April 29th, 2008
08:50 AM ET
14 years ago

Rove tells Obama how to win

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/04/28/art.roveobama.gi.jpg caption="Rove is giving some free advice to Obama."](CNN) - The man widely credited for President Bush's two electoral victories just can't stop giving advice to this year's Democratic presidential candidates.

Former top Bush aide Karl Rove addresses Barack Obama directly in his latest Newsweek column, telling the Illinois senator that his once-strong candidacy has gotten weaker and that "you're making mistakes and making people worry."

Rove, who has previously used his column space in Newsweek and the Wall Street Journal to dole out advice to the candidates, specifically says the Illinois senator's reaction to the uproar over his former pastor's remarks and his comments about some small town Americans has "reinforced the growing sense you don't share Middle America's values. He also cites Obama's comments about flag pins and his relationship with 1960's radical Bill Ayers as evidence Obama is out of touch with ordinary Americans.

But the longtime Republican political strategist offers Obama six suggestions for how he can reignite his presidential campaign, starting with shaking up his stump speech, which he says sounds "old and out of touch."

Rove also suggests Obama sharpen his repudiation of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright's controversial sermons, pledge to name specific Republicans to his administration, and spend more time back in the Senate to burnish his chops as legislator. Obama, Rove says, also needs to stop responding to Clinton's attacks and offer more concrete policy proposals.

"You have talent, intelligence and tapped into something powerful early in your campaign. But running for president is unlike anything you've ever done," Rove writes. "While you'll almost certainly win the nomination, Democrats are nervous about the fall. You've given them reasons to be.”

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Karl Rove
soundoff (300 Responses)
  1. Kristy4Barack

    Exactly, who would listen to Karl Rove, it's part of his fought Why? people are riding bikes, and horses to work. Someone who helped GEORGE W. BUSH

    April 28, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  2. kenny cole

    No one can trust your advice ROVE,you really want OBAMAto loose,but believe it or not OBAMA is the winner

    April 28, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  3. no more Hill-Billys

    of course Obama is going to win.
    all the way.....

    obama, edwards

    April 28, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  4. Rev. Wright Is NOT Running 4 Office

    Jerry ya girl Hillarious Rotten Clinton agreed to the rules of the DNC and AGREED to not count the votes of Fl and Mi now that she is LOSING she wants to include them meanwhile Sen. Obama's name wasn't even on the Ballot! DO you get that?!?!! or are you that slow!???!?!?!?... so let me get this right Hillary want to disenfranchise the suppoprters of Obama? How funny is that!

    April 28, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  5. dfgh

    You know what the worse part of this has been. Every time I hear clinton say "yes we will". Its like something cold and pointy in my veins that hurts me. How can someone so fake appeal to so many people. People need to bridge the race thing and vote real change.

    April 28, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  6. Jason

    The GOP is scared of Obama. Let's wait and see, after Obama crushes Clinton in the NC, then we'll hear a different story.

    April 28, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  7. IndependantQ

    Personally I don't see Obama doing anything wrong. He has held his head high and I RESPECT OBAMA for it.
    Hillary??? What a horrible excuse for a candidate! I wish she would just crawwwwlllll away.....disgusting woman...

    April 28, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  8. Anna

    Now Obama only needs 295 delegates to win. About a 50-50 split among remaining delegates and superdelegates will do it. But since Obama has been about 4:1 over Hillary in picking up superdelgates and is polling at over 12% in N.C.
    I think Rove is right, its Obamas nomination.

    April 28, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  9. lb

    You want the republican's add taken out. " HE SAID 100 YEARS" and saying that it is out of context is hypocritcal. Because you thoroughly took Rev. Wrights out of context. You did this. You the media replayed it over and over incorrectly and out of contect. AND YES WE CAN SEE WHAT YOU DO "ALWAYS". Put comments in your own words when it fits your ratings.


    April 28, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  10. Keith R.

    FactCheck: The Clinton supporters can't see what's really happening because they haven't poked their heads out – they are afraid of sniper fire, after all.

    April 28, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  11. Dick in Sioux Falls

    Katina from Conn. Why do you not hold Clinton responsible for her irresponsible vote to give Bush authority to invade Iraq. Are you not upset that she did not even read her own Senate Intelligence Committee Report, a report which others read, more than 20 of them, and decided not to go into Iraq?
    Why were you not distressed that even if Iraq had WMD, they had no way to deliver them, no Navy, no Air Force, no ICBM's.
    Why did we go in to take out the only Gulf Region administration that was an enemy of Iran?
    I want a President who has the wisdom and the courage to speak out against that and other wars.

    April 28, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  12. Johnsen

    Obama won 3 of 4 pledged delegates in caucuses.

    Caucuses are easy to manipulate and favors the fanatics: Winning caucuses is not proof Obama actually can win a democratic election, it only means a small number of people loves him a lot, which is good for Obama and bad for America! US needs a smart president for once, not a slick one.

    April 28, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  13. Darlene, SC

    I really would not want to go down in history with the legacy of a Karl Rove. Hello–rovian attacks. His name is synonomous with dirty politics.

    Why should Barack listen to him. No, Hillary and Rove deserve to be in the back pages of the history books as having damaged our country.

    April 28, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  14. joe smith

    is this the same carl rove who said there were NO WMD in Iraq, and that Saddam Hussein was a cover for Al Queida. Mr. Obamma needs to focus on the lives of everyday Americans, and how he can relate to them, and intervene as a truthful President, than worry what cr and his kind are whipping up..

    April 28, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  15. Sinbad

    I hate to say it but Karl Rove has some good points that could really help to boost Obama's campaign. He's already dropped the debates which only help Clinton, so why not try some of the suggestions. OOOOHHHHH yeah, I forgot they were made by Karl Rove. Tread lightly when receiving words of advice from the dark lords henchman.

    April 28, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  16. Mauri

    Why do you suppose the mighty Rove is giving Obama tips on how to beat Hillary Clinton? I know. The Republicans all realize that Hillary is the candidate they do NOT to run against, period. They realize that Hillary is the fighter with a capital F - and that if Obama can't cut and run from his former pastor, then how in this world will he be able to deal with Iran and other leaders of recalcitrant countries. I hope everyone will watch now as, like the NC governor, we will begin to see that she picks up more and more endorsements because they realize our country must be lead by a tough and commited fighter for our rights.

    April 28, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  17. Kathy Ferguson

    Oh, please, Mr. Rove. Who are you to give advice to Senator Obama on anything? Whatever Senator Obama does, the media says he should do the other. You say, "too many rallies;" "too many town halls," "get down with the folks," "bowling was a stupid idea." Let the guy run his own campaign for gosh sakes. He has millions of supporters and millions of dollars to back him up. Suggesting he take advice from Mr. Rove is ridiculous. Of course, Senator Obama's tired, wouldn't you be? He has a sense of urgency and knows this politics-as-usual is a waste of time and energy. He wants to get the country going on the right track. He was down in the polls something like 30 points when he started a year ago, give him a break. Hang tough and support Senator Obama folks, he's the real deal and you know it. Don't let the media fool you with snippets of his being tired, etc. You know better.

    April 28, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  18. Dana from Texas

    I am a democrat and this is the first time, that I agree with ROVE. I think your suggestions are realistic.

    April 28, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  19. Mohsen Janatpour

    I agree with one thing Rove suggests. An Obama Chuck Hagel ticket is unbeatable in Nov. An absolute indication of reaching across the isle

    April 28, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  20. Obatala

    we know the clintos will not stop at anything, ................nothing.........

    billary billary.......and the republicans they have the same agenda,
    they have fear, that is why they use the tactics they use they fear Obama.......

    April 28, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  21. Ted

    Obama would be wise to do the opposite of what Karl Rove says.

    April 28, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  22. nana bruno


    Senator Obama doesn`t need any advise from the republican.
    The democartic party will be find and united after june.
    Thank`s Rove for trying.
    Nana Bruno
    Montreal Canada

    April 28, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  23. kim in portland, oregon

    who asked you, you miserable, bloated criminal?

    obama shoud be giving YOU advice on what it takes to get your soul back from beelzebub and become HUMAN again!!!

    if we want advice from an immoral, win-at-no-costs-US-citizens-and-constitution-be-dammed creep, we'd ask rush or cheney or penn or hagge... see, there's this way of living your life where you do things with INTEGRITY and WITHOUT CHEATING, you repubs should look into it, it's really a much more fulfilling and happy existence!!!

    stick a fork in you, YOU SOUL-LESS REPUBS ARE DONE, BABY!!!!!! BUH-BYE repubs, dont let the door hit ya, where beelzebub split ya!!!!!

    April 28, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  24. PAUL

    When is Karl Rove going to give advice to John McCain???

    April 28, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  25. Gerry

    The Republicans are certainly scared of running against Obama. No wonder. Obama will whitewash McCain.

    Isn't Rove supposed to be in jail?

    April 28, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
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