Akin accepts apology from Rove over murder comment
August 31st, 2012
06:04 PM ET
11 years ago

Akin accepts apology from Rove over murder comment

(CNN) - Karl Rove, a former adviser to President George W. Bush and now head of the conservative super PAC American Crossroads, apologized on Friday to Rep. Todd Akin of Missouri after a reporter published biting words Rove used to describe the embattled Senate candidate.

"We should sink Todd Akin. If he's found mysteriously murdered, don't look for my whereabouts," Rove said Thursday at a private fundraiser, according to a Businessweek reporter who was not supposed to be there.

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Akin has brushed off criticism from many Republicans and Democrats alike over his remarks earlier this month that a woman's body has biological means of preventing pregnancy in 'legitimate rape.' He has refused to withdraw his candidacy and vows to continue campaigning against incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill, a vulnerable Democrat.

Rick Tyler, an adviser to Akin, said the congressman received and accepted an apology from Rove by telephone on Friday after the comments were reported by multiple news outlets. News of the apology was first reported by the Associated Press.

"Karl's personal apology to Todd was appreciated and Todd did forgive him," Tyler said. "But because Karl has maliciously and disgracefully attempted to ruin Todd's solid reputation as a public servant, at a minimum, he should follow Todd's example and make his own contrition public."

The Businessweek reporter, Sheelah Kolhatkar, said in her article that she was invited to the fund-raiser as the guest of a financier whom she described as a "significant Republican donor."

"The financier knew that I was a journalist. At no point was I presented with, nor did I agree to, restrictions regarding the information I heard," Kolhatkar writes in the article. "Upon my arrival at the breakfast, I was not asked if I was a journalist. I gave my name, identified the person who had invited me, was handed a wristband, and ushered into the dining room."

Her story further details Rove's pleas for money from those at the event, a crowd of about 70 hedge fund billionaires and investors. It was held on the final morning of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, on Thursday.

Rove, she writes, was raising money for Crossroads, which has spent tens of millions on conservative candidates and causes this cycle. In his remarks, he presented data from focus groups on how best to try to sway supporters of President Barack Obama to the GOP column this fall.

"'If you say he's a socialist, they'll go to defend him. If you call him a 'far out left-winger,' they'll say, 'no, no, he's not.'" The proper strategy, Rove declared, was criticizing Obama without really criticizing him-by reminding voters of what the president said that he was going to do and comparing it to what he's actually done. "If you keep it focused on the facts and adopt a respectful tone, then they're gonna agree with you," Kolhatkar writes.

Rove said the group is two-thirds on its way to reaching its $300 million fund-raising goal. According to Kolhatkar, Rove said $200 million was budgeted for the presidential race, $70 million for the Senate, and $32 million for the House.

American Crossroads spokesman Jonathan Collegio took issue with the reporter's presence at the closed event and questioned her journalistic standards.

"Bloomberg's reporter unethically misrepresented herself to gain access to a private meeting, while reporters who followed the SPJ code of ethics were turned away," Collegio said.

He was referring to the Society of Professional Journalists code of ethics, which includes the line: "Avoid undercover or other surreptitious methods of gathering information except when traditional open methods will not yield information vital to the public. Use of such methods should be explained as part of the story."

- CNN’s Gregory Wallace contributed to this report

Filed under: 2012 • Karl Rove
soundoff (199 Responses)
  1. The Unsub

    No comment, this story speaks for itself!

    August 31, 2012 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  2. JJ

    I had no idea this furball is in favor of reverse abortion. And this is the one who leads Crossroads? Do his donors know his stance on murdering political candidates with whom he does not agree? Hmm.

    August 31, 2012 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  3. Pete

    If you get political E mails as I get Roves lying again,they're still raising Akin campaign money but don't want the voting public to find out,how hypocritical.. As usual he's a sleeze no matter where he works,he was as Bushs advisor now as Super Pac organizer.Maybe an an out of control semi that lost its air breaks could collide with his limo crushing his wormey body to bits,no chance to give away his body parts ,how bad,how glad and I hope Limbaugh is with him too,any chance of my wish coming true,please Lord help!!!

    August 31, 2012 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  4. Pander Bear

    "We should sink Todd Akin. If he's found mysteriously murdered, don't look for my whereabouts,"

    Wow, imagine the right wing outcry if a Democrat had said something similar. And then after having let in the reporter chastising her for reporting. It's today's GOP!

    August 31, 2012 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  5. CT voter

    The reporter was an invited guest. Her host knew she was a journalist, but had no concern with that. She did not "gain access" to a closed event through underhanded means. The financier that invited her opened the door and invited her in. American Crossroads spokesman Jonathan Collegio should complain to the financier who invited her. Maybe he should refuse to take any of his/her money to demonstrate his disgust.

    August 31, 2012 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  6. TheVoice2

    Mitt Phony's motto "vote me President now, I'll give you details later"

    August 31, 2012 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  7. Willard

    Well, Rove, you POS, I don't like him (Akin), but he doesn't deserve to be killed because of the truth he said! If something happens to him, I would like to see the FBI having nice talk with you first! And, I am democrat, giving my vote to the President this november! What a POS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 31, 2012 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  8. drake mallard

    We all believe the system is somewhat rigged, bought and paid for by a handful of important corporations — ExxonMobil for energy policy — and lobby groups — the American Bankers Association for economic and fiscal policies. With the creation of political SuperPACs, the non-profits that donate tens of millions to politicians, a handful of wealthy individuals also are given more sway in national, and state level politics.

    Everyone knows it. Including Wall Street

    Super PACs, Religion, & Lobbyists: “The Tea Party is funded by Koch Industries, or Big Oil. The Koch brothers gave over $55 million in bribes to scientists to say global warming is a hoax. They are a vast political network, sponsoring Christian conservative rallies and funding political ad campaigns nationwide. They are instrumental in busting unions and they pushed for the Citizens United/ ‘corporations are people’ law.”

    the American political system. The two-party system is a joke. american need more option: 'the third-party candidate

    August 31, 2012 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |

    Sounds vital to the public use to me , down with the Gop bafoons party . Dem lanndslide coming in Nov . Only idiots would vote republican bafoons party in,Nov ,vote Gop ,let your mothers and dads pay for Medicare with a worthless vouchers .

    August 31, 2012 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  10. Timothy Rowan

    Karl Rove has no business accusing anyone else of undercover activity. He heads up the most secretive, deceptive PAC in the country. His ads, since 2000, never come near the truth and he does not pull ads after having been presented with the facts. Any journalist who penetrates his billion dollar smear machine are justified in using any and all methods available to them. He has damaged this country enough. He must be stopped.

    August 31, 2012 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  11. Iamnotfooled

    THE REAL PAUL RYAN. WASHINGTON - In its profile of newly minted, presumptive vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan Monday morning, The New York Times reported a new and potentially telling anecdote from the height of last summer's debate over raising the debt ceiling. Ryan, the paper said, urged his own party's leadership to scuttle a grand bargain with President Barack Obama, in part out of concern that a deal may result in a second term for Obama.


    show more

    August 31, 2012 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  12. Bijay Adhikari

    Mr. Rove is what's wrong with American Politics. Mr. Rove is a shame to democratic ideals everywhere. Propaganda, fear mongering tactics, filled with greed and hunger for control, with no intentions of doing good to the masses or serving a meaningful purpose, except for the interests of Oligarchs he represents, Mr. Rove is a disgrace to humanity. Pity the nation whose people are sheep; And whose shepherds mislead them; Pity the system whose leaders are liars and Whose sages like Ron Paul, are silenced;And bigots like him and Limbaugh, who haunt the airwaves;Pity the pack, that raises not its voice,except to praise conquerers; And acclaim the bully like Romney as hero;And aims to rule the world, by force and by torture;Pity the party that knows,No other language but its own; And no other culture but its own, the culture of fear and Ethnocentrism; Pity this group whose breath is money;And sleeps the sleep of the too well fed;Pity the nation, oh pity the people;who allow their rights to erode,and their freedoms to be washed away by casting their ballots to serve the interests of low-life like Rove.

    August 31, 2012 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  13. Bijay Adhikari


    August 31, 2012 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  14. CanadaONE

    Romeny taught him how to put his money in the Cayman Islands and AVIOD paying American taxes

    August 31, 2012 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  15. PJ/TX

    Where is your "Code of Ethics" Jonathan? Your so-called "social welfare" super PAC is about as far from ethical as
    you can get and Karl Rove doesn't even know what that means.

    August 31, 2012 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  16. jake

    true republican colors shining through. how disgusting a color it is too. rove is a troll. always has been a troll and always will be a troll. once a troll always a troll.

    August 31, 2012 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  17. NC

    What a disgusting person Rove is. Billionaires and millionaires are trying to buy our country and own it. My vote is not for sale and neither is millions of my fellow citizens vote for sale. The millionaires and billionaires are the ones that are not hiring people. They want to keep unemployment high so President Obama will not be re-elected. They don't care about the average person just power and control. Wake up people or we will be living in a third world country if Romney is elected. The jobs Romney says he will create will be minimum wage at best. You have no idea what is coming if we elect a cult leader who has only helped Mormons in need and hired them to work at Bain.

    August 31, 2012 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  18. jack

    I wouldn't put it past him to murder someone to get what he wants. Look what Bush did.

    August 31, 2012 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    The arrogance and insolence of the shadow government funded by big business and shadowy special interests whose outlook is mainly that government belongs to a special elite defined mostly by access to money, acquired by pluck, theft, luck, or inherited, it makes no difference it is all part and parcel of the divine right to govern the inferior, defined as without access to money.

    August 31, 2012 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  20. John

    If all you've got is "he promised X and didn't deliver X" you really don't have much at all. Nobody is that shocked anymore to learn that a politician promised more than he or she could deliver. Add to that the fact that everyone knows the reason he didn't deliver X is that the other team fought against it every step of the way and you're really just whistling in the wind. Better try again, Karl.

    August 31, 2012 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  21. onlyfacts61

    Rove is in the process of turning this country into pure hell.

    August 31, 2012 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  22. T'sah From Virginia

    Wow – this is not good. WAKE UP AMERICA!! We cannot allow our election to be bought by the "radical right."

    Obama 2012 – The Only Trusted Way Forward!

    August 31, 2012 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  23. Independent jim

    another GOP/TP whacko saying what he means behind closed doors ..he actually likes Akin but doesnt want anyone out side to know it

    August 31, 2012 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  24. Brandy Pedersen

    Wait just a minute here????? If Akin is a gentleman and accepts Roves apology about the murder joke, but Rove will not accept Akin's apology?????

    August 31, 2012 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  25. Dnick47

    When are the Republican going to get smart a pigeon hole this loud butterball... he sure helpd Obama thiugh so let him keep flapping his mouth.

    August 31, 2012 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
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