Akin accepts apology from Rove over murder comment
August 31st, 2012
06:04 PM ET
10 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. tinb

    70 hedge fund billionaires and investors – these are the people who are buying this country, courtesy of the Bush architect, and supported by the midwestern sheep that are so easily manipulated into voting against their own interests.

    September 1, 2012 02:51 am at 2:51 am |
  2. J.V.Hodgson

    This man Rove is a senior Republican mover and shaker. if you read his second paragraph of this blog his apology just as Aikens was is meaningless.... they will both privately continue to support every word they said and only
    My problem with Republicans is they seem consistently less truthful than the Democrats on so many points.
    Also, I am appalled by the what they say now of, yes, Obama inherited a bad situation but he made it worse!! Unfunded Wars and Bush tax cuts account for about $500bn or 45.45% p.a of the latest Obama projected budget deficit of $1.1 tr = (a budget they say does not exist because democrats have not passed a budget for 4 years!!??
    When it comes to deficits debt and taxes shall we be like the (IN) famous " two dead men one fine day, who got up to fight in the middle of the night, drew thier swords, and shot each other!!"
    Fiscal cliff and all tha'ts what they ( whichever party so called wins) November 6th will do and f..k the people and voters!!
    I love my country and my god the latter who was kind, considerate, charitable to those in need, and even to turn the other cheek, and said of men/ women about to stone an adultress, let him/her that be without sin cast the first stone.
    In god I trust, but he did not give one categoric faith or set of beliefs to be the rule of law. He taught respect, fairness, understanding of differing views and ideas ... In todays political speak that means compromise or bi-partisanship or both!?
    So when convention wise Republicans repeat "in god we trust"... I have to ask whose god? Which god? For sure the answer to that is the one and only god... trouble is Islamics and thier prophets, Christians and the disciples dont agree in detail Gods message. Please leave religion out of political issues.
    Messrs Aiken and Rove or anyone else including Democrats.
    To Mr Rove whatever this " unethical journalist did" ( not sure it was) but assume it was. What is the big secret of what you plan to spend for your political objectives and purposes? Ah sorry I got it money talks but only how , when, where, and why we want it to talk.
    Whatever happened, your people let her in... after that freedom of speeech rules OK
    Suck it up babe!! Stop whining.


    September 1, 2012 02:54 am at 2:54 am |
  3. Bill, NY

    Akin only espoused what they believe, but won't publicly say, thats why they want him whacked. The only thing missing at the RNC were nurses going up and down the aisles dispensing medications.

    September 1, 2012 02:56 am at 2:56 am |

    Gop trash giving apologies to other Gop trash ?????

    September 1, 2012 03:07 am at 3:07 am |
  5. TheThinker1958

    was Rove asking anybody to do the killing for him? The politicians influence thousands of people with everything they said. Saying something like the thing Rove said is an invitation to murder.

    September 1, 2012 03:57 am at 3:57 am |
  6. Michael Siever

    No surprise here. Look what happened to Mike Connell. Google him.

    September 1, 2012 04:00 am at 4:00 am |
  7. Jack in Florida

    Of course, the reporter was at fault.....seriously??. Do they ever take responsibility for their own words?????? She was invited, she went, she reported the "inner sanctum's" evil ways. The conservative nut jubs of the Republican Party are truly reprehensible. They are no different than the Taliban.

    September 1, 2012 05:06 am at 5:06 am |
  8. Big_D

    Rove is just mad he bought Akin with all his PAC money.

    September 1, 2012 05:40 am at 5:40 am |
  9. DamnUfools

    I hope Rove doesn't really think us far left wingers are so stupid as to not know Obama hasn't accomplished what he said, because of the far rights refusal to work with anything he gave them. The party of NO must Go!!!

    September 1, 2012 06:29 am at 6:29 am |
  10. Wes

    Are these guys for real? It sounds like few GOP operatives are using a full deck of cards. This cannot be a constructive way to run a campaign. In addition, I respected and was a fan of Clint Eastwood in spite of his political affiliations. Now he is in the same classifications as Mel Gibson, et al. He has lost his sense of reality and his ability to present a conceptually cogent idea. It was a moment of embarrassment for our nation. The rest of their convention was replaced by DVD viewing. The GOP is losing focus and definition.

    September 1, 2012 06:30 am at 6:30 am |
  11. Vincent

    " 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,"


    That doesnt sound like hes advocating anything underhande or wrong.

    September 1, 2012 06:44 am at 6:44 am |
  12. wgf

    "'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.'"

    That's because he is neither a socialist nor a far out left-winger. People who make statements like that say more about themselves than they do about Obama.

    September 1, 2012 06:45 am at 6:45 am |

    Wow. Look at the unhinged GOBP tea potty unravel with Mitt the twit tripping over his own feet.

    September 1, 2012 06:50 am at 6:50 am |
  14. Dan

    What a shame, Rove's tactics were used against him. Seems fair to me.

    September 1, 2012 07:17 am at 7:17 am |
  15. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Rove should be in jail for crimes against America. But instead, his man called Bush's brain, controls $1 billion to get Mittens elected.

    September 1, 2012 07:23 am at 7:23 am |
  16. Mi Poo

    Oh, Karl. We know that you've got quite a few murders under your belt. What's one more?

    September 1, 2012 07:24 am at 7:24 am |
  17. Richard Miller

    Perhaps what this country really needs is a group or reporters, including those at CNN, to begin having more covert people reporting the news instead of the corporate spin placed on every news piece that is being sent out. Rove belongs behind bars for the crap that he has pulled on the people of America.

    September 1, 2012 07:26 am at 7:26 am |
  18. wirius

    I believe the reporter explained her "undercover" part of the story fairly well. Nor do I think open traditional reporting would have been allowed to the event. Seems she did well and got a decent story. Also, Rove is further shown to be an intelligent Republican. Insults don't convince reasonable people, facts do.

    September 1, 2012 07:31 am at 7:31 am |
  19. Alina1

    Wasn't Karl Rove fouled and sent to Mexico in the box after Bush administration?? Too bad. I hope they will do it to him after November when Republicans loose and will try to understand WHY?

    September 1, 2012 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  20. OH WOW

    So the American Crossroads spokesman's response is "she should have not been there". These guys will euin this country. They have almost brought America to its knees just to make President Obama look bad. If they win using this tactic, then America is done, as the Democrats will do the same to make a Republican president look bad. If voters punish the RNC for this, then it will be a tactic never to be employed again.

    September 1, 2012 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  21. zivo24

    Karl Rove, people like him and the groups they have created are cancerous tumors that are killing America.

    September 1, 2012 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  22. Tony

    Rove, why are you suggesting murder? I assume that you are pro-life right?

    September 1, 2012 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  23. morrie


    September 1, 2012 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  24. snowdogg

    Karl Rove, part of the true "Axis of Evil" – Rove, Rumsfeld and Cheney – is such a pathetic person but also cunning. He was instrumental in getting Bush2 elected and guided Bush's policies throughout both terms. If there was ever a person who I'd like to see brought down from his right wing perch, this is the guy.

    September 1, 2012 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  25. fernace

    This is kinda funny! Akin & Rove are cut from the same cloth! We'll find them hangin' soon, having a brew together, laughing about the good ol' days, when women, blacks, browns, gays, the poor, disabled, elderly, etc. knew their durn place, forcryinoutloud! Stirring up all sorts of unpleasantness between good buds! Obama/Biden Forward to the Future (Not back to the past that we worked our way out of)!!

    September 1, 2012 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
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