interview
WALLACE: Forgive me. I don't want to re-fight the Cleland race in Georgia in 2002. I want to ask a bigger question, though, because this was far from the only time that you called--you--called Democrats soft on terror. Let's take a quick look at some of Karl Rove's greatest hits. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ROVE: Liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding to our attackers. (END VIDEO CLIP) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ROVE: When it gets tough and when it gets difficult, they fall back on that party's old pattern of cutting and running. (END VIDEO CLIP) WALLACE: Now, Democrats are clearly far from blameless in all of this, but should you and the president--we're talking now just a year after 9/11 and ever since. Should you have made the war on terror something that unified the country, not divided it? ROVE: Well, look. First of all, I was very specific in my comments on that first speech. I have a copy of the speech with me and I'd be happy to leave it with you. I'm sure you've never read it. But what I talked about was four specific things. I talked about a moveon.org ad that talked about how we literally should not invade Afghanistan to remove the Taliban but instead should sit down and see if we could negotiate something with them. I talked about the comments of Michael Moore, Howard Dean and an outrageous speech by Senator Durbin on the floor of the Senate in which he said that the things that were being done at Gitmo to terrorists who had attacked America were as bad as what Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot had done. I was very specific in my comments. I'd be happy to leave you a copy of the speech and I'll defend it every step of the way. When a Democrat goes out and says something as reprehensible as Senator Durbin said about our U.S. military, or when moveon.org has such a incredibly out-of-touch ad like that one--let's literally provide therapy, let's--you know, let's sit down and counsel with the Taliban about what they--what bad things they've done and see if we can't find a way to get them to agree--I'm going to--you know, we have an obligation to speak out about it. [emphasis added]...
Chris Wallace
WALLACE: But, Mr. Rove, there was tremendous opposition from your own party on immigration reform and, frankly, not much support on Social Security reform. ROVE: Well, look. On Social Security it's a tough issue. This president campaigned, talked about it in 2000, talked about it in 2004. But it's a difficult issue. I understand that. But again, inexplicable opposition from Democrats--Senator Moynihan, for example, came up with a wonderful idea, called, after the author of it, the Posen plan, which basically that said we're going to have a progressive benefit and we're going to take the promise that Social Security has made that it can't fulfill, but we'll keep it to the bottom third by giving them the full benefit. [emphasis added]
Noam Scheiber