Tags: America's Forum | Exclusive Interviews | Hillary Clinton | Rick Santorum | Karl Rove | Hillary Clinton | health

Santorum: Rove's Remarks on Hillary's Health 'Not Helpful'

By    |   Wednesday, 14 May 2014 03:17 PM

Rick Santorum chided Karl Rove on Tuesday for suggesting that Hillary Clinton might have brain damage, but the possible 2016 contender said that any presidential candidate's health is "a legitimate issue," and he did not endorse Newt Gingrich's more scathing criticism of Rove.

"I would say that Karl's comments were not helpful," the former Republican senator from Pennsylvania told "America's Forum" host J.D. Hayworth on Newsmax TV.

"I don't know about 'weakening the fabric of democracy,'" Santorum said Wednesday, a reference to Gingrich's broadside.

Rove, the GOP strategist and former White House adviser to President George W. Bush who was once described as "Bush's brain," told a panel on Monday that Clinton's 2012 tumble and hospitalization for a blood clot demand a fuller public explanation.

"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," Rove said.

Story continues below video.



Clinton supporters, including her husband, said the former first lady and secretary of state is doing fine — and wore special glasses afterward for a temporary case of double vision.

Rove later backed off, insisting he never said or meant "brain damage," only that a potential candidate needs to be candid about her health. Clinton, if elected, would be 69 as a president taking office in January 2017.

Gingrich, former GOP House speaker and presidential candidate, said the speculation "weakens the fabric of democracy."

But Santorum said, "It certainly was not the most articulate way of phrasing it."
But he didn't sound surprised. "She tends to bring out the worst and the best in people when it comes to those things," Santorum said of Clinton, adding, "I'm sure when the time comes she's going to have to produce evidence that she's in good health."

"I know Karl has clarified, and his clarification — to me — puts it in the proper context," he said.

Santorum didn't announce a White House run of his own, despite friendly prompting from Hayworth, but he said there's "no question" he's "definitely looking at it."

"We're doing things consistent with running," said Santorum. "If you don't start preparing now . . . you're not going to be in a position to consider running this time next year."

He said he expects a crowded field.

One sign of a general gearing-up is his new book, "Blue Collar Conservatives," in which the devoutly Christian Santorum argues that the Republican Party must reconnect with working-class voters on more than just business: at a time of economic struggle for many, the GOP needs to speak to conservative values such as family stability and opportunity.

"As many as 6 million blue-collar conservatives stayed home in the last [presidential] election," he said. "It's one of the reasons I was so frustrated in not being able to take the nomination: I felt we were leaving a lot of votes on the table."

He said his "plea" is not just to blue-collar conservatives to give the GOP a chance, "but to the Republican Party to open their eyes and realize . . . what's going out there every day and just talking about economic growth and small business and large business — what we're going to do to help business — is too narrow-casting of a message, and is not connecting to the broad swath of America."

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Rick Santorum chided Karl Rove on Tuesday for suggesting that Hillary Clinton might have brain damage, but the possible 2016 contender said that any presidential candidate's health is "a legitimate issue," and he did not endorse Newt Gingrich's more scathing criticism of Rove.
Rick Santorum, Karl Rove, Hillary Clinton, health
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2014-17-14
Wednesday, 14 May 2014 03:17 PM
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