Video: Karl Rove on stimulus, Libby

posted at 5:05 pm on February 17, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Karl Rove tries to set the record straight on the stimulus, financial regulation, and the difference between opinion and advice on the Today show this morning. Matt Lauer does a good job in letting Rove speak, respectfully asking the right questions — especially in regard to David Axelrod’s potshot at Rove last week. Rove hits the slider out of the park at about the three-minute mark:

LAUER: How do you respond to that? Do you have credibility on this subject?

ROVE: Well, first of all — look — I’m not giving them advice. I’m commenting on what they’re doing. I’m sure even this White House would say that people have a right to offer an opinion.

Zing!  Rove does well in this appearance, even when (gasp!) offering advice to Republicans on economic policy.  They should refrain from issuing doomsday proclamations and incessant negative criticisms of Obama policy, Rove says, and focus instead on offering alternatives as often and as loudly as possible.  It will have to be loud indeed to get the media to notice; they bought into the Obama spin that Republicans just wanted to sit on their hands and watch the economy fail, despite at least two formal alternatives to Porkulus presented during the debate.

Watch through to the end to get Rove’s analysis of the Daily News article about the hard feelings between Bush and Cheney on Libby.  He thinks it’s “overblown”, which is not to say non-existent.


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“I’m sure even this White House would say that people have a right to offer an opinion.”

NOPE! See the Fairness Doctrine Karl!

TheMightyQuinn on February 17, 2009 at 5:10 PM

Matt Lauer is a completely ignorant person. Almost as bad as Olbermann.

liberty787 on February 17, 2009 at 5:12 PM

Why the heck can’t other Republicans lay it out like Rove when it comes to the disaster of Fannie and Freddie. You know Lauer was stumped cause he changed the subject. God, I wish there were more like Karl Rove.

msmveritas on February 17, 2009 at 5:14 PM

Yeah, it sure takes a long time to spend OPM. Smooth.

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on February 17, 2009 at 5:14 PM

Karl Rove certainly inspires more confidence than the nitwits surrounding Obama, especially Axelrod.

Rove managed to diplomatically identify the new senator in 2005 who filibustered attempts to rein in Fannie and Freddie.

onlineanalyst on February 17, 2009 at 5:17 PM

msmveritas on February 17, 2009 at 5:14 PM

I don’t think most people (politicians) could handle the way Rove is treated.

hawkdriver on February 17, 2009 at 5:17 PM

Karl is such a sweet little puffball. every time i see him on tv i think “really? THIS is the boogeyman who was doing such diabolically evil deeds those 6 or 7 years he was in there?”

the libs sure know how to exaggerate on the evilness of their targets

Drunk Report on February 17, 2009 at 5:17 PM

you can tell Rove was alot of the brains in the whitehouse, very involved.

jp on February 17, 2009 at 5:18 PM

Rove did, indeed, knock that one out of the park.

DaveS on February 17, 2009 at 5:18 PM

And thus the reason why I stopped watching “The Today Show”.

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on February 17, 2009 at 5:20 PM

I’m sure even this White House would say that people have a right to offer an opinion

unless your name is Rush Limbaugh

runner on February 17, 2009 at 5:21 PM

Matt Lauer is a completely ignorant person. Almost as bad as Olbermann.

liberty787 on February 17, 2009 at 5:12 PM

I’ll give this to Lauer. At least his on-air personality can’t be compared to a cheese grater. Instead of being an obnoxious libtard, he’s only a condescending libtard.

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on February 17, 2009 at 5:22 PM

Matt Lauer: “no, no let me look at it my way”. Which turned out to be the pro-democrat way. Go figure.

sherry on February 17, 2009 at 5:22 PM

hawkdriver on February 17, 2009 at 5:17 PM

Maybe that’s the difference he isn’t an elected politician per se. He never gets ruffled when he is criticized, he just wipes the floor up with them. If only we had more of him.

msmveritas on February 17, 2009 at 5:22 PM

I wish we could’ve sent Rove out to do Bush’s Press Conferences

jp on February 17, 2009 at 5:23 PM

That obviously went over Lauer’s head. But then, what doesn’t?

(I’d say “Hair,” but then there’s Rove right across from him…)

Jim Treacher on February 17, 2009 at 5:25 PM

<

At least his on-air personality can’t be compared to a cheese grater. Instead of being an obnoxious libtard, he’s only a condescending libtard.

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on February 17, 2009 at 5:22 PM

IMO, that award goes to Andrea Mitchell.

sherry on February 17, 2009 at 5:26 PM

Karl is such a sweet little puffball. every time i see him on tv i think “really? THIS is the boogeyman who was doing such diabolically evil deeds those 6 or 7 years he was in there?”

the libs sure know how to exaggerate on the evilness of their targets

Drunk Report on February 17, 2009 at 5:17 PM

I’ve had the same thoughts since Rove became a Fox Contributer and is on more often.

Dick Morris more accurately fits the Libs boogeyman persona

jp on February 17, 2009 at 5:28 PM

Dick Morris more accurately fits the Libs boogeyman persona

jp on February 17, 2009 at 5:28 PM

My lib friends (who actually know more about politics than just who the media told them to vote for) hate Morris like a disease because he’s not just an old Clintonite, but one of the few that had the 9-11 awakening like Pat Cadell. Hate em they do.

I heard or saw an interview where he stated that after a donnybrook with Bill while he was still the Gov in Arkansas, he was trying to “escape” from the Govs mansion and was actually tackled by Bubba in the front yard and (he says) they were going at it like two seagulls fighting over a frenchfry.

hawkdriver on February 17, 2009 at 5:38 PM

HAHAHA!!! Are the GOP gambling on Obama failing? Sorry, but there’s no gambling involved.

MrX on February 17, 2009 at 5:43 PM

Axelrod: You know, the last thing that I think we’re looking for at this juncture is advice on fiscal integrity … from Karl Rove. I mean, anyone who’s read the newspapers for the last eight years would laugh at that.

Considering The 0gabe Administration is just a continuum of “the Bush years … of constant stimulus and deficit spending, and a gradual (sometimes stop-and-start) centralization of the control of resources and decision making,” it seems they already are taking fiscal advice from the Bush Administration.

Rae on February 17, 2009 at 5:45 PM

Rove is one of the most polarizing figures in politics today, but that guy is a dang genius. I don’t believe I have ever seen anyone stump him or make him upset. He takes your pathetic question then re-frames it so the one who asks it looks like an idiot. With most of the press it isn’t that hard to do.

txaggie on February 17, 2009 at 5:47 PM

Is GOP gambling on Obama failing?

I loved that tagline. It’s not gambling when you’re betting on a sure thing.

No nation has ever taxed-and-spent its way into prosperty. Never been done. Obama’s practical failure in getting the economy going is virtually guaranteed. The only question is if he’ll be able to place the blame on someone else.

gryphon202 on February 17, 2009 at 5:48 PM

Rove is a smart man. You’d do well to listen to him Gumby.
Gumby? Gumby? Oh never mind.

whitetop on February 17, 2009 at 5:52 PM

anyone see Obama returned a Winston Churchill bust to the UK?

jp on February 17, 2009 at 5:58 PM

haha That new Senator in 2005 kinda messed up. Now I wonder how the new administration will go after Rove? The Fairness Doctrine doesnt apply to him…so how. hmmm…

becki51758 on February 17, 2009 at 5:59 PM

LAUER: How do you respond to that? Do you have credibility on this subject?

He has none.

getalife on February 17, 2009 at 6:00 PM

As clear and concise a summary of how Fannie and Freddie caused this and Bush tried to stop them as I’ve seen on the MSM. Kudos to Karl Rove for pointing out that Democrats, especially Barack, filibustered any chance of stopping the housing bubble from becoming an issue.

PastorJon on February 17, 2009 at 6:06 PM

txaggie on February 17, 2009 at 5:47 PM

He is only polarizing because his genius inspires such fear and loathing on the left. It is a joy to watch him slay the stupidity in lib arguments. For this the left fear him like no other.

msmveritas on February 17, 2009 at 6:12 PM

I’m surprised that matt let anything be said about the democrats and frannie/freddie.

Could it be they are beginning to see the writing on the wall…nah.

jukin on February 17, 2009 at 6:33 PM

Rove is one of the most polarizing figures in politics today, but that guy is a dang genius. I don’t believe I have ever seen anyone stump him or make him upset. He takes your pathetic question then re-frames it so the one who asks it looks like an idiot. With most of the press it isn’t that hard to do.

txaggie on February 17, 2009 at 5:47 PM

Why would you characterize him as “polarizing”? James Carville is “polarizing”. Paul Begala is “polarizing”. Even Ann Coulter is “polarizing”. Why is Rove, in your mind?

capitalist piglet on February 17, 2009 at 6:37 PM

getalife on February 17, 2009 at 6:00 PM

… a problem with which you possess intimate familiarity.

DrSteve on February 17, 2009 at 6:40 PM

I only wish Karl Rove had advised Bush to pick a different VP. Imagine 8 years of not having to hear about the Haliburton bogeyman.

Speedwagon82 on February 17, 2009 at 6:48 PM

Zing? How so?
.
Rove dodges the issue of whether he’s qualified to intelligently opine on these matters, and instead essentially says “Everybody is entitled to their opinion, no matter how stupid and provably wrong it is.”
.
And that’s a “Zing“? I dont get it.

If he answered that he did indeed have proven competence in these matters, giving examples of proof, that would be a Zing. This was not. Not even close.

orange on February 17, 2009 at 7:12 PM

“…placed a bet on failure…”

Was Matt singing this tune when Democrats were voting against the Surge and against funding the troops?

29Victor on February 17, 2009 at 7:17 PM

orange on February 17, 2009 at 7:12 PM

The Zing wasn’t about his authority, it was about the glaring truth of what he was saying.

pretendyoureadthenews on February 17, 2009 at 7:17 PM

And that’s a “Zing“? I dont get it.

orange on February 17, 2009 at 7:12 PM

Sorry, you are probably 20 to 50 IQ points short of being able to understand it.

Go back and listen to the part beginning “Even this Administration”

And also pay attention to the parts about “The new senator from illinois.”

bullseye on February 17, 2009 at 7:19 PM

Matt “The Lib” Lauer knew after the first question that he couldn’t bully Rove.

marklmail on February 17, 2009 at 7:22 PM

The ROVEinator!

44Magnum on February 17, 2009 at 7:27 PM

LAUER: How do you respond to that? Do you have credibility on this subject?

He has none.

getalife on February 17, 2009 at 6:00 PM

Oh, sure…and you do?

Go troll somewhere else.

bluelightbrigade on February 17, 2009 at 7:28 PM

Quick and bold? How about hasty and stupid?

Lauer = fail

Mojave Mark on February 17, 2009 at 7:48 PM

Karl Rove, you magnificent bastard!

BPD on February 17, 2009 at 8:23 PM

Why would you characterize him as “polarizing”? James Carville is “polarizing”. Paul Begala is “polarizing”. Even Ann Coulter is “polarizing”. Why is Rove, in your mind?

capitalist piglet on February 17, 2009 at 6:37 PM

I believe he is polarizing because of where he was in the Bush years. They (the left) make Bush out to be somewhat smarter then a cornflake, so the person who is out-thinking them and winning elections must be Rove. His ideas on how to successfully create coalitions and divide the electorate so Bush would win were seen by the left as unfair. They worked and view Rove as the reason we had a 2nd Bush term.

Sometimes I agree with him while other times I don’t. Tonight he was on Beck and couldn’t bring himself to say Bush did anything wrong w/ the border for instance. Anyone who truly is smarter than a cornflake knows Bush dropped the ball on that one big time.

txaggie on February 17, 2009 at 8:29 PM

What is Matt Lauer???
Is he not capable of any act of investigation of his own????
It sickens me to watch people like Mat Lauer! They are all somehow incapable of discovering a single independent fact of any relevance about the involvements of Democrats and this financial mess.
Teenage drop outs high on crack would be able to easily find youtube videos documenting Democrats involvement of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac,,, but somehow these millionaire big name celebrity journalists with entire billion dollar news organizations behind them are incapable of nothing more than repeating Democrat talking points.
What do they do all day with their time??? Comb their hair and sip martinis???

JellyToast on February 17, 2009 at 8:35 PM

Karl Rove, you magnificent bastard!

BPD on February 17, 2009 at 8:23 PM

Exactly!

darii on February 17, 2009 at 8:43 PM

this is all bull and the american people will suck it up, God bless America, but it can all go to hell, thank you

foxone on February 17, 2009 at 8:50 PM

Tonight he was on Beck and couldn’t bring himself to say Bush did anything wrong w/ the border for instance. Anyone who truly is smarter than a cornflake knows Bush dropped the ball on that one big time.

txaggie on February 17, 2009 at 8:29 PM

IMO, there’s enough people out there beating Bush every chance they get. I am not thrilled with this hang your head strategy Michael Steele is adopting. As there is no disputing mistakes were made, they’ve been acknowledged, it is time to move on.

When Obama won it was not a referendum on rolling back welfare reform. It wasn’t a referendum on having big government spend us into oblivion with a trumped up “stimulus” package. We saw how very few people who voted for Obama had any idea Dems ran Congress and their involvement in Fannie and Freddie. Whatever mistakes Republicans made they pale in comparison to the horrors of Pelosi/Reid of the past two years. Moreover, they pale in comparison to those yet to be made in the Obama administration. We had no clue how he would govern but if this stimulus is any indication of what is to come, people may come to view the Bush administration as the golden age. I thought we might get a rehash of Clinton after he lost the House and Senate, we’re getting Jimmy Carter on steroids. Get your sweaters ready.

msmveritas on February 17, 2009 at 9:28 PM

God bless America, but it can all go to hell, thank you

foxone on February 17, 2009 at 8:50 PM

What?

Cindy Munford on February 17, 2009 at 9:33 PM

As soon as Lauer loses the argument on Fannie/Freddie he changes the subject.

Thank you to Rove for appearing and informing the liberal audience who have probably never heard of this cause of the current meltdown!

PattyJ on February 17, 2009 at 10:06 PM

Whatever Obama did or didn’t do in 2005 is kinda irrelevant now. Bush nationalized the banking industry and the auto industry. And he also set the stage for Obama’s march to full on socialism.

That is 1000 times worse than what Rove is talking about. Bush spent $2T in his final 6 months. Which is why when Obama is spending $850B on his “stimulus” nobody blinks an eye anymore.

angryed on February 17, 2009 at 10:32 PM

orange said… “…instead essentially says “Everybody is entitled to their opinion, no matter how stupid and provably wrong it is.”

Rove, of course, never said anything close to that. Rather, he observed everyone is entitled to an opinion, even under the Obama administration.

Which makes your comment stupid and provably wrong.

See how that works, when properly implemented?

rogersnowden on February 17, 2009 at 11:19 PM

It will have to be loud indeed to get the media to notice; they bought into the Obama spin that Republicans just wanted to sit on their hands and watch the economy fail, despite at least two formal alternatives to Porkulus presented during the debate.

This makes it sound like the MSM was duped into towing the Obama line. They shouldn’t be let off the hook so easily. After all we already know that some of them want to make this presidency work.

BayCon on February 17, 2009 at 11:54 PM

msmveritas on February 17, 2009 at 9:28 PM

I wasn’t trying to bash Bush. I think the guy got the shi%#%^ end of the stick for almost his entire presidency. I honestly believe he was an above average president, but he did make some serious mistakes while he was president. Not controlling the border was one of them.

txaggie on February 18, 2009 at 12:02 AM

Rove and Cheney were the better team, IMHO. If they had curbed government spending and avoided the mistakes in the after-war in Iraq, it would be a whole new world.

As it is, both men will make good agents of advice for future GOP leaders, but will likely not be in the forefront as in the past.

As for the video, Rove held his own, as expected.

itzWicks on February 18, 2009 at 12:17 AM

txaggie on February 18, 2009 at 12:02 AM

Hey I agree, it was a mistake. I just don’t see what is to be gained by having Rove be another one to hang his head and acknowledge it. Bottom line he knows communication and was probably fully aware that any statement like that coming from him would be front and center in the media spotlight for ages. I think he knows he can’t concede an inch with the media and he is wise to avoid giving them fodder.

msmveritas on February 18, 2009 at 12:34 AM

Bush spent $2T in his final 6 months.

angryed on February 17, 2009 at 10:32 PM

angryed, I believe you forgot to link us to a credible source that would support that figure.

jbh45 on February 18, 2009 at 8:51 AM

Bush spent $2T in his final 6 months.

angryed on February 17, 2009 at 10:32 PM

angryed, I believe you forgot to link us to a credible source that would support that figure.

jbh45 on February 18, 2009 at 8:51 AM

$700B TARP
$85B AIG bailout
$30B Bear Sterns bailout
$300B mortgage bailout
$150B stimulus check bailout
$15B GM/Chrysler bailout
$25B Citi bailout (on top of the tarp money)

Interest to be paid on all these bailouts…$300B

Add it all up and it’s not quite 2 trillion, but pretty damned close.

angryed on February 18, 2009 at 12:21 PM