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. richwood7

    I can't think of an organic life form in the Universe that would believe ANYTHING Rove said. He helped give us the Bush recession which still goes on today because of the GOP destructive anti-legilation battle in Congress and wants another even more massive recession if Republicans win in November...hmmm where have we heard lower taxes (which didn't do anything but increase the debt) and less regulations which didn't do anything but put millions out of their jobs, homes and savings...hmmm that';s right, between 20000 and 2008 funny they cannot remember how Clinton gave us budget surpluses as far as the eye could see until Bush, Cheney, and Rove came along. The Republican Party is like HIV, may be fun getting it, but it will kill you.

    September 1, 2012 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  2. katieo14

    Rove only apologized b/c he ddin't want to face criminal charges. He's a loose cannon,he always was, and he should be criminally charged.

    September 1, 2012 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  3. katieo14

    Rove only apologized b/c he did not want to face criminal charger for a perceived threat. He' a loose cannon,always was.

    September 1, 2012 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  4. Daniel

    Have you noticed this pattern the Republicans have of blurting out something before they have engaged the brain and than having a day later to apologize for it. Now granted it's not always Republicans but lately they seem to have a greater propensity for doing it. Surprisingly Karl Rove who is the mouthpiece for the ultra right and who is a very careful manipulator is not immune from doing it.

    September 1, 2012 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  5. Rick 7809

    Rove always has been slime, and he always will be slime. He is a perfect example of why politics has gotten so disgusting. For his representative to question her standards is truly laffable. American Crossroads has no stadards.

    September 1, 2012 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  6. Vidyashanti

    After Nixon, Karl Rove, Dick C & Rush Humbug seems to be most cunning, shrewd & dangerous people we have witnessed.
    No wonder they belong to the same party.

    September 1, 2012 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  7. herrick9

    Classless human being...

    September 1, 2012 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  8. Reddog9500

    I've often wanted to be a "fly on the wall" at closed Conservative gatherings where the speak openly and reveal their true selves. When their manipulations and evil shines for all to see. When they say in private what they would never say in public.

    September 1, 2012 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  9. Russ

    All's fair in love and politics, and especially when it involves Karl Rove, "the Prince of Darkness".

    September 1, 2012 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  10. RU55

    Wow, one of the architect's that's guilty of murdering thousands still wants to kill. Interesting.

    September 1, 2012 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  11. ED FL

    Karl might hit him with his purse but nothing more violent than that.

    September 1, 2012 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  12. Pete/Ark

    Rove apolologized for making the statement, not for it's content....

    September 1, 2012 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  13. stew

    So Rowe is trying to assassinate other republicans, seems about right for he is one screwed up mother.

    September 1, 2012 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  14. MagicPanties

    Yes, Rove's comments to billionaires are what I would call "...information vital to the public...".

    September 1, 2012 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  15. davidk

    what is it about republicans and how they constantly stick their foot in the mouth? is it a disease? republicanairres disease?

    September 1, 2012 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  16. Felix El; Gato

    Karl Rove is the most evil man in America.

    September 1, 2012 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  17. Peri Browner

    Wow, I actually agree with Rove on this. But before you kill him, please take a splintery old baseball bat and stick it where the sun don't shine. Let Aiken personally experience "legitimate rape".

    September 1, 2012 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  18. former Republican


    September 1, 2012 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  19. GI Joe

    Someone needs to take Rove out.

    September 1, 2012 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  20. needNewGov

    Let's see: Rep. Todd Akin only said what most of our GOP elite think and Karl Rove wants him murdered. Sounds like another hateful day in politics.

    September 1, 2012 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  21. Anne Siems

    Re the comment about Akins. I sincerely and with deep introspection on such a comment, believe that Carl Rove truly
    is capable of murder as he implied, and cleverly extricating himself from the appearance of any involvement .

    September 1, 2012 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  22. Wilcu

    "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," .... yeah and Rove has a treasure trove of ethics. SMH.

    September 1, 2012 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  23. Marie MD

    These repugs are really worried that they are NOT going to lose the election. This man doesn't have to apologize. That is exactly how he feels and he has planted the seed for some lunatic to take his words and murder somebody.
    This is like akin/ryan's twin being completely wrong about women and then apologizing for being so.
    On the subject of the President. He and norquist and the koch brothers have been instrumental in letting the teapublikkklan congress know that if they don't vote against everything, even if they believe in it and that it's good for the country, they will make sure they never get relected. These are norquist's words not mine.

    September 1, 2012 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  24. Marie MD

    Sorry I meant to say that they are NOT going to win the election. After this week I think maybe we can all agee.
    You don't like it go talk to the empty chair.

    September 1, 2012 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  25. Kenny K

    Is this the same person that had arrest warrant on him? If anything happen to Akin, Rove should be arrested because his words may have inspired some people to take such action on Akin.

    September 1, 2012 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
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