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."
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."