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. Phantom of the Oprah

    Obama was forced on us by Oprah, the DNC, the African American pundits and the media.

    So anyone BUT Obama will improve my feelings about our future.

    July 31, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  2. PG

    The "DEVIL" in disguise!

    July 31, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  3. Kathy

    The "Republican Ad Attack" machine is working overtime and this latest round of cheap shots is the worst they've ever run. It has Karl Rove written all over it !!! This type of dirty campaigning has been effective for them in the past....so at this critical time in our Country's history, rather then discussing the real issues and offering their solutions they are pulling out their sleezy playbook. Americans should be outraged and demand the lies, cheap tricks and smears stop!!!!!
    If we elect another President, who wins because of political cheap shots and out and out lies/swift-boating...then we will have 3 more years of the "same". Can we really afford 3 more years of the failed policies of the past?

    From a Very Concerned Independent Voting Amercian

    July 31, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  4. monique

    I thought It was Kinda funny

    July 31, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  5. roger

    OBAMA, If th shoe fits............

    July 31, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  6. JohnS

    McCain forgets things he has just said a day ago:

    Example: He said at ABC News that with regard to taxes, everything is on the table for discussion, meaning that he would increase taxes.
    The next day he states that he would NOT increase taxes.

    Example 2:
    He stated that the 16 months Iraq withdrawal proposed by OBAMA is a pretty good time table.
    The next day he states that he never mentioned 16 months...

    Do you really follow McCain?

    Does he even have any values?

    Quite scarry....

    He has lost all the respect...

    July 31, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  7. Patrick

    Love your high gas prices, being hated around the world, a failing ed. system, failing health system, taking away civil liberties? THEN VOTE REPUBLICAN folks:) We get what we ask for. Good job.

    July 31, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  8. Donkey Party

    As an Obama supporter, I naturally disagree with many of McCain's views, but I still respected him for his work as a US Senator and POW. But after all of this negative campaigning by McCain, I've lost any and all respect I had for the man. I now consider him a disgrace to the Senate, a disgrace to the military, and a disgrace to the American people. We deserve better than this, vote for Obama.

    July 31, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  9. Retired Veteran from New York City

    I do not understand why are Democrats complaining about McCain taking a page of Karl Rove playbook, it's all the Democratic Congress fault for having Karl Rove still in the public's face. This guy is so arrogant, he disregarded multiple calls and subpeona from the House Judiciary to appear before Congress just for questioning.

    The whole administration starting with the Commander-in-Chief, and the Vice President, Donald Rumsfeld, Condolizza Rice, Karl Rove, Alberto Gonzo, I Scooter Libby, Paul W., Hariet Meyer, Goodwin ect. all these people contributed to the mess that we're in right now and ultimately to the destruction of America, they all should behind bars. America goes around the world preaching Democracy while at home here, we're practicing Autocracy.

    The President evoked Executive privileges about just about everybody in the administration, this guy has the audacity trying to sell many American Ports to some Middle Eastern Company. The Democratic Congress Speaker of the House (Nancy Pelosy) said it very blountly that Impeachment is off the Table.

    We need to suck it up and shut the hell up about anything that the Republican is doing during this electin campaign. We deserved every inch of it. America deserves better than that.

    July 31, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  10. RSP

    Obama IS like Britney Spears! All style but no substance. Ask any of his supporters at an Obama rally what his policy positions are and they say they don't know. Most don't even know what state he is a Senator from! They worship him as a rock star. The truth hurts, Plouffe.....The Democrats should have picked Hillary....McCain would have had a more difficult time against her.

    July 31, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  11. California Gold

    Elmer Fudd has learned from Porky Pig?

    July 31, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  12. David Goldman for OBAMA





    July 31, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  13. TN for Obama

    McCain = Rove

    July 31, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  14. Roger

    John McCain yells at clouds.

    July 31, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  15. P.U.M.A - true democrat for fair camPAINs

    The master spinner- Obama- is always critical of the other campaigns.

    Meanwhile, he twists, refines, clarifies, speechifies his way out of all his own blunders.

    Obama is the scariest of them all- he looks beautiful but hides evil- behind a veneer of fancy words and the all-purpose allegations of racism if he is criticized.

    I will forget that Obama is "different " when HE stops re reminding me of that.

    July 31, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  16. Malcolm Little

    Senator Obama is far too Presidential and a gentleman to do it but I'm willing to kick John McCain in the gonads for the sake of the nation.

    Fight fire with fire. The republicans deserve everything they are going to get. Either stand up honorably now or face the consequences McCain.

    July 31, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  17. kayla

    mcsame would do and say anything to get elected. he belongs in a home with his rocking chair. all he's going to do in the white house is sleep.

    July 31, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  18. Anonymous

    McCain is merely responding to Obama who is also using negative ads.
    What is disgraceful is Obama's use of the race card. There is a clearly established pattern in his campaign. He used it against Bill Clinton. He used it against Geraldine Ferraro. And now he is using it against McCain. Did he not deliver speech against racism? I suppose he will do anything to win an election.

    July 31, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  19. Demagogue

    Obama can outwit, outconnive and outcon ANY republican.

    I can not believe that Obama and his vile, hatefilled, vulgar supporters are democrats.

    Obama is the slickest, and williest coyote of them all.

    July 31, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  20. Raymond Duke

    Is this not the kettle calling the pot black.. Obama and the media have been playing the race card all the time and now want to complain and say that the McCain adds or racial. This from a campagin and media that have reffered to white people as uneducated, religous nuts , WHITEY and CRACKERS. Obama is a racist and playing that feel sorry for me because I am black. All that does is turn me off more . I wouldn't vote for a democrat now if HELL froze over.

    July 31, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  21. Mike

    It appears that the Republicans will throw out any innuendo, whether true or false, in the hopes that they can scare away people from voting for someone who does not represent the old time politics status quo. Make no mistake that political campaigns are War, and the first casualty is always the truth.

    McCain is a scoundrel who hides behind his fixed grin. Being a former POW does not qualify anyone to be commander-in-Chief. He has milked this item on his resume long enough. If you really want to know what McCain stands for go ask him about his relationship with Charles Keating. Chances are the Grin will fade.

    July 31, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  22. paul kelly

    didn't ben stein want rove to work with mccain. i think that would be a bone-headed decision. mccain doesn't need more ways to be related to bush

    July 31, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  23. Rick in Az

    Personally I think it's just sad that the media is bringing up the same trivial talking points that we voters dealt with 4 years ago. And, what's worse is that alot of voters seem to be falling for the same old political tricks once again. As an independent voter in Az. I just can'tfind it in me to vote for or, support McCain-iac and these tatics. We voters have real serious issues this time around and to many people are talking about things that don't matter and, most republicans and democrats seem to me to be brainwashed. I will support Obama because I like his policies and no other reason. But most voter seem to voting party line or, in the case of some. They aren't voting for a piticular canidate but rather against a piticular canidate.. What a sad state of affairs today. Once again it seems we just might get 4 more years of War, suffering and economic hardships..

    July 31, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  24. sharon

    Do Paris Hilton and Britney Spears support John McCain for president or is this another situation where they have no say over how and where their image is used or what it is purported to support?

    July 31, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  25. syl parbe

    McCain is responding to Obama. They are both using negative ads.
    What is disgraceful however is Obama's playing the race card. There is an unambiguous pattern to his campaign. His campaing used the race card against Bill Clinton. He used it against Geralide Ferraro.And now he is using the race card against McCain. This is shameful. Obama should lift his campagin to a higher level.

    July 31, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
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