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. Hughes

    Everyone should be attacking Palin - she's a dangerous political figure. Anyone who relates pipelines to "God's will," or the Iraq war as "part of God's plan" is a nut case. This is eerily familiar to Bin Laden's favorite end phrase, "God willing." Only those seeking holy war preach that God is on their side.

    September 11, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  2. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

    Exposing Palin for what she really is gives a fine example of McCain's poor judgment. Go to it.

    September 11, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  3. IA Voter

    Yea, right. Like one should listen to what this pig thinks. Almost as credible as Limbaugh...

    September 11, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  4. Cammie

    Obama, taking advice from Rove who smeared McCain during the 2000 campaign, by alleging that he fathered a child with a Black prostitute, would be as valuable as buying an igloo from the devil, sight unseen.

    Rove needs to go sit down somewhere...preferably in church and repent.

    All Obama needs to do is: wrap a big red bow around McCain/Palin and continue to sell them as a buy-one-get-one-free ticket and you'll get more of the same.

    I bet the this will be the last time Palin refers to herself as a "pitbull." You thought being referred to as a pig as offensive...well how about a female pitbull? You know the rhymes with "itch."

    Anytime you make analogy between yourself and an get what you give.


    September 11, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  5. Patty

    Why can't the democrats attack Palin. She certainly doesn't refrain from attacking them. The underlying message is because she is female. This seems more sexist to me then treating her as every other candidate is treated. If she is tough enough to run for VP, she better be tough enough to take the heat. I'm sure other world leaders won't show her such deference, and if she can't handle it, we should know before she gets elected.

    September 11, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  6. Don

    It is true Obama being distracted by the fluff at the bottom of the Rebuplican ticket is indeed dumb. He should instead cut through the smoke and mirrors of distraction and challenge McCain to explain how he is truly going to fix the mess 8 years of the Empire known administration has left.

    September 11, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  7. Tony

    Now this is a pig who needs a lot more than lipstick!

    September 11, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  8. Mark

    Thats funny, Obama hasnt attacked her. Rove is always angling. Mccain and Rove are desperate and deceitful.

    September 11, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  9. How the mighty have fallen...

    Good night Cinderella (ie Senator Obama), its almost midnight and your party is quickly coming to an end.

    September 11, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  10. J J

    Aaron September 11th, 2008 12:14 pm ET

    "First of all Obama hasn't attacked Palin"

    No he just has everyone do it for him.

    September 11, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  11. Valerie Hintzen

    Why do you give Karl Rove print space on your website?

    September 11, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  12. MD, TX

    Attacking Palin is dumb.
    However, since Obama is such a fool, doing a dumb thing seems intelligent to him.

    Obama = Disaster.

    September 11, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  13. Seriously????

    If Karl Rove said that Obama attacking Palin is dumb, then Obama must be on the right track if he choses to attack Palin. Are we supposed to beleive that Rove wants to give good advice to Obama? And why is Rove not in Jail?

    September 11, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  14. From a Republican to a Republican

    He i s the sum of why America has lost its way.

    September 11, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  15. msdx

    Perhaps Rove should remember that if Obama ran against Palin with her scandal ridden record and lack of tangible experience with so many people terrified of her presidency Palin would lose like a racecar without wheels.

    September 11, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  16. Dane

    Don't all you obama backers find it funny. That you see NO right-wingers on here posting? CNN is a liberal speaker box that's why all you guys come here to read each other's unbalanced ranting.

    Rove, while morally corrupt, is a genius. If you deny that you're not much of a thinker. Of course given some of the comments I've read, that wouldn't suprise me.

    September 11, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  17. Debbie

    She should be able to hold her own. If not, she should have turn McCain down.


    September 11, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  18. Jaime

    Palin cannot go on her own for the same reason McCain cannot go on his own either. They both need people who will correct them when they don't know what the hell they are talking about.

    September 11, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  19. how

    First McCain start negative ads, then he whines because he is a POW, and the media's are not giving him the spot light, then he complain about how long it's been since Obama visit Iraq and Iran (HAS ANYONE HEARD IF PALIN"S BEEN?), then he ACTS as if he cared anything about Hillary, when it is shown any woman will sell, then he waits until Obama picks his VP, then he pick ANY woman and thought we were FOOLS.........................Yep, this is ONE of the problems in Washington and we are SUPPOSE to believe McCain will make this CHANGE.

    September 11, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  20. Erik

    I think Palin should be allowed to use the Heart song "Barracuda".
    Here are some fitting lyrics (repeat twice).
    "If the real thing dont do the trick
    You better make up something quick
    You gonna burn burn burn burn it to the wick
    Ooooooh, barracuda?"

    September 11, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  21. Robert

    Shut up Karl! Your advice is not only worthless, it's usually full of lies. Sarah Palin started the negative BS at your urging, no doubt.
    In most peoples opinion you shouldn't even be allowed in Politics...Oh, and neither should Sarah Palin.
    All you can do is try to make enough of a stink to get Obama to change his tactics. Your job evidently is to protect incompetent Palin.

    Here's a news flash for you, "Obama is smarter and way more decent a man than you have already proved that you could never be!"

    September 11, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  22. Karen from Charlottesville

    Why is it stupid? Is it stupid to attack Obama, McCain or Biden on the issues? Why should she be held to a different standard, as implied by the veiled threats of that that lying thug Rove?

    Somebody who cares about the USA needs to call her out on her lies and find out about her record. The fact she has become some right wing "folk hero" would be downright laughable if it weren't so pathetic.

    I used to have a lot of respect for John McCain, but his selection of Palin has made me see that he is simply a tool. He picked her for the marketing benefits, not for the good of this country. And, he has commented time and time again about "lipstick on a pig" and now claims that Obama's use of it is sexist? Well, I guess it takes one to know one.

    September 11, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  23. Mark, B'ham., Al.

    Karl Rove beat the democrat's so called intellegent elitiest politicians (Gore/Kerry) and he is not a Harvard Lawyer so he has only one strike against him in the lack of integrity catagory being a politician!

    September 11, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  24. FreeNLovIt

    Obama is such a great, bright and STRONG individual. It's sad but he always have to end up fighting their side-kicks. He fought against three CLINTONITES.

    This time he has to fight about McBushain and his twin, Pal Of Chenin.

    People underestimate Obama's charisma. He's not a match for one man, it has to be two to three... !!!

    September 11, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  25. Deborah

    You know Obama won't heed the advice!

    However those of us who follow Politics know that you

    "Never shoot down"

    It is considered not Presidential to do so!

    Obama is so VERY naive he doesn't even know this basic rules of engagement which makes me sure he isn't ready to "Lead" anything, other then a big HATE Fest.

    McCain/Palin-08-In a Landslide!

    September 11, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
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