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. bones

    Does anyone believe this Pig?

    July 31, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  2. nancy

    Hi, Karl.
    There you are. Remember how you blew the 2000 and 2004 elections? I expect nothing less from you this election!

    July 31, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  3. rsatina

    McCain should have retard....I mean "retired" from politics. He seems to be a grumpy old man, obviously have lapses - one of this days he may not even know he is the president. For him to run he needs to pick a really good VP -- Romney is an excellent choice. Put aside religion for moment....now if you can't, think about Bush a devout catholic goes to church and next day bombs a nation. Romney will add some credibility in his campaign on solving the economic woes of this country. If Romney is set aside, it will definitely be Barrack Obama.

    July 31, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  4. Shannon

    Obama would know about sleazy campaigns, He's the one that managed to label HIllary and Bill Clinton racist. He loves that race card, now his staff is saying how like Bill Clinton Obama is. I heard Jamal Simmons on Bill Press saying we should vote for Obama because he is so similar to Bill Clinton, just a few months ago, Jamal was on nightly ranting about how racist the Clinton's were. Does that mean Obama is racist too. Can't have it both ways Obama, your campaign of hope and change, is one of the nastiest I've ever seen.

    July 31, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  5. Roy

    Obama is the one distracting from the fact he has nothing...says nothing...IS nothing.

    July 31, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  6. joseph

    How can McCain pretend to take the high road when his tactic of putting Britney Spears and Paris Hilton in an ad attacking Obama is at best a distateful cheap shot, and at worst panders to white voters' concerns about black men with sexually attractive and promiscuous white women ala the anti-Harold Ford campaign and the persecution of Jack Johnson. Given the time in which we live, such a tactic is even beneath that of the propaganda and hysteria promoted by D.W. Griffin's "Birth of a Nation".

    July 31, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  7. VZ

    I hope McCain supporters see this guy for what he really is. He's totally absurd!

    July 31, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  8. fafa

    At last, Obama camp is responding and swiftly and with style.I was beginnen to get nervous. McCain "proud of it". I know in my guts McCain is not comfortable with the turn of event. He wont win this election on mereits and the political climate doesn't favor him. He is doing what he accuses the senator form Ilinois from doing: politics. The good senator fro Arizona is drifting away, just lost all its credibility even with right minded replubicans. I for one miss the Senator I used to know.

    July 31, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  9. Abby

    obama you ARE an Arrogant, Radical FRAUD but – you are NOT qualified to lead our country and that is the reason why you will never be elected. STOP turning every comment into a race issue – you have divided our country. Maybe now would be a good time for you to step aside – for the good of the party – and country.

    July 31, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  10. interesting

    McCain's Ads are worse than Karl Rove's?

    Ok, I am confused here. This is what Obama thinks. Give me a break. Karl Rove and Bush stated McCain fathered an illegitimate black child in 2000.

    Making Obama appear like the next coming of the American Idol is not too far. It is a theme that shows Obama is a rock star which Obama does not deny especially since he stated "I am the one we have been waiting for." Narcissitic and it is fair game.

    July 31, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  11. Hypocrits for Obama

    I am curious at the threats made by Obama supporters to NOT vote for the democratic candidate in 2012, IF Obama loses THIS election.

    You think that will get even with whom?– HRC supporters?

    Too funny.

    So it isn't about change and hope after all?

    So.. you do not REALLY care about the country and its future?

    So You are okay with many more years of Republican rule?

    So... you are ONLY voting for Obama because he is half black?

    Otherwise, wouldn't YOU ALL BE EVEN MORE ready to vote democratic ticket in 2012?

    You are nothing but threatening, race-baiting, hypocrits.


    July 31, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  12. Ralph

    McCain is making the same mistakes Hillary did during the primaries. Negative attacks have short term gains, but long term backlashes. The only reason Clinton won most of the later states was because she toned down the negative attacks and got right back to the issues. How sad for McCain to abandon the issues so early in the campaign.

    July 31, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  13. Tony

    Aaaawwhhh... McCain calls out Obama and now all of the sudden it's "worse than Rove tactics". Is that Obama's only response when he can't handle the truth?

    July 31, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  14. down with your political parties

    is CNN distracting everyone on purpose?

    July 31, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  15. selected not elected

    I do not care who wins in 2012.

    I just care that Obama is NOT ALLOWED to steal THIS election.

    That would be the death of democracy, voting rights and fair campaigning.

    July 31, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  16. Lynn

    Who is Obama kidding?

    July 31, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  17. Richard

    McCain is desparate. As an old political pro he, like Hillary, never expected to be up against 'Golden Boy' (ref: Disney's "Hercules"). He's sunk, he knows it, and he's desparate.

    July 31, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  18. James

    McCain has gone off the deep end. I hope the American people will see him soon for who he really is.

    July 31, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  19. rexx

    Wahhhhhhhhhh. Cry me a river Democrats. You Chicago Dems perfected dirty politics. Hey how do you think your buddy Obama got elected to the state senate? lol

    July 31, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  20. David

    McCan't = Rove = Bush = 3 terms of fiscal mismanagement = scare tactics = the wrong track

    Rummy, Cheney, Ashcroft all had LOTS of experience, and just look at the mess they've created! Being old, does not mean you're qualified for anything except maybe collecting Social Security. By the way, where are all those "Privitize Social Security" GOP'ers now that the market is heading south? How many more seniors would be eating cat food on the street while fat cat Republicants light their cigars with $100 bills if we listened to their stupid ideas?!?!

    Anyone but Mc(in)Sane

    July 31, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  21. Phantom of the Oprah

    Sure sheep for Obama...

    I will let you bully and threaten me into voting for Obama- the worst choice out there- JUST SO you will NOT vote against HRC in 2012?

    Are you a mind reader? Do you even know that HRC will run again?

    I will PUNISH OBAMABOTS AND OBAMA – for their filthy and vulgar campaign agaisnt fellow democrats by NEVER voting for Obama.

    Let me repeat: NEVER NEVER NEVER.

    I will vote against Obama since the best choice- HILLARY CLINTON- was mocked, ridiculed, insulted, demeaned, trashed and gutted by the nasty hateful Obamatrons.

    July 31, 2008 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  22. CM

    Rove is behind this somehow. All it takes is one phonecall once in a while to 'rally the troops'.

    Of course those with the weaker minds are going to fall for those tricks for the third time.

    July 31, 2008 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  23. selected not elected

    Silly BOTS- the more you denigrate and insult fellow Americans... the more damage you do to your candidate.

    You can NOT and WILL not threaten, bully, insult and guilt people into voting for the least qualified candidate to EVER run for president.

    The fact that he is a self-impressed, cocky, arrogant, lying, full of himself, fast tracking, race-baiting, hateful demogogue does not help Obama either.

    July 31, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  24. shannon

    Only the Obamites are stupid enough to believe that McCain is Bush or Rove.

    The Obama campaign has turned themselves into the Bush Admin. They are sheltered by the Obamites who tell them that everything is wonderful. They are missing the reality that the American people aren't as stupid and ignorant as they thing we are....we know the truth.

    We know McCain is no Bush or Rove...McCain has the record to prove it.

    Actions...not words.

    July 31, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  25. Hussein

    Just look at that fat, disgusting face! He was the kid that everyone beat the crap out of in high school. That's why he is a bitter, vindictive coward!

    July 31, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
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