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. John, FL

    Anyone who takes advice from Karl Rove is dumb.

    September 11, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  2. Joseph, Los Angeles

    No Mr. Rove, put Palin on stage in front of reporters and citizens who want some real answers to real questions. No one is attacking Palin, and you know it.

    By the way media; Palin doesn't even talk to you "guys" (no being sexist)... Why do you even cover her?

    September 11, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  3. Jean

    Why are we considering Karl Rove as if we buy into all of the deception from this administration to which Rove's ideas constributed.

    Are we waking up? What are we leaving for the next generation? Even this generation?

    The name calling sounds like a middle school out of control, and the McCain appears and pose as if he is here to save us all from those pathic liberials.

    Have we forgotten banks are closing, we are loosing our homes, we are not competative in the global world of education, we are building more jails than schools, we are at war, our world policies are in termiol, energy crisis, on and on, and this is waht our media outlets consentrate on.
    This is happening to every one, not just to parts of the American public. THIS IS INDEED A SAD DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 11, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  4. FactCheck

    When exactly has he attacked Palin? Obama is the one going around discussing the issues while McCain tries to use all sort of distractions to divert from the fact that he is more of the same.

    September 11, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  5. Old White Woman for the Intelligent Black Man

    Obama doesn't attack the person but evilness of the lies the people are perpetuating. And, by the way, it is McCain's policies Obama is challenging. I don't think he even talks about Palin.
    McCain's campaign jumped on the lipstick on a pig baloney. Thus, McCain's folks are calling her the pig I guess
    I think it is appalling the way Rove and his coterie have no shame about circulating blatant false claims that can be checked. It is insulting to the American people. They have done it before so I guess they expect it will work.

    September 11, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  6. Jo

    When the heck did Sen. Obama ever attack Gov. Palin? Voters should know by now that Karl Rove is small minded and a huge jerk based on recent events.

    Gov. Palin is the one who's been in attack mode. Because she has nothing to offer on the important issues and policy.

    September 11, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  7. Gadissa

    Get a job. Give this advice to Bushed.

    September 11, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  8. KC

    Obama hasn't attacked her, he has been way to nice bout her, actually nobody's attacked her, it's the McCain camp making up stuff to distract the uneducated. Once again no issues coming from the republicans.

    September 11, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  9. Alice in Florida

    Obama is so traumatized that he's no longer "the flavor of the month" that he's making ridiculous mistakes. There is a new super-star, and Bam Bam's monstrous ego can't handle it!

    I was heartbroken when my state screwed Democrats out of two elections, but I will celebrate when it happens this year! That's what happens when you steal people's votes DNC and Obama!

    McCain/Palin '08
    Hillary '12


    September 11, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  10. msdx

    OH and remember the McCain campaign is in no way related to GWB oh suuuurrreee! We arent completely stupid

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

    I find it appalling that CNN would post anything that comes out of Karl Rove's cesspool of a mouth.

    September 11, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  12. MrH in VA

    To any of Mr Obama's staff reading this blog.....
    Ignore Karl Rove.. he has nothing positive to say for any democrat...
    In the state of Virginia (which has turned Democratic)..... we are all waiting for Obama and Biden to fight back with a vengence.... you got to fight back harder !!!!! Trust me on this before it is tool later...
    Let loose the libral 527s and go war against the Republicans..... beleive me they are not hesistating going to war on you !!!!!!!!!
    WAKE UP NOW !!!!!

    September 11, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  13. John

    I thought Obama was referring to Rove when he was talking about a pig with lipstick. Isn't he wearing lipstick in this picture?
    That's funny because he sure does look like a pig to me.
    Why would people think Obama was talking about Palin?
    Rove looks like a pig to me. Palin is attractive and slender.
    Who knows? Rove might be a closet cross-dresser.

    September 11, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  14. FreeNLovIt

    It takes 2 to 3 people to take Obama down, that is how strong this man is!!

    September 11, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  15. I just took a big Rove... don't go in there

    Priceless. Advice from a criminal.

    September 11, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  16. Tom

    Obama won't read this.

    September 11, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  17. The Voice of Common Sense (Independent Voter - Charlotte, NC)

    Karl, noboday cares what you say anymore, and I frankly didn't care from the beginning!

    September 11, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  18. Matt M.

    Clearly Karl Rove has no respect for this day of remembrance. Obama never attacked Palin, Mr. Rove. As he said earlier this week: "you can't just make things up."

    September 11, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  19. Lyle

    It is a sad sign of desperation that Mr. Obama is now running against Sarah Palin and not John McCain. How small and insignificant Mr. Obama looks compared to Mr. McCain and Mrs. Palin.

    September 11, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  20. Tom

    Karl Rove should be in prison, not being quoted in the media.

    September 11, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  21. Pat

    The election is highly entertaining. The hate by the "left" and the "right" is troubling and yet a bit comical. And, I'm not talking about the politicians. I'm talking about themany comments I read.

    It's hard to believe that there are many people out there that actually think that only the "other"side is evil.

    I'll vote for Mc Cain beacuse I think he is more qualified for the job.

    September 11, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  22. Anonymous

    I actually wasn't defending Rove. I think he's a specimen.

    I was pointing out the ridiculous-ness of the quotes saying he doesn't have an official role. Ah, well.

    September 11, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  23. Canadian POV

    Obama should reclaim the focus on the issues but Rove and Co. have masterfully, albeit deceptively, hijacked the stage by constantly keeping Palin in the spotlight. They say that Palin should not be the focus but then keep shoving her down everyone's throats. I agree with many of the comments here, Rove is a criminal and should be behind bars. He is the poster boy for the hypocrisy that the GOP is. They blatantly disregard the basic tenets of democracy and then claim to be the only ones to protect freedom. Is attempting to prevent people who have lost their homes to foreclosure from voting in the true spirti of democracy?

    We have an election going on here too. We can vote on voting day so long as we show up with photo identification, proof of citizenship and a utility bill to prove we live in the riding - we don't have to go through some other "process" to be eligible to vote and therefore there is no way the powers that be can manipulate the actuall voting process to insure a preferred outcome. We also look a the party platform and not just the personality of the leader to select our government. We are not better but perhaps a little more respectful of the process of democracy as a collective electorate.

    September 11, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  24. Matt

    Here's some advice for Karl Rove: Keep your fat mouth shut. Him giving advice to a democrat is about as credible as Sarah Palin leading the most powerful country in the world.

    September 11, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  25. Ben Ramos

    I care about what Big Pop Karl thinks.

    September 11, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
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