Is Lying All They’ve Got?

Karl Rove Stoops To New Low About Clinton

Karl Rove sinks to a new low with latest comments

We all know that Republicans simply can’t win elections without disgustingly lying about almost everything that comes out of their mouths.  And I’ve always believed that Karl Rove is a disgusting, lying, low-life, that embarrasses an entire species, but that’s just me.  But his latest lie about Hillary Clinton shows just low they can go, and how fearful of they are of her.

From here’s what he said:

Rove’s specialty, as many fellow Republicans acknowledge, is the politics of character destruction — defeating by demonizing. Creating a buzz that works its way into the heads of ordinary folks.

Here, step-by-step, is how Rove just did it again.

One: Speaking to a friendly audience of business elites, Rove launched a discussion about how Hillary Clinton, if she runs for president, must discuss health problem she suffered in 2012, when she fainted, suffered a concussion and a blood clot.

Two: Rupert Murdoch’s tabloid New York Post was tipped to Rove’s comments and ran them, beneath a sensationalized stretch of a headline: “Karl Rove: Hillary may have brain damage.” It quoted Rove as claiming Clinton was hospitalized for 30 days — wrong, she was only hospitalized three days.

Three: Rove then gave a series of interviews to say he never really used the headline’s words — but then continued pushing the idea that she had suffered a “serious health episode” she must discuss.

Four: Over at CNN, the deciders for anchor Jake Tapper’s show went with the topic, big-time. CNN booked its conservative and liberal “Crossfire” hosts to analyze this non-event that really was not yet news. CNN’s designated analyst said exactly what I was thinking:

“I think it is the worst kind of Republican consultant behavior — to get into this kind of personal negative attack … that represents the worst kind of modern politics.”

Here you might be surprised to know that this wasn’t the liberal pundit — it was the former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. Yes, the conservative who was known for his own style of attack politics. Even Gingrich thought Rove went way too far. “I would urge every Republican: don’t touch it, don’t get near it,” Gingrich said.

Ronald Reagan’s late media mastermind, Michael Deaver, achieved fame — and became the de facto executive producer of the nightly TV news — by creating compelling picture opportunities the networks couldn’t resist airing to leave viewers with a lasting impression.

As a Deaver associate once explained to me: When a journalist’s tough words are saying one thing, but the pictures on the screen are portraying another, “our pictures will drown out your words, every time.”

Martin Schram, a McClatchy-Tribune columnis, is a veteran Washington journalist, author and TV documentary executive. Email at

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