Rove defends comments questioning Clinton’s health

Karl Rove on Tuesday defended comments he reportedly made questioning Hillary Clinton's health, saying that her time in and out of a hospital surely will reemerge as a concern should she run for president in 2016.

"This is going to be an issue," Rove told Fox News.

The New York Post reported that Rove, a Fox News analyst and former George W. Bush administration adviser, said at a recent conference that if Clinton runs for president, voters should be told what happened when she fell at her home in December 2012.

"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," Rove reportedly said.

Rove clarified on Fox News that he was never claiming Clinton had brain damage.

But he suggested details are scant on what medical issues she was dealing with in late 2012 and early 2013.

"This was a serious deal. She basically was out of action," he said Tuesday. "She spends over a month fighting this. ... And they're not particularly forthcoming."

Rove said Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., faced similar health questions when he ran in 2008.

A representative for Clinton slammed Rove for the remarks reported by the Post. "Karl Rove has deceived the country for years, but there are no words for this level of lying," a spokesperson said, according to the Post. The spokesperson said: "She is 100 percent. Period."

Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill also told The Associated Press: "They are scared of what she has achieved and what she has to offer." White House Press Secretary Jay Carney referred to Rove as "Dr. Rove" when asked about the comments.

Clinton was not in a hospital for 30 days straight. Rather, she was in and out of treatment for about a month in late 2012.

At the time, she had a stomach virus -- and then fell at her home, struck her head and endured a concussion, according to her representatives. Doctors later discovered a blood clot behind her right ear. She was treated with blood thinners.

According to The Associated Press, her doctors said she suffered no neurological damage and was expected to make a full recovery.

The glasses Rove reportedly referred to are typically used by people with traumatic brain injuries -- but that's a broad category that includes concussions. And it's already well known that Clinton suffered one.

Clinton wore special glasses last year after her injury but has not been seen in them lately.