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Hillary Clinton

Matt Rourke, Associated Press

Rove

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Tempest erupts over Clinton's health

  • Article by: Maeve Reston
  • Los Angeles Times
  • May 14, 2014 - 8:23 AM

Smacking down allegations that Karl Rove made about Hillary Clinton’s health, a spokesman for the former secretary of state said Tuesday that Rove was “lying” and that “the right has politicized” Clinton’s health from the moment she was treated for a blood clot after a fall 17 months ago.

Rove, the former White House adviser to President George W. Bush, raised questions about Clinton’s health at a conference last week in Los Angeles. “Thirty days in the hospital?” Rove said at the conference, according to the New York Post, which first reported the comments Monday night. “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’s remarks grossly misstated the length of Clinton’s hospitalization, which was only several days at the end of 2012 after doctors discovered a blood clot behind her right ear that stemmed from a concussion.

The then-secretary of state suffered the concussion after fainting at her Washington home while weakened from a stomach virus. The clot was discovered during a follow-up exam at New York Presbyterian Hospital.

The injury led Clinton to delay her testimony to Congress on the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on a diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya, that left four Americans dead. Republicans are expected to use the attacks in Benghazi as an issue against Clinton if she runs for president in 2016.

Rove attempted to roll back his remarks Tuesday in an interview with Fox News — but continued to raise Clinton’s age as an issue.

“I didn’t say she had brain damage,” he told Fox. “We don’t know what the doctors said about what does she have to be concerned about”

Rove told Fox that Clinton’s health “will be an issue in the 2016 race whether she likes it or not.”

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