After a lengthy discussion about the current budget battle in Congress in which Rove claimed Republicans had attained victory, if only because the federal government’s budget authority had been reduced by $60 billion, Van Susteren questioned Rove on Trump’s impact on the Republican Party. Rove refused to answer whether Trump “hurt” the Party, noting instead that his obsession with President Obama’s birth certificate “hurts Donald Trump.” “He was an interested candidate who had a business background and could have contributed to dialogue,” Rove lamented, adding that making the birth certificate a centerpiece of his campaign delegitimized him. “He’s off there in the nutty right, and is not an inconsequential candidate,” Rove concluded, adding that “the guy is smarter than this” and he was “sorry to see it happen.” He also denounced claims that President Obama didn’t go to school, citing a friend who was a classmate of the President’s, and the conspiracy theory about the newspaper reports in Hawaii.