May 18th, 2014
01:07 PM ET
9 years ago

Karl Rove stands by his Hillary Clinton comments, says Bill Clinton backs him up

Updated 3:45 p.m. ET, 5/18/2014

(CNN) – Republican strategist Karl Rove on Sunday once again defended his controversial comments about Hillary Clinton’s 2012 concussion, this time trying to use former President Bill Clinton’s own words to back him up.

“Her husband told us something the other day we didn’t know: It took her six months to get back,” Rove said on “Fox News Sunday.”

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Clinton suffered a blood clot in December 2012 as the result of a fall. After first going to the hospital for testing, Clinton later was admitted for a three-day stay at a hospital in New York.

Rove argues that Clinton is likely considering the injury as a factor while she weighs a second bid for the White House, injecting the issue of health and age into the ongoing “Will she or won’t she?” debate.

Her husband defended Hillary Clinton last week, saying she’s “strong” and “doing great.” But he also acknowledged that the episode was a “terrible concussion that required six months of very serious work to get over.”

Hillary Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill said last week, "Karl Rove has deceived the country for years, but there are no words for this level of lying." As for Clinton's health, Merrill added, "She is 100%. Period."

Critics, including her husband, blasted Rove for trying to paint Hillary Clinton as damaged goods.

But Rove, a senior political adviser in the George W. Bush administration, said Sunday he doesn’t have any doubts about her physical capability.

“I'm not questioning her health. What I'm questioning is...whether or not it's a done deal when she's running. She would not be human if she did not take this into consideration,” he said. “She will be 69 at the time of the 2016 election. If she gets elected and serves two terms, she’ll be 77.”

A spokeswoman for Correct the Record, the communications and rapid response arm of a pro-Hillary Clinton super PAC, said Rove's latest comments are a textbook example of his "sleazy tactics that are offensive and ineffective."

"Dr. Rove knows if Secretary Clinton chooses to run for President, it’s a done deal," Adrienne Elrod said. "He knows he and his fellow extremist conspirators will be finished, and the Party that keeps its deals with the American people, the Democratic Party, will stay in the White House and continue leading and looking to the future. "‬

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, also defended Clinton Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union,” calling Rove’s comments “stupid.”

"In my view, she's in the prime of her political life. She's got the energy. She's articulate. She's got the background. She's got the smarts," she said. "She has all of the elements of a good leader."

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Missouri, described Rove’s comments as a “cheap political shot.”

“It's the kind of politics that make people not want to participate, and it's too bad,” she said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

CNN's Dan Merica contributed to this report.

Filed under: Bill Clinton • Hillary Clinton • Karl Rove
soundoff (279 Responses)
  1. jnpa

    Why didn't Ann Romney accompany Mitt on the stage during his concession speech? Because she was so devastated that they lost the election because Karl Rove had convinced them they would be occupying the White House in January. How could Rove be that shortsighted to not even have given them some indication that perhaps Mitt would lose the election. What sort of strategist is he to be so incompetent? Now he once again is showing his incompetence by pretending to be a medical doctor where Hillary Clinton's injury is concerned! When will he just go away?

    May 19, 2014 06:57 am at 6:57 am |
  2. basehitter

    The Dems played the same game with John McCain. Saying he was old and damaged from being a POW.

    May 19, 2014 07:04 am at 7:04 am |
  3. hailey's gg

    What difference does it make?

    May 19, 2014 07:49 am at 7:49 am |
  4. teresainpa

    Rove has one claim to fame and that is stealing the 2000 election. That doesn't take a great political mind. It take the mind of a cheat. Since then he was top adviser to one of the worst presidents in history and in 2012 he spent a lot of other people's money to lose HUGE all over the electoral map. So this is Karl Rove desperately trying to revive his imaginary mojo.
    Yes Hillary Clinton will be 69 and if she decides to run it will be because she is at her best and believes she can do the best possible job for the people. Karl Rove on the other hand will still be a giant slug leaving a trail of slime everywhere he slithers.

    May 19, 2014 07:52 am at 7:52 am |
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