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. Carl

    If Obama won't call Palin out on some of these things, it seems no one will! The media are staying away from her as if she is a beauty queen – or wait, was she? Regardless, she is probably the most inexperienced person to ever be on a ticket and everyone is just swept away instead of truly questioning her. She is a representation of McCain's political motivation which is NOT country first but win at all costs tactics. Let's all start talking about that that!!

    September 11, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  2. jjenkins

    I am no fan of Karl Rove but he is dead right. Obama does have a tissue-thin resume and he will lose going up against Sara Palin. He's already losing momentum - and might be losing the race altogether.

    September 11, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  3. Hill's / for McCain

    WHo are you working for,Rove?

    September 11, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  4. jt

    Well Obama will lost anyway. He has to try something.

    Obama is almost done. Maybe try when he acoomplished something in congress. At that time he can say, I have a record of getting something done not just making promises.

    McCain 08!

    September 11, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  5. Matt

    Hey Carol, how's the brainwashing treating you?

    September 11, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  6. I P

    He has a point.

    September 11, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  7. voter

    If I understand rove, questioning Palin's record is sexism. If you follow logic, then lying about Obama's record is racism. Stop with identity politics. she decided to run as vp therefore her record she be questioned. people have a right to know her stance on the issues. I thought she was a pitbull, so she can handle it. If not, then get out of the kitchen.

    September 11, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  8. Morgan

    Rove and Republican cohorts are terrified. If Obama wins he could probe into the abuses of the last 8 years and there could (and should) be some indictments coming. Whether Obama would spend time this way is unlikely, there being so many problems left behind by these criminals and war mongers.

    September 11, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  9. Joe Regis

    Rove, keeps your naked-lies and advice to your republicans clients.

    Obama never attack Palin only demanding answers about who she is just as is the case of a lot of Americans.

    Your fraud and the republicans fraud will not work this time.

    September 11, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  10. Jaime


    What have you been smoking? Do you actually live in the States? I am sure McCaine will bring freedom to the special interests groups and oil companies. We unfortunately won't enjoy that freedom. FYI, we the People and the Constitution of the United States, guarantee your freedom, even the one to write stupidities.

    September 11, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  11. Bryan, Michigan

    Why is this man Rove not in jail for conrtmept of Congress?

    Obama has given Palin props more than he has attacked her. Palin is the pitbull with lipstick that has been lying to make attacks and lying about her own record. She cannot be trusted anymore than McCain can.

    September 11, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  12. Dick in Sioux Falls

    I forgot one item. Sarah Palin, like McCain and Bush, opposes Universal Health Care.

    September 11, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  13. Barbara

    Karl Rove gives evil people a bad name. He makes Dick Cheney look good. Scary!

    September 11, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  14. Bruce

    Obama has NOT ATTACKED Ms Palin!!!

    Karl Rove has tried to twist every statment made to seem like it is a sexest attack so they can HIDE McCain behind this woman's SKIRT..

    He has to provide her with a scrip to read from and keep her away from the MEDEA to prevent the PEOPLE OF THE USA from learnig about what she really stands for.

    Obama has tried to address the REAL ISSUES that need REAL ANSWERS but rather than give their ideas on the issues McCaim and Palin slip and slide on the stack of LIES.

    Repeating lies does not make them true. It only shows that you are a fool and you thnk that the people of the United States are FOOLS TOO.

    September 11, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  15. ShawnW

    CNN – Post this please.

    Whether you like him or not, he's right. You cannot tell me it doesn't look weak when the Presidential candidate has got to outdo the opponents VP candidate. He better let Biden do it and focus on McCain. In the last few days, it's become really evident how inexperienced Obama is. I doubt Bill Clinton would be doing what Obama's doing. The Dems better shape up or prepare to be added to shameful list with Gore and Kerry.

    September 11, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  16. Dee Okla.

    Please post

    From the looks of these comment seems to me we all agree about Karl and what kind a person he is, then why would McCain even have him around?

    We keep blaming McCain but I feel it's bigger than him; it's the party making all the calls all the way to Sarah.

    When I say the party I'm not talking about the people that blog, I believe they are truly behind what the party once stood for. It's the ones heading up the party that scary me.

    September 11, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  17. Deb

    Karl Rove...the lowest of low. Crawl back under whatever rock you came from. Give advice to your party not ours.

    September 11, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  18. Another grumpy old white woman for Obama

    Obama has NOT attacked Palin personally. Come on people.
    You can attack a persons politics without attacking the person.
    You can attack a persons experience without attacking the person.
    Where's the "Pork" McCain? Where are the issues?
    Why cant you keep your creepy hands off of her? Lecher!
    I attack.
    Sell out "songbird"!
    War monger!
    AK47 toting slaughterer of defenseless animals from the air!
    Screeching, tongue speaking, brood sow!
    Child abuser!
    I attack.
    News organizations pimping the GOP and a know nothing cheerleader for VP!

    September 11, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  19. What is going on?

    It's interesting to me to see alot of apparently Left Leaning Liberals, and I don't mean that in a demeaning way, who espouse to being fair, and for every man, equal treatment for all, say such hateful things. When did respect and decency become taboo? Don't all have the right to their opinion? Isn't everyone entitled to their life? That is what the Liberal side of the political spectrum preaches? Isn't?

    September 11, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  20. John

    Judging from the thread here, you can see that i was right. For the sanity of the American people that you are watching out for. Please stop talking about Rove. He brings out the worst in everybody. Also i ask EVERYBODY TO GO AND RESEARCH WHO KARL ROVE is. When you do, you will understand that he needs our prayers and he should be pitied. You will understand why he is the sick and dysfuntional person that he is. His foundation is warped and i think it is too late to correct it

    September 11, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  21. andy

    CNN actually posted this sort of devisive rhetoric on 9/11???

    September 11, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  22. Gadissa

    This man is a man who is always contradict himself? What a looser. Everyone knows what he said about veep picks. Why don't he goes away forever.

    September 11, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  23. Repub1

    Imagine that – all the liberals on CNN bashing the GOP. I hope you enjoy your pathetic lives.

    September 11, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  24. Carmen Colorado

    Everybody is taking time to remember all the hurt that 9/11 brought unto all of us. Rembering that Bush and his administration could have done the right thing for this country. This smear master that talks and nobody cares what he says, he will get what he deserves, maybe not right this day but his day will come. I am sure he is a very unhappy person and if he is not now his day will come. The republicans give people no credit.

    September 11, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  25. Gail

    why isn't Palin getting faced on by calling hockey moms pitt bulls?

    September 11, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
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