October 10th, 2010
02:18 PM ET
12 years ago

Rove to Obama: How dare you

(CNN) - Karl Rove is lashing out at President Obama and the Democratic National Committee over a new ad that alleges the former top Bush aide is “stealing our Democracy.”

"They are tossing out these baseless charges," Rove said Sunday during an appearance on Fox News.

The comments come the same day the DNC announced it is launching a national television ad targeting Rove and another former Bush aide, Ed Gillespie, over their involvement with an issue advocacy group called Crossroads GPS that by law - because it is established as a non-profit - does not have to reveal its donors.

The organization has spent millions airing anti-Democratic ads in key races and faces charges that they are bending campaign finance laws by structuring itself as a tax-exempt "social welfare" 501(c)(4) organization.

The ad also takes aim at the United States Chamber of Commerce, a pro-business lobby that heavily donates to Republican candidates across the country and which Obama and other Democrats have accused of using money from foreign donors -– a charge the chamber has denied.

“Karl Rove, Ed Gillespie: They're Bush Cronies. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce: They're Shills for Big Business,” the ad’s narrator says. “And they're stealing our democracy. Spending millions from secret donors to elect Republicans to do their bidding in Congress. It appears they're even taking secret foreign money to influence our elections.”

The president leveled a similar charge while on the campaign trail last week in Maryland, saying, “Just this week, we learned that one of the largest groups paying for these ads regularly takes in money from foreign corporations.”

The charges were first made by the liberal blog Think Progress, which reported last week that the Chamber has opened up offices abroad that fundraise for the group. But a spokesman for the group said any fundraising done abroad does not fund political activities.

"Have these people no shame?" Rove said of the attacks leveled at him and the Chamber. "Does the president of the United States have such little regard for the office he holds that he goes out there and makes these kind of baseless charges against his political enemies? This is just beyond the pale. How dare the president do this?"

“This is a desperate and I think disturbing trend by the President of the United States to tar his political adversaries with some kind of enemies list, without being unrestrained by any facts or evidence whatsoever."

Appearing on CBS’s Face the Nation, Gillespie also responded to the charges leveled against him and Rove in the new DNC ad.

“Karl Rove and I don't run American Crossroads. We're fully supportive of it. I've helped to raise money for it. I encouraged it to come together because I think we need something like that on the conservative side because there's so much money on the liberal side. You know, $400 million was spent in 2008 to help elect Barack Obama.”

Gillespie went on to address the allegations against the Chamber of Commerce.

"That was based on a blog posting that the President of the United States repeated that was put on a website that's affiliated with Center for American Progress, a liberal nonprofit advocacy group that does not disclose its donors."

soundoff (218 Responses)
  1. CedarRapids

    '“tar his political adversaries with some kind of enemies list, with being unrestrained by any facts or evidence whatsoever."
    pot meet kettle.

    October 10, 2010 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  2. Anon American

    No one cares, both sides are all the same. This is nothing new, just idiots spewing back hateful and attack ads between one another.

    October 10, 2010 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  3. tyson

    It has gotten to the point that any time the U.S Chamber of Commerce is against something I am going to be for it. It has been years since I have heard them come up with a solution for any of the problems in this country. And as for all of the negative advertising by various organizations if it isn't clear who the organizations is – such as The Democratic (or Republican) Senatorial Campaign – I don't even pay attention to the ad since I know it is just going to be whining about something. If you don't have a solution I don't need to hear from you.

    October 10, 2010 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  4. Dina K.

    The media are filled with commentators and analysts who are fully supportive of diferent political parties – including monetarily. In this country, we have a right to support whomever we choose, and TALK about it. If the public is too ignorant to listen to varying view points and come to its own conclusion, that is not the fault of either right-leaning Fox News, or left-leaning MSNBC.

    October 10, 2010 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  5. Purpled

    Why is it always only OK for Republicans to talk smack? There is such a double standard in politics.

    October 10, 2010 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  6. Observer

    If anyone would know anything about baseless charges, it's Rove.

    October 10, 2010 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  7. Hugo

    The DNC disclosed its contributors list and it reads like the post office wall of wanted posters...How is that ACORN fraud investigation going involving billions of OUR tax dollars Eric Holder? The current Administration uses its political preference to persecute and blacklist at will whomever they wish. Our laws are our laws, it is not up to some political bureaucrat to decide which of our laws are enforced or to use them to manipulate the general public to achieve some ideological political agenda. Let us not forget what ACORN was originally developed to do, that is to break the capitalistic US government through overburdening the welfare system. Too much Government. too big a Government and too disruptive a Government! Time for a thinning come 2012!

    October 10, 2010 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  8. Laurie

    Obama is just calling it like he sees it. Karl Rove IS a Bush cronie. The GOP is on a mission to buy the US government by spending as much money as possible on ads for republican campaigns, and propaganda commercials meant to mislead the public into thinking that the right wing has their best interests at heart. That is a huge line of bull.

    October 10, 2010 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  9. biglio

    Rove and it cronie want the second advent of the republic of Weimar.....as a passage to a strong man regime......and we all know how well it went. I never thought I would see that happen in America, I guess it's time to move again.
    Canada looks good right now, it seems they are upholding the values America was built upon that are now foreign to the very people inhabiting the land. If november gives back power to the republicans I'm out. And remember, we jews when we moved, we moved always ahead of catastrophes, the ones left behind always paid the price for their lack of foresight.
    Mala tempora currunt.

    October 10, 2010 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  10. doc1996

    What a shame that american citizens can no longer trust either side of the political machine we created to ensure our freedom and civil liberties. Only for the weathly is there any true degree of protection.

    October 10, 2010 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  11. LetsBeCivil

    Karl, Karl, Karl!!! Why should we believe you??? Why should we agree with you??? You alone have done more damage to our political system than anyone else.

    October 10, 2010 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  12. Yahoo

    Sorry to see Rove getting any attention. Rove is best ignored.

    October 10, 2010 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  13. ZB

    So why are all these rightwing groups such cowards that they have to hide where their money comes from. The Republican/TeaParty/Palinites are nothing but hacks for billionairs, wall street, insurance companies, and the oil industry and the people who vote for them are to ignorant to understand that all they are doing being their sheep.

    October 10, 2010 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  14. jim atmadison

    The anti-US Chamber of Commerce has been soliciting money from foreign donors.

    They have been spending tons of money to elect Republicans that want keep the tax breaks that businesses get for sending American jobs overseas.

    Pointing that out is "beyond the pale"? No. Doing that to American workers is beyond the pale.

    The Dems have "no shame", Mr Rove? Shame on you for sticking up for the Chamber and their anti-American activities.

    October 10, 2010 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  15. DeeDeeLynn

    I would also add that whether or not the foreign money is used to fund ads, it is funnelled into the Chamber of Commerce in order to encourage legislation that makes it easier for US companies to outsource jobs and operations to other countries and to remove barriers to foreign companies making inroads into US markets.

    So basically, the US Chamber of Commerce, whatever else it may do, works hard to eliminate American jobs.

    October 10, 2010 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  16. ANSFA

    “This is a desperate and I think disturbing trend by ____________ (fill in the blanks) to tar his political adversaries with some kind of enemies list, with being unrestrained by any facts or evidence whatsoever." said Karl Rove.

    Really? Both parties are guilty of this crap. Both f them. No party has the moral high ground vs. the other one when it comes to these types of behaviors. It is simply discusting. To make matters worse, what Karl Rove expresses above is exactly what Republicans have been doing to President Obama over the last 2 years, trying to brand him as "some kind of enemy". How ironic!

    October 10, 2010 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  17. Daniel Schlafer

    Karl Rove & Ed Gillespie running a non-profit American Croosroads -– then bad-mouthing all Democrats with " How dare you " ? Is this typical Rove or what ? I actually read the Rove book and he would get angry writing about subjects like whether or not the man he had known as his father was gay , his involvement with getting Alabama Governor Don Siegelman convicted and jailed , and his involvement with leaking Valerie Pfame 's job with the CIA ? His only justification is that He and Gillespie are not owners of American Crossroads but says nothing about the non-profit status and spending millions on politicl advertising ?

    October 10, 2010 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  18. ZL

    As if the Republican party hasn't thrown out tons of baseless claims about Obama. Being a Muslim, being a terrorist, not being a US citizen. I'm not saying it's okay for the Obama administration to do it, but complaining about others using baseless claims when you had no problem doing it in the past is hypocritical.

    October 10, 2010 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  19. Frank, Athens OH

    "“stealing our Democracy.”"

    A fine quote from a fella who was the chief strategist of the 2000 presidential campaign that took office in spite of not winning the popular vote.

    October 10, 2010 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  20. windycitybill

    Who really cares what the heck Rove has to say about anything – Funny how he goes on the defense, bringing into question Obama's leadership when he does not have a defense for what he calls are "baslesss claims". If they are baseless and you wish to discredit them, respond to the claims with proof and stop trying to attack the President.

    October 10, 2010 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  21. Woower

    Oh the indignation strikes me as whiney and shrili, Especially with the name calling Democrats have to endure from the likes of Rove. The Republicans have an unlimited source of funds available to them now that the Supreme Court has reversed decades of legal precedent to raise money from corporate clients and they are wasting no time to take advantage.

    October 10, 2010 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  22. voodoo72

    rove is an evil person who would do anything to push his agenda.

    October 10, 2010 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  23. Tori in Houston

    Karl Rove personifies everything that is wrong with America today – putting Party Before Country at the expense of the American people and our jobs. As long as Repubs continue to support laws that give tax breaks to corporations who ship our jobs overseas to maximize their profits, America will continue it's economic downfall. Profits Before People is the mantra of the greedy and selfish. Karl Rove should be in jail with Cheney, Libby, Rumsfeld, Gonzalez and Yoo. American Crossroads is just another repub scam to buy Congresscritters. What do you call a country run by a collusion of the govt & corporations? Besides, corrupt, I mean.

    October 10, 2010 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  24. thoughtdog

    The Pot calling the Kettle Black. " You know, $400 million was spent in 2008 to help elect Barack Obama.” How much did the Republicans spend on their losing ticket? The Camber of commerce is by no means innocent of the charges either.
    They are nothing but big business, taking care of big business...i.e. Republications.
    One thing is for sure, honesty is not a part of their agenda's. The American People seem to be the last subject they are concerned about. The Republican party certainly is not concerned about the people. Unless there is a way to fleece them for more money.

    October 10, 2010 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  25. Bush's Bad Brain

    "Rove said Sunday during an appearance on Fox News." When one has no credibility it's always best to go speak your lies to the people who make having no credibility a virtue!

    October 10, 2010 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
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