This WORLD would be better off.

    March 29, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  24. Borudian

    Rove is a typical neo-con bloated gas bag. He and his cronies depend on the bone-laziness of the American people. He wants to know what bills Obama has sponsored?

    -The Secure America And Orderly Immigration Act

    -The Secure Fence Act

    -The Lugar-Obama Cooperative Threat Reduction

    –The Coburn-Obama Transparency Act

    -The Democratic Republic Of The Congo Relief, Security and Democracy Promotion Act

    -The Honest Leadership And Open Government Act

    -s.453, criminalizing deceptive practices in federal elections (any wonder Rove doesn't like him?)

    -The Iraq War De-Escalation Act Of 2007

    -an amendment to the 2008 Defense Authorization Act, adding safeguards for troops with personality disorders.

    -The Iraq Sactions Enabling Act

    -an amendment to SCHIP to provide one year unemployment compensation for family members caring for soldiers with combat related injuries.

    ...and others. Don't let the Rovians buffalo you..Obama has worked, and worked hard, in the Senate. The neo-cons are counting on you not to find things out for yourself. Don't let Rove hand the White House to Grandpa Munster.

    March 29, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  25. TheLeftNut

    Like YOUR party is united, dude!

    March 29, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
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