White House, Clinton aide push back against Rove

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon

16 PHOTOS
Hillary Clinton
See Gallery
White House, Clinton aide push back against Rove
CORAL GABLES, FL - FEBRUARY 26: Hillary Rodham Clinton, Former Secretary of State speaks during an event at the University of Miamis BankUnited Center on February 26, 2014 in Coral Gables, Florida. Clinton is reported to be mulling a second presidential run. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
IN this May 6, 2014, photo, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks at the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington. Two of President Barack Obama’s closest first-term advisers will soon spill insider details on the administration’s handling of the early days of the Great Recession, the White House’s cautious response to the Syrian civil war and the genesis of clandestine talks with Iran. The memoirs from Clinton and ex-Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner will be the latest installments in an often awkward Washington ritual: one-time confidants signing big book contracts to examine a presidency that is ongoing and policy decisions that still are being implemented. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton answers a question at the 2014 National Council for Behavioral Health Conference at Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center at National Harbor, Md., Tuesday, May 6, 2014. Clinton spoke about mental health, political, and social issues during her talk. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
CORAL GABLES, FL - FEBRUARY 26: Hillary Rodham Clinton, Former Secretary of State speaks during an event at the University of Miamis BankUnited Center on February 26, 2014 in Coral Gables, Florida. Clinton is reported to be mulling a second presidential run. on February 26, 2014 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 25: Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during the presentation of the Hillary Rodham Clinton Awards for Advancing Women in Peace and Security at Georgetown University February 25, 2014 in Washington, DC. The award was presented to British Foreign Secretary William Hague and to Dr. Denis Mukwege, founder of Panzi Hospital in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 13: Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton joins Melinda Gates in a discussion at New York University and moderated by Chelsea Clinton concerning the use of data to advance the global progress for women and girls on February 13, 2014 in New York City. The discussion, in front of an audience of NYU faculty and students, touched on ways to get more women in positions of power in both business and government. The event also marked the launch of a new partnership between the Clinton Foundation and the Gates Foundation. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 04: Former United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton attends a roundtable discussion held by Univision between parents of elementary school children and politicians regarding language learning and preschool on February 4, 2014 in New York City. Many states, New York included, are on the path to creating preschool education for children under the age of five. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 04: Former United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton attends a roundtable discussion held by Univision between parents of elementary school children and politicians regarding language learning and preschool on February 4, 2014 in New York City. Many states, New York included, are on the path to creating preschool education for children under the age of five. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 27: Former U.S. Seceratary of State Hillary Clinton speaks at the 10th National Automobile Dealers Association Convention on January 27, 2014 in New Orleans, Louisiana. According to reports, Clinton said during a question and answer session at the convention that he biggest regret was the attack on Americans in Benghazi. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 27: Former U.S. Seceratary of State Hillary Clinton speaks at the 10th National Automobile Dealers Association Convention on January 27, 2014 in New Orleans, Louisiana. According to reports, Clinton said during a question and answer session at the convention that he biggest regret was the attack on Americans in Benghazi. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 06: Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R) embraces former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright (L) before Clinton was presented the 2013 Tom Lantos Human Rights Prize December 6, 2013 in Washington, DC. Clinton received the award for her work in the areas of women's rights and internet freedom. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 06: Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivers remarks after being presented the 2013 Tom Lantos Human Rights Prize December 6, 2013 in Washington, DC. Clinton received the award for her work in the areas of women's rights and internet freedom. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 06: While delivering remarks, former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton receives a standing ovation after being presented the 2013 Tom Lantos Human Rights Prize December 6, 2013 in Washington, DC. Clinton received the award for her work in the areas of women's rights and internet freedom. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks after receiving the 2013 Lantos Human Rights Prize during a ceremony on Capitol Hill in Washington on December 6, 2013. AFP PHOTO/Nicholas KAMM (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 03: Global Impact Award Recipient Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks during Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation's Global Impact Award Gala Dinner Honoring Hillary Clinton at Best Buy Theater on December 3, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation)
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION


WASHINGTON (AP) -- An aide to Hillary Rodham Clinton and the White House pushed back Tuesday against Republican strategist Karl Rove for suggesting that the former secretary of state's health could be an issue if she runs for president in 2016.

Rove told Fox News, for which he is a commentator, that Clinton had a "serious health episode" that would be a legitimate issue for her in a potential presidential campaign "whether she likes it or not."

The New York Post reported Tuesday that Rove suggested at a private conference near Los Angeles last week that Clinton suffered brain damage. Rove disputed that he was referring to any brain damage.

"I didn't say she had brain damage. I said she had a serious health episode," he said on Fox News.

Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill called Rove's comments "flagrant and thinly veiled. They are scared of what she has achieved and what she has to offer."

The tussle between the former top political adviser to President George W. Bush and Clinton's team came as the 66-year-old former first lady considers running for president again and is preparing for a book tour next month on her State Department years. Clinton is the leading Democratic contender for president but has not yet said whether she will seek the White House.

As President Barack Obama's secretary of state, Clinton fell ill with a stomach bug in December 2012 after returning from a trip to Europe. The illness forced her to cancel a planned visit to North Africa and the Middle East and left her severely dehydrated. While at home, she fainted and fell and suffered a concussion.

During a follow up examination on Dec. 30, doctors discovered a blood clot in a vein that runs between the skull and the brain behind her right ear and she was admitted to New York-Presbyterian Hospital for treatment with blood thinners. She was released after a brief hospitalization.

Merrill said Clinton is "100 percent" and accused Rove of being part of an effort by Republicans to politicize her health. He noted that some Republicans quipped that Clinton had "Benghazi flu" when her illness forced her to reschedule her testimony before Congress on the 2012 terrorist attack on a diplomatic post in Libya that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.

"First they accused her of faking it, now they've resorted to the other extreme - and are flat-out lying," Merrill said. He said Rove was getting his facts wrong but "doesn't care, because all he wants to do is inject the issue into the echo chamber, and he's succeeding."

White House press secretary Jay Carney mocked the former George W. Bush adviser as "Dr. Rove" and cited Rove's election night questioning on Fox News that President Barack Obama had won re-election in 2012.

"Dr. Rove might have been the last person in America on election night to recognize and acknowledge that the president had won re-election," Carney said.

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

From Our Partners