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. Dave in SC

    While Karl Rove is joking about murdering Akin, Mike Huckabee is lashing out at the GOP for ostracizing him. Those two news items speak volumes about today's GOP.

    September 1, 2012 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  2. regertz

    Well, he committed treason outting Valerie Plame, why shouldn't he be caught urging murder now?

    September 1, 2012 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  3. curious

    isn't Carl Rowe inciting a crime?
    no charges? somebody explain where a criminal conspiracy starts.
    rich and famous can commit crimes behind closed doors?

    September 1, 2012 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  4. Vote for Seamus, elect Kolob's next dog catcher

    Todd Akin = crazy
    Carl Rove = crazy

    September 1, 2012 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  5. Duane Putnam

    I think Rove should jump into the boat with Akin and they can go down together. Sounds like a direct threat to Akin's life coming from a man and audience who have the where-with-all to carry it through! However, my point in responding is that this and other groups like it are part of the super problem of current politics. They have no limits on fund raising or where and how they spend it. They contribute to the absolute extremes in politics that we are seeing today and to the absolute gridlock because of those views. They have discarded the notion that "The Art of Compromise" is and has been one of the hallmarks of great politicians of the past. Since I am one of the insignificant mass called the "Middle Class", my financial ability excludes me from any significant influence in politics today. Unless something is drastically altered, our governments, at all levels, will be the best that money can buy! And controlled at the pleasure of those who control the money. After hearing some of Mr. Romney's comments and proposals, I shudder at the thought that it is very possible that Mr. Rove's henchmen may finance their way into complete control at the federal level. Owning the House, the Senate, and the Presidency. Romney's big business background will fit in just fine as they deregulate business and industry, do away with environmental and social programs, and go on a union busting spree! I foresee the quick return to a national "Company Town". You can maybe have a job, but the company owns you. Rent from them, buy from them, get loans from them. It will be big business rather than big brother! What a shame that democracy will fail and fall for a price. Is this truely what the citizen of this great country want. Or are we unwittingly watching from the sidelines as our country is bought from beneath our feet?

    September 1, 2012 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  6. Vote for Seamus, elect Kolob's next dog catcher

    Remind America that the Republicans during Bush destroyed the economy because of their incompetence, arrogance, and thievery, their defining qualities.

    September 1, 2012 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  7. CyndyP

    Karl Rove is evil! American politics would be so much better off without him. The reason Obama has not been able to accomplish what he wants, is because the Republicans are out to make sure he fails by stopping him every way they can. It's BS that they wanted him to succeed as they said. They have paralyzed this nation for the last three years at the expense of the middle class!

    September 1, 2012 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  8. Yoshi Togukawa

    Rove is like all talking heads. Seriously affected by foot in mouth disease.

    September 1, 2012 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  9. Eagle Eye

    Carl Rove's comment was uncalled for but look at this way when Carl Rove was and advisor to forme President GW Bush he comitted "TREASON" but letting it known about a CIA opreative and nothing happen to him. Everyone must understand that a guy like Carl Rove can say and do anything he wants knowing that nothing will happen to him. Like I have commented before ploitician and people who have worked for Presidents have a habit of not think and putting their foot in their mouth's. Carl Rove is one of them. His comment will only last a few day and in a week no one be even remember it not even the liberal news stations or the comservative news stations. Carl Rove has more lives than a cat.

    September 1, 2012 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  10. ted

    Proves that Rove is an ignorant dangerous unbalanced person. Sure he apologized, but he said it and that is what will be remembered. These subversive far rightwingers are dangerous to our country and I sure hope that Mitt and Paul heavily criticize Rove. It is one thing to say you disagree with Akin and distance yourself, but it is very very wrong to wish or say something about a person's demise.

    Obama/'Biden 2012

    September 1, 2012 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  11. gold

    Akin and the GOP have exactly the same views, they're only angry because Akin called attention to it.

    September 1, 2012 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  12. syntnw

    So Rove's murderous comments can apply to his own also. With a friend like Rove who would need enemies?

    September 1, 2012 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  13. Seattle11

    I didn't think Karl Rove was capable of giving an apology.

    September 1, 2012 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  14. Anonymous

    Still waiting for the Romney/Ryan ticket to "refudiate" Rove's comments....

    Still waiting....

    Still waiting....

    September 1, 2012 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  15. Sebastian2

    Rove has been the Machiavellian schemer behind GOP politics for the last 20 years.
    I sincerely wish he'd fall off of his own ego....

    September 1, 2012 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  16. Thinker

    Porky rove is a dangerous man. He has shown he has no ethics, morals or compassion. But then again he does represent the republican party.

    September 1, 2012 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  17. Kenny K

    Whether in open door or behind close door, no man (most especially those that belief in protecting life from conception) should plot or wish other fellow human being dead.

    September 1, 2012 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  18. Babylon

    The Republican party exposed for all to see.
    This is when they start to devour each other.
    Dinner is served.

    September 1, 2012 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  19. ChrisG

    Google White horse prophecy. You are a fool if you think Bishop Romney does not believe in it.

    September 1, 2012 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  20. Babylon

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

    No they wont.

    September 1, 2012 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  21. just typical

    This is the typical way Republicans handle their problems. Just kill.

    September 1, 2012 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  22. Chumlee

    Rove does not have a sincere bone in his body. Turdblossom is the problem with America. He is a fraud,
    a cheat, a liar, and above all unAmerican!

    September 1, 2012 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  23. don

    Karl Rove's early life was as a debate-nerd. His passion is winning the argument by whatever means necessary.

    Murder would be a stretch for his bag of "dirty tricks" but whatever means necessary would probably include that.

    September 1, 2012 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  24. B.

    Rove is a national embarrassment and a thug!

    September 1, 2012 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  25. NoTax

    Libs are so predictibable in theirs hatespeawing toward ppl

    September 1, 2012 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
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