September 11th, 2008
01:50 PM ET
14 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. Dion

    Sarah Palin was definitely not a good choice for McCain and it is sad that judgement on this one was very poor.
    He woudl have stood a better chance choosing someone else. She definitely a turn off and has turned my mind form John McCain.
    I don't want to a pitbull in the white house I want to someone who can reach accross party lines and resolve the issues that are hurting our country. Very disappointed with the choice and I am a woman.
    Another problem I have with Sarah Palin is that, being a mother with a child with special needs she should not have taken up the position of VP. What time is she going to have to spend with that child? Or is it that it is not hers? I cannot imagine a mother not wanting to be around her child with such needs. She certainly does not act like a mother who is concerned about her little boy.
    A mother is suppose to be a nurturing person not a pitbull.
    Very disappointed and McCain has lost a vote.

    September 11, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  2. Beto, Seattle

    Obama would be wise to take that advice, no matter that it came from Mr. Rove, it is still good advice. If any of Obama's followers gave the same advice, they would show signs of progress. But, Obama's followers don't know any better. All they know is how to sling mud.

    September 11, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  3. Paul in Dallas

    Would you please close your trap Mr. Rove? You are the "architect" (no offense to architects) of this nation's suffering. You look and sound too much like Rush Limbaugh. Palin is running for president. McCain is nothing without her. Time to unleash the hounds of hell. Palin/McCain is a hate and lie ticket. May it perish.

    September 11, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  4. Patrick - Portland, OR

    Why give this man any 'airtime'? He should be in jail, he's in contempt of a congressional subpoena and yet people run his 'political advice' and have him on their news programs as a political adviser... please stop placating this man by giving him any credibility or airtime.

    September 11, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  5. C. B

    Who cares about Karl Rove. The lying Red neck need to be in prison with Bush, Cheney,and Rumsfeld. The liars have made up all this terrriost crap for the American people to be fool. I'am so sick of this 9-11. Is this all the Republican got. 9-11,and John McCain being a POW. This crap is so overated. Tell Bush to send his children to Iraq. Tell Cheney to send his kids, Tell Rove to send his. Anybody can be a bully. Karl Rove need to be under the jail. If these guy were Black they would be under jail. What is taking so long for the American people to stop been fool about this 9-11 crap,and John McCain as a POW. McCain is stupid just like George Bush. If he get the White Houes we can tell where this country is going. STRAIGHT TO HELL, BUSH HAVE GOT US CLOSE TO THERE,AND MCCAIN WILL PUT US THERE

    September 11, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  6. GREG

    Wow ..... smart man ....... wants dems to attack Palin . Says its a bad idea and he's right but as usual the dems will think opposite and attack her .

    September 11, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  7. texas democrat

    Karl Rove is a mastermind for the mccain ticket but he can only master the minds of the stupid. How can a person be called tough as a pitbull and yet she can not answer any questions on her own. People get real no one has to spell this out to you . This woman is not qualified and was only chosen because mccain wanted the hillary voters.

    September 11, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  8. DG

    If the McCain campaign continues to prevent the media from asking Sarah Palin any questions, I think the media should refuse to put anything about her on TV. If she can't answer questions that the public need to know the answers to, how can she possibly be considered a serious candidate for VP. Think people!

    September 11, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  9. carolyn - utah

    The only reason the Repulbicans continue to make these outlandish statements is as a way to distract from discussing the real issues facing this country. The media are feeding right into it. If discussion occurs about the economy, the war, and where this country is headed, the Repulicans know they are in trouble.

    September 11, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  10. Donavan

    Brilliant Rove! Well done. No wonder thay call you the Master Mind. You write an article about giving advice to Obama about not attacking Palin...When in fact he hasn't been attacking Palin...Brilliant.

    Next I suppose you're going to write another advice column...telling Obama not to be a sexist...When he's not being a sexist!

    Here's some advice. Get a good lawyer, because soon or later they are coming after you! Last but not least...Don't drop the soap!

    September 11, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  11. Mom3

    McCain has changed, but he is going to bring any changes to this country. McCain/Palin are not bring us any future; Obama/Biden will bring us a great future for our country for our children!!!

    Woman for Obama!!!!

    September 11, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  12. canuck

    i love the architect! smarter than all the hacks posting to this message board.

    September 11, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  13. Freedom Lovin Patriot

    All Dems should stop being intellectual and just start mocking the crepe out of every Repulican that appears on "The Political Ticker". It's the best thing Liberals can do.

    September 11, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  14. Hill's / for McCain

    Obama is grasping for anything he can get,because his Platform is evaporating,and will be almost irrelevant by Nov.

    September 11, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  15. DWoods

    Why would Obama take advice from you, when you are actually schooling Palin? Although, your advice is sound and correct, Democrats know to steer clear of anything you say or do. Just ask Valerie Plame and hubby.

    September 11, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  16. Dick in Sioux Falls

    McCain/Palin/Bush all oppose the Constitutional role for the Federal Goverment to "Promote the General Welfare" of its people.
    McCain/Palin/Bush oppose Federal Aid to Education.
    This Unholy Trinity oppose negot iating World Trade Agreements that protect American workers from having our manufacturing jobs carted overseas.
    Sarah Palin sounds like the reincarnation of a female Dick Cheney. She, too, accepts huge checks from Big Oil, and at the same time campaigns hard for off-shore drilling and drilling in the ANWR.
    She, too, has wrongly used her power to persecute anyone who for any reason falls from her favor. We don't need another such Power Broker operating from the relative anonymity of he Vice President's Office.

    September 11, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  17. J.d.

    why is this even a story?? I thought both parties would refrain from name calling and bitterness today and shame on CNN for posting it today..I think all the bloggers could have went without a story for just today or at least post something positive.....CNN knows drama and idk what else!!

    September 11, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  18. Timus, Powder Springs, GA

    OMG! It must be the end of the world because it looks like someone let the devil out for his 1000 years.

    September 11, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  19. Maryland for Barack

    While I think Rove is a lying, cheating ... you get the idea, he actually has a point.

    With Sarah Palin brought into the race, there has been a shift in attention from Obama and his policies to Sarah Palin (not even to McCain). She has drawn more publicity, and that is helping the Republicans and hurting the Democrats. Obama should be focusing on his issues and dealing only with McCain. That's how he'll get back his momentum and win. Leave a surrogate to deal with Palin – I recommend H. Clinton, so that the Republicans can't claim it was a sexist attack.

    But Obama, you need to focus on YOUR message. It works.

    September 11, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  20. od

    Someone please tell Mr Rove he can keep his advice to himself.

    September 11, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  21. We've Paid Him Enough

    Dear Mathew,

    What do you mean he's not on anyone's payroll this year. The man headed an office to re-elect George W. Bush with everyone's tax dollars (Democrats included) WHILE at the White House. How brazen is that?

    No, we should never take Karl's advice. He's the scum of the earth and should be under a jail.

    September 11, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  22. Tim M

    Karl Rove is a McCain campaign supporter and "unofficial" advisor. Please, CNN, do your jobs rather than just taking Karl Rove's transparent concern trolling as serious news. This election coverage is depressing and an insult to all American citizens.

    September 11, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  23. RG

    It is a proven fact that Palin's is already lying about her record and it is causing people to spend too much time addressing her when she should not be that important. If she was not known on the first place, and most of the very first accomplishments she has listed are not accurate, then why should people be so concerned about her? People who well informed and rational will hopefully see the reality, and if Senator Obama keeps being who he is, there is no reason to worry. As of this moment, he is still the most positive candidate out there even though most of his own supporters want him to attack. He will be fine as long as the new generation of voters gets out there to vote and he keeps addressing the real issues!

    September 11, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  24. Rich

    Someone please locj up this war criminal I am sick of seeing and hearing him. Why dont you stop covering the war criminal CNN. What gives other than the fact he has a warrant from congress what else is their really to say about him other than he's should be arrested. People go to jail for parking tickets and this war criminal is walking the streets. Pathetic!!!

    September 11, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  25. scared

    When did Obama attack Palin? Where is Karl is getting this information? I guess if he repeats it enough times people will actually believe that Obama attacked Palin..Can't you see he is just trying to distract us from the real issues. God please save us from the evils of Bush,Cheney,Mcain,Palin and Karl.

    September 11, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
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