Karl Rove suggested at a New York conference last week that former Secretary of State and possible 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton may have “brain damage,” according to a report in the New York Post.
Rove was speculating on the aftermath of Clinton’s 2012 hospitalization for a blood clot caused by a concussion she suffered in a fall. Her injury delayed her testimony before Congress on the 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya.
But what he said “stunned” the conference, according to the report.
“Thirty days in the hospital?” Rove said at the conference, where he appeared alongside author Dan Raviv and former White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs. “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.”
According to the report, Rove repeated the suggestion multiple times at the conference.
A spokesperson for Clinton said she is “100%. Period.”
“Karl Rove has deceived the country for years, but there are no words for this level of lying,” Clinton spokesperson Nick Merrill said in an email.
Rove clarified his remarks somewhat on Fox News Tuesday morning, but he said her health will be a factor in 2016 “whether she likes it or not.”
“I didn’t say she had brain damage,” Rove said. “My point was, is that Hillary Clinton wants to run for president, but she would not be human if this didn’t enter in as a consideration. And my other point is, this will be an issue in the 2016 race, whether she likes it or not.”
The Democratic National Committee also immediately slammed Rove for his remarks, blasting out an email Monday night to reporters on the Post’s story.
“It appears Karl Rove’s medical diagnoses are about as solid as his election night prognostications,” the committee said.
This post has been updated to include Rove’s remarks Tuesday morning.
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