(Jeff Malet, maletphoto.com)

Newt Gingrich is “deeply offended” by Karl Rove’s latest Hillary Clinton smear

The former House speaker and GOP presidential candidate decries Rove's attack on the one-time secretary of state


Elias Isquith
May 14, 2014 5:32PM (UTC)

Newt Gingrich took a big shot at fellow GOPer Karl Rove during a Facebook question and answer session on Tuesday, describing Rove's recent attempt to smear Hillary Clinton as offensive and out-of-bounds.

"[I] am totally opposed and deeply offended by Karl Rove's comments about Secretary Clinton," Gingrich wrote in response to a question from the Huffington Post.

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"I have many policy disagreements with Hillary but this kind of personal charge is exactly whats wrong with [A]merican politics," Gingrich continued. "[Rove] should apologize and stop discussing her health. [I] was angry when people did this to Reagan in 1980 and I am angry when they do it to her today."

On Monday, Rove reportedly told attendees at a closed-door meeting that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wasn't being entirely forthcoming about her health. Rove even went so far as to imply that Clinton had suffered brain damage after a tumble she took in late 2012 and that she was hiding this from the public.

"Thirty days in the hospital?" Rove allegedly said. "And when she reappears, she's wearing glasses that are only for people who have traumatic brain injury? We need to know what's up with that.”

Yet although Rove soon attempted to walk back his insinuation, describing his comments as merely reflecting concern over the former first lady's health, many observers aren't buying his explanation.

"I worked with Karl for a long time," said Nicolle Wallace, a former top-tier GOP operative. "This was a deliberate strategy on his part to raise her health as an issue and, I think in his view, a legitimate line of questioning ahead of the next campaign."

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Clinton's doctors said she did not suffer any neurological damage from her fall.

"From the moment this happened seventeen months ago, the Right has politicized her health," said Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill in a statement. "First they accused her of faking it, now they've resorted to the other extreme -- and are flat out lying. Even this morning, Karl Rove is still all over the map and is continuing to get the facts wrong. But he doesn't care, because all he wants to do is inject the issue into the echo chamber, and he's succeeding. It's flagrant and thinly veiled."

"They are scared of what she has achieved and what she has to offer," he added. "What he's doing is its own form of sickness. But she is 100%, period. Time for them to move on to their next desperate attack."


Elias Isquith

Elias Isquith is a former Salon staff writer.

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