July 31st, 2008
09:30 PM ET
15 years ago

Obama camp says McCain tactics worse than Rove's


[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/31/art.karl.gi.jpg caption="Obama's campaign said the latest McCain ad is beyond Karl Rove's playbook."](CNN) - Few names inspire more of a heated reaction among Democrats than Karl Rove, and Barack Obama’s campaign is making a concerted effort Thursday to link the former Bush advisor to John McCain's presidential campaign.

On a campaign conference call with reporters responding to the Arizona senator's latest television ad, Obama campaign manager David Plouffe said the spot is worse than anything Rove would have developed.

"This is not the John McCain voters thought they would be seeing in this presidential campaign," Plouffe said. "He's not just embracing the Rove playbook that people really are tired of, he's taking it to a further extreme."

Those comments came only hours after Plouffe circulated a fundraising e-mail to supporters in which he said McCain's campaign had taken a "nasty turn” with its "Karl Rove-style ploy."

"This Karl Rove-style ploy misleads people about Barack's energy plan and even mocks his ability to inspire voters and bring Americans back into the political process," Plouffe wrote in the e-mail.

The television ad in question compares Obama's celebrity status to that of Britney Spears and Paris Hilton, and questions whether the Illinois senator is "ready to lead." Obama dismissed the ad as "game playing" Thursday while McCain said he was "proud of it."

Watch: McCain ad compares Obama to Paris Hilton, Britney Spears

Rove has no official role with the McCain campaign, though Steve Schmidt, a senior adviser in charge of the day-to-day message, was a longtime protégé of Rove's.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Extra • John McCain • Karl Rove
soundoff (497 Responses)

    John mcCain should bow his head in shame because he is playing a judgement politics against his opponet and He should learn from hilary clintins mistakes so that he will not fall like her because hillary lost the ticket not because she was a bad candidate but because playing a judgement politics against his opponet and did not spend more time talking about herself and what she want to do for the american people as president of the united states but spent more time and money saying bad things about her opponent and forgetting what the holy book says that judge not so that you will not be judged yourself and that is why hillary lost the democratic ticket to obama and if john mcCain continues judgement politics of his his opponet,he will loss the presidency to obama.

    July 31, 2008 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  2. An actual thinker

    Of course McCain is proud of it. It got him press.

    July 31, 2008 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  3. That's Reality

    Ttrying to link McCain to Rove and Bush is like trying to link Obama to his muslim roots. Same tactics.

    July 31, 2008 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  4. Rick D in Chicago

    I still don't understand what the point of the "Celeb" ad or the "BarackBook" web site. The references are terribly dated by pop culture standards and the attempt comes off as bitterly jealous.

    McCain may have a point about Obama's empty rhetoric and inexperience. I just feel like this is an insulting desperate attempt to make a point. It may be "funny" to McCain and his staff but I'm a real person with real problems I'd like to have solved.

    July 31, 2008 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  5. mikeE DANVILLE VA

    I hope that as someone that is paying the prices that we are paying would demand that the issues we are facing will be addressed. Alot of this mess that the media are talking about aren't doing anything about the prices we are paying. We went to war being feed this crap and now we are going to the poor house .Ask them about the issues and lets judge them by that.

    July 31, 2008 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  6. Nevada

    I am so ashamed of currently being a registered Republican. I am still waiting to hear some intelligent, realistic solutions from McCain on the serious issues the American people and our country are facing. The Republicans have really gone down hill...and I have no idea what they stand for anymore. Taking away Americans' civil liberties? Corruption in Washington? Record profits for corporations? Taking away women's right of choice?

    I will be voting for other than McCain this year.

    July 31, 2008 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  7. The Original Obama Mama

    McCain's a step away from full-fledged Alzheimer's. He knows not what he says.

    Obama & Richardson 08!

    July 31, 2008 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  8. R.M.

    I am starting to lose whatever respect I had for John McCain. It is utterly disappointing that McCain started listening to these Bushies and started taking the low road.

    July 31, 2008 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  9. Wayne

    If McCain wants to distance hinself from Bush his campaign isn't doing a very good job.

    July 31, 2008 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  10. louis

    the site should be FREE of political advertisement. To see a big ad for Obama in the right side margin is hypocritical of CNN. All Time Warner related companies are biased – it's very easy to see. Look at the pictures in Time magazine over the past year.

    July 31, 2008 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  11. sarah

    whine obama whine, you know mccain is right and the truth hurts so you deflect attention by being hateful, just like your supporters

    July 31, 2008 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  12. Big D from Big D

    Don't let anyone kid you... Both camps are guilty... It"s like "the pot calling the kettle black".

    July 31, 2008 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  13. kent

    The television ad in question compares Obama's celebrity status to that of Britney Spears and Paris Hilton, and questions whether the Illinois senator is "ready to lead." Obama dismissed the ad as "game playing" Thursday while McCain said he was "proud of it.

    From another perspective, McCain, with this add, leaves himself open to the charge of demeaning these two women and sexist discrimination on his part.

    July 31, 2008 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  14. Eileen from Maine

    We have watched John McCain hold his breath and stomp his feet for the past month because he didn't feel he was getting enough attention from the press after being the 'media darling' for the past 10 years (since he started running for president).

    McCain's lack of self control and his inability to control his rage has been useful as a means to intimidate any body who didn't agree with him. The ANGRY ONE believes he is the one with all the answers and I understand some of his colleagues have nicknamed him MADDOG.
    I think John McCain is going to be one surprised dude when he learns that Obama will bite back!

    July 31, 2008 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |

    Obama should be careful with his words because mcCain knows that he will loss this election to a better candidate and the only way for him to win is to make obama to flip-flop with his words and he should still use the strategy that he used against hillary which is let his oponent distroy themselfs with their own words of judgement ; while he just stand firm on what he believes and present his good resume to the american people without been distracted

    July 31, 2008 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  16. USA in 08

    I don't know if they are worse but both Rove and McCain like the low dirty slimy road.

    I am so tired of Republicans attacking americans that don't like millionaires, huge deficits and gov't growth. How can they label the left as big gov't when the Republicans have been the ones to grow the spending and departments>

    July 31, 2008 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  17. Barry

    It is such a shame that John McCain is a bigger racist than the current administration which still lovingly has Karl Rove as a member emeritus. The hatred that has spewed out of the Republican White Neo-Con / White Evangelical Jerry Falwell Party is so obvious now, I cannot believe that real honest American's would even consider this Clown nor his party.

    July 31, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  18. tony

    Sorry–we are hurting your feelings-
    Just trying to find out if he has the nerve to be President-If he gets flustered over an Ad-What the heck will he do in the face of Al Queda-

    July 31, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  19. Lyle

    Oh how Mr. Obama wishes that Mr. McCain would stop speaking the truth. Unlike Karl Rove, who created his own “truth”, there is real truth in what the “celebrity” ad says. The mainstream media has convinced voters that there is substance to Mr. Obama. After hearing this tired chant for so many months, even Mr. Obama and his supporters believe it!

    Sadly, for America, we have lowered our standards so much that we view celebrities, with nothing more to offer than the simple fact of their celebrity, as leaders. Mr. Obama is nothing more than an empty suit, masquerading as a celebrity, masquerading as a politician, masquerading as a potential leader. There is absolutely no substance to Mr. Obama and his pop-culture popularity is hardly enough to qualify him for the most important job in the world.

    July 31, 2008 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  20. LaTreetha E. Sharpley

    I lestened to Senator McCain's chief campaign person, and one could tell that he was just not being truthful in his statements. We as American citizens are tired of the games being played. We want answers to our questions and to know what each candidate will do to help the people of this great nation. I could care less about Ms Spears or Ms Hliton. What about Senator McCain receiving over one million dollars from the oil industry in June, after coming out for off-shore drilling. This is a policy he had been against. These are the things that we are Americans are interested in, not the race card or celebrity standing. This nation has to many problems for such foolish. This is way we need a change and send all those in office now home and start all over again with a new group.

    July 31, 2008 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  21. stan

    boy what a stretch. obama can not even take a punch and he starts calling names. of course, an empty suit can not take a punch. what experience does this guy have, please tell me?????? playing dirty trickets in chicago. yea

    July 31, 2008 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  22. Just Curious

    Of course Obama hates any ad that exposes the real Obama. Wait until the new book "Obama Nation" hits the bookstores in a couple days, he's really going to have a stroke over what's in it exposing his past.

    July 31, 2008 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
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