March 19, 2009

Rove: Costly first 2 months for Obama gives GOP an opening

Posted: 07:55 AM ET

By former White House deputy chief of staff Karl Rove

President Barack Obama and his West Wing lieutenants are playing on the world's largest stage, yet act as if no one is watching them when they contradict their campaign promises. That behavior is unwittingly giving the Republicans an opening.

For example, Team Obama thinks the president, having spent a good portion of the campaign decrying the $2.9 trillion in deficits during the Bush years, can now double the national debt held by the public in 10 years. Having condemned earmarks during the campaign, the Obama administration now believes it can wave through 8,500 of them in the omnibus-spending bill, part of the biggest spending increase since World War II.

With the Dow at 7,486 and unemployment at 8.1%, Mr. Obama says the economy is fundamentally sound. Does he suppose the nation won't recall him attacking John McCain last September for saying the same thing - when the Dow was at 11,000 and unemployment at 6.2%?

Candidate Obama vowed to end "the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics." Yet his administration geared up to lead a left-wing coalition to pressure Republicans and centrist Democrats, organized a daily conference call to coordinate liberal attack dogs, and strategized with Americans United for Change on ads depicting the GOP as the party of "no."

READ MORE of Rove's commentary

Filed under: Karl Rove • President Obama

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Terry, TX   March 19th, 2009 8:54 am ET

May I add...because I now agree with everything in this article...
The Democratic Congress, Democratic Senate and the 3 Republicans who voted yes on the Job Pork Stimulus...without even reading it....owe Mr. Liddy an apology for what he has been put through....and they need to be under oath in the same chair as Mr. Liddy was in. I add the media needs to apologize as well. We need to know who told Chris Dodds from the White House and the Treasury Dept. to remove Republican Snowe provision and put his in... this is why the bonuses were parceled out. We have been Blagoviched with an "F".

This Democratic show grilling was heinous....and beginning to smell of Chicago Politics....notice Obama is out of town when it gets hot…. Jay Leno and California. The buck stops with this entire problem was started by him. The "My Fault...I am the President"..the "buck stops here"....not good enough anymore...getting real old. This Obama show has put AIG employees in danger....and the media can take their share of the responsibility.

Terry, TX   March 19th, 2009 8:56 am ET

Don’t get me started on this same Democratic Congress, Democratic Senate along with 3 Republican Senators who voted to remove E-Verify Program to insure all monies go to American citizens and now allow illegal aliens to receive taxpayer money. Now we have Pelosi calling us Americans “Unpatriotic”….and illegal aliens the good guys. This tactic has nothing to do with a good heart…she is promising them citizenship for their votes. This is just a Civil War Tactic… vote for us will give you a mule and 30 acres….it is disgusting…..she should support our Immigration Laws and all our officers…instead she slapped them in the face. OK I'm furious but I am finished.

debbie   March 19th, 2009 10:29 am ET

President Obama inherited this mess people by the Republicans and as much as they try to blame the new administration, most don't believe that garbage. Bush created this and his admin istration caused a roller coaster effect that may take years of undoing . No it is not no fault of the President, he is at least trying. He can't do it over night and the downhill slide of Republican spending and tax breaks for the choosen and all those bonuses being handed out to Congress for 8 years while they denied health care ,they were living high on the working class. The pork in that bill was there from Bush's term in the first place and the President has bent over backwards for these sore losing Republicans who wanted Mccain in office so their reckless spending and bonuses could continue.

sammy   March 19th, 2009 11:30 am ET

8 yrs of GW Bush, Cheney, Rumsfels Rove & yes, Rice knew what was going on..but I bet she voted for Obama !

Gordon   March 19th, 2009 12:21 pm ET

I think to be a republican requires three things. Believe everything you are told, even Sara Palin believed the US was attacked by Iraq on 9/11. Second associate the word liberal with negative and hate filled adjectives, even though liberal means free. Third never stop thinking about how you can help the rich get more money and power.
I don't think the Dems have all the answers but I certainly don't see the same level of hate and avarice from them that I here and see from people like Rove, Bush and Chaney.

VICTOR A. OSINAIKE   March 19th, 2009 2:09 pm ET

Dear Larry King,
It is my hope that this contribution of mine would prove useful in the dialogue of doing something towards having a healthy economy soon.
The whole article is hereby presented below:

Since some people go to great lengths to train themselves to become financial ‘geniuses’, take on the responsibility of investing/managing other people’s money (OPM) and they are rewarded hugely for their successful services, why do they have to still keep so much bonuses/salary/incentives/payment, etc for such a calamitous failure of an economy that we have to deal with now?
One of many factors that sustain Capitalism is the trust investors have in those who assume the job of investing and managing OPM. Without personal and collective discipline, self control and some sense of higher-order thinking on the part of these money managers, such trust would not exist or it would not be in such a quantum and quality that would allow for a sound and healthy economic systemic functioning. It is noteworthy to consider that very simple economic concept taught in early high-school economics class which says “human wants are insatiable.” This is also very true of these money managers hence their behavior over the years is now shown, through the general economic results we are now dealing with, to be antithetical to the necessary and required discipline that would not allow capitalism to implode.
Once other people’s interest and means constitute what is being managed, there is absolutely the need for regulations and its enforcement, reward for success and punishment for any form of proven sharp practices and or failure which should also be enforced even if there is need to call back, for questioning and serious explanations, those whose past decisions and judgments in the process led to this current failure but are now retired or gone on to doing something else. There are records by which sound judgments or lack thereof could be decided hence their activities could be looked into fairly.
This is absolutely necessary for if it is not considered, the class of money managers, policy makers and reporters would continue to rape the system and the hapless people, who though are ordinary laborers but smart enough to invest part of their earnings to be guided by the minds and hands of those whose job it is to make good the promised returns. If people can no longer trust enough to be investing, they would largely be living a life in which personal economic decisions might become predominated by fear of these money managers and their practices hence resort to extreme consumption. This may turn out to produce irresponsible consumption when young and beggars in old age. To create or allow fertile ground for such is simply unacceptable and criminal against humanity.
To argue against enforcing the aforementioned condition of responsibility on the money managers and their likes would be synonymous with accepting nauseating non-performing excuses from anyone who take it upon themselves to serve as the Nation’s president and after being hired for the job to be awed as to the enormity of the job at stake.
Up until now, I have not heard or read that anyone has been questioned, arrested and tried for this economic mess we have to deal with. Excuses have been given, explanations of what was done and or not done which led us to this pass has been offered, historical perspective has been done but not one of those responsible for all of these activities and judgments or lack thereof that got us this low has been called to answer serious questions. I mean from the past presidents, congressmen/women whose job it is/was to oversee and enforce the regulations to financial reporters who are suppose to be the unbiased watchdog in these matters, to the CEOs and the Company Directors who are/were directly responsible for this lack of judgments and insight/foresight.
What is currently going on in my opinion amount to continuing the rewarding of series of bad calls, selfish and somewhat myopic decisions in high places. Some of these Companies even lied to the People (Government) about owing millions of dollars in back taxes before receiving bailout funds.
It is expected that human beings would learn the necessary lessons of discipline in due course by this action of rewarding failures only if so much noise is made about it and put Maddof in jail. This expectation would not happen through the current method/s that we are using to make it happen. That expectation is even flying out through the window while we are still dealing with the effects of the economic collapse (to call it what it is).What each and everyone of those who should know better have done with the public means and trust in their care (Banks, Investment Houses, Political Offices, Insurance, Companies etc) is no less devastating than what Maddof did to his victims. To expect a change of attitude and behavior while we continue to do business as usual seems to me like wishing to quench ones thirst with the pool of water in the middle of a good road on a sunny day while driving only to get to the spot and found out it is a mirage. Observations of historical events and human behavior for millennia proved such expectations to be unfounded. Going about our affairs the way we have always been can only produce a worse collapse and the next one would be all embracing and acutely devastating. Any system can only function if there is a medium and something to work in and with respectively and that includes Capitalism.
There have been some whistle blowers in the past forewarning of this time we find ourselves but their voices was lost amidst the noise of dominant selfishness in the market place. If our laws do not take care of proposals raised here yet, then we should find a way in making sure that they should.
I think we have inadvertently create a Nation having a dominant collective mindset that view serious criticism of the system, subsystem or parts of these such that radical change is being called for to be synonymous with suggestions of socialism, communism and or lack of patriotism on the part of the critic. To continue having such a national mental attitude portends very grave dangers. If we need to keep working with Capitalism (which I support), smart humans need not wait till there is a violent economic tsunami that would assure large extinction of our way of life before we start to learn something we are suppose to have been doing in order to avoid the tsunami in the first instance.
I think it is high time for our businesses to start incorporating the idea that wealth acquisition should not just be made an end in itself but be made to be another means to a higher end-an end that would assure our collective survival in peace, justice, fairness and bring about the very noble sentiments in all humanity without losing our chance to being unique individuals. To manage such a system in a manner that would preserve our collective gain as intelligent beings should be our goal.
I do not see any pride in allowing our irresponsible behavior occasioned by our collective ignorance expose us to the inexorable violent repercussions of Nature.

New Haven, Connecticut.

VKL-TWP   March 19th, 2009 3:05 pm ET


Michael C. McHugh   March 19th, 2009 3:17 pm ET

Dear Mr. Rove,

Your party is totally discredited and you know it. You won't have another "opening" in this country for a generation, and would have no clue what to do with it if you had.

Welcome to New Deal II.

Frankly, your party deserves to be out of power for a generation.

Kelli from Tampa   March 19th, 2009 6:16 pm ET

AIG has put my income as well as my son's future income in jeopardy because of their unbridiled greed. I would like to see AIG employees begging in the street quite frankly.

Ivor Manuel prophet   March 19th, 2009 6:23 pm ET


Only weeks before the 2004 Presidential Elections, a prophetic book was published at It was titled: “The REVELATION for PEACE from JESUS CHRIST to the WORLD.” Somewhere at the beginning on the first page it reads: Expanding Mercy and Love with our World neighbors, and feeding the hungry and the poor is also and order from the Lord to all people; but to those that have received power, the prophet writes: “Health, Education and Feeding the Poor must be their only concern”. But the anti-CHRIST rather ravages the wealth of the people building weapons to kill and destroy; maintaining armies wasting WARS in his own vision of PEACE. The book ends with a Prophesy (Wars melting the Wealth of the people) that has been, and continuous to be fulfilled on our times: And behold; the night vision was now like in a great television screen showing the name: The King of MYTERY BABILON the GREAT; then, there appeared the President of the United States of America; dressed with a tricolor hooded cloak garment of stars. And he had in his head a crown of gold that was melting; and the precious metal was going into his eyes making him blind; and when he walked toward a ceremonial bowl filled with water to clean his eyes; he then tripped his foot against a Stone, a precious corner Stone set by the ceremonial bowl that was filled with water. And as he stumbled and fell, his right foot got caught into the ceremonial vessel and the water turned to blood. The president was trying desperately to get his foot out of the bowl while his back was against the floor; but his foot was caught in the vessel with his greed and egotistical pride; and he was shaking his foot with anger and the satisfaction of force while on his back; but the ritual kettle was boiling over with the sacrificial blood of multitudes of humans and melting his sword. Poor and innocent soldiers from many nations, poor and innocent civilians from Afghanistan and Iraq; the blood of poor and innocents children, women and elders from all over the world was overflowing along his side. And his cabinet along with the republican and democratic courts, and the clergy were there by his side; standing on their knees inebriated with the wrath of his wine; as the American ceremonial vessel became a drowning river of blood. And there came on the screen the words written: “THE LAMENTATION of ABOMINABLE HIPOCRASY.”

Pray for you and Peace for the World,
Ivor Manuel prophet

Kelli from Tampa   March 19th, 2009 6:25 pm ET

Wonder why 8 yrs. of Republican leadership did not close the Mexican border? Could it be cheap labor maybe? I think so, every landscape company in FL. had illegal immigrants working here and Republican's KNEW it.

Kelli from Tampa   March 19th, 2009 6:40 pm ET

And what book did you get your "prophecy" from Mr. Manuel?

Judith   March 19th, 2009 8:39 pm ET

As far as Carl Rove he and Cheney acted like one President with the name of Bush making many of the Decisions for ex President Bush.
I'm wondering when their hearings will start.

As far as AIG this wouldn't be happening right now about them paying the monies back.Right now the GOPs want to talk about from Feb 09
because it was President Obama that said from here on anyone that wants a bailout will have to pay it back and will Not get no bonuses.
Let's be honest GOPs at least this President spoke of this.Did ex President Bush?No.All he said was Wall Street Needs to be bailed out Now.There were No Strings attach.
While Bush made Paulson in charge to give the bail out to Wall Street all of them sat on their hands not opening their mouth when it came to light that many of the CEOs paid themselves millions.It was the American People that complain that 'if' anyone wants bailouts no one should take any bonus,Period!
The people took it to the media who ask the questions to Paulson of Who Got What,How Much,For What. At that time Paulson would not answer nor felt he had to tell.Because more came out then Paulson said he didn't have a record of it.The banks made an excuse that we had to wait for a month till they got audit.Yet in all they were going on vacations and partying.
Bottom Line did anyone hear these GOPs cry while Bush was in office like they do now with a Dem President? The GOPs play their game of Oh My what was done acting so innocent.
The GOPs play their little games while our Country NEEDS HELP and many of us are sick of it.Many knew that the GOPs will try to block anything and everything when Obama would become President.
We should be Uniting not dividing as in the past.

Bottom Line,Everyone that received any bail out from the begining it should have stated No Bonus to No One until that company pays everyhting back.

They expect Unions to open contracts.Then it should be for ALL because we all live here in America.

Judith   March 19th, 2009 8:51 pm ET

I will say one more thing.President Obama Can talk and walk while chewing gum.
He can do many things at once.Our Country Needed a President that can do many tasks at the same time and he's pulling it off.

At least he's honest letting the people know how bad things are and it will take time unlike when Bush was in office he and McCain while he was campaigning kept saying the economy is sound when we the people knew different with jobs loss and people losing homes than bang all heck broke out starting with the bail out of Wall Street like it just happen over night.The American People are not stupid we know it didn't happen in a few weeks.

Kelli from Tampa   March 19th, 2009 8:52 pm ET

Yes we all live in this country...problem is only 10% of our nation's population have ALL THE MONEY. That means the rest of us will be working for free (I think that is called slavery).

Dodie from Irvine CA   March 19th, 2009 9:08 pm ET

Karl Rove was the point man for G.W.Bush and Dick Cheney.
Karl Rove has appeared five times before a federal grand jury investigating the leak of the name of a CIA operative. Close ties to corrupt Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Sued in federal court on July 13, 2006, along with vice-president Dick Cheney by CIA officer Valerie Plame and her husband, So in my opinion, this guy is a JERK and needs to be put to bed permanently in some "state owned old folks home"

Dodie from Irvine CA   March 19th, 2009 9:10 pm ET

Kelli! I completely agree with you. Its called a 2 class system or a 3rd world country. That is were we are headed if we do not change.

It does not matter whether an army or CEO's and large corporations take us over... and seize power. We will still end up like slaves...

Rich   March 19th, 2009 9:14 pm ET

At this point in Dubya's first term he was already planning his vacation to Crawford, TX while his chief terrorism head, Richard Clarke, was warning him of the Al-Queda threat. The Bush adm wouldn't listen to him because he was a Clinton hold-over!!

Mr. Rove should be behind bars for "Contempt of Congress" for flaunting Congressional subpeona for the political firings of US Attorneys.

Get over it Mr. Rove. Senator McCain lost the Presidential election because the GOP ran the same old negative campaign as in 2004 that was 4 years too old.........Come up with some solutions!

Joe G. (Illinois)   March 19th, 2009 9:35 pm ET

Ahhh.. Those were the days.. Ahhh… Those were some days..! It was not more than just 2 months ago when we still had George W. Bush “Making History on what was then “Unheard of and astronomically chic deficits that still perplexed the world..” And now… Now we have Obama.. Anyone think George W. Bush Deficit is still gonna make the cut in the history books? With people liking Obama so much and all..!

Michael   March 19th, 2009 9:40 pm ET

I am listening to Mitt Romney gripe about Obama's appearance on the Tonight Show, saying he and his team should be focusing solely on the economy. I have two responses to this:

1. Unfortunately, the President of the US just doesn't have the luxury of "single-tasking" the way Romney describes. That observation is at best naive.

2. One of the President's roles is that of "Cheerleader-in-chief," and in today's climate the bully pulpit serves a vital role in assuaging people's fears. Appearing on the Tonight Show is 2009's equivalent of the Fireside Chats that FDR used so successfully.

Mark McCormack   March 19th, 2009 9:47 pm ET

Unfortuneatly, Mitt has it wrong – the federal govt isn't after there money they are going after our money...that they really don't deserve

David   March 19th, 2009 9:55 pm ET

Amen Michael. Romney also compares the law demanding payback from the AIG execs to some fantasy about a law that would tax Larry King for speech. Um. It's different, I think, Mr. Romney. It makes sense to put some control on corporate animals who would eat our nation. Tax the rich please. Life is taxing enough for the poor already.

Dodie from Irvine CA   March 19th, 2009 9:57 pm ET

Bush can't even write. He had everyone else write his speeches.

There are NO threats from China. Its North Korea who stated that they would go to war with the USA if we intervene with their satellite launch

Dodie from Irvine CA   March 19th, 2009 9:58 pm ET

@ aliou

LOL I totally agree

Eleanor   March 19th, 2009 10:04 pm ET

Who in their right mind would listen to the arrogant Mitt Romney
The fact is the media and the republicans have been out to make it miserable for this President since he was inaugurated!!!!
Nothing he does, can ,or will do will make them happy!!
I have never seen a President be so *constantly scrutinized* in all my life
If YOU had DONE this when Bush and Cheney were in office you would not be dealing with this mess they created over 8 years!!!!
I think President Obama is doing his best and truly trying to clean up the kaos and mess left behind.Why doesnt everyone get behind him
as your president and support him. Now wouldnt that be a refreshing change!!!

Tina   March 19th, 2009 10:10 pm ET

Wow, I have to say America is really something else....
As a Canadian and looking from the outside in, it just amazes me how
everyone was so pro GET BUSH OUT just mere months ago, and the world celebrated the historical change in America on Jan 20, now its what is he doing wrong, and what should he be doing, or he is doing too much. You can't win in America- damned if you do and damned if you don't. Wake up- he is doing an amazing job- he will go down in history as one of the greatest presidents ever in America.
Let him do his job, whether that be focusing on toomany overdue issues , or making appearances on late night tv and town halls, let him do it, because he is doing a great job.

Lorraine   March 19th, 2009 10:11 pm ET

And I'm supposed to listen to Rove because...

Republicans got us into this mess, they allowed the rich to get richer for 8 years and now they are pretending to care about the middle and working classes. Americans respect a President who makes mistakes and takes responsibility for it. President Obam is unlike George W who had 'mission accomplished' banners up when his mission was a failure and who NEVER admitted mistakes- not even Katrina. Rove needs to give absolutely NO advice to anyone. The last time he gave advice, America headed down the wrong path. Thanks Rove!

John   March 19th, 2009 10:32 pm ET

It was bad enough when Carl Rove who was unelected by any vote the American People had any say in held a position of such influence in the Bush Administration. Now we have to listen to his opinion in the form of news is highly objectionable. I could care less what he thinks about President Obama giving Republicans an opening. Please confine his opinion to that expressed around his family table on Thanksgiving.

John   March 19th, 2009 10:33 pm ET

Oh Yes! I forgot! Hi Debbie! I bet you thought I had faded away. You know who.

Thomas M., Dallas, TX   March 19th, 2009 11:03 pm ET

Rove gets the worst sore loser of the year award!

frances   March 20th, 2009 1:16 am ET

Eleanor is right on ! Romney is arrogant & rich rich, he has never wanted for anything,,spent 22 million on his presidential campaign. I would have helped the poor in Detroitm he was born & raised 30 mi north of bathroom tissue in public schools in Detroit..students need to bring their he wants to write a bk, competing w/Pres Obama who wrote 2 bks. he thinks a bk will launch hm into the white house. /his dream/ ...

janette tx   March 20th, 2009 2:44 am ET

Debbi,Gordon,Sammy ,Demond
Everything you guys said is true and I agree
but for those who wanted to elect a ding bat
for our vice pres.and a sour old guy with
minimal intelligence for president ...nothing
you say will penetrate TERRY'S thick skull
and the likes of him.Bless Yall!!!!!

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