Karl Rove (AP/Rich Pedroncelli)

Karl Rove to Rand Paul: Enough already with Monica Lewinsky!

The GOP strategist says Paul's focus the Clinton years is not a smart way to prep for a White House run in 2016


Elias Isquith
February 12, 2014 12:45AM (UTC)

The man who coordinated the GOP's last two winning presidential campaigns (he even won the popular vote in one of them!) has some advice for Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul: If you're going to run for president, stop talking about Monica Lewinsky.

Appearing on Fox News on Tuesday, Karl Rove, the former chief political strategist for President George W. Bush, advised Paul to broaden his message if he's planning a 2016 run.

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"I'm not sure [Paul] has a strategy," Rove said. "I was intrigued the other day, somebody said, 'Why are you doing this?' and he said, 'Because people are asking me about it.'"

Rove then went on to argue that any candidate planning on running in 2016 needs to establish in 2014 that they're seeking the highest office for reasons beyond personal ambition. Rove also claimed a candidate needs to run on something "bigger than that."

"Frankly, Rand Paul spending a lot of time talking about the mistakes of Bill Clinton does not look like a big agenda for the future of the country," Rove continued.

"I'm not certain, again, that beating up on Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky is a particularly good thing to strengthen your skills for the 2016 contest."

You can watch Rove tweak Paul below, via Talking Points Memo:


Elias Isquith

Elias Isquith is a former Salon staff writer.

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