The left is outraged by comments Karl Rove reportedly made last week questioning Hillary Clinton’s health. They have all conveniently forgotten how progressives stoked fears about John McCain’s skin cancer in 2008.
According to a report in the NY Post, Rove brought up an incident in 2012 when Hillary was admitted to the hospital saying, “Thirty days in the hospital? 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.”
Hillary’s defenders jumped on the statement. The NY Post reports a Clinton spokesperson saying, “Karl Rove has deceived the country for years, but there are no words for this level of lying.” The DNC also jumped in saying, “It appears Karl Rove’s medical diagnoses are about as solid as his election night prognostications.”
A piece at the Post calls it an example of Republicans, “venomous loathing” of Clinton and suggests she will push the “Republican crazy train” off its rails during her campaign.
Not mentioned by the Post, or anyone else reporting on the story so far, is the fact that progressives used this same tactic during the 2008 campaign. Brave New Films, which created documentaries targeting Wal-Mart, Fox News and the Koch brothers among others, made a series of short videos in 2008 under the heading “The Real McCain.” One of those clips was intended to suggest that McCain was too old and unwell to be President. Special emphasis was placed on skin cancer and how it could recur at any time leaving him unable to act as President.
In October 2008, Brave New Films ran a full page ad in the NY Times again highlighting McCain’s age and “invasive melanoma” and demanding he release his full medical records.
Brave New PAC took the portion of the video about skin cancer and turned it into a 30-second TV ad. That ad was co-produced by a PAC called Democracy for America. DFA was run by James H. Dean the brother of Howard Dean who was then Chairman of the DNC.
As for its reception, Fox and CNN refused to run it. And it was only after Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly made the PAC ad an issue that MSNBC decided to stop running it. But progressive sites like Huff Post and Daily Kos were happy to post it. The longer ad was viewed over half a million times. The shorter PAC ad was viewed over 150,000 times.
As for the current claims about Hillary, Rove told the Washington Post, “Of course she doesn’t have brain damage.” But he added, “she would not be human if it didn’t enter into her considerations.”