July 31st, 2008
09:30 PM ET
14 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)
  1. Sheople yes, people no so much.

    Rove is just an amateur compared to Obama and his slick, subtle, perception manipulating propaganda.

    Who'd have thought that Americans could so easily fall for propaganda.

    July 31, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  2. a southern bell for OBAMA








    July 31, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  3. Susan

    Don't worry Senator Obama. America sees McCain for what he truly is. He and his campaign are nothing but BIG FAT ZEROS!! His whole campaign has not been on issues, but on smears and innuendos. That is why I donated anoth $100.00 to your campagin today!! OBAMA 08!

    July 31, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  4. Dirk

    Bob's Big Boy–lol. What a tub of lard, hateful, evil lard.

    July 31, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  5. wilfred

    I was glad when B.O. beat Hillary. Now he has proved he can't take the heat. What a wuss , can we get Hillary back , at least she is a fighter and not a big baby. BTW I am a republican and would rather cross over to the dirty , nasty politics of the Clinton's than the
    big wuss Barrack Hussein Obama.
    God save the USA , B.O. won't for sure.

    July 31, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  6. sarah

    obama is such a whiner. when someone points out that he is a flash and no substance he whines its because he's "different" (black is what he means). when people see through the crap he is yelping, he calls it dirty politics. fact is john mccain is pointing out the truth. obama is a huge celebrity and nothing else. he is a hot air vendor who is scamming his way to the white house and calling anyone who questions his razor thin resume' a racist.

    July 31, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  7. Dave, Illinois

    Funny how the Obamites squeal whenever their mistakes catch up with them. I dare anybody to look on youtube.com and enter "Obama race card". There are videos of Obama claiming that others will bring up his color when nobody has! And, the liar then turns around and denies doing it. What an arrogant jerk!

    July 31, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  8. Reality Check

    If John McCain wins this election, I will be angry with this country for a very very long time. It would not be just me, but the whole world. African business men will probably move to work with China in large numbers.

    July 31, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  9. norml

    moderators went home for the day.

    July 31, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  10. sylvia

    After watching Obama and his PATHETIC campaign, Rove has become one of my heroes......by the way, I have been a life-long democrat until now!!!!
    America PLEASE wake up before it is too late!!!

    July 31, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  11. Rhonda, WA

    Thank you so much Repugs for voting for Karl Rove for president in 2000 and 2004. We all know he was the one who led the country with GW's as a place holder.

    Karl Rove is the man who caused the dimal state the country is in. Are you proud of yourselves now? You laughed about the hanging chads, but I would count every chad over is I could take back the last 7 horrible years. We were in a quagmire (still) and these guys said "Let them eat cake".


    July 31, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  12. Maggie Muggins From Selwyn

    Poor simple old McCain can't get any attention but is so confused it's because he doesn't have anything positive to talk about. Maybe he should tell people about bellying up to the trough the oil companies filled to the brim so he would support off shore drilling for oil.

    July 31, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  13. Whats left in your wallet?

    Rove is working behind the curtain,dont let them fool you.Wait till you see who the Oil Speculators are,you will fall out of your chairs.But I doubt if you ever see their names in print.I cant even get them on here,the moderators wont let me.

    July 31, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  14. Nathan

    It seems John McCain would rather lose his dignity than lose an election.

    July 31, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  15. Will in Richmond, VA

    Note to Republican supporters that have said Obama will not debate McCain:

    Be careful what you wish for. Besides, it is presumptuous to schedule debates with the opposing party before the conventions, where the nominations are made official. More Repug rhetorical combat.

    July 31, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  16. ms miz

    If you have read Bush's Brain you know then that Karl Rove is fully capable of something like this, and worse.

    July 31, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  17. Canuck

    I love Rove. Particularly because he gets the libs' blood going. They call him a crook as a way to destroy him, all because he continually outsmarts them.

    July 31, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  18. Glenn

    I used to believe the hype about John McCain.... that he was actually a good, honorable guy.

    But now I realize that McCain is, at his core, a bad person.

    I wasn't sure about Obama, but these past few weeks have proven that Obama has the character to lead this country, and McCain does not.

    July 31, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  19. Kristen from CT

    Obama is so full of himself! I love McCains analysis of him.

    July 31, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  20. Gary Jaussaud

    Gary's comment is: I would like to remind the McCain Camp while
    his dream team thinks up all these negative and child like ads that smear and deflect people from what is really happing. The American
    Dream and its people are slipping away ,while these guys play games
    spending millions of dollars, putting up ads like the last McCain piece
    of %@#&, I won't say the word.

    I think it shows McCain has no new news, so he goes backwards to
    put Obama down, I think it gives the impression its all he has to offer.
    That is a problem for me.

    July 31, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  21. Ron M

    I am amazed that no one seems to be picking up the common bait and switch practice that worked so well for republican's in the past.

    The toss out some horrible comment or ad and then wait on the response and try to turn the response into something they can use against the candidate.

    Obama has been caught in this and everyone in the media is playing along.

    Of course McCain made no racial remarks, he only made implications against Obama's patriotism and abilities that feed on all of the racial e-mails that are being sent out.

    When Obama shows any frustration, they turn around and act as if they are angels and the other candidate is the one throwing out all the trash.

    Call McCain on this at the beginning of this thing so that we don't need to be inundated with all this trash anymore.

    If McCain is so experienced, why can he not articulate a position on anything – probably because he will contradict himself if he tries to.

    July 31, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  22. Omama to the rescue

    CNN you can read this what is this blog for to hide Rove,McLame an d all your old crooked croneys ???????????????????sure looks to be that way as all you do is remov e remov e

    July 31, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  23. obama is unfit to be president of this country

    I am so happy for John McCain. Can't wait to vote for him. And I love Carl Rowe. There is no one smarter when it comes to getting the democrates. His touch is pure gold. Love the man!
    obama and his bunch are the biggest bag of crying babies I have ever seen. Do you people really think people believe and agree with your crap? Go home obama. This great United States DOES NOT need you.

    July 31, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  24. Alvin

    If McCain is proud of this ad, it shows you that this man is definetely NOT READY TO LEAD!!!!

    July 31, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  25. Barbara Ann

    I've never donated money to a political campaign, but after seeing how slimy and underhanded John McCain is, I just donated $200 to Barack Obama, and I'm encouraging my friends to as well.

    McCain's campaign tactics prove he's just another Bush Republican. We need better.

    July 31, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
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