April 29th, 2008
08:50 AM ET
13 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. Obatala

    mmmm and we should listen to him why????
    because he tells clinton how to run her dirty campaing? all one has to do is listen to Limbaugh and his followers for 10 minutes and one can tell who is clinton working with and for..............

    hillary grew up republican she is a republican, but none will say it...........
    the hunger for power has not end no name and no limits...........

    No more billarys

    April 28, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  2. Danny G. Boca Raton, FL

    Is funny how much he wants to be relevant...
    Rise Hillary Rise!

    April 28, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  3. Kentucky

    I am sure Karl Rove and John McCain are praying for an Obama nomination. There is a reason they are offering advice to Obama. They know that the Clinton electoral math is much harder for them.
    If McCain loses Penn, Ohio and Florida the race is over for him.
    Everyone seems to understand that except a few Obama supporters.

    April 28, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  4. mimi de la cruz

    HATE TO SOUND LIKE MCCAIN BUT ROVE CAN GO TO HELL.

    April 28, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  5. Liz Marquez

    Didn't one of the columnists put out an apology that said, Obama was in the pews when Rev. Wright made his famous GDA speech, I think so. Obama had better do a lot more than that. How can you sit there, say you didn't hear it, say you may have heard about it, and then try to defend it. Then it comes out you were there, give me a break!

    April 28, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  6. CYNTHIA

    I would not trust Rove with my swamp land, my dog, my black uncle (of which I have none of either). He is a lying, coniving, stealing, underhanded crook! He can't tell anyone anything and I am so sure that he will say something stupid to help Senator Obama lose this election.

    SHUT UP ROVE, YOU HAVE NO VOICE!

    Cint

    New York, NY

    April 28, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  7. Barb Canada

    I agree he needs help....you can only hear the exact same stump speech before you start begging for CHANGE! New Pennsylvani tally has Hillary back up to the 10 % margine of victory 54.6 Clinton 45.4 Obama, and if you know how to round off thats 10 %

    April 28, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  8. -K-

    Obama I hope you listen to this guy he is right, we need you. The American people need you, the world needs you. This is something we want you to win please, please take the words of Carl Rove to mind and apply some of the things that will make you even stronger.

    Obama 08

    April 28, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  9. Bob Kay

    Although I have never been a fan of Mr. Rove I do think that his comments and suggestions to Senator Obama are "spot on". I hope that Senator Obama heeds the strategic advicen his quest for the White House.

    April 28, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  10. Barb Canada

    I agree he needs help....you can only hear the exact same stump speech before you start begging for CHANGE! New Pennsylvani tally has Hillary back up to the 10 % margine of victory 54.6 Clinton 45.4 Obama, and if you know how to round off thats 10 %

    April 28, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  11. Hillary/08

    He needs all the help he can get....

    April 28, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  12. David Goldman for OBAMA

    ROVE NEEDS TO GRAB BILL & GET OUT OF OUR SIGHT.

    April 28, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  13. Doom.

    Can't we just ignore "Middle America"?

    Ignorance, biggotry and idiocy do not form the "heart" of my America

    April 28, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  14. Katina from Connecticut

    I'm a young educated woman. Fought for my country in Iraq, SEEN what it is like there and what we are fighting for,… unfortunately we are fighting for nothing. When asked by my soldiers: "why are we here?", I couldn't provide them with an answer!

    I would LOVE to see a female president. When this great nation has a female president, I want this person to be honorable and possess integrity.

    It would make me, a strong woman, very sad to see the first woman who will go down in history be Hilary Clinton. She disrespected all soldiers by saying she was dodging bullets in Bosnia.
    Just like many other soldiers, I've experienced close calls in Iraq. Experiences I'll never forget. Brave men and woman are risking their lives every day…… That is just something you don't misspeak about. Especially when the real soldiers who experience this everyday will will have these events haunt them for the rest of their lives.

    When will the media stop. I believe the future of our country and our childrens lives are at stake here. Who cares about ratings.. Shows you what americans really care about. Makes me so sad. Why doesn't the media talk about how Clinton wants to blow up IRAN and cause World War III in the middle east? These are issues, not what someone's pastor said to someone....

    CNN will probably not post this….
    but…
    I see something in Obama, something that makes me want to be a better person; a better American. A lot of young people see this. We want change. We want something to believe in.

    April 28, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  15. no longer supporting clinton

    Ok carl, what is the real reason for this so called helpful advise?

    April 28, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  16. James

    How is this news?

    April 28, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  17. Ric

    I agree 100%. He'll get the nomination. He'll lose to Mc Cain and Clinton will run in 2012.

    April 28, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  18. Steve B, NewYork. NY

    who would have thunk it !
    Rove actually giving unbiased advice

    April 28, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  19. Frank, San Diego

    The only worthwhile question is, why does Newsweek give a platform to this gutter-dwelling worm? Fox Noise, I can understand. But Newsweek used to be a serious publication for serious people.

    April 28, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  20. Go Obama

    Give me break! Hillary's the one making democrats worry about the fall.

    April 28, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  21. 58 old white ladies for OBAMA

    BEFORE SEN.OBAMA TAKES ROVE'S ADVICE HE SHOULD QUIT.

    April 28, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  22. obama lover

    mr rove
    i am shocked at you. however i agree with you and barack will win if the clintons don't bury him first. as a republican i admire you.
    you are not the man hillary says you are

    April 28, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  23. Paul

    Obama is about just words and he cannot even debate...

    Hillary is the one who has what it takes to be our President

    Are you scared Mr. Obama?

    Hillary 08!
    Yes she will!!!

    April 28, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  24. Dave in Houston

    I wouldn't be surprised if Rove joins the Obama campaign just to show how effing smart he is. He can get a far-right winger who can't say a sentence without making six or more errors, and BADA-BOOM, BADA-BING, he gets a semi-left, smooth-talking bi-racial guy in as his successor.

    Rove has no principles - he just knows how to win.

    Yuck.

    April 28, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  25. NG in DC

    Finally, Karl Rove and I see eye to eye...except for the last part: I think Obama's chances for the nomination are slipping away as it becomes clearer by the day he is the weaker candidate. He is no Hillary Clinton.

    April 28, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12