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. T'SAH from Virginia


    Down ROVER – How dare YOU!!!! If all of what is being said about YOU – the US Chamber of Commerce and Crossroads is NOT TRUE – then show the American people where your donors are coming from – PERIOD!!!!!

    If you cannot disclose that to the American people – then HOW DARE YOU!!!!

    All of these 'not for profit' organizations is MAKING a PROFIT, you best believe it. Another thing that should be looked into are all of the SMALL BUSINESSES that are really BIG CORPORATIONS making Millions/Billions – the RepubliCAN'Ts are behind that also and those are the 'small business' they are trying to protect when they want to EXTEND the tax cuts for them!!!
    Please America – WAKE UP and SMELL the CORRUPTION coming from the right EXTREMIST!! If we do not do something about it NOW – in the way of the ELECTIONS in 2010 – we are DOOMED!! And this is not FEAR-MONGERING on my part – this is REALITY!!!

    DEMOCRATS – continue to UNITE the BASE so we can WIN this RACE in November 2010!!

    This is T'SAH from Virginia and I approve this message!!

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

    Righteous indignation from Karl Rove doesn't fool anyone.

    October 10, 2010 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  3. Mackenzie

    It's what you do, Karl - right? Throw out baseless charges from the black hole you operate from? What's the problem, exactly?

    October 10, 2010 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  4. Craig

    Looks like 'ol Rove can dish it out, but not take it. He's been hiding behind these 501(c)(4) organizations for some time now. This idiot helped us get into an unnecessary war and was a key part of the "team" that almost destroyed the American economy. Why are we still listening to him?

    October 10, 2010 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  5. ken O fallon MO

    How dare Karl Rove and Gillispe!!!! They are the masters at making false allegations. They are criminals and should be in jail.

    October 10, 2010 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  6. tom

    rove and fox news one sided hate biased news worth nothing but informing the ignorant

    October 10, 2010 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  7. Russ Grimm

    This partisan bickering does nothing to help the US political process and the image that the US has around the world. Why don't politicians try and work together and get things done instead of making allegations against one another? It does nothing to fix the issues we have, it only makes politicians look like they have the maturity of a spoiled 5 year old (even though some of them sadly do). This nation is better than that, we need politicians that can overcome differences and work together for the betterment of the entire nation. Simply put, stop moaning about everything and start getting things done.

    October 10, 2010 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  8. Marc from Florida

    Fox news is the right forum for Rove. After all, what are friends for? What worries me is how short a memory the public has for the disasterous Bush administration and his role in it. MJY

    October 10, 2010 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  9. LMC

    Rove's outrage is amusing. He has been the author of so many unscrupulous campaign ads and tactics. I guess it was too much to hope that he would disappear once Bush was out of office.

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

    Did you think foreigh corporations which the gop and corporatins have been giving our jobs to, would play dead. On the countrary they will fight like dogs for the gop because they need more american jobs and wouldnt care less if america tank. Fight them dems fight for america stability.

    October 10, 2010 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  11. JWN

    Ahh, Mr. Rove, the truth pinches, doesn't it?

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

    how dare ROVE complain about supposedly biased attacks with unfounded information. His party leads the way with fictional attacks and lies and now that the dems are playing ball he wants to cry, get a life Rove and all the other teabaggers/GOP!

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

    The Citizens United case, in which the Supreme Court gave "personhood" to corporations, unleashed a living hell on all of us. If the tea baggers want to be mad, they should at least figure out who deserves their anger. If they want to be bigots, oh well, what can I say.

    Rove, as well as the U.S.(!) Chamber of Commerce, are taking full advantage of Citizens, taking money from God knows where, to influence our elections. And they don't have to tell us where it's coming from. I'm sure the Koch brothers are involved, and who knows about China and India. It would certainly benefit China and India if the Republicans continue to block legislation that takes away tax breaks from corporations that ship our jobs to those countries, now wouldn't it? And this SOB has the nerve to say how dare you to the President when he is called out on this.

    Thanks conservatives on the Supreme Court, thanks Karl Rove, thanks U.S.(!) Chamber of Commerce. You're selling our democracy to the highest bidder. Wonder what you're getting in return? You should all be in prison for treason. And to the Koch brothers, well they just want to make billions more keeping their taxes low, and rape the land of it's natural resources. For them there are no words.

    October 10, 2010 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  14. Mark Mumford

    I think nearly all US citizens would agree that as individuals we have lost our voice in government. Knowing where the money is coming from will tell us who is trying to buy our country. I feel the only way to regain our voice is to work to remove the influence of money from our elected officials by doing these things: Remove the tax exempt status from all organizations that engage in political dealings, lobbying, campaigning or contributions. Pass a constitutinal ammendment stating that only registered voters may, as individuals, contribute to the campaign fund of any candidate to the maximum sum of, say $2,000. No other organizations, foreign or domestic including corporations may make contributions. Political Action Committees would be outlawed. There is no way to determine who may be in control or funding thes orgainizations. Their activities are more selfserving and clandestine than the spy organizations of the cold war. Unfortunately, because all these organizations have the power that they would be subject to losing, there is virtually no chance that any of these ideas would come to fruition. So we, as US citizens are destined to remain at the mercy of big money and special intrest groups.

    October 10, 2010 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  15. Chris

    While the World Trade Center was still smoldering, Karl Rove was telling President Bush how they could use 9/11 in the upcoming elections. I don't Rove is in has the right to question anything...

    October 10, 2010 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  16. Jerry

    I trust rove about as far as I can throw him.

    October 10, 2010 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  17. Dominic

    Doesn't feel so good when the shoe's on the other foot, does it Karl? What a dirt bag.

    October 10, 2010 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  18. ZB

    I used to think the ideals of American were worth defending but after 2 years of listening to the republican/TeaParty/Palinites hate filled nonsensical screams and the failure of Democrats to stand up for their principles I have decided there is no one in this country worth fighting or dying for anymore. We are a nation of hypocrites, lies, exploitation, and hate. We were built on slavery, exploitation, and genocide. American history is but a myth wrapped in a delusion. More and more people want to go back to a time that never really existed instead of going forward to a better world that can be. Shame on us. Shame on each and every one of us. In America we supposedly have the right to be stupid and ignorant but apparently we have decided to exercise that right all the time.

    October 10, 2010 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  19. John Wu

    Gillespie knows what a blog is?

    October 10, 2010 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  20. Tim

    It really shows that the Democrats are struggling when they have to attack a FORMER Advisor to a FORMER PRESIDENT who has BEEN OUT OF OFFICE for nearly TWO YEARS.

    Signed Independent Minority Voter

    October 10, 2010 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  21. Sooners17

    Obama knows he is going to lose the liberal majority in Congress this November. He knows he will not be elected another term in 2012. This is just a desperate attempt for him to try to get some momentum. Another lie on Obama's agenda.

    October 10, 2010 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  22. Tony on the River

    Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!

    October 10, 2010 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  23. Michael Buck

    What a quote; Karl Rove, the master of Rovarian politics, the brain's behind the debacle of the Bush administration, disciple of Machiavelli, Swift Boater King, asking "Have these people no shame?"

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

    I suppose since the elected leaders of the republican party aren't supposed to undermine the president of the United States efforts, they'll just pay their puppet to do it. How dare Rove spend his lifetime trying to destroy this country from the inside out?
    If Rove was smart enough, he would have become a politician. Since he's not, he stays in the shadows and lurks like a rat, only coming out when he's told.

    October 10, 2010 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  25. Blue Texan

    Do Rove and Gillespie actually think we don't remember THEIR total disregard and abuse of the Bush Whitehouse for eight long years?Their cries ring so false, it makes me laugh out loud!

    October 10, 2010 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
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