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. MC- Atlanta

    Who cars what this criminal thinks- besides, he's wrong. If your going to run for VP then be prepared for contact sports. Woman or not shes gotta be tough, maybe she can 'consult' with Hillary on that dept too.

    September 11, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  2. Judy

    CNN Please Post.

    The Republican Party know that they are losing this election thats why the likes of Rove and others are coming out the woodwork but they may have backup plan like in 2000 and 2004. Steal It!!!!!!!!!
    Starz showing documentary how votes went uncounted and the media didn't bother to report about it.

    Click on the link below to view the trailers and segments from
    the show.

    September 11, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  3. BJ in PA

    Rove has already done Barack's work for him when he said that Gov Kane wasn't qualified for VP because he has been a governor of Virginia(more population and higher budget than Alaska) for less than 3 years and was only the mayor of Richmond(many times larger than Wasila) before that. This quote should be on an Obama/Biden commercial.

    September 11, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  4. Sandy C.

    To Alice in FL... Oh, please... I am seem to recall Florida and an election in 2000! What party really steals votes??? Or, are most of those living in Florida like McCain – suffering from dementia???

    September 11, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  5. wingman11

    I think Rove putting in his two cents at this point shows the Republicans "strategy" regarding Palin. First they portray Palin as tough, calling her "Barracuda" and "pitbull". At the same time, the Republicans shield her from the press, making up excuses like "the media is after her", trying to elicit sympathy for her, I guess. Now two weeks later, no one knows what her views are on any major issues or even if she has any views at all! Then they make up this controversy that Obama called her a pig, again to elicit sympathy from the public because the "big, bad black politician" is attacking a woman. Now you've got Rove actually telling Obama not to attack her, again to drive home the fact that Obama was attacking her when in fact he wasn't. (Note: McCain used the same "lipstick on a pig" phrase when speaking about Hillary Clinton but apparently its ok when a Republican uses it against a Democrat). I don't know about you but all I've seen to date is a VP candidate who can't campaign on her own, can't deal with the press and can't deal with the realities of American politics. Is this woman who we want to be one step away from the Presidency of the United States of America? I don't think so.

    September 11, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  6. Kab

    Rove is right on this one.
    Leave Palin to the side let the media and the american people vet her. She would not survive it. Cos she is a phony.
    Obama's focus should be on the issues here on out. I don't even think attacking Mccain is necessary at this point. Like one person said on here earlier, its a shame other Dems have gone AWOL. They should be the ones unleashing hell to McCain & Palin.
    Obama: he wants to seal this thing done one thing and one thing only. Come up with proposed solutions to the ample problem facing America and expecially the battleground states.
    The economy (Taxes, Deficit, and govt spending control)
    Ethics reform (Govt under Bush has become a shame)
    health care
    Jobs : green tech new jobs, infrastucyure development etc
    Wars ( End Iraq and how, win in Afgan and how)
    Border security and immigration reform ( Suggest solutions that do not disenfranchise Hispanics but still yet protect our border in the name of Natl. Security)

    These are real problems and McCain has no solutions. He is interested in playing politics and the blame game. (Not solutions)
    No way, no how, NO CLUE, McCain/Palin

    September 11, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  7. M

    Obama has not been attacking Palin. Clearly, Rove wants to make it seem as if Obama has been attacking her and, by this story running, that has been accomplished.

    September 11, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  8. Henry Sunderland

    Why is Carl Rove giving Obama helpful tips? Why not just let his campaign duplicate past failures!

    September 11, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  9. Truth

    To Rudy YNC,
    Good point my friend.

    September 11, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  10. shirley ann

    People.......Do you really think that this man cares about the Dems winning the White House. He's one of the key players in McSames campaign. I am so sick of him, Fox news, and MSM for not telling it like it is.MAY GOD HAVE MERCY ON US, IF THE GOP WINS!!!

    September 11, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  11. Patty

    Maybe ask Matt Damon or Madonna for their expert advice. Wow, if the dems could only get the support of the Olsen twins, I'd fall right in line too.

    September 11, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  12. Mccain is a Liar

    Who would listen to this Liar he is advising Mccain senior advisors so why would Obama listen to anything this liar says Mccain campaign is running with His Lie Politics who other than the Mcbush Cam

    September 11, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  13. Debbie

    I love how liberals want to put people in jail who disagree with them politically. Go Carl Marx! Socialism will not win in America.

    September 11, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |

    Karl Rove opening his pie hole is still more evidence that with McCain in the White House, nothing will be different than it has been for the past 8 years!

    September 11, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  15. ANGIE

    kinda like mcain is hiding behind sara when is mccain gonna be a man and stop using and hiding behind her? who is number one on the ticket sure seems like sara palin to me

    September 11, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  16. Joe, Ohio

    CNN please post.

    Rove is the only dumb politician currently alive in US, when is he going to jail. He is a pig without a lipstick. Stupid!!

    September 11, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  17. VCC

    You have no right to call anyone dumb. You are the dumbest of dumb and you play on peoples fears. America needs to wake up to this guys tactics!

    September 11, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  18. PM

    GOP = GRAND OLD PIGS (with or without Lipstick)

    September 11, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  19. yikes

    looks like satan got out of his cave

    September 11, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  20. Lily

    Did Rove just admit Palin is weak on experience? Rove is a spinner of lies – why can't Republicans see him and Palin for what they are? Desperate maybe?

    As for Palin, I would like to attack her myself. She is a religious zealot. The worst thing since George Bush. Let's hope the Democrats come out to vote this time around. After all, there are more Democrats in this country than the big-government-loving Republicans.

    Please come out and vote Democrats!!

    In Florida

    September 11, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  21. Anonymous

    Keep your advice Karl rove everyone know your games but guess what not this time you done and nobody need you in Obama is side you are one of people who put Bush in wrong way for this country so just stay away and keep quite Obama is in intellectual man he knows that it's between him and Mc cain the stick thing has nothing to do with Palin even she is the one who started to talk about Obam is experience ...and alot Go OBAMA you got you

    September 11, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  22. jeff clackamas oregon

    CNN. Why would you stoop so low and even bring Roves name up This guy is no American this is the same guy that outed a CIA agent this guy should be in jail the rest of his life.

    September 11, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  23. Moody

    Obama never attacked Palin. Republicans are lieing to distract us!!!! Just like they did in 2000 and 2004..... disgusting. We want to hear about the policies that affect us everday!

    September 11, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |

    cnn. who care about.what rove say why did you but on your web .... daaaaaaaam., cnn . just like. fixx news. or mybe trying to be like fixx news.

    September 11, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |

    Shut up and answer you subpena!

    September 11, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20