UK
13/05/2014 16:13 BST | Updated 13/05/2014 16:59 BST

Karl Rove Suggests Hillary Clinton Has Brain Damage As 2016 Presidential Election Starts Nasty

The 2016 presidential election is likely to be an ugly affair, with negative campaigning, personal attacks and dirty politics. And where there is dirty politics, there is Karl Rove, the Republican strategist and former White House Deputy Chief Of Staff, who has already gone on the offensive by suggesting former Secretary of State and likely Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton may have sustained brain damage.

Clinton suffered a clot in her skull after a fall in December 2012 left her with concussion. However, what appeared to be a routine stay in hospital following an accident has left Rove with one or two questions unanswered.

Speaking to New York Post’s Page Six, the architect of Bush’s 2004 election victory said: "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."

The remark, which was allegedly made at a conference in Los Angeles last week, contradicts assurances made by Clinton’s doctors in 2013 that the clot did not lead to any neurological damage or a stroke.

Speaking on MSNBC on Tuesday, Former White House Communications Director Nicolle Wallace, who was a colleague of Rove in the Bush administration, referred to his comments as “off the wall”.

She said: “I worked with Karl for a long time. This was a deliberate strategy on his part to raise her health as an issue and, I think in his view, a legitimate line of questioning ahead of the next campaign."

Rove appeared on Fox News on Tuesday to defend his comments, adding that Clinton’s team had not been “forthcoming” with information about the former first lady’s health.