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. Obama Now More Than Ever

    Karl Rove is a criminal slimeball who has orchestrated all the disgraceful negative ads that are nothing but pure lies. He was Cheney's lap dog and was directly involved in the illegal blowing of the cover of CIA agent Valerie Pflame as retalitaion against her husband who publically stated the facts used to convince Americans and Congress to start a war in Iraq were false. He ignored a Congressional subpoena to testify before the Judiciary Committee. Nothing he does or say can be trusted. Even his colleagues says he is a person with no ethics and will stoop to any level to get what he wants. It says a lot about McCain's lack of character that he has let Rove run his nasty, deceitful campaign. Rove is a thug and McCain has no integrity left by letting this criminal run his campaign strategy. McCain is now acting like Rove. McCain will say and do anything out of desperation to get elected. McCain has destroyed his creditability and has proven he is not Presidential-worthy. No Way No How No McCain. We are sick of your negative ads, your messages of no substance, your ridiculous pick of an extremist nut from Alaska for VP, and your constant flip-flopping on what you believe. Your words change based on who you are in front of. Your record speaks for you. You are nothing more than another Bush and you have no credible plans for cleaning up the Republican mess of the last 8 years. McCain is too old, too unhealthy, too out-of-touch with real Americans, and has proven he has no judgment qualities or character in choosing the corrupt and scaringly unqualified Palin. McCain is a candidate who cannot be trusted and who is NO agent of change.

    September 11, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  2. Timus, Powder Springs, GA

    Double standard. She can attack him but he can't attack her back? Over the same thing she's attacking him with?

    September 11, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  3. Marie from Dallas

    REMINDER to all voting Americans: the GOP claims that Sarah Palin is more qualified than Obama because she has had actual executive experience serving as governor of Alaska. Have Americans forgotten that G. W. Bush's political experience prior to the presidency was serving as governor of the great state of Texas?????? And look at where our country is today!!!!! Need I say more?

    CNN: why won't you print my comments????????????????

    September 11, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  4. Mike Lucas

    Obama doesn't need advice from a moron like Rove. Too many of us have read 1984 and a Brave New World. Unlike the baby boomer generation, we aren't going to let this country to S $% T!

    Get ready America, it's out with the old and in with the new. We're more like our World War II Grandparents. We're going to be the next Greatest Generation!

    Obama 08 baby!

    September 11, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  5. Mike for Ca

    Lies, Smears, Fear Card, More Lies = Republican Campaigns.
    Will wait and see if the American electorate is still stupid enough to fall for it. So far it appears that they may be.

    September 11, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  6. Kevin

    McCain supporters still think experience beats judgement. Interesting. You have two types of experience, good experience and bad experience. Good experience is McCain sometimes opposing Bush and the republicans. Bad experience here is McCain voting with Bush 90% of the time. I'd say his bad experience strongly over takes his whole experience, which means that he doesn't have the JUDGEMENT!

    September 11, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  7. Sandy in Rhode Island

    Someone should lock Karl Rove up and throw away the key. He is like a drug to the Republican Party. Obama is the cure for that addiction. Karl remainds me of the Grinch. His life centers on hate and fear mongering.

    September 11, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  8. islandmisfit

    Spoken like a true Republican strategist. It's obvious that if Palin is "attacked" she will be exposed as inexperienced and unfit for the VP position. The advice Rove gives is just another way of trying to divert attention away from another unqualified Republican, (like Bush) . I only hope the American people, (Republicans and Democrats) realize that this isn't a popularity contest. We need some one in the VP slot (regardless of party) that is ready to lead should something happen to the President. Palin is not ready for that by any stretch of the imagination.

    September 11, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  9. mb

    Karl Rove you have no respect for this day. Always scheming and plotting. Go on a diet and that goes for your big mouth too.

    September 11, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  10. bridgette

    This tell you right here that nothing will change. So if you like the way the country is going then vote for McCain and if you don't then vote Obama. Obama has not said one word attacking Palin. Everytime you hear him speak he says McCain. I would like to know why is McCain so silent all of a sudden.

    September 11, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  11. FreeNLovIt

    Obama needs to hit McCain and his twin, Palin, on their over-inflated records and resumes.

    McCain did not protect us when he voted for the war. He didnt even have the judgement to stop and think and question it and thoroughly review it.

    September 11, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  12. sonny B.

    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 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  13. Theresa

    Call CNN and MSNBC and tell them you want to hear about the "real" issues facing America not about lipstick on a pig. Whether you are a Dem or Rep, let the media know that this e-entertainment coverage of the campaigns will not be tolerated.
    CNN – 404-827-1700
    MSNBC 212-664-4444

    September 11, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  14. Robert

    I'm a Democrat who loathes Karl Rove but he has point here. The American people according to the media do not elect Vise Presidents, granted a large portion of American people go for the glitter instead of the facts but in the end they will pulling the trigger for the President.

    When they see Obamas name on the ticket they will hesitate, think about his race, but then punch his card for his convictions and Presidential appearance. By the way, Obama had a few TV moments behind a podium lately speaking about issues and showing his intelligence. He is looking very Presidential these days.....

    September 11, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  15. Big Bill from Brooklyn

    If Obama is stupid enough to take advice from Rove he deserves to lose the election. Obama does not need to attack Palin. The press will do it for him. Obama needs to avoid the old sexist phrases about putting lipstick on a pig. If he wants to go there at all, he should simply note that a pit bull is a pit bull with or without lipstick. But that line best comes from the guy running against Palin, a guy named Biden last I heard. Obama needs to remind the Republic that putting a person a heartbeat away from the Presidency is the most important task a candidate has on the campaign trail. And ask the public if McCain made the wisest possible choice. And let it go at that.

    September 11, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  16. Sam- Chicago

    I believe Karl Rove, probably the only time that i will side with him!

    Obama needs to wake up, and read between the lines. Sarah was brought to punch his anger button, and make him fall into the nasty pool of politics, but he needs to remain focus, continue the fine job, in hammering the real true change that could ever take over the oval office; in recent years.

    September 11, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  17. Jeanne

    I don't want to see Rove's face, unless there are bars in front of it....

    September 11, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  18. April

    You may like or dislike Rove but if I was "the clown" I most certainly will refrain from bashing Palin. Palin is not Hillary and if "the clown" and obamabots continue to do so, as Rove said, you will definitely be packing your bags to Chicago which we know you will at the end anyway. Women will not stand for that and most women already label "the clown" as sexist anyway so he is now solidifying his position. As for Matt Demon, we do not know what you are thinking. You must learn to separate your opinion and anger from the way you felt about women in general. This really shows us women, even though we support you in your craft, if the table was turned, you will rather "call us names" than support us. Yes, we understand the freedom of speech and all, but spewing it off in the air wave suggest you too, is a sexist.
    When "the clown", looses, it would not be anyone's fault but his own, DNC and superdelegates. The man is not experience enough to be even in the second spot of the presidential ticket and now that we are beginning to know the messenger, we are definitely separating the message from the messenger. Without teleprompter, "the clown" definitely cannot put two words together without puting his foot in his mouth. Now it resignates what Hillary said. We need someone who is ready from "DAY ONE." WE CANNOT AFFORD TO LET AN INTERN WHO HOPE TO LEARN ON THE JOB MOVE INTO THE WHITE HOUSE. THREE AM CALLS DEMAND AN EXPERIENCE CANDIDATE WHO WILL BE ABLE TO THINK ON HIS FEET. OBAMA IS NOT THAT CANDIDATE AND EVERYONE IS BEGINNING TO SEE AND KNOW THAT "A COLOSAL INJUSTICE" HAD BEEN DONE TO THIS COUNTRY BY NOT CHOOSING THE CANDIDATE THAT WE ELECTED WHO HAS EXPERIENCE FROM THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY TO RUN THIS ELECTION. YES, WE WILL LIKE TO SEE A BLACK PRESIDENT, BUT WE WILL NOT DO SO IN THE DETRIMENT OF OUR COUNTRY WITH AN INEXPERIENCE CANDIDATE.
    MCCAIN/PALIN 2008 AND HILLARY 2012!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 11, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  19. Ruth

    The american people are not stupid; the democrats are so scared; they thought they had the ticket with a black president. They could have had a woman for VP BUT Obam with his almighty wisdom Obama blew that one. So how much more will he screw up. McCain have the guts to step out and name Palin VP. I would be willing to bet Palin will shine well when it is all said and done. For those who do not want a woman in the white house. Sooner than later they will be one come this fall.

    The american people are tired of the democrats and their manipulate moves in congress so they can win the white house again. They do not care nothing about the American people it is obvious. Shame on you DEMS. LOSERS!!!!! Take your hollywood types and put them where the sun does not shine. The fact is the majority of them in Hollywood act irresponsibly so who cares what they think. Hollywood go play, thats what you best and let the real americans decide 2008

    September 11, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  20. Polly

    This is a smoke screen to somehow suggest the the lipstick comment had something to do with Palin. The feigned outrage by the Right doesn't stand to gain from having the criminal Karl Rove rushing to the rescue.

    September 11, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |

    I am a Republican who has gotton tried of hearing our party appear as if it has not thrown remarks at our opponent, when in fact we have done more dirt talking than them. I have yet to hear a laid out plan from our candidates McCain and Palin. So Mr. Rove maybe you ought to give this same advice to our canidates as well, that is to be fair. I agree with McCain on some issue and not on others. When picking Palin, even though I am a woman, I feel that she is not ready to be our VP and surely not our President if McCann is elected and something happens to where he would not be able to continue as President.

    September 11, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  22. Rose

    Yet another tactic by Mr Rove..
    Mr. Rove you may be able to fool half of America with your mind games, but I didn't fall for it the last 8 years, and guess what , not falling for it this time.
    Mr. Rove In case you haven't noticed Barack Obama has not attacked Ms. Palin infact never has.n It is a fantasy a LIE created by your corrupt party and you.
    Infact it is Ms. Palin who has attacked Barack Obama on all levels. someone she does not even know.
    Once again you and your party have hijacked integrity and goodness.
    My only solace Mr. Rove, is that, Your Karma is coming.. I hope I'm around to see it.. You are not doing good things..

    Rosalie Shepherd

    September 11, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  23. Diane Panama City Fl

    so, let me get this straight, Rove is telling Senator Obama not to attack Palin? Ok, then I will. Here goes: the Republicans are all fired up about a ticket comprised on an old, philandering Keating-Five crook; and, an ultra-right wing ideologue with a penchant for guns, and who, as mayor of her small Alaska town, forced rape victims to pay for their own rape kits until the Alaskalegislature put a stop to it. No, this ticket is too big a target not to take some well-deserved shots at it.

    September 11, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  24. Independent

    P A L I N 'S..............................VERY VERY VERY I N E X P E R I E N C E!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Rove is a he trying to pull attention away from Mc???

    September 11, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  25. Jim

    Wake up everyone Bristol is on you tube in a bad way You will have to search it for yourself.

    September 11, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
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