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Hugh Hewitt Book Club

Karl Rove: Unplugged and Unbowed

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The Architect joined me in the first hour of Friday’s show.  We covered the Hillary flap, the Jarrett-Boehner immigration “deal,” the case for Kashkari in California and the prospects for all the key GOP governors’ races and the Senate map.  And, of course, Benghazi.




HH: As we continue to celebrate the fact that Johnny Football is coming to Cleveland, as I hope the RNC convention does, I begin today’s program with the Architect, Karl Rove. And Karl, I’ve got a lot to talk to with you about, but I’ve got to begin with that first and important question. Shouldn’t the RNC obviously put the convention in Cleveland in 2016?

KR: (laughing) Cuyahoga County, there we go, good for you.

HH: We’ve got a new convention center, we’ve got Quicken Arena, we’ve got the Rock ‘N Roll Hall of Fame, it’s a beautiful downtown, and…

KR: Look, there’s only going to be one thing that’s going to keep it, and it’s going to require sacrifice on your part.

HH: Uh oh.

KR: I understand that you have scheduled the Rock ‘N Roll Hall of Fame for every night during the convention. You’re going to have to give that up. I mean, look, the California delegation may want to have something there, you know, the Floridian, New York may want to host a big party there. And instead, it’s all going to be the Hugh Hewitt by invitation only rock ‘n roll hall of fame week during the convention. You’re going to have to give it up.

KR: Whatever it takes. Now is there actually any relationship between where the convention is held and the state being in play?

KR: You know, no. What’s interesting is that political scientists have studied this, and they have found that if anything, there is a mildly negative relationship between the anticipated two party vote and holding the national convention in your state. And it makes sense from one respect. While it generates more volunteers and you have a lot of attention, it completely discombobulates most of the community that’s involved in it, and it sucks a lot of money out of partisan politics into the convention. So if you’re holding it in Charlotte, for example, as the Democrats did in 2012, a lot of money that might otherwise have gone to Democratic candidates and Democratic Party organizations were spent on hosting the convention. And President Obama, as you know, famously won the state in 2008 and then proceeded to lose it in 2012.

HH: Well, I’m just saying that Jimmy Haslam and Governor Haslam are both behind this, and we could suck the Cuyahoga County Democrat money out of the community and still have a great party there. And I’ve seen you perform. I’m sure that the Rock ‘N Roll Hall of Fame would welcome you back. All right, let’s get on to other stuff. I want to start with talking to you about the Hillary flap. I think this was an attempt by the left, and I actually got into this with Dylan Byers about this on air, to take you a little bit off the board and to immunize Hillary from questions about her age and her health. Did either effort succeed?

KR: No. Look, here’s the deal. And to me, I thought their best line was their first line. Tell Dr. Rove she’s 100%. I thought it was the best line. But everything after that has simply drawn more and more attention to it, and caused people to say well, what are they hiding? Now look, I don’t think they’re hiding anything. I just think there’s a natural reticence on the part of the Clintons, remember in 1996, he’s the incumbent president of the United States, and two things go on. One thing is, is that when it comes time to have the meetings with the New York Times reporter, Dr. Lawrence Altman, turn over your records and be interviewed by him. Clinton doesn’t turn over all of his records, slow plays it, and refused to give the interview. He finally gives the interview in October, not the summer of 1996, but October. And why? Does he have anything to hide? No. Altman writes that you know, he’s in pretty good health, doesn’t, shouldn’t have as many cheeseburgers. That’s about it. But the other interesting thing is remember this. The Democrats in 1996 ran a TV showing Bob Dole, age 72, looking about as old as he possibly could look, side by side with Gingrich, saying “their old ways don’t work.” President Clinton’s plan, the new way. The White House Counsel pointedly described a Dole speech as, “a tired, old, worn-out rhetoric.” The campaign manager of the Clinton campaign implied, according to the New York Times, “implies feebleness when she ridicules remarks by the Senator as disconnected and dysfunctional.” So the Clintons are now saying how dare you bring up health and age, and they were doing it with abandon in 1996. Then Jay Carney, I love that sanctimonious little guy, coming out there saying (Beaker effects) this week, he wrote an article in 2008 at Time Magazine attacking John McCain for not having the best relations with strong conservatives inside the Republican Party. And you know what it was entitled?

HH: No.

KR: McCain – Frail With The Right Wing. Get it? Frail?

HH: Yeah.

KR: And the cover of this Time Magazine that week, the cover story, it was the cover story, the McCain campaign came unglued about the cover, because they thought it was deliberately designed to make McCain look really old.

HH: Well, I go back now to my second premise. Not only do they want to immunize Hillary Clinton from conversations about age and energy and health, they want to take you off the board, and they bring up repeatedly that you hung onto Ohio, as I hung onto Ohio on election night, because we knew everything depended on it. After having had three cycles in which data points were dirty, are they trying to get Rove off of the television? Is there a campaign to get Rove?

KR: Well, I doubt it. I mean, it’s just an easy swipe. Look, I did not, when Fox called Ohio with 1,900 votes dividing Obama and Romney in Ohio, and by the time it was announced, there were 900 votes separating the two, I was talking with Chris Wallace, whom I was sitting next to on stage, on the set, and Chris said that’s a valid point. We ought to define, if we’re calling it, we ought to be willing to defend it and explain it to the American people. And so look, maybe the Democrats were happy in 2000 when the election was prematurely called on Al Gore’s behalf. Maybe they were happy in 1980 when the election was called very early on Reagan’s, for Ronald Reagan, and they lost seven Senate seats in the Western United States, Democrats did, because people sort of said you know what? Democrats lost, I ain’t bothering to turn out and vote. But I just think the media have a special responsibility to not call it as quickly as they humanly can, but to give it a couple of extra beats. And if they are going to call it, and you’ve got 1,900 votes separating the two, and suddenly is closes to 900 votes in the state of Ohio, you have a responsibility to do exactly what Fox did, and that is send out the people to explain why they arrived at that decision, which was 45 minutes of really good television.

HH: Now I want to go deep in the weeds, because yesterday, former Governor Pete Wilson, longtime friend of mine, came on the program, and he issued a strong endorsement yesterday of Neel Kashkari, as have I, but also a very hard-hitting attack on Tim Donnelly. And we discussed the fear that Democrats might run an independent expenditure campaign to try and make Donnelly the nominee of the California Republican party, and thus the face of the Republican Party, and the down ticket impact that would have, and the national impact that would have. What say you, Karl Rove, about that prospect, and whether or not Tim Donnelly, about whom there have been many controversial statement, from whom many controversial statements have flowed, and he’s a very aggressive populist, Minuteman kind of guy. Can he be nationalized? Would he hurt the down ticket?

KR: Yeah, look, he would, I mean, because look, this may shock you. I know you’re an idealistic, young guy. But the national media are not our friends. And if the California Republican Party has as the leading candidate, the leading statewide candidate on the ballot this year somebody who has said the outrageous things that he’s said, and prone to the outrageous behavior that he routinely engages in, it will be used to tarnish not only the California Republican Party, but they’ll throw it at everybody on the ballot. And everybody else will, across the country, disavow the guy. We’ll be back to where we were when Todd Akin went out and said, famously, that there’s illegitimate rape, whatever the heck that concept is, and every Republican candidate around the country had to respond to it. So yeah, and every time he goes out and says something, and he, as we’ve seen, Mr. Donnelly is quite prone to sharing the weird recesses and corners of his mind, it could be really problematic for the GOP.

HH: Do you expect Democrats or leftists to do an IE for him, then?

KR: I wouldn’t be surprised by it. I mean, they may think that it’s, he’s got enough momentum on his own enough, and they might have such a low opinion of Republicans in California, that they think they don’t need to do it, but I wouldn’t be surprised. Look, Harry Reid and the Democratic National Committee have gone out of their way to do things like remember, one of the things that they did in Missouri in 2012 was they spent several million dollars attacking Todd Akin before the Republican primary. And the way they attacked him was saying Todd Akin is too conservative for Missouri. He supports a balanced budget amendment. He refuses to raise taxes. He has voted consistently pro-life. He is too conservative for Missouri. And the object there was to make him so attractive to Republicans that they could get the weakest candidate nominated. And they might be inclined to do something like that in California not only to get the weakest Republican on the ballot against Jerry Brown, but also to give them a national talking point about this is what the Republican Party stands for, this is the face and the future of the GOP.

HH: Before I turn to the other key races nationally, Karl Rove, do you know Neel Kashkari? Have you endorsed him? What do you think of him?

KR: I know him. He’s a remarkable guy. I think he fits California. He’s a little bit more moderate than I am. I’m sort of a Texas Republican. He’s a California Republican. But I think he’s a remarkable public servant who’s served our country well. I think he’s got an interesting mind. He’s smart. He’s forward looking. He’s a reform-minded guy. He understands the economic issues powerfully, and will help tackle the big problems that California has. I mean, he’ll stand up and say things like we can’t build that railroad to nowhere. I mean, he’ll be a tough, effective candidate. There’s no doubt about it.

HH: Now I want to switch over, Karl Rove, to the key races nationally, and I want to begin with our incumbent governors Kasich, Snyder, Walker, Scott and Corbett. These are the five big incumbent Republicans. I think I just listed them in order of their strength. I think John Kasich’s a lock. I think Rick Snyder’s a lock. Scott Walker almost a lock, Rick Scott, a little bit weaker, Tom Corbett in trouble. What’s your assessment of those five races?

KR: I think you’re absolutely right. Now look, that’s not to say that these are going to be blowouts, because when you start with Michigan and Ohio, you’re talking about, in the first case, a heavily labor, not as much labor today as it used to be now that it’s a right to work state, but a state where the unions want to punish Snyder for doing what he’s done, and where it’s going to be a competitive environment. In Ohio, it’s a battleground state year in and year out. And Kasich can’t take it for granted, and he won’t. This is a guy who’s obsessive about not taking it for granted, and has got a powerful message about how he’s helped a blue collar recovery in his state. But so I feel good about both of those. I’m with you on Scott Walker. He’s terrific. If people haven’t read his book, pick up his book. Most of these books that come out from prospective presidential candidates are okay. His is great. And I think the question for him is going to be how steady and solid he is between now and November, and does that generate for him a big win, which would be 54-55%, or a close victory, 51 or 52. And I’m betting on the former, not the latter.

HH: Rick Scott?

KR: Rick Scott, look, the Democrats thought a year ago that he was dead, but like Lazarus, he has risen from the grave. Part of it is because he is doing a better job of articulating his record of creating jobs, restraining spending, moving the state forward in a constructive way. But it’s also being helped by the fact that his opponent is one of the most distasteful people who has ever entered public life in the United States. I am a Ronald Reagan Republican, Charlie Crist, I’m for Obama. I mean, how anybody can go within basically a year from proclaiming themselves a devotee , a follower of Ronald Reagan, and then be endorsing Barack Obama, is beyond me.

HH: Okay, then that brings us to Tom Corbett, who’s a really good guy.

KR: Really good guy.

HH: And I don’t understand what’s going on there, but he’s struggling.

KR: Yeah. Well look, first of all, it’s a competitive state. And second of all, he’s made some very tough decisions and taken on some very big battles. I mean, look, this may not sound like a big battle to people outside of Pennsylvania, but he wants to get the state out of the state liquor store business. He thinks the state government has better things to do than to be taking taxpayer money in order to run the liquor stores. But it’s a big issue in the state. And he’s also been a reformer when it comes to education, and that has really energized the teacher unions against him. I’m with you. I think he’s a steady, solid guy, former attorney general, and he’s been a good governor, and it’s going to be a tough battle because of the dynamics, and because people have reacted strongly against some very tough decisions that he had to make to put the state in a better fiscal place. I mean, the state, he came in facing a budget that was in deep trouble, and he took some tough steps to make sure that the state’s finances were put in right order.

HH: Now Karl Rove, I want to switch over to the Senate races, and I’m going to play you a little bit of tape that I had with Jake Tapper yesterday about the cumulative scandals surrounding Team Obama. Before I do, though, people forget you actually had to run against John Kasich. Now the Cleveland Plain Dealer this week has just finished a five part will he or won’t he, assessing the likelihood of another run for president, John Kasich 5.0, and that another run for president’s a giveaway. He ran in 2000. So Karl Rove had to sit around and think about John Kasich when you were George Bush’s architect of his presidential campaign. What do you think of a Kasich presidential run?

KR: Well, first of all, it was hard to get Bush to focus on John Kasich, because every time you’d start to talk to him about John Kasich as a candidate, he’d start laughing about their great meeting. Kasich came to visit Bush in Austin, and they hit it off right away. Kasich has a great personality. He’s really interested in ideas, as Bush was. You know, his mind is very adept, and these two guys hit, got together, and they bonded. And so Bush would say do you remember those shoes that he wore? Because he showed up, as you know, sometimes he used to wear bucks.

HH: Yup.

KR: So he showed up with his bucks on, and Bush was at some point taken with the fact that here was this guy who looked like he’d just come out of the big boppers, you know, he was heading down to the malt shop to get a burger and a shake, and really enjoyed him. Look, the main, there’s a lesson here. Bush was focused more on what was he going to say and what was he going to do rather than trying to figure out who these other people were and how to sort of get advantage over them. And I think that’s why Kasich is doing so well now, and it would be an advantage for him if he kept that mindset, if he decided to run for president, and that is what is my message about. I mean, we had Kasich come to an American Crossroads benefactor conference, and he had clearly thought about what the Republican Party needs to do to freshen and deepen and strengthen its message to blue collar working-class people.

HH: Freshen, deepen, that’s an excellent bit of advice. Let’s talk about it in the context of 2014. And I don’t want to take too much of your time, so I’m going to collapse the board. In the United States Senate, I’ve got three in our column – South Dakota, West Virginia and Montana, and I don’t hear any arguments from you on those three, right?

KR: No, but I think those candidates can’t take it for granted, and they’ve got to keep working.

HH: Agreed. Then I’ve got three where you’d rather be our guy than their guy – Louisiana, Arkansas, and Alaska, and maybe North Carolina. What do you think about those four races?

KR: I think you need to add North Carolina into that. North Carolina, we have a superb candidate, and of those four states, it is the weakest politically for us. That is to say Romney won the state, but he won it by two points. The other states were double digit victories. But on the other hand, I think the incumbent there, Kay Hagan, is the weakest performer of the other three. If the Democrats did not have their candidates in Alaska, Arkansas and Louisiana, those states would be completely gone. They’ve got the only Democrat in the race who’s got a shot in holding onto it. Kay Hagan, however, I think is distinctly weaker. And while the state is not as good as Arkansas, Alaska and Louisiana from a sort of 2012 performance perspective, we’ve got a really good candidate.

HH: So that’s the category of we’d rather have, we’d rather be our guy than their guy at this point.

KR: Yeah.

HH: There’s another category which is where Democrats are really worried, and they didn’t expect to have to be, and that’s Michigan, Iowa and Colorado. What do you think of Terri Lynn Land, Joni Ernst, who is not the nominee, yet, but looks like almost certainly will be, and Cory Gardner?

KR: Well, first of all, I’d add one more onto that, where we know who our candidate is likely to be, and that’s Scott Brown in New Hampshire. And I think all four of those have the ability to be very competitive. We don’t know who is going to be the candidate in Iowa. Joni Ernst is leading right now, but it’s a competitive race, and you’ve got to get 35% to avoid a runoff. Mark Jacobs is running strong there who is an energy executive who grew up in the state and has returned there after he retired. I think all four of those are in trouble for the Democrats, and it depends on who wins the nomination in the case of Iowa, who well every one of these candidates does in the general election, and how well everybody around the country rallied to them, because these are states, with the exception of Michigan, that don’t have a lot of wealth and a lot of big pockets of Republican money. Terri Lynn Land, let’s take them one by one. Terri Lynn Land has done a hell of a job of raising money. And the question now in the next 60 days is how strong is her message? And she is showing some really good efforts in that regard here in the last couple of weeks. She has done the best job of any Republican in sort of drawing a link between what Keystone XL Pipeline means, and what a Democrat who opposes it is doing by getting in bed with Tom Steyer, the billionaire from California. Scott Brown is our best retail campaigner on our side. Cory Gardner, a show of his strength is he’s been in the race for about seven weeks, and he basically cleared a field that had been running for the better part of a year. And then as you say, Joni Ernst has got some momentum there. Mark Jacobs has done a great job of deepening people’s understanding of who he is. I think we’re going to have a couple of those races come into play.

HH: And then the last three, which are reaches, but they’re 1980 reaches, reaches where you wouldn’t be stunned if they won. One is, of course, Ed Gillespie in Virginia, and the other two is Mike McFadden in Minnesota, and Dr. Wehby in Oregon. What do you think about those three?

KR: I think those races are also potentials. Again, it depends on who wins. If McFadden wins in Minnesota, Dr. Wehby wins in Oregon, if Ed continues to do what he’s doing, then these races could come into play. And remember this. In 2010, the Republicans picked up a net of six seats in the Senate. The seats that we’ve talked about thus far, the first seven were all in states that Mitt Romney won. But in 2010, we won two states that John McCain had won – North Dakota, an open race, Arkansas, defeated an incumbent, but we picked up four of the six seats we got in blue and purple states – Indiana, which was a narrow victory for Obama, but Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Illinois, which were big victories for Obama, double digits. And so my point is, is that when you get to Oregon, which was a relatively narrow victory, and you’ve got a candidate who could be really terrific, Iowa, which was a narrow victory, Minnesota, which was closer than people expected, and Virginia, which was very tight, then we could conceivably have a really good year in those states. We’ll have to wait and see how things develop there, but some of those races are going to come into play.

HH: And that brings up the agenda that will frame these races. Thus far, the Republicans have not nominated anyone who will cause them a narrative problem nationally. But I pick up the paper, and I see that the Speaker is said by Valerie Jarrett to have struck a deal with the White House to bring up immigration in the next three months. Now I think that’s suicidal, Karl Rove. I want to fix immigration in 2015. We probably agree on 95% on what ought to be done, but I don’t want it brought up in the next three months. Do you think Valerie Jarrett’s making that up? Or do you think the Speaker is hell bent on doing this…

KR: I think she’s making it up. I think she’s making it up. The Speaker wants to get this thing done, but he wants to get it done in a way that unites the country. And he knows that between now and the election, the President is going to be, the level of distrust about the President is going to be high, and it’s only going to get higher given what he’s doing. So my suspicion is we’ve got a better chance of getting in comprehensive immigration reform done in the aftermath of the election or early next year. I prefer to get it done in the aftermath of the election. But the President did not do himself or the cause of immigration reform any good by allowing Ms. Jarrett to go to Las Vegas, where I incidentally saw her. I happened to be on the stage immediately before her at the Salt Conference sponsored by Skybridge Capital in Vegas. She didn’t do him any good or the cause any good by going out there and saying it. And as you’ve seen this afternoon, she walked it back.

HH: All right, and so, but you did hear her say that, that the Speaker had promised it?

KR: I didn’t hear her say it. I left, I’m just reading in the papers. But yeah, she clearly said it, but she’s walking it back now, because she knows that, look, Boehner’s a pretty straightforward guy. And if he’s going to tell the President something, he’s going to have told his leadership the same thing.

HH: Now speaking of the Speaker, he announced this week that he’s going to be around, and probably going to stand again. And Jeb Hensarling was on this week, and he wouldn’t say no to challenging him. I think after six years, and you know this better than anyone, your brand is kind of used up in America. Do you think the Speaker has to kind of consider his reign with the gavel done even if the Republicans get the House, and that we need a new face and some new energy?

KR: No, I’m not certain I say six years is the end of it. I do think the Speaker has run the House in a different way, which is challenging. He has refused to do what previous speakers have done, and that is rely on earmarks in order to bribe people into line. I mean, I saw it during the years that I was in the White House. The leadership had gotten into the habit under the previous speaker, Newt Gingrich, under Denny Hastert, they had gotten into the habit of sort of insisting that the White House had to agree to earmarks. And we didn’t have the White House when Boehner came in as Speaker, but on the other hand, Boehner hates earmarks. So he doesn’t like that idea, so even the minority, occasionally, you know, the House majority with a Democratic president, has the ability to put earmarks in. But he wouldn’t engage in that kind of thing. And the second thing is that he really made it, and was reluctant, to use the power of the Speaker on committee assignments to punish people for getting out of line. And he finally did it when you had a group of Republicans who were on the Budget Committee would work with Paul Ryan to get the budget in a certain way, and then vote against it because it wasn’t pure enough. And Boehner wisely understood that you can’t have a Budget Committee in the House that’s got Republican defectors on it, because you know, at the end of the day, no Democrat is going to vote for a Republican budget resolution. That’s just the way the modern Congress doesn’t work that way. They may vote for the Republican budget when it comes through the Appropriations process, but they won’t vote for it when it comes in the form of a resolution. So those, both of those things have made him different from a previous speaker. The biggest change has been that Boehner has believed that the committee structure of the House ought to work. So he has said the subcommittees and the committees ought to grind through these pieces of legislation. The Speaker’s office is not going to dictate every bill. So like for example, on immigration reform, he’s relied upon Trey Gowdy, the subcommittee chairman, and Bob Goodlatte, the Judiciary Chairman, to take the lead on it. And that’s been healthy for the system. That’s the way our Congress was intended by the founders to operate. But the necessary thing is it probably means that rather than serving, you know, ten years, you serve eight years. Or rather than serving eight years, you serve six years. But I think if he does run, he will be reelected. The question is does he want to run?

HH: And from a purely objective helping the party state, wouldn’t it help, I believe it would help us if he said he wasn’t going to run again, that it would add energy and decisiveness to the grassroots. What do you think?

KR: I don’t know. I’m not certain I agree with that, and at the end of the day, look, this is not going to be a decision that’s going to be made by anybody other than the, hopefully, 235-240-245 members of the House Republican Caucus.

HH: Now talking about the agenda, this is what I did with Jake Tapper yesterday, and I want to play you the exchange, because after he took the chief of staff of the White House to task, and the chief of staff said you know, I’ve got the scars to show for it, which was inelegant at best for him to say in the context of wounded veterans, he let him go a little bit, and here’s what I had to say to Jake:

HH: I am now going to take that question and paraphrase it to you, though. You asked the White House Chief of Staff how many dead veterans do you need. I want to ask you, Jake Tapper, after Shinseki and the VA, the IRS and Lois Lerner, Benghazi and the Rhodes memo, Jay Carney telling Jon Karl the Rhodes memo wasn’t about Benghazi, Eric Holder in contempt over Fast & Furious, DOJ spying on journalists, the NSA failure to see Snowden walking out of the building with all of our secrets, after all of that, how many scandals does CNN need to call this a corrupt and failed administration?

JT: I mean, you’ve just listed a whole bunch of different events and activities and scandals and controversies and the like that I don’t think are all comparable. I mean, I don’t think you can compare the Veterans’ Hospital scandal in Phoenix, for example, with what Jay Carney did with the Rhodes memo.

HH: How about the failure to protect the Benghazi embassy, though? Americans died there as well. And when you talk about the Austin VA scandal, that’s a question of performance failures being rewarded, and it looks like Eric Holder is still the Attorney General, and he’s clearly the least accomplished, most failed attorney general in my lifetime. So yeah, there are a lot of different issues…

JT: I mean, Hugh, I know you do this, but I’m a straight news reporter, and you’re offering an editorial opinion.

HH: All right, Karl Rove, he wouldn’t take, he wouldn’t come down on it, and Jake’s really good. My question is, is there a tipping point ever for this guy and this gang?

KR: Look, I’m sympathetic with where Jake thinks his responsibility is, which is not to offer an opinion. He’s focused on laying out the objective facts about each one of these instances, and he’s allowing others like you and I to add the subjective label. And I understand that. On the other hand, he is one of the rare people in the media, there are a few others, Jonathan Karl at ABC, Ed Henry at Fox, who are asking tough questions in a sustained way. But it is clear this White House has a disdain for the regular media. They believe that they can communicate around them, that they have no responsibility to treat their inquiries seriously, that their best, that they can mock them, insult them and ignore them, because they don’t think that they’re going to hold them to account. So it’s going to take some lengthy investigative pieces by these institutions, news organizations, in order to demonstrate that they’re capable of taking on the administration.

HH: Yesterday, Chuck Todd say on Morning Joe that there really weren’t any questions left to be answered about Benghazi.

KR: (laughing) Okay, well, here’s a question for him. Who was behind briefing Susan Rice, who came up with the lie and told Susan Rice to go out and lie to the American people on five television shows? If he knows the answer, the definitive answer to that, tell me. If he knows the definitive answer to where was President Obama, give me the tick tock for where he spent the evening, lay that out. If he could explain why nobody in the military, who told the military, who asked the military what kind of assets do you have and how quickly can you move them? Who asked that question? Why is it that the deputy director of the CIA has purportedly told the station chief of the CIA in Libya not to blame this on terrorists, but to blame it on a demonstration? Why is it that nobody has talked to and interviewed, as of a couple of months, had interviewed the station chief to find out if that was accurate?

HH: Here’s the Todd quote so you can hear what Chuck had to say.

CT: It certainly looks more partisan than it looks like an inquiry, because, a serious inquiry, because, to go to Richard Clarke’s point, they’ve done a ton of these inquiries already. The House has, there’s been a Senate Intelligence investigation. Forget just the State Department, just the outside investigation that the State Department asked for. You know, I think that you could argue that yes, Congress should have done what it did, which is go through some of these committees. But as for the need for the select committee, there just, you know, I’ll hear from Republicans that say but there are unanswered questions. Well no, all the questions have been answered. There are just some people that don’t like the answers.

HH: And so Karl, there is danger here if the American people hear that enough…

KR: Yeah.

HH: …and Trey Gowdy, et cetera, keeps pushing. How do you avoid that danger?

KR: Well, first of all, by being sober and direct, and not being, letting the facts speak for themselves, not adding a lot of adjectives and adverbs, but let the nouns speak for themselves. And in addition to that, those of us on the outside who are not part of that committee, ought to belittle people like Chuck Todd for saying such a thing. I mean, that is ridiculous. You know, I love it. Accountability Review Board, let’s take this one by one, Accountability Review Board, they never talked to the Secretary of State. And again, they don’t say things like who was responsible for selling the lie, who was the author of that.

HH: So sober and serious, and we will hope that is the case. I have taken too much of your time, Karl Rove, so I’ll give you one thank you. Have you read Steven Pressfield’s new book, The Lion’s Gate, yet, the Six Day War history?

KR: I have not.

HH: Well, when you have a chance, you will thank me for that recommendation. We had him in for three hours this week, and I know you’re a reader, and you will love the Lion’s Gate.

KR: Well, fabulous. I will put on the reading list. However, I’m right now reading so many books that have to do with a book that I’m coming out with, a manuscript due to the publisher by June 15th that they’re trying, Simon and Schuster is trying to turn me into a historian.

HH: What’s it about?

KR: I’m not allowed to say, but it’s about politics and real events, and I never knew at this time in the American history that I’m writing about that there was so much sex, violence, backstabbing and betrayal, and really interesting characters with cool nicknames.

HH: Now, so the last question is when that comes out, will you be a guest on the Hugh Hewitt Show the first week?

KR: I would be honored to. Yes, I suspect, I hope it’s a book that Hewitt will like.

HH: Ah, Rove, thank you, Karl Rove, the Architect.

End of interview.


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Friends and Allies of Rome