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. carlos

    NoTax....you must be rove's hit man

    September 1, 2012 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  2. doug

    Akin is a nasty hateful man for what he said. Funny though, if he changed and became a Democrat he would be the most tolerant, loving, fair-minded and tolerant Democrat in all of America.

    What Akin said is not close to as bad as what Obama said on Univision in the fall of 2010. Obama said that every American who disagrees with his extremist left wing ideology is his enemy and he wants to see Americans punished for their political views. Google it if you don't believe me, if a Republican president said it he would have been thrown out of office immediately.

    Obama, Biden their words along with the hate spewed by the pre-programmed Obama bots here on CNN leave no doubt that every good hearted fair-minded American has a moral obligation to vote Republican. The fact that not a single Democrat can offer anything more than hate and lies proves it.

    September 1, 2012 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  3. George Constanza

    How can one align to the GOP when one of its main character talks about murdering another fellow GOP member? Is the GOP run like a mafia?

    September 1, 2012 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  4. The Dude

    Rove is a pig, plain and simple.

    September 1, 2012 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  5. Cat

    Karl Rove will slip up one day and his crimal activities will be exposed.

    September 1, 2012 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  6. Marc in Florida

    At least with Rush Limbaugh and Beck, one knows they are entertainers and need their ratings. So they say horrble things to please audiences and rake in the moolah. I congratulate them. But what about Rove – he's an engineer of the Republican stategy, he's no entertainer. I don't like Akin, but I do not wish him harm only enlightenment. I don't vote republican but there are a lot of crazy people out there that willl act on the wishes of what could be described as a respected R voice (within the party).
    The voters decide Akins fate not dangerous suggestions from R leaders. Besides R or D anyone who vies for office these days will find it hazzardous enough that to have to listen to members of the party wishing him/her harm. An apology is not enough. It's dangerous talk. Maybe we all need to apologize for encouraging the current state of American politics – I include the voters – you get what you vote for.

    September 1, 2012 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  7. Jersey Girl

    I googled Mike Connell, as someone here mentioned. It seems that he was Carl Rove's chief IT consultant, and had created a "man in the middle" vote tabulation system for Carl Rove, one that electronically flips votes to Republicans. Mike Connell was supposed to testify in November 2008, as he was subpoened. Carl Rove had threatened Connell that if he didn't take the fall for election fraud in Ohio, Connell would face prosecution for supposed lobby law violations. Calls to have Connell federally protected weren't answered, and Connell died in a plane crash the following month. He was an experienced pilot, and the reason for the crash was never solved. The "man in the middle" systems are still in use in Kentucky, Illinois and Colorado. HOW DOES CARL ROVE sleep at night? This is one scary dangerous evil man.

    September 1, 2012 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  8. Mike

    Isn't it against Federal law to make a threat against a sitting US Congressman?

    September 1, 2012 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  9. Expat American

    Akin made a cardinal mistake. Don’t leak the true GOP Agenda before the Republicans are in office. Rove and the other GOP criminals expressed false outrage at the outset but secretly and gleefully agree with what Akin said. Akin for his part, is one of the few Republicans who actually had the courage to reveal one of the suggested policies for the Party Values should Romney, somehow, get elected. Rove and co. are only angry at Akin for the leak – not the intent or content of his comments.

    September 1, 2012 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  10. Dave Harris

    It's particularly ironic for Rove to be threatening to murder one of his colleagues for expressing the kind of insanity that he himself has promoted for years in the Republican Party. This was all about pandering to the ignorant base of the party, which was Rove's plan to create "the permanent Republican majority". The idea was to convince people who are barely literate and know nothing about science, history, or economics that anyone who did was the enemy of their God, and they just had to do whatever Republicans told them. It's been remarkably successful, which just shows what a nation of morons we really are.

    September 1, 2012 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  11. Brett

    Wow, these are the crooked people that might be given the helm of the world's most powerful country, again. Wake-Up you Tea Bags. These people are Cronies!

    September 1, 2012 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  12. Mike

    This sums up the GOP this election; a bunch of billionaires and bullies who threaten others with murder if they get in the way attempting to buy and if that doesn't work steal through dozens of efforts of voter suppression the office of the President.

    I pray their efforts are fruitless. This kind of behavior simply cannot be rewarded in this country.

    September 1, 2012 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  13. pprty

    Are the republican's the Mafia?

    September 1, 2012 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  14. Cat

    Better still, Rove should be under surveillance by the FBI and CIA.

    September 1, 2012 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  15. mark

    these 2 deserve each other

    September 1, 2012 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  16. SickofRove and His Ilk

    Rove is desperate to get back into the White House, so that he can finish what he started – getting the US to invade Irag to the benefit of all his rich oil buddies and donors. For someone who pushes an anti-government agenda, he certainly loves the DC power game and being in charge of the government and using up all of our tax money for wars that we can't afford. What happened to the GOP? Reagan must be turning in his grave.

    September 1, 2012 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  17. SickofRove and His Ilk

    Rove is desperate to get back into the White House, so that he can finish what he started – getting the US to invade Iran to the benefit of all his rich oil buddies and donors. For someone who pushes an anti-government agenda, he certainly loves the DC power game and being in charge of the government and using up all of our tax money for wars that we can't afford. What happened to the GOP? Reagan must be turning in his grave.

    September 1, 2012 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  18. bill

    It really is embarrasing for the GOP as to the lengths they will go to distance themseves from other members who voice the ideals of the GOP to news outlets other than Fox News. Karl Rove and the GOP agree 100% with what Akin said and with what Akin believes and these words about Akin is just a smokescreen.

    September 1, 2012 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  19. pprty

    Republican's are acting like the Mafia!

    September 1, 2012 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  20. GJ

    Read Scott McClellan's (GW Bush's press secretary) book to find out some truths about Karl Rove.

    September 1, 2012 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  21. PaulC

    Todd Atkin said nothing that the republican doesn't support. They just say it better.

    September 1, 2012 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  22. LouieD

    If both of these pariahs are found mysteriously murdered, give the perpetrator a medal!

    September 1, 2012 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  23. ghost

    I think Rove would rather have been seen taking a dump on the White House lawn than to have had that comment leaked to the public.

    September 1, 2012 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  24. Numyorangay

    Apology not enough. . .investigate this creep for crimes committed.

    September 1, 2012 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
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