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. Montana is Obama Country

    Why didn't CNN put up a shot of McNegativead, Bush and Rover together.. Now that's more of the same..

    July 31, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  2. Richard Schneider

    I haven't decided whether you are pro Democatic or hate Rebulican.
    But I must say (sacasim) your fair and balanced!!!!!!!

    July 31, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  3. Helen, NY

    Barack has real problem here and his campaign is pointing out to mcCain tactics. What did McCain do? Barack has played race card several times. He will get 100% votes from blacks and there are whites who are fascinated with him and will vote for him. Don't you understand that Barack is fake. He has no substance. He has no policy. He waits for John McCain to say something and then pounce on him so that he can get sympathy from American people. Cheap politics and cheap politician who wants to be our President. Beware.

    July 31, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  4. REG in AZ

    People, mostly Republicans, try to give an elitist reputation to Karl Rove as being above and beyond everyone else as a political strategist. I question the loftiness of that acclaim and find it difficult to give credit to anyone just because they have a lot of nerve and no conscience, just because they are extremely aggressive and arrogantly, cocky confident, just because they will do/say anything to get what they want; that sociopathic mentality may see some victories but it says nothing for quality or character. Now I realize that this argument has no affect on them because winning is their only goal but I think it is meaningful to most people.

    July 31, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  5. Rocky

    Plouffe said in this conference call that McCain has mislead people on Obamas energy plan. I for one haven't heard what his plan is except to tax oil companies and air up my tires. I don't understand how taxing oil companies helps me at all with my problems. Maybe one of you BHO supporters can explain it instead of ranting about how evil Bush is.

    PS I already air up my tires regularly.

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

    Can someoen start talking about the issues?

    July 31, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  7. GCG - Austin, TX

    We should be surprised about this, because....?

    July 31, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  8. Molly Brittan

    McCain's recent ad linking Senator Obama's status to that of Britney Spears and Paris Hilton is as pathetic and revolting as the headlines of any current pop star mag. What respect I ever had for McCain is dwindling rapidly – his 15 minutes of fame have come and gone, leaving me with no remorse in disparaging him.

    July 31, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  9. Richard Schneider

    I guess you really don't like personal opinion or you are unable to interpret my caomments. Don't forget my previous email.

    July 31, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  10. Bob

    'Obama camp says McCain tactics worse than Rove's'

    Whatever happened to Obama being 'above' negative politics and name calling..?

    It's funny how he never answers criticisms of him, either. - He denies and disparages, dodges the issues, never answers a question and blames the other guy for 'not understanding' him.

    How cute.

    July 31, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  11. Richard Schneider

    Maybe I have to go back to FOX for fair and balance news. Maybe even CBS, ABC, or NBC.

    July 31, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  12. Rich

    They are worse! At least Rove stayed on message. McCain is just throwing out anything even if it has no truth or argument behind it!

    July 31, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  13. Tejano

    Obama's managers need to kool it with the Bush and Karl Rove thing.
    Keep it up and we will unleash Karl and Bush wack him with the
    Muslim ties.

    Go drink your kool aid Obamabots and enjoy the ride downhill till

    Yes We Will prevail in November.
    4 more years then Jeb Bush in 2012.

    McCain in 08

    July 31, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  14. Crush Rush

    How appropriate to have the Photo of the one of the worlds greatest criminals with the story.Does he look like Limbaugh or is it just me?Must be in some gene or they didnt know their daddy.

    July 31, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  15. Richard Schneider

    GOODBYE, ADIOS or what ever you understand.

    July 31, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  16. James Hussein, SC

    If you believe that Rove is NOT deeply involved in the McCain camp, you are an idiot!

    July 31, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  17. S. Boatman

    There Is Ten Pounds Of Fat On This Guys Neck! He Tips His Head To One Side And All Of The Fat Goes To That Side! Looking At Him Reminds Me That Mccain Has Too Many Neck Wrinkles To Get My Vote! The Age Card Has Been Played!

    July 31, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  18. Hillary VP

    CNN Why do the comments on the Hillary articles keep disapearing? What are you doing?

    July 31, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  19. Neal

    Not worse, the are totally the same.

    July 31, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  20. DJ, LA, CA

    "...longtime protégé of Rove"

    Well, what a surprise.

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


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

    I absolutely agree. Karl Rove didn't even stoop to levels the McCain campaign has and it's still early. Is this the type of person we want in the White House? McCain is appearing to be even worse than the Bush administration and that's saying a lot.

    July 31, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  23. LcLame is headed for the R,H.

    McLow Road you and Rove are joined at the hip probley closer than that.
    Cnn stop hiding McLame you continue to remove anything negative about him on here the secrets out the whole world knows he is an old geezer headed for the R.H. this time .

    July 31, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  24. ex-Republican for Obama

    McCain is running a dishonorable campaign and is not an honorable man. He is unworthy of the presidency.

    July 31, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |

    McSame is desperately seeking Susan. He has no substance to speak on; so he took the low road. So much for the "Maverick" title.

    I really don't think this will affect Obama because the voters are not stupid. I had respect for McSame until he did this. It's sad to see him go down in such a low and desperate manner.

    July 31, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
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