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. Tom in CA

    ...Rove, Gonzales, Goodling, etc., should all be indicted for various criminal offenses against the U.S. Consitution and the People of the United States of America...!

    ...first Cheney and next Bush should be impeached!

    The GOP is an obstructionist pack of lying thieves!

    July 31, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  2. Belle2

    Well maybe Rove causes distaste; Obama cause immense shame at ever considering myself a Democrat.

    July 31, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  3. Larry

    I cannot stand it anymore. And it is barely August. Senator McCain's recent ads are beneath a person running for president of the United States. Shame on you, Senator McCain. And while I understand that Senator Obama cannot be "swift-boated," he must be careful in the way he responds. I eagerly await the debates, face to face, but I fear the media talking heads who will be the questioners will ask about these ads rather than the incredibly serious issues facing the United States.

    July 31, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  4. Chris

    Nice meat scarf, Rove...

    July 31, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  5. Chris, Denver CO

    Sure, the protoges are trying hard to impress their montor.

    July 31, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  6. JW in Janesville, WI

    It's bad enough that 22% of West Virginia voters ADMITTED to exit pollers that race played a role in how they voted in the primaries. Then there are the internet rumors/lies that stick with Obama (10% of Americans STILL believe that Obama is a Muslem). Now 'high road' McCain is sinking to typical Republican tactics of lies and half truths. If America doesn't wake up, we will elect the second best candidate 3 elections in a row!! Look where blowing the last two elections has taken this country!!! Come on people, don't sit on your hands, get out to vote in November and take your neighbors, family and friends with you.

    July 31, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  7. Mike from Westchester

    I don't know about "worse" than Rove. Definitely lamer than Rove. He and his cohorts are the epitome of "the end justifies the means" mentality. Worse still, they turned out to be completely wrong about the ends, which is why we are in such a mess now. Stupidity was compounded by a complete lack of ethics or respect for our Constitution and the values upon which it was created.

    Certainly the Straight Talk Express has turned over in a ditch. I suspect it is totaled and will not return this election cycle. Apparently, they have rented a replacement called the Slime-ball Express and painted it up like the one they abandoned.

    July 31, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  8. Obama 08

    PLEASE, America...don't fall for the Republican Karl Rove politics again. Have we learned nothing from the last 7 yrs.?

    July 31, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  9. George from Minneapolis

    McCain is desperate just pulling stuff out of his butt. Whoever is running his campaign should be fired for incompetence.

    McCain's campaign has been run far worse than Hillary's was and hers was terrible.

    July 31, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  10. Patrick

    And you're embracing Rove's tactics by comparing McCain to Rove. Both sides are going negative at this point. It's just that Obama is pretending to take the high road by saying McCain is negative; when in reality it's all the same. Obama had the chance to stick to his word by taking public financing like McCain and didn't. I'll take actions over words anyday.

    July 31, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  11. Ed

    Falling man is hard to catch. McCain is failing to appear in new genaration. Obama and Britain, are you kidding! Most people, we admire Obama for his gifted abilities. If McCain can't speak whose problem is this. It's seem if you can't communicate either you not smart at all or you don't have anything new to say. Let's see your policies. The world is facing so much challanges and the candidate can't speak. This is how you fall hard and for good. Talk and we are listerning new ideas. Fear, complaining, and false ad not help anyone get elected. Poor and uneducated citizens understand what McCain is doing, trying to fool them. They have used all tactics before and they fail on Obama.

    July 31, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  12. Alex Harvey

    What is Obama saying about the Computer chips? how is the president forcing everyone into it. What about people that don't wont it? is it right to call them terrorist. What about people who stands by there religion , Will they be treated like terrorist? it should be the peoples choice to get the chip or not, and still be able to live and work in the USA, or any other state.

    July 31, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |





    July 31, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  14. Lynette Stapleton

    This is politics –
    If Senator Obama cannot stand the heat in the kitchen then its time he got out

    July 31, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  15. mike

    yes, he has become John McRove. Say anything, the more outlandish the better, scream it from the hilltops. because it doesn't matter if its true, the crowd they are working already has reasons, just not reasons they can say in polite company – they need talking points!
    Can you say 'Southern Strategy'?

    July 31, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  16. Carmella

    I'm going to put it like this both sides are wrong for the ugly ads. These ads are going to start getting very personal and once that starts it going to get very nasty! John needs to grow up alittle bit and look at his own party. Example: how can you blame Obama for gas prices being high the president let many of thes gas companies, morgage companies, etc get away with alot. Now as you can see he (Bush) is shutting up wanting to get troops out humm who's ideas were these. John and his party needs to think before he opens his mouth about things.

    July 31, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  17. Matt: honestly

    The truth is McCain had no plans of running a clean campaign. This man is completely different from the McCain of 2000, falling into the Republican standard.

    July 31, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  18. tai


    MCCAIN 08

    Mccain is more pathetic than bush it seems these days.

    July 31, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  19. Chris in Va.

    Geez is this guy a fat slob or what? Typical Repug poster child.

    July 31, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  20. Lou R

    Ghee, I can only hope the McCain campaign keeps up the current negative attack tactics in the tradition of Karl Rove. The constant yakking by campaign spokespersons during media interviews shows a nervousness below the domineering hype. All signs of an imploding McCain campaign, three times already and working on the fourth.

    July 31, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  21. bob in L.A.

    WHAAAA! they picked on my guy again! Stop whing! It's politics. It's a dirty game. If you can't stand the slop get out of the pen.

    July 31, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  22. Bobbi

    I don't think we want a President who whines and complains all the time and constantly, is always negative, and attacks Obama instead of talking about the very important issues. Why doesn't he pay attention to what he's doing than attacking Obama. He is just making Obama look better. He doesn't even act Presidential... he seems a bit wimpy in his personality. Obama is taking charge of his future; McCain is stuck in the past and present. He doesn't seem to have any "leadership" qualities. He's just jealous of Obama for doing everything right in trying to become our President. Bye-bye, McCain!!

    July 31, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  23. Chaz, MA

    Glub, glub, glub...he looks like a fat walrus.

    This is the face of what's wrong with America.

    July 31, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  24. ClintonDems4Cynthia08

    Old flim-flam Barack Hussein will tell the "sheep" anything to stay on course for Pennsylvania Avenue. Of course its a true ad!! He may as well start calling himseld Barack "Hollywood" Obama.
    No more "Hollywood" for me. Cynthia 08

    July 31, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  25. Michelle

    Obama whines more than my three-year-old niece.

    Stop crying and let's see a DEBATE.

    Your ego tour was a flop.

    July 31, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
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