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. Dude in Colorado

    Burn in hell, Rove... And take Akin and Norquist with you.

    You may quote me.

    August 31, 2012 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  2. Greg

    I need the republican explanation of "being unethical while telling the truth". It's as though not one of these people has ever studied the English language! Unfortunately, there are those who think that these idiots are wise men!

    August 31, 2012 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  3. TheAlaskaCurmudgeon

    So sick of all them. Literally, all of them.

    August 31, 2012 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  4. jake

    this guy is a major league as#@ole just like rush. spewes hate then backtracks on everything. typical republican and the fine line between having the right to say and act stupid and actually doing just that.

    August 31, 2012 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  5. GP007

    I would not put anything past Karl Rove. The man has a track record demonstrating his lack of scruples and his lust for power.

    August 31, 2012 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  6. rtbrno65

    Bosco: "The Milk Amplifier".

    August 31, 2012 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  7. enuff

    FINALLY! Rove is exposed. As the Bible says, all that is in darkness shall be brought to the light. Rove's nastiness is worse than anyone actually realized with comments such as ordering a hit on someone. It shows how desperate he really is to get his power/control back.

    August 31, 2012 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  8. enuff

    Do you think Romney and Ryan will condemn Rove like they did Akin? Naaaahhhh.

    August 31, 2012 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  9. craig

    "If you keep it focused on the facts and adopt a respectful tone, then they're gonna agree with you,"

    First, I don't agree with Rove, nor with Rmoney, nor even with Ryan. However, assuming we take the politics out of the conversation, Rove still fails. He does everything EXCEPT focus on the facts. Like Rmoney and Ryan, he lies. He lies with a straight face. However, like most liars, he occasionally slips up and tells the truth. Akin slipped up and admitted the truth. Now Rove is retracting his implied threat to Akin...in other words, in a moment of candor, he told the truth, and since it was unpalatable, he's now forced to admit he told the truth, which is the ultimate insult to a man like Rove.

    September 1, 2012 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  10. Randy, San Francisco

    Karl Rove, aka. Darth Vader" is not sincere in his apology. He is only saying what is in his evil heart.

    September 1, 2012 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  11. Rogue351

    Nope the Republican mind set is not violent, Not in the least. NO Sir. How much money does the NRA bring in for these guys again ? If they are talking this casually about killing one of there own what are they capable of doing to people who not screw up the message of hate but actually appose it ? Apology or not, Rove is almost as scary as Cheney and he actually shot someone, on accident of course.

    September 1, 2012 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  12. us_1776

    It's one thing to have this guy Rove with a sixth-grade education running your party, GOP.

    But quit another when he starts issuing threats about murdering some of your candidates.


    September 1, 2012 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  13. DocHollywood

    Yeah, these are the people of the party we want to turn our country back over to. Disgusting human beings.

    September 1, 2012 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  14. Not Surprised at all...

    Yes, that is the neo-cons' Family Values on display for all to see. Rove and Todd Akin. Paul Ryan is Todd Akin, so you can toss him in there as well. Then there is Mitt the Birther and Mitt the Flip-Flopper.

    And you're thinking of voting for this mess? Just, wow.

    September 1, 2012 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  15. mdamone4

    Sure way for Rove to instantly find himself in the same political chilly outdoors that Akin did. If the GOP were a cabin, with the mass media being the deep surrounding snow, and the Dem's being wolves outside the door – then picture a scene where the Tea Party is inside throwing logs on the fire while Linbaugh and Hannity sit around the flames rubbing their hands to stay warm. Romney has the seat of honor right in front of the fire, but he knows that the Conservatives in the room can stop fanning the flames at any time, so he plays ball.

    Imagine the door to the cabin opening and the people inside throwing Akin out into the snow. The wolves tear him apart, but his party were the ones who dragged him away from the fire toward the exit.

    With his comments, Rove just made one too many jokes about someone's mother in the cabin. Sly eyes are on him and he knows that he can just as easily be dragged to the door as wolf food.

    The GOP is cleaning house – or cabin in this analogy. Of course the wolves outside hate the Tea Party for fanning the flames. They joke that the 'Teabaggers' are dumb, but the GOP knows different. Once the flames in the fire stop being fanned, Linbaugh, Hannity and everyone in the room goes back to being cold and afraid of the snow.

    September 1, 2012 12:41 am at 12:41 am |
  16. Dennis1020

    Rove is a real threat to our democracy.

    September 1, 2012 12:45 am at 12:45 am |
  17. roe

    rove couldn't get his fat little fingers into the trigger guard of a gun, much less kill anyone with his bare hands or a knife

    September 1, 2012 12:51 am at 12:51 am |
  18. t3chn0ph0b3

    Ham Rove strikes again!

    September 1, 2012 01:06 am at 1:06 am |
  19. Michael

    Wow, what is wrong with Republicans? They're out of control and have no conscious or sense of morality whatsoever!

    September 1, 2012 01:19 am at 1:19 am |
  20. DevilDogOz

    Fascinating... Rove apologizes over remarks at a PRIVATE fundraiser, captured by a reporter who was NOT SUPPOSED TO BE THERE. Contrast this with all the mean spirited, public tweets that we get from the left... and no apologies, usually just doubling down after getting called on it.

    September 1, 2012 01:33 am at 1:33 am |
  21. Sam

    It would seem that the 24 hour news cycle has made ethics be damned.

    September 1, 2012 01:39 am at 1:39 am |
  22. luke,az

    Rove is EVIL , and these are the people who are trying to buy our democracy.

    September 1, 2012 01:43 am at 1:43 am |
  23. Smarterest Human

    What a truly creepy party is the GOP.

    September 1, 2012 02:06 am at 2:06 am |
  24. ValarMorghulis

    We have just been bombarded with testimonials on the immaculate character of Mitt Romney. Behind the scenes people like Karl Rove are promoting and supporting Romney and he is gladly accepting their help.

    What does that say about the man?

    September 1, 2012 02:09 am at 2:09 am |
  25. Thomas

    All one has to do is look at Rove and ask why ?

    Is this what god intended , or are we still evoving ?

    September 1, 2012 02:31 am at 2:31 am |
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