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. Media darling

    Obama's internet marketing of a candidate campaign has been the nastiest, sleaziest and dirtiest campaigning I have seen in 35 years of voting.

    July 31, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  2. Phil Newton Murphy, Oregon

    No ideas = sleaze politics.

    McCain is a lobbyist meat puppet, who makes "Rover" look ethical.

    I'm ashamed to say I was one a Republican.

    Never again.

    July 31, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  3. Jerry

    Karl Rove is a dirty politician and MCSAME is acting like him,
    when Karl Rove going to jail for his lies

    July 31, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  4. VON BISMARK,Vienna.

    Please better leave poor Rove alone.He has a more serious business to attend to in congress.
    Accept my sympathy ,Rove!

    July 31, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  5. Messiah complex

    If you oppose Obama on anything or criticize Obama for anything... you are stupid, racist or fear mongering.

    That is the Obama strategy.

    July 31, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  6. TerryDo--PumaPac-40+

    I suggest your check your own tactics before you point fingers at others.

    Everyone remembers your tactics during the primaries. Do you remember how you played your race card against Bill Clinton?

    We will never forget, so trying to take the high ground is laughable.

    The popular vote was for H.R. Clinton.

    How did you end up with the nomination? Borrowed Rove Tactics?

    July 31, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  7. Spider

    "They are gonna try to scare you. They will tell you how I have a funny name and I don't look like the other Presidents. Vote for Hope. Yes We Can "

    Translation (for those of us who are not star struck zombies)-

    "Ignore them when they try to tell you the facts about my meager plans for the future. Remember, if you don't vote for me then you're a racist.
    Dang, I Hope We Can"

    July 31, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  8. Steve

    Bird of a feather.....

    July 31, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  9. radar574

    Michele Obama introduced race into the campaign many months ago when she said its time for them to move over and give us a chance (who is them and who is us) just look at the polls all the blacks are voting along race lines and now the Mexican vote is going to Obama, looks to me like the decks are stacked against whites, As I said before when the Mexicans and now the African communities can change our National Anthem something is wrong. the white community is voting for Obama and McCain so there isn't any racism here,

    July 31, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  10. Ralph

    How sad. McCain has become a GOP puppet.

    July 31, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  11. Sheople for Obama

    I am tired of everyone being called stupid, racist, fearmongers if you just don't like Obama, his strategies and his dirty politics.

    Obama is always right and positive and perfect.

    Everyone else is wrong and negative and stupid.

    July 31, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  12. enough of mcLAME

    McNut is boring – let's talk about Rove's weird bubble neck.

    what's up with that?

    July 31, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  13. Tom

    I believe the Democrat tactics this year on one of their own was the worse I have seen in the 40 years as a registered Democrat . I thought 2000 and 2004 was bad and I said back then in a million years I could never vote for a Republican., but this year has that beat. I don't like this new Democratic Party run by Dr. Dean and Obama who are worse than Republicans. Who would have ever thought?

    July 31, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  14. souza

    O.M.G. do we have to listen to these canadates for the next 3 months picking at each other.
    I want Hillary for President.
    Delegates if you are reading this change your vote, it is not to late.

    July 31, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  15. Barack O'wah wah

    Senator McCain has it spot on with his ad on Barack O' blah-blah or in some circles Barack O' wah wah

    July 31, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  16. Miguel Rivera

    Rove isn't a campaign advisor, but he sure is giving McCain tips from the Foxnews Channel, and calling Obama "arrogant" when Rove showed to be arrogant towards Kirsten on Wednesday this week on Hannity & Colmes.

    July 31, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  17. Dan, TX

    McCain is a bigger joke than his ads. lol

    July 31, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  18. Sherry, Atlanta

    Bird's Of A Feather...

    July 31, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  19. enough of mcLAME

    Tepid weenie! I repeat, TEPID WEENIE.

    July 31, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  20. Jesse, St. Louis Park, MN

    What the hell happened to the maverick of 2000?

    Now, McCain is nothing but a senile, angry old man!

    July 31, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  21. Jesse - San Antonio TX

    Typical. Get stung by the truth then cry about politics beign rough when your campaign did the very same thing to Clinton.

    Hope you lose.

    July 31, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |

    His name is McCrook McRover this idiot and McLame are connected at the hip .
    McLame was busy when the ad came out Cindy was changing the Depends for his nappy wants to keep him dry but the news is already out HE IS DRY.

    July 31, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |

    Don't criticize Obama.

    It is NOT allowed- by Obama nor the Media.

    Geez... when will people learn and simply accept that Obama has been chosen and your votes don't count?

    Ask Hillary... she knows how the race card works.

    July 31, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  24. Rick FL

    Karl Rove has no official role? Yeah right, "indirectly."

    Schmidt = Bush/Rove < McCain's negativity

    For someone I used to respect, McCain has sadly disappointed me.

    July 31, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  25. JR, Plymouth

    Senator McCain, proud of your attack ad, I used to be proud of you, too...but no more.

    July 31, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
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