Republican political pundit Karl Rove is under fire from the pro-Hillary Clinton camp, whose members accuse the former White House strategist of dirty politics and outright lies regarding the former Secretary of State's health.
The charges are return-fire for Mr. Rove's suggestion that Mrs. Clinton, a top Democratic Party candidate for president in 2016, may in fact have suffered a serious brain-related issue when she was hospitalized for a fall and subsequent blood clot in 2012.
"From the moment this happened 17 months ago, the right has politicized her health," said Nick Merrill, a spokesman for Mrs. Clinton, in a statement reported by the New York Post. "First they accused her of faking it. Now they've resorted to the other extreme — and are flat-out lying. ... All [Rove] wants to do is inject the issue into the echo chamber, and he's succeeding."
Mr. Rove's actual statements that caused so much angst: "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."
Mrs. Clinton was actually sent home from the New York-Presbyterian hospital after three days, though she did receive some further and followup medical care.
Mr. Rove dug in on his comments, saying that while he never explicitly stated that Mrs. Clinton may have suffered brain damage, the American people were entitled to know the full extent of her health issues, just the same.
"Look, she had a serious health episode," he said, the New York Post reported. "And I don't know about you, but if you go through a serious health episode, it causes you to look at life a little bit differently. This was a serious deal."
Another GOP strategist, Ed Rollins, said Mrs. Clinton would have to release her medical records anyway, if she chooses to seek the high office.
If she does run for the presidency, she sets the stage for becoming the oldest person since Ronald Reagan to take over the White House. Mr. Reagan was elected when he was 69 years old; Mrs. Clinton turns 69 in October 2016.
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