May 27th, 2014
11:19 AM ET
9 years ago

Karl Rove: Hillary Clinton is 'old and stale'

Washington (CNN) – Karl Rove, the Republican strategist who just weeks ago ignited a fire about Hillary Clinton's health, now says the former secretary of state is at risk of being seen as "old and stale."

After Rove was asked about Clinton's "inevitability" as the Democratic nominee in 2016 on Fox News, the former George W. Bush aide said "people don't like people who seem to already have it made."

"In American politics, there is a sense that you want to be new, that you don't want to be too familiar," Rove said Monday. "You want to be something fresh, you don't want to be something that is old and stale."

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Clinton is "thinking" about running for president in 2016 and is widely considered the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination. Rove's comments are in line with what a number of other Republicans have said about 2016: Clinton's age is "fair game."

If Clinton, 66, is elected president in 2016, she will be 69 years old, just a few months younger than the United States' oldest elected president: Ronald Reagan. Democrats have charged that questioning Clinton's age is sexist and out of bounds.

Rove has made a habit of lobbing rhetorical bombs at the former secretary of state. Earlier this month, Rove questioned Clinton's health by suggesting that she had a "traumatic brain injury."

Rove stood by his comments, despite the fact that many Democrats – including her husband, former President Bill Clinton – defended Hillary Clinton.

In response to Rove, Hillary Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill said "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."

On Monday, Rove said that in Hillary Clinton's case, becoming the frontrunner this year "has its disadvantages."

"It's easy to fall into nostalgia, and Hillary Clinton may be in danger of doing this," he said. "She is talking about how good things were when Bill was in office. When Bill was in office, the economy was better. Which, to some degree, it helps her. But it also hurts her because it makes her look like yesterday."

In a number of recent speeches, Hillary Clinton has touted her husband's years in the White House from 1992 to 2000.

Earlier this month, Hillary Clinton told a progressive audience in Washington, D.C. that the 1990s "taught us that even in the face of difficult long-term economic trends, it is possible through smart policies and sound investments to enjoy broad-based growth and shared prosperity."

She went on to bash former President George W. Bush as someone who focused solely on tax cuts for the rich. Bush, she said, proved "we can turn surpluses into debt, we can return to rising deficits."

Filed under: 2016 • Hillary Clinton • Karl Rove
soundoff (49 Responses)
  1. nonyabizz

    rover is every bit as old and stale...more so, actually...

    May 27, 2014 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  2. CryBabies

    Whiners are in full force today! Gurgyl.....How my know who you elected for?

    May 27, 2014 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  3. Gurgyl

    Ria, I admit this fact, I don't like dynasty either. I think next is Andrew Cuomo is best. But he is not quite ready. No alternative. Hillary16.

    May 27, 2014 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  4. jim

    "In American politics, there is a sense that you want to be new, that you don't want to be too familiar," Rove said Monday. "You want to be something fresh, you don't want to be something that is old and stale."....

    So what does he want – Bush 3??

    Real Fresh

    May 27, 2014 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  5. Abbey

    No amount of botox can fix old and stale.

    May 27, 2014 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  6. Gunderson

    Much of the same, no? To listen to the Liberal's tell it, the country needs Tax and Spend Politicians. Bill Clinton was a benefactor of the Reagan Revolution when the Cold war wound down and military spending subsided. Also Bill was dragged kicking and screaming by the Republicans to more fiscal responsibility. In case you didn't know, big spending hasn't subsided and the National Debt just keeps going up. Funny how Republican Governors get elected and state budgets get balanced and debt gets paid off.

    If the liberal manifesto was so great we wouldn't have a 18 Trillion dollar federal debt, of which will increase if Hillary gets elected. Yes 100 years of Liberal Politics is getting Stale Indeed.

    May 27, 2014 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  7. CMaldonado

    Her age should not be a factor-Women live 5 to 10 years longer than men.

    May 27, 2014 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  8. RickyHatz

    Hillary Clinton is 66.

    May 27, 2014 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  9. Mary Ann

    Karl Rove is way past his due date - why does ANYBODY care what he has to say?

    May 27, 2014 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  10. AEJ

    Do I see a down syndrome old white SOB talking?

    May 27, 2014 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  11. Lolo

    Some nerve. And the GOP/TP Klan tries to make you think that they have changed their stripes. They know that if Hillary runs she wil win. Tryng to beat up on her before she even gets started. Nothing but a bunch of cry babies and hypocrits. Rove is younger than Hillary but he sure does look older than she does. Too much lying and chaeting during the Bush years have taken a toll on him.

    May 27, 2014 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  12. texasjimbob

    I really don't know on what basis anyone thinks Hillary is qualified to be President. Can anyone really name anything that she has actually accomplished? Did she do anything memorable as First Lady of either Arkansas or the U.S.? Did she write any bills in the Senate that became law? Did she solve any major diplomatic issues as Secretary of State? Of course given the current occupant of the WH, most Americans only listen to partisan rhetoric and don't really care about actual accomplishments.

    May 27, 2014 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  13. Martin McAllister

    Old and stale? Who's he talking about? It seems to me it's the republican party that's "Old And Stale" Get with it Carl change YOUR party then you can call others out, not until.

    May 27, 2014 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |

    Typical Guns Over people teatard move,double down on stupid. Keep talking wingnuts. Women are listening.

    May 27, 2014 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  15. scmaize

    Karl Rove must not own a mirror! Then again, he's probably one of those "stale" older men who think only women age, while men become so distinguished and studly in their 60's that twenty-something women can't resist them. Only in your fantasies, Karl.

    May 27, 2014 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  16. Sniffit

    "If the liberal manifesto was so great we wouldn't have a 18 Trillion dollar federal debt"

    And again, the 18T debt is almost all from two unfunded wars, an unfunded Medicare Part D expansion, the recession, the Bush tax cuts. TARP and the Stimulus are actually tiny little slivers. You can blabber all you want about the debt existing...that's fine...but lying about the policies (including deregulation and negligent oversight of Wall Street when it comes to the recession) is just plain old dishonest.

    May 27, 2014 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  17. strangways

    what a vile, bloated creep Karl Rove is! has he ever looked in the mirror? Man, am I tired of hearing his venom. Thanks, Republicans.

    May 27, 2014 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  18. The Doodle

    Well he should know about Old & Stale.

    May 27, 2014 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |

    Oh look here its hilly Again hurry hury hurl clinton has lots of trix and surprises to share with you and me enough to make it feel like forever and a 30 day supply of old bread now ?

    May 27, 2014 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  20. 2L

    Somebody buy Rove a mirror, he thinks he's 26

    May 27, 2014 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  21. jboh

    Karl made his "bones" in GOP circles working for Donald Zagretti's department of dirty tricks w/Nixon's commitee to re-elect the president. He was investigated by Waterate panel, and his boss went to prison for his actions. Actions Rove was an active participant in. He should also lose his tax exempt status as a 501 superpac for engaging in political campaigning. Morally corrupt campaign tactics are about as old and state as you can get.

    May 27, 2014 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  22. VEW2012

    For women sixty six is the new 46. Hillary on a bad day has more on the ball than Rove ever has or ever will.

    May 27, 2014 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  23. Marie MD

    Being an old fart himself do we have to listen or care about mr. Meltdown?
    I'll take Hillary with half a brain over the teaklans with what they call brains. Look at the uneducated simpleton bimbo they chose in 2008.
    Scared much rove and company? You should be and the more you put her down the more votes she gets.

    May 27, 2014 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  24. "Breath and Release"

    It would be just AWSOME to see Hillary run and win! Imagine the day when you see Hillary with Bill at her side standing in front of the White House. Karl's head will explode, I don't think that FOX news would make it thourgh the day. That's a great day for America!

    May 27, 2014 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
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