September 11th, 2008
01:50 PM ET
15 years ago

Rove to Obama: Attacking Palin is dumb

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Karl Rove is offering unsolicited campaign advice to Obama ."]

(CNN) - Karl Rove is again offering unsolicited advice to Barack Obama, this time advising the Democratic presidential nominee to avoid attacking Sarah Palin directly if he hopes to win the White House in November.

“It's a match-up he'll lose," Rove writes Thursday in his regular Wall Street Journal column. "If Mr. Obama wants to win, he needs to remember he's running against John McCain for president, not Mrs. Palin for vice president."

Rove notes past attempts by Democratic presidential nominees to attack the No. 2 on the GOP ticket have largely fell flat, and says the issues Obama is hitting Palin on are ones the Illinois senator is weak on himself.

"If Mr. Obama keeps attacking Mrs. Palin, he could suffer the fate of his Democratic predecessors. These assaults highlight his own tissue-thin résumé, waste precious time better spent reassuring voters he is up for the job, and diminish him - not her," Rove writes.

Specifically, Rove says it is not in Obama's interest to attack the Alaska governor on her lack of experience or the earmarks she has requested - two issues, Rove says, on which voters may also question Obama's record.

Since she was named to the GOP ticket two weeks ago, Obama has rarely called out Palin directly, often attacking both her and McCain together as representing a continuation of President Bush's policies. But in an interview on CNN last week, Obama suggested his executive experience surpassed Palin's.

“My understanding is that Gov. Palin’s town, Wasilla, has I think 50 employees," he said. "We've got 2500 in this campaign. I think their budget is maybe 12 million dollars a year – we have a budget of about three times that just for the month."

He also on Sunday called out her claim she is an anti-earmark reformer, saying "I know the governor of Alaska has been saying she's change, and that's great…[but] when you've been taking all these earmarks when it's convenient, and then suddenly you're the champion anti-earmark person, that's not change….you can't just make stuff up."

Filed under: Karl Rove
soundoff (494 Responses)
  1. Michael

    Nobody asked you Carl....Go back under the rock you crawled out from....

    September 11, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  2. Kaye- Jacksonville FL

    And just why is it that the media (including CNN) sees Karl Rove as a credible political analyst?? The man is sleazy to the core – completely lacking in integrity – discredited by the vast majority of voting Americans.
    Who listens to him??? Same folks who listen to Rush L and Ann Coulter.
    I'd be amazed that he even has a column in the WSJ, but oh yeah!! Didn't Rupert Murdoch just buy that once illustrious publication?
    Please, CNN – don't insult us further by continuing to give this guy the time of day...Puh-leeze....

    September 11, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  3. Kentucky Obama Supporter

    What is this old dude talking about? I follow the news very closely and I don't recall Obama attacking Palin...........what the hey?

    September 11, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  4. DUTCH

    it is ridiculous and sad that our society has gotten to this point when we can allow some woman, whose only qualifications are her tight skirts and references to being a hockey mom, run for vice president.
    McCain is clearly using this lady for his political advantage, and Palin almost seems to dum to realize this. what is a 'hockey mom, anyway? who came up with that line? This is the USA where people watch MLB, NFL, and NBA. since this is the case being a hockey mom wont cut it. even if McCain were elected his age is such that having this person as the potential next president of the USA would be disasterous. unfortunately the combination of republican greed and the color of obama's skin may make all this come true.

    September 11, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  5. Ron

    sen. obama fails to mention that he twice voted for the funds, for the bridge to nowhere. wonder why he would do that? certainly not to mislead anybody

    September 11, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  6. larry wi

    Pretty apparant isn't it, Paper thin resume, how funny. Pretty much sums it up.

    September 11, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  7. Magee-Aguilar

    Shut up, Rove!

    September 11, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  8. Christopher, Madison, WI

    McCain has always used women to hide behind and get his allowance from. Wow what a "maverick". Sarah is his shield from discussing the real issues and Cindy gives him money. He's a kept man. What a wuss!
    Karl Rove works for McCain so what part of "the same" aren't you righties getting? I believe McCain used the same lipstick remark in regards to Hillary's health care plan. They are discussing lipstick while Rome burns!

    September 11, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  9. JB

    I rarely agree with Rove but I believe he is right. I hope Obama gets back on track.

    I'm ready for some inspiration. Town hall meetings are good for McCain. Obama shines with big crowds. How about another send off because Demos lost momentum after the Convention. Let's have another big rally in a big stadium with Obama, Biden, the Clintons, Gore, Kerry, maybe even Kennedy and Oprah. The focus would be "Real Change – Ending the Bush/McCain Era"

    Let's get creative. Get back on message, Remind people that the GOP always stoops to low levels to win. That's not change we need!

    September 11, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  10. Which Was Worse?

    Is there anyone who is making a comparison between which administration was the most corrupt, Nixon's or George Bush's?

    That would be good to know. I guess they have to wait until that idiot GW leaves office.

    September 11, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  11. YOLA

    Sin is really ugly! Rove is pathetic in everyway! Obama has not been attacking Palin! What a joke! Palin has been the bull dog in this fight because she can hide behind sexism!

    September 11, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  12. zonay52

    Why does the Wall Street Journal still give Mr. Rove a place to voice his unsolicited opinion??

    September 11, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  13. Sharon

    Karl Rove is a piece of slime, that should have served at least two prison sentences by now. How anyone can employ him and call themselves Christian is beyond me.

    September 11, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  14. chip

    It's nice to see the uplifting comments by the peace-loving, issue-oriented equal opportunity lefites on this discussion board.

    Only one or two posts that I've read so far objectively analyze the story as it is presented.

    Most are just repeating the same derogatory comments heard in the Democratic talking points or made by Keith Olbermann, only with even more cynicism and vulgarity.

    Had Obama used his great judgment, he would have chosen Hillary as a running mate, not the 4th place finisher in the primaries. Had he done that, the numbers for the Democrats would have been overwhelming and Sarah Palin probably wouldn't be the VP pick.

    But, if he had chosen Hillary, McCain would have probably gone with Lieberman ... game, set, match!

    Over the last couple of days, I've also been hearing so much static from the separation of church and state crowd that "Jesus was a community organizer and Pontius Pilate was a governor."

    Thanks for the Bible lesson.

    A woman gets selected as the VP candidate and the party that claims to champion women's rights and equal treatment feel an insatiable need to destroy her.

    The politics of personal destruction rears its ugly head again.

    Have a great day and please learn to spell and type.

    September 11, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  15. DC worker

    Peggy Noonan was right. Palin as VP is BS and a gimmick. To distract us from the fact that McCain is offering 4 more years of Bush policies. Meanwhile, they are USING Palin. Do you think they will stand by her when they don't need her anymore?? The fact that all these conservatives are champions of feminism now is an even bigger joke.

    September 11, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  16. Min in NC

    The same thing could be said for Palin that is said for Obama, it doesn't matter that he's inexperienced because he can align himself with people that do have the experience, therefore we should vote for him. Palin will learn alot as VP and should she have to "be in charge", well I'm sure she would do exactely what Obama's doing, getting advice on the serious issues from people who have experience. Obama needs to be careful making statements about someone else making stuff up or changing their minds or actions just to get elected, thanks to the media every word he has said ,we have heard, we know how he has backtracked on some of his issues.

    September 11, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  17. Pat-Pittsburgh

    Keep atttacking her Barry, that really seems to be working for ya.

    September 11, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  18. john

    people like pin head karl rove have lost their relevance we all see the advice he gave bubble head bush where it landed us so obama should keep quite and let inexperienced,bridge to nowhere and troopergate palin attack him without hitting back

    September 11, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  19. Crush Rush

    Dont Rove and Limbaugh look like brothers.Rush just said he prays to Jesus everyday,guess he doesnt know he is seen as a Liberal.

    September 11, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  20. Mo

    Obama has been attacking Palin? I must've missed it! Way to help Rove spread more disinformation, CNN.

    September 11, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  21. foreign observer

    While Rove bloviates, his past strategies are once again in full bloom. According to the MI messenger, Republicans in at least one county plan to challenge the votes of everybody whose name shows up on home foreclosure lists. It's sickening beyond belief - "sorry we took your home. Let's take your vote as well." Where is the national coverage of this scandal?

    September 11, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  22. green texan

    Why are your comments so seething & full of anger and hate? I guess you're all just representing what your party truly stands for...a bunch of complaining yet not producing any change yourselves. You've had majority in the house & senate now since, what, 2006? Yet your new Democratic dominant Congress has the lowest approval ratings in history (what is it, 9% approval right now, or is that how much you've accomplished?)

    Rove is right on this one... all of your questions about Palin's lack of experience for the VICE pres job, are exactly what the rest of us are questioning about your PRESIDENTIAL nominee - experience??

    Get over it. You all are a bunch of whiners.

    BTW, Rudy NYC, Rove isn't making these comments on a day when a truce was called, his comments were in an article printed in the Wall Street Journal! Take it up with the WSJ if you don't like it.

    Truth hurts doesn't it Dems?

    McCain/Palin 2008

    September 11, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  23. kaleb from toronto

    love him or hate him, CARL ROVE IS RIGHT!!!!!! i personally hate him, but want obama to win. wake up obama, and get your groove back before it's too late

    September 11, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  24. Tracey

    If she can not stand the heat, get out of the kitchen! It's fair game! If she can not handle the dirt being thrown back her way, she should not dish it out! This is an equal opportunity employment!

    September 11, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  25. Hill's / for McCain

    Rove: who are you working for?

    September 11, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20