The New York Post reported that Rove made the suggestion last week
at a conference. Rove denied using the phrase, but told the Fox News
Channel that Clinton's health would be an issue should she run for
the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016.
Asked about the brain damage comment at his daily news briefing,
Carney noted the Republican's steadfast refusal to admit President
Barack Obama had defeated Republican nominee Mitt Romney in the key
state of Ohio on election night in 2012.
"Here's what I would say about cognitive capacity, which is that
'Dr. Rove' might've been the last person in America on election
night to recognize and acknowledge that the president had won
re-election, including the state of Ohio, so we'll leave it at
that," Carney said.
Clinton suffered a blood clot in her head in December 2012 after a
fall at her home and received several days of treatment at a New
York hospital. The incident raised health concerns for Clinton, who
was a widely traveled secretary of state for Obama.
Clinton, 66, is seriously considering entering the race to succeed
Obama and would be the prohibitive favorite if she decides to do so.
She has an active speaking schedule ahead of the release next month
of her memoir, "Hard Choices."
Rove is the architect of George W. Bush's two presidential election
victories. In his Fox News interview, he said Clinton had gone
through "a serious health episode" and will have to deal with
questions about her health and age if she runs.
[to top of second column]
Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill said the Republican right has
politicized Clinton's blood clot episode ever since it happened.
"First they accused her of faking it, now they've resorted to the
other extreme, and are flat out lying," he said.
"Even this morning, Karl Rove is still all over the map and is
continuing to get the facts wrong. But he doesn't care, because all
he wants to do is inject the issue into the echo chamber, and he's
"It's flagrant and thinly veiled. They are scared of what she has
achieved and what she has to offer. What he's doing is its own form
of sickness. But she is 100 percent, period. Time for them to move
on to their next desperate attack," Merrill added.
(Reporting By Steve Holland. Editing by Andre Grenon)
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