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March 30, 2010

Karl Rove heckled, called 'war criminal' at book event

Posted: 04:47 PM ET

By the CNN Wire Staff

Los Angeles, California (CNN) - Former White House chief of staff Karl Rove was heckled and branded a "war criminal' at a book signing in Beverly Hills, California, on Monday night. 

Rove, who served as senior adviser and deputy chief of staff to President Bush, was at the Saban Theater to discuss his new book, "Courage and Consequences: My Life as a Conservative in the Fight," to an audience of about 100 people who paid up to $40 to hear him.

But the audience members were unable to get their copies of the book signed after Rove was shouted down and forced to leave the stage, reported CNN affiliate KCAL-TV.

The event was heated from the onset as several anti-war protesters interrupted Rove's talk to accuse him and the Bush administration of lying to Americans about the threat Iraq posed to the United States - and thus, taking the country into war.

Rove called one heckler a "lunatic." He told another to "get the heck out of here."

At one point, Jodie Evans, the co-founder of the anti-war group Code Pink, rushed toward Rove waving a pair of handcuffs and saying she was there to make a citizen's arrest.

"Look what you did ... you lied to take us to war. You ruined a country. You totally ruined a country," she shouted.

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Filed under: Karl Rove • Politics


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September 10, 2009

Rove: Obama's gamble makes Dems vulnerable

Posted: 08:07 AM ET

By Karl Rove, Former Advisor to President George W. Bush

Millions of Americans watched President Barack Obama's speech last night to a joint session of Congress. Much of it was familiar, having been delivered in at least 111 speeches, town halls, radio addresses and other appearances on health care. But his most revealing remarks on the topic came on Monday, at a Labor Day union picnic in Cincinnati.

There Mr. Obama accused critics of his health reforms of spreading "lies" and said opponents want "to do nothing." These false charges do not reveal a spirit of bipartisanship nor do they create a foundation for dialogue. It is more like what you'd say if you are planning to jam through a bill without compromise. Which is exactly what Mr. Obama is about to attempt.

Team Obama is essentially asking congressional Democrats to take a huge gamble. The White House is arguing that ramming through a controversial bill is safer for Democrats than not passing anything. This is based on the false premise that the death of HillaryCare is what doomed Democrats in 1994. Mr. Obama told a reporter in July that the defeat of HillaryCare "Helped [Republicans] regain the House." Former President Bill Clinton echoed that thought recently by saying "doing nothing" today is "the worst thing we can do for the Democrats."

Actually, attempting to pass HillaryCare is what brought down the party. Voters rejected a massively complicated, hugely expensive government takeover of health care and the Democrats who pushed it.

In reality, it is riskier to be at odds with where Americans are than just standing by as an unpopular proposal goes down. The problem for Democrats is they are scaring voters by proposing a takeover of health care that spends too much money, creates too much debt, gives Washington too much power, and takes too much decision-making away from doctors and patients.

(Read More from the WSJ)

Filed under: Karl Rove • Politics is King • President Obama


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June 4, 2009

Karl Rove: It's the economy, stupid...

Posted: 10:14 AM ET

By Karl Rove, former senior adviser to President George W. Bush

Tomorrow will likely bring more bad news for President Barack Obama on the number one issue for voters - the economy. The Labor Department's monthly job report will almost certainly show unemployment topping 9%, with a couple hundred thousand more jobs lost in May.

It will get worse before jobs get better. Congressional Budget Director Douglas W. Elmendorf recently predicted that unemployment will continue rising into the second half of next year and peak above 10%.

Mr. Obama has an ingenious approach to job losses: He describes them as job gains. For example, last week the president claimed that 150,000 jobs had been created or saved because of his stimulus package. He boasted, "And that's just the beginning." However, at the beginning of January, 134.3 million people were employed. At the start of May, 132.4 million Americans were working. How was Mr. Obama magically able to conjure this loss of 1.9 million jobs into an increase of 150,000 jobs?

As my former White House deputy press secretary Tony Fratto points out on his blog, the Labor Department does not and cannot collect data on "jobs saved." So the Obama administration is asking that we accept its "clairvoyant ability to estimate," and the White House press corps has let Mr. Obama's ludicrous claim go virtually unchallenged.

Read MORE of Rove's commentary from the Wall Street Journal

Filed under: Economy • Karl Rove • Politics


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May 21, 2009

Rove: Our president isn't quite as advertised

Posted: 07:57 AM ET

By Karl Rove, former Senior Adviser to President Bush

Barack Obama inherited a set of national-security policies that he rejected during the campaign but now embraces as president. This is a stunning and welcome about-face.

For example, President Obama kept George W. Bush's military tribunals for terror detainees after calling them an "enormous failure" and a "legal black hole." His campaign claimed last summer that "court systems . . . are capable of convicting terrorists." Upon entering office, he found out they aren't.

He insisted in an interview with NBC in 2007 that Congress mandate "consequences" for "a failure to meet various benchmarks and milestones" on aid to Iraq. Earlier this month he fought off legislatively mandated benchmarks in the $97 billion funding bill for Iraq and Afghanistan.

Mr. Obama agreed on April 23 to American Civil Liberties Union demands to release investigative photos of detainee abuse. Now's he reversed himself. Pentagon officials apparently convinced him that releasing the photos would increase the risk to U.S. troops and civilian personnel.

Read more of Rove's commentary at the Wall Street Journal

Filed under: Karl Rove • President Obama


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April 23, 2009

Meghan McCain: I wish Karl Rove would go away

Posted: 06:13 PM ET

Meghan McCain — who said earlier this week that she found Karl Rove "creepy" — said Thursday she wished the former Bush advisor would just "go away."

"The DNC just did an ad, and it has Karl Rove, Newt Gingrich and Dick Cheney as the new faces of the Republican Party," she said on The View, adding that the party's young people like herself were looking for "new energy and new blood."

"It's very unprecedented for someone like Karl Rove or Dick Cheney to be criticizing the president," said the 24-year-old daughter of former GOP presidential candidate John McCain. "It's very unprecendented, former vice president, and obviously Karl Rove, and my big criticism is: you had your eight years, go away."

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Filed under: Karl Rove • Meghan McCain


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Rove: The President's Apology tour wraps up

Posted: 05:22 PM ET

By Karl Rove, former senior advisor to President George W Bush

President Barack Obama has finished the second leg of his international confession tour. In less than 100 days, he has apologized on three continents for what he views as the sins of America and his predecessors.

Mr. Obama told the French (the French!) that America "has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive" toward Europe. In Prague, he said America has "a moral responsibility to act" on arms control because only the U.S. had "used a nuclear weapon." In London, he said that decisions about the world financial system were no longer made by "just Roosevelt and Churchill sitting in a room with a brandy" - as if that were a bad thing. And in Latin America, he said the U.S. had not "pursued and sustained engagement with our neighbors" because we "failed to see that our own progress is tied directly to progress throughout the Americas."

By confessing our nation's sins, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said that Mr. Obama has "changed the image of America around the world" and made the U.S. "safer and stronger." As evidence, Mr. Gibbs pointed to the absence of protesters during the Summit of the Americas this past weekend.

That's now the test of success? Anti-American protesters are a remarkably unreliable indicator of a president's wisdom. Ronald Reagan drew hundreds of thousands of protesters by deploying Pershing and cruise missiles in Europe. Those missiles helped win the Cold War.

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Filed under: Karl Rove • President Obama


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April 21, 2009

Meghan McCain: Take back twitter from creeps like Rove

Posted: 09:03 AM ET

By Meghan McCain, daughter of U.S. Senator John McCain

Karl Rove follows me on Twitter. That’s creepy. I joined Twitter a few months ago; so far, it has been a liberating way to transition from political to personal blogging. It’s allowed me to share the less-serious aspects and humorously uncensored moments of my life. But there’s also been a downside: I am now being followed by Karl Rove, and my local sheriff, and God knows how many other political pundits. We need to take Twitter back from the creepy people.

On the surface, Karl Rove’s Twitter feed intrigues me. Here’s a guy who for years has been perceived as some kind of inaccessible man-behind-the-curtain figure. And now he Tweets numerous times a day. I’ve never met him in person, which only makes our Twitter relationship even weirder. And to be honest, I find Rove’s Tweets boring. Sometimes he takes questions; other times he talks about his appearances on cable news and other shows. But he doesn’t say anything substantive. If I had to guess, I’d say Rove has a “ghost Twitterer” (as in a ghost writer) or an assistant updating his feed for him.

Oddly enough, Rove’s Tweets seem to reveal a softer side to him. Call it savvy marketing, but I find it disingenuous. And it’s a bit weird to think his people—not even Rove himself—are following me. I’d like to think it’s because they find what I’m saying entertaining, but I can’t help thinking they’re just trying to seem connected to young people.

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Filed under: Karl Rove • Meghan McCain


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April 9, 2009

Rove: The President Has Become a Devisive Figure

Posted: 12:11 PM ET

By Karl Rove, Former Advisor to President George Bush

The Pew Research Center reported last week that President Barack Obama "has the most polarized early job approval of any president" since surveys began tracking this 40 years ago.

The gap between Mr. Obama's approval rating among Democrats (88%) and Republicans (27%) is 61 points. This "approval gap" is 10 points bigger than George W. Bush's at this point in his presidency, despite Mr. Bush winning a bitterly contested election.

Part of Mr. Obama's polarized standing can be attributed to a long-term trend. University of Missouri political scientist John Petrocik points out that since 1980, each successive first term president has had more polarized support than his predecessor with the exception of 1989, when George H.W. Bush enjoyed a modest improvement over Ronald Reagan's 1981 standing.

But rather than end or ameliorate that trend, Mr. Obama's actions and rhetoric have accelerated it. His campaign promised post-partisanship, but since taking office Mr. Obama has frozen Republicans out of the deliberative process, and his response to their suggestions has been a brusque dismissal that "I won."

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Filed under: Karl Rove • President Obama


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April 2, 2009

Rove: Obama brings Chicago politics to DC; and he's keeping score

Posted: 08:29 AM ET

By Karl Rove, Former Advisor to President George W. Bush

"Don't think we're not keeping score, brother." That's what President Barack Obama said to Rep. Peter DeFazio in a closed-door meeting of the House Democratic Caucus last week, according to the Associated Press.

A few weeks ago, Mr. DeFazio voted against the administration's stimulus bill. The comment from Mr. Obama was a presidential rebuke and part of a new, hard-nosed push by the White House to pressure Congress to adopt the president's budget. He has mobilized outside groups and enlisted forces still in place from the Obama campaign.

Senior presidential adviser Valerie Jarrett and her chief of staff, Michael Strautmanis, are in regular contact with MoveOn.Org, Americans United for Change and other liberal interest groups. Deputy Chief of Staff Jim Messina has collaborated with Americans United for Change on strategy and even ad copy. Ms. Jarrett invited leaders of the liberal interest groups to a White House social event with the president and first lady to kick off the lobbying campaign.

Its targets were initially Republicans, as team Obama ran ads depicting the GOP as the "party of no." But now the fire is being trained on Democrats worried about runaway spending.

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Filed under: Karl Rove


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March 26, 2009

Rove: Obama Points Back to the GOP's future

Posted: 07:36 AM ET

By Karl Rove, former adviser to President George W. Bush

Something powerful is stirring in the land, and it may not be good news for President Barack Obama, his agenda or the Democratic Party. Mr. Obama said Tuesday night his budget moves America "from an era of borrow and spend" to "save and invest."

But people are realizing he would add $9.3 trillion to the national debt, doubling it in six years and nearly tripling it in 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). How can that be "save and invest"?

In his inaugural address, Mr. Obama told us, "The stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply." He wants to turn to new issues of education, health care and green jobs, which he plugged at every opportunity in Tuesday's press conference.

Suddenly, though, it doesn't seem like a time of new politics and new concerns. Many Americans are anxious - and in some cases angry - about a set of old issues: deficits, taxes and the national debt. Mr. Obama's radical budget, his administration's slapdash operating manner, and events such as the AIG bonuses have revived animosity over government's size and cost.

In response, tea parties are sprouting up, and opposition is growing to more bailouts, more spending, higher taxes and larger deficits, even among Congressional Democrats.

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Filed under: Karl Rove


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