Gingrich: Rove's Comment on Hillary 'Weakens Fabric of Democracy'

Wednesday, 14 May 2014 06:57 AM

By Greg Richter

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Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich doesn't condone fellow Republican Karl Rove's insinuation that Hillary Clinton might have brain damage.

CNN's Jake Tapper noted to Rove that national political campaigns are known for their clever insinuation, in which operatives point out the shortcomings of opponents to journalists without actually making a direct accusation.

But Gingrich, now co-host of CNN's "Crossfire," said Rove missed the mark.

Urgent: Who Is Your Choice for the GOP's 2016 Nominee?

"This was not clever. It was not insinuation. This was Karl Rove running headlong into a brick wall," Gingrich said.

Clinton, who will be 69 by Election Day 2016, will face the same questions on age Ronald Reagan did if she decides to run for president, Gingrich said, and she will answer them the same way.

"You go out and you campaign. And you give speeches. And you answer questions. And if, in fact, you can do that, nobody's going to believe this stuff," Gingrich said.

He said there will be plenty of policy issues to debate in addition to Clinton's performance as secretary of state, so Rove's personal attack was without merit.

"We don't need to get into this kind of stuff, and I would urge every Republican: Don't touch it, don't get near it," Gingrich said.

National politics is a tough business, Gingrich admitted, but he said nothing drives decent people away from running for office faster than tactics such as Rove's.

"It weakens the fabric of democracy," he said.

Rove was quoted by the New York Post as saying Clinton may have suffered a traumatic brain injury when she was reported to have fallen and sustained a concussion in December 2012.

Rove backpedaled on the comments Tuesday, but still insisted Clinton's health will be  part of the 2016 campaign.

Urgent: Who Is Your Choice for the GOP's 2016 Nominee?

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