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. Trollmaster

    Any advice Rove gives to Obama, means do the complete opposite.

    There will be no harm done by exposing her as a coward that runs from the press like Bush and Cheney ran from Vietnam. The GOP behavior towards her means she has a lot to hide that needs to be exposed so the American people can make a more informed decision.

    September 11, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  2. Dick in Sioux Falls

    For me, the most frightening thing about Sarah Palin is her Pentecostal Church's teaching that the War in Iraq is a Holy War, hopefully leading up to the War of Armageddon, which will end with Christ's true believers being caught up to meet Him in the Air, in the Rapture.
    Sarah Palin believes it's O.K. to attack Barack Obama for some of his Pastor's comments, but calls it sexist to question her own belief in the Final Conflict being scripted by God in Iraq and the Middle East.
    If you are not frightened by Sarah Palin's world view, you should be!

    September 11, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  3. sheila dudra


    We have to realize we gave 8 years of our lives and power to C grade intellectual to run this country. Its time for us to be smart, nonracial, noncynical to elect a ' A' grade intellectual for next 4 years. ITS OUR TIME. IT HAS TO BE OUR MISSION to send a MESSAGE to every REPUBLICAN POLITICIAN that they can't distract American people with PALIN. As a FELLOW AMERICAN, I do know AMERICANS are smarter than this. OUR COUNTRY IS HEADING WRONG DIRECTION. People WE dont need another C grade intellectual to decide the future of this country.

    September 11, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  4. Ontaya

    Karl Rove is scum of the earth and nothing he says should have any merit.

    September 11, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  5. J. Brown

    What's that Rove? Obama should attack Palin?

    I think he can address Palin when she's brought out as some savior for the GOP. Rove is just trying to ligitimize the phony outrage over calling a bad candidate a bad candidate.

    September 11, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  6. The Truth

    McCain has made a deal with the devil, whose minions (Rove & Schmidt) are hard at work.

    God Bless America... For Real.

    September 11, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  7. j

    Many of you Dems simply don't like Rove but the fact remains that many of the techniques he developed are now being used by the Obama campaign and democrats across the country. Regardless of how you feel about the man, he knows what he is talking about, Dems wouldn't be using his campaign strategy's if he didn't!!

    September 11, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  8. Deborah

    How insulting to post this (along with his picture) on today of all days. This is meant to be a distraction. We will not fall for any more distractions.... ENOUGH!

    September 11, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  9. zammunda


    September 11, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  10. K.O.T.A.

    Even Rove is trying to help the man in the stick house. Watch out the big bad Sarah is going to knock it down.
    Q. Is Obama related to Jimmy Carter in any way? He seems like a dreamer too.

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

    Ohio, Florida, Virginia, Michigan, Missouri ... are you better off now than you were 8 years ago?

    If yes, vote McCain
    If no, vote Obama

    September 11, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  12. Real Sweedie

    Karl Rove should be in jail, together with Bush, Chaney, and a lot of other people. I can't believe he has a finger in McSame's campaign, he should be ashamed to even talk to that criminal.

    I guess Rove doesn't think Palin can fend for herself in this election? The men has to stick up for her because she's a little girl? That's what it sounds like, and that's also what it sounds like when people say that Biden better watch out in the debates so he doesn't come off as a bully. If Palin wants to be VP of the United States, she has to be hard enough to take on people like Putin or Musharraf, and people are worried about Biden taring her apart?
    I personally believe that women can do exactly the same thing as men, BUT equality is not just benefits, it comes with downsides too and those downsides are what Palin has to face alone. If she can't do it, then she is not fit to be VP. Simple as that.
    Rove is sounding very condescending when he's saying stuff like this, and so does the people that say that Biden better go easy on her...

    September 11, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  13. Lisa

    Shut up Rove, nobody cares what you think!

    September 11, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  14. Beth2008

    The Republicans want to just keep Palin's record a secret, because it is not a good one: support for the bridge to nowhere before opposing it, etc. Yet they want to use her so called "reform" background to claim they are agents for change. The republicans are simply trying to lie to people and get away with it. Hopefully people will be smarter than the republicans think they are and say NO to a "Bush third term"

    September 11, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  15. Burt

    Wow. The illiteracy in so many of these posts, the partisans flooding a message board, the sheer hatred and venom-spitting... makes me ashamed to be an American. Thanks guys. That's awesome.

    September 11, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  16. Corey in ATL

    Karl Rove is the man responsible for getting George W. Bush, the worst president in history, elected twice. Anything Rove says is worthless. He's the mastermind behind America's ongoing culture wars and is a big reason why the future of our country is at stake thanks to his divisive politics and sick ideology. Because of his smear campaigns and dirty political tactics he has divided this country so badly that we may never reach a compromise on anything that matters. I hope Karl Rove enjoys warm places, because there are several rows in he** reserved for him!

    September 11, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  17. Evangelical

    Palin is the one who attacked OBAMA be ridiculing the work of Community Organizers.

    Palin has to face the press. How else do we know if she is ready to even stand up and speak at the international level?

    Hypocrite Rove, provide the information about the 1000 questions around Palin a candidate packaged by you.

    Rove should be in jail for all the atrocities and pain he has caused to this nation.

    September 11, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  18. New Day

    I have no love for Rove but, he is right on this. Palin will burn herself out soon enough.

    September 11, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  19. Darryl

    Double Standards, there is one standard for the Old White man and another Standard for the younger Black man..

    Can we all be judge the same for using the same words?

    I would love to see where Gov Palin keep the money to from the bridge to nowhere that she was against?

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