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. Walt, Ohio

    Did somebody clean out the gutter? Is that why we're hearing from this waste of good oxygen?

    September 11, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  2. Ken in Dallas

    He's right in that Palin's a distraction. He should be attacking McCain on the fact that he's hiding behind Palin's skirts, playing the mute straight man while she does all the talking, and in the fact that when McCain does open his mouth, he talks about diversionary false issues like the 1% of the budget represented by earmarks.

    The story here is that McCain's hiding from the facts, because he has no defense against the fact of his irrelevance.

    September 11, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    Sorry, Rove is not paid by the McCain campaign. He is an "informal advisor," gives support," and has a "consistent, medium-size" role in the McCain camp.

    McCain was a POW.

    September 11, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  4. Glen in Los Angeles

    Mr. Rove's "swift boat" techniques were the prime mover for Senator Obama's policy of responding quickly and forcefully to any slam coming from the Republicans. I think its an obvious tactic of Rove to ask Democrats to let their guard down so he can resume a plan of attack he's familiar with. We're way ahead of you on this, Mr. Rove. It ain't gonna work.

    September 11, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  5. s

    Rove says, "dumb." Takes dumb to know dumb, Karl.

    September 11, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  6. Lorna, NY

    Karl Rove is an idiot who really should be in JAIL!

    September 11, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  7. Sam

    The idea that Rove thinks Obama needs his advice is hilarious. Rove is a disgusting speciman of a human being and should be behind bars.

    September 11, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  8. Samantha

    Karl Rove is an evil man who needs to rot in hell. He has been behind Bush and this country has done nothing but suffer since. Now he's behind this big politcal scheme for McCain.

    Obama and Biden need to keep to the issues. Put pressure on the Repugs but not let them get to them. This is a race America can't afford a Repug win in.

    Change needs to happen and it happens with Obama!!!!

    Obama/Biden 08!!!!!!

    September 11, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  9. Noemi in Los Angeles



    OBAMA-BIDEN 08 012

    September 11, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  10. Darren

    And we should listen to Rove why? Because he trashed our country by giving us 'w' twice?

    Rove is the definition of slime, as is evident by this current attempt at implying Obama has done ANYTHING to Palin.

    Go find another country to screw up, Karl.

    September 11, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  11. Baze

    The original master of deception is back at it. He's concerned, and he's using the ole G.O.P. spin to make a strength a weakness. The G.O.P has invested a lot in Palin, and as continued questions evolve around her, the luster fades from her march onto the scene. Keep up the critique, these G.O.P. are running scared from the sudden aggression.


    September 11, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  12. priysmom

    Does Rove think that Obama would actually be concerned with any UNSOLICITED "advice" he has to give......does he think that we (Obama included) are that foolish to believe he has any of our best interests at heart(lol...??) He is pathetic.

    September 11, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  13. Joe Regis

    Why is this man, this repub is not in jail?

    When you make personal attacks on Biden or on any Dems again we will answer you in relations to your failed policies advised to Bush. Keep your naked-lies and your fraud for your republicans clients.

    Thanks, but not thanks!

    September 11, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  14. CaliGranny

    If Rove is telling the O' man not too, then by all means, it is time to take her down. The country deserves to know what she is all about.
    Animal Killer, Anti-Women, Anti-Peace, & Anti Environment. oh yeah, unethical too.

    September 11, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  15. McCain Is A Bigger Pig Than Karl

    Hey guys, I finally figured out why McCain picked Sarah. He realized, like the snake he is, that he didn't need a VP. His VP really will be Joe Lieberman, so he just needed a body (pun intended) to fill the slot. That way, his base is happy, he's happy because he can sidestep the American people and have Joe Lieberman in the oval office anyway. Did you really think McCain was going to go to Sarah for counsel? Not in a million years.

    What's going to happen is he's going to implement every sleazy act he wants, and when subject get loud, he'll throw Sarah Palin at them.

    Sleaze balls to the end.

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

    Say what you will, but that Karl Rove is one good-looking guy.

    McCain was a POW

    September 11, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  17. beth

    Yeah Karl, you go fight for McCain – Palin, because we don't want you on our side.

    September 11, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  18. Spencer from VA

    The devil in disguise trying to give advice. No thanks Karl.

    September 11, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  19. Tammy - KCMO

    Then maybe the Republicans need to quit comparing Obama to Palin and start comparing him to McCain. Oh that's right – the Republican's are too busy smearing Obama so that they don't have to talk about the issues.

    September 11, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  20. Arin

    Speaking about putting lipstick on a pig.... here Rovee, Rovee, Rovee,

    September 11, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  21. Darrel from Denver

    Another observation, this is a thinly veiled attach against OBama and typical Rove strategy.

    Make it appear that he is giving advice to Obama, but in reality he is sticking talking points out there that are meant to attack him.

    Rove is a Republican shill. Worse, he is totally biased against ANYTHING Obama brings to the table. As a result, his comments are worthless and should be thrown out with the rest of the trash.

    September 11, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  22. don't get fooled

    ;Just let those Repubs enyoy a few more days in the sunlight with a 1 point lead in the polls, that will be the last and only time .

    McSame and Palin are proven liars and are trying to distract voters from the real issues.

    It won't work this time !

    OBAMA / BIDEN 08

    September 11, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  23. Nancy Widdoes

    Obama is wrong on this one - Republicans CAN JUST MAKE THINGS UP and they do in all the time, for instance in their TV ads. Lies lies lies and more lies. Apparently accountability is not a Republican trait.

    September 11, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  24. Sam

    Rove apparently didn't get the memo about 9/11.

    September 11, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  25. NewAmericancitizen

    And the evil rear its head...I am darth vader...This is a gimmick and Obama camp should not stoop to such advice. Please continue attacking mama moose.

    September 11, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
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