September 14th, 2008
03:54 PM ET
12 years ago

Rove: Some McCain ads don't pass '100 percent truth' test

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Karl Rove had some rare criticism for McCain Sunday."]
(CNN) - Former Bush adviser Karl Rove suggested Sunday that John McCain had gone “one step too far” in some of his recent ads attacking Barack Obama.

Rove has leveled similar criticism against Obama. “McCain has gone in some of his ads - similarly gone one step too far,” he told Fox News, “and sort of attributing to Obama things that are, you know, beyond the ‘100 percent truth’ test.”

Watch: The campaign ad wars heat up

The Obama campaign immediately leaped on the quote. "In case anyone was still wondering whether John McCain is running the sleaziest, most dishonest campaign in history, today Karl Rove - the man who held the previous record - said McCain's ads have gone too far," said campaign spokesman Tommy Vietor, in a statement sent to reporters minutes after Rove’s on-air comments.

Listen: the Obama camp slams McCain in Sunday conference call

Rove masterminded both of President Bush’s successful White House bids, including a tough primary season battle with John McCain in 2000.

UPDATE: Rove said Sunday Democrats e-mailing around his quote without noting that he levels similar criticism against Obama were distorting his meaning. “Of course, they fail to say anything about the fact I said they were even more misleading,” he told Politico.

Filed under: John McCain • Karl Rove
soundoff (720 Responses)
  1. rick

    excuse me but isn't karl the brain behind mccain?

    September 14, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  2. JFK

    And this is news? McCain even has to borrow the "change" theme from Obama too get ahead in the polls. There is nothing ground breaking or maverick like about the McCain/Palin Campaign.

    September 14, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  3. The world is watching

    Karl Rove speaks the truth. Now that's change we can believe in.

    September 14, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  4. Tina

    I'm sure Rove was the mastermind of all the ads or at the very least they'll taken a few pages from his play book.

    September 14, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  5. Earl

    Rove, McCain, Guiliani, and all of your campaign lobbyists are worse than the mafia! You all are a bunch of crooks!

    September 14, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  6. richard

    Gary, thank god for people from Harvard that allow this country to progress regardless of people like you.

    September 14, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  7. Max

    You know it's a bad sign when Karl Rove says a Republican might be lying.

    September 14, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  8. Jay From NYC

    Karl Rove is a worm!

    I don't understand how any respectible news outlet would hire this man?

    September 14, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  9. Peter

    It's not like Obama's ads are 100% truth.

    September 14, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  10. Chris

    Don't worry these pathetic lies will not work with the delegates. I think that when the election day comes, the young vote is going to surprise everyone and seal the deal for Obama.

    September 14, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  11. Billy in NY

    Karl Rove speaking the truth? Look there is a pig flying...and it has Lipstick!

    Let's get on with it!
    Obama/Biden in 08!

    September 14, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  12. Griff

    Ask the question. Mr Dobb's. What about the cost of Service? Alternator's don't run forever.. What about the cost for the Development of, Wind-Power.???

    September 14, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  13. jrd

    On what is Karl Rove basing his measurement of truth....he
    wouldn't know truth if it hit him in the head....

    September 14, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  14. GaRedNeck

    Having said that, apparently even he is sick with the Palin/McCain campaign and the GOP political machine.

    September 14, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  15. Hilary B


    I read it, but it's nothing new. He always says that the Democrats are liars.

    September 14, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  16. MJ

    Gary must be getting he's information from McCain.

    September 14, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  17. jay

    I don 't think he has had one ad that was the truth about Obama. On the other hand Obamas ad's have been right on the money; espeically about the lobbyist.

    September 14, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  18. fed up

    sarah pagan and john mc insain are liers

    September 14, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  19. Steve Anderson

    This may be the first and only time I ever agree with anything Mr. Rove has ever said, although I seriously doubt he could actually recognize the truth if it hit him with a brick. This is a man who seriously needs to be retired to the steel hotel for a stretch because of his criminal lying and manipulations. And he will forever be vilified in American history as the man who inflicted George W. Bush on the US.

    September 14, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  20. JC

    John McCain is a Liar and I do not Trust him to make any decisions for me or my family. My Vote is for BARACK OBAMA for President!!

    September 15, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29