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. Joe

    Obama campaign,
    Stop flailing and crying will ya!
    Just drown quietly with some dignity.

    July 31, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  2. Jeff Long

    Obama has used even stronger language. According to a June 20 Reuters wire service story, Obama said at a Florida fundraiser,"they're going to try to make you afraid of me," Obama said. "He's young and inexperienced and he's got a funny name. And did I mention he's black?"

    July 31, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  3. Brian

    Disgusting, McSame. Just absolutely disgusting. You can't win with your platform or policies, so you've started your ad hominem attacks.

    Reject this politics, America!

    Obama '08!!!

    July 31, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  4. Propaganda IS Obama

    Stop telling people what McCain WILL try to do to scare them – That is Obama using the fear card- not McCain.

    Stop reminding us that you are different (half black)- That is Obama using the race card- not McCain.

    Stop boasting and DO something for your country before you demand to be its president just because you are half black and thus entitled.

    July 31, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  5. REALLY proud now

    Obama is beyond all criticism- who wants a president who will play the race card to deflect any criticism of him policies?

    July 31, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  6. kelly WI

    What the heck is the cry baby up to now? Thats all he has going for him is his race card.
    Too bad so many kids are having stiffies over his celebrity. Oh well, they might have to grow up one of these days and get some common sense.
    McCain 08

    July 31, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  7. mK

    John McCain is dangerous for America.

    July 31, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  8. Veterans for Obama

    McCain has sunk to a new low. Not only are the ads cheap, they aren't even witty or effective. McCain is looking like he's getting desperate.

    July 31, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  9. Simon St Laurent

    Rove is radioactive. McCain has made his choice. Look at his new Campaign Director. This is Bush all over again. Rubbish and shows the republicans are desperate. In America, who else would chose this path today? No where else to go! Sad McCain is going this direction..

    July 31, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  10. KG

    Obama, you are the biggest whiner! Waaaah, waaah, waaah. They're attacking me, boo hoo. Sir, you are running to take the position of the leader of the free world so of course your going to have to defend yourself and your policies (whatever those are). So, prove to all of us that you have a backbone or get the heck out of the race.

    July 31, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  11. Independent Voter

    What a bunch of whiners the Obama people are!

    Do they think that pretending to be outraged and saying stupid things about McCain's ad will make it so?

    I guess they do. Any old port in a storm.

    It's just about time for Obama to say people are picking on him because of his race. August is practically here. The "Poor me I'm a victim of that nasty awful Mr McCain. Don't let them treat like this" routine is right on schedule, I guess.

    What a phoney!

    July 31, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  12. Dave

    Interesting McCain's camp chose Britney and Paris... why not choose the more blatant trainwreck, Amy Winehouse?

    Way to stay on top of your pop culture to reach out to tween voters, John!

    -Obama/Spears '08!

    July 31, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  13. ParisFan

    Obama is famous, intelligent, presedential .... Paris is drug addict as McCain's wife... but McCain's wife stole her drugs from charity... that is what the American people say when they see the ad

    July 31, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  14. Ida, FL

    Well, Rove taught Steven Schmidt well. He learned to use the same dirty politics to win an election as his mentor.

    The problem for the GOP is these tactics will not work. Barack will be the next POTUS, and Steve, Karl and John McSame will have to live with that.


    July 31, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  15. no obama, please

    Poor Barack Obama. He is offended by the comparison to cheap media hacks like Britney and Paris. Perhaps, he should have anticipated such criticism when he pulled stunts like designing a fake presidential seal and trying to strike a pose at the Brandenburg Gates. Everything about Obama is narcissistic and media-oriented. His showboat campaign that lacks substance will be torn to shreds by the RNC, leading to a GOP landslide this fall.

    July 31, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  16. Jason

    McCain is just pathetic.

    July 31, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  17. Gary from Madison, WI

    McCain's tactics are not worse, just the same. McCain has proven himself to be a Republican: when you can't stand on the merit of the issues, then attack the other guy.

    I hope it backfires as America needs a leader who can take on the issues facing our great nation. Right now that leader is Barack Obama.

    July 31, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  18. gary


    July 31, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  19. Cynthia, ND

    The let-them-eat-cake Repugs are going down, down, down...and I can't wait. The only place I want to see that fat dough-boy mug of Karl Rove's is behind bars, where he belongs.


    July 31, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  20. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    I guess McCain figures that if Karl Rove and his tactics could get Bush elected, it can work for anyone. He might have a point. Hopefully, we've learned our lesson and won't again fall prey to the scare and slime tactics that gave us the past 8 years. McCain is betting we'll fall for it one more time.

    July 31, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  21. Ron

    So Very true. Obama tells the truth about the Republicans scare tactics. And the Rovians scream that obama is playing the Race Card. Wht a despicable lie! Just like the scare tactics and lies that got us into the foolish Iraq War that has ruined our economy. And cnn plays along like an obediant puppy. Hey wolf. does your boss sit on the board of exxon?

    July 31, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  22. elvera

    McCain has no respect for other people, their opinion or feelings and never will. Of course, he is jealous of Senator Obama who is smart, decent, inspiring man. McCain should be proud of Senator Obama and treat him and other opponents with respect and dignity. McCain should also serve as a father figure for young people instead of being nasty, aggressive, and manipulative old man.
    McCain is dead to shame and has no conscience. If you want this man to be your President, go ahead. You deserve him.

    July 31, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  23. Joyce, MT

    That no-neck Rove makes me sick. He was GW's brain and his brain is warped. Power went to his head and he should be punished. He took our Constitution and used it for confetti. Now he wants us to ignore the fact that has a subpoena from Congress.

    Talk about arrogant, this man thinks he's God.

    July 31, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  24. Realistic

    Just let McGeezer keep on talking - every time he opens his mouth his poll percentage slips a little bit more.

    July 31, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  25. Florida democrat

    Once again the republicans stoop to fear tactics and negative campaigns in hopes of fooling the less educated among us Americans. I certainly hope this year we will not be fooled by these tactics. We need a real change in this country and McCain certainly isn't going to give that to us. He wants to continue feeding big oil with more drilling but experts agree this is not a short-term solution to our energy problem and it definitely is not a long-term solution.

    July 31, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
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