RUSH: President Bush and Karl Rove held a joint press conference today to announce Karl Rove’s departure. This is the first of what we have three bites.
THE PRESIDENT: Karl Rove is moving on down the road. I would call Karl Rove a dear friend. We’ve known each other as youngsters interested in serving our state and worked together so we could be in a position to serve this country, and so I thank my friend. I’ll be on the road behind you here in a little bit. I thank Darby and I thank Karl for making a tremendous sacrifice and I wish you all the very best.
RUSH: Here are a couple from Mr. Rove.
ROVE: I’m grateful for the opportunity you gave me to serve our nation and you. I’m grateful for being able to work with the extraordinary men and women that you’ve drawn into this administration, and I’m grateful to have been a witness to history. It has been the joy and honor of a lifetime. I’ve seen a man of farsighted courage put America on a war footing and protect us against a brutal enemy in a dangerous conflict that will shape this new century. I’ve seen a leader respond to an economy weakened by recession, corporate scandal, and terrorist attacks, by taking decisive action to strengthen the economy and create jobs.
RUSH: Final portion of his remarks here…
ROVE: It’s over 14 years ago that you began your run for governor, and over ten years ago that we started thinking and planning about a possible run for the presidency, and it’s been an exhilarating and eventful time. Through it all, you’ve remained the same man. Your integrity, character, and decency have remained unchanged and inspiring. Through all those years I’ve asked a lot of my family, and they’ve given all I’ve asked and more, and now it seems the right time to start thinking about the next chapter in our family’s life. At month’s end, I will join those whom you meet in your travels, the ordinary Americans who tell you they are praying for you. Like them, I will ask for God’s continued gifts of strength and wisdom for you in your work, your vital work for our country and the world, and for the Almighty’s continued blessing of our great country. Thank you again for this extraordinary opportunity.
RUSH: That’s Karl Rove with the president this morning. That’s who he is. Everybody talks about how when they meet the president that they wish people could get to know him the way he is when you meet him in private. You can say the same thing about Karl Rove. You know, Rove has been attacked, vilified. You have to understand that the Democrats, their golden boy was Algore. Their next golden boy was Kerry. They hate Rove because Rove outsmarted them twice and continued to outsmart them. They waited for a year, every Friday they waited, in newsrooms in the Drive-By Media, hoping and praying for a Karl Rove indictment. They despise Karl Rove like they despise Bush, because he has snookered them, tricked them, beaten them at every turn. All the while, they are the elites. They think they’re smarter than everybody else in the room, and they really have been humbled and embarrassed a number of times, and they’re not going to stop going after the poor guy. They are going to hunt him down as a private citizen, first thing over the firing of the US attorneys, when nothing happened that was illegal, but they’re not going to give it up because they are into payback. You don’t do to Democrats what Karl Rove did and get away with it. Normally, folks…
Let me just tell you, I was with Karl Rove a week ago Friday for breakfast in the White House mess. This is the day after I had dinner with the president, and it was all social. We didn’t talk about any of this. This didn’t come up. There were no policy discussions. There were about ten of us in the room, and it was just a great time, and he was upbeat and laughing and he was playing with his iPhone. Every time I’ve been around him, you would never know this guy is the target of an entire Democrat Congress and Drive-By Media. He’s always upbeat, having a great time. He’s one of the smartest people you would ever run into, the statistics and history of politics that he can rattle off. I remember last summer, a year ago in June after we had the forum at the Heritage Foundation on the TV show ’24’ and terrorism, Karl had invited the whole gang over for lunch in the White House mess, and then he took us to his office afterward, and during the lunch and during the time in his office — and we were there two or three hours, and it was a nonstop history lesson, with not one stutter and not one lost train of thought. He’s a fine, upstanding, cheerful, optimistic person just like the president is.
As Paul Gigot said, he’s not replaceable in the White House, and I tend to agree with that. Now, normally, folks, I have given up spending any time playing sound bites from Chris Matthews’ show, because it’s predictable and hardly anybody watches it anyway. If you want to watch it, you can, but to get into these repeated offerings of sound bites from that show is something that I abandoned as a programming principle many, many broadcast months ago. However, I’m going to violate my own principle because I can, because it’s my show. I’m the boss. I don’t have to clear anything I do with anybody. I’m going to violate my own principle here because you have to hear this. I told you how much this guy, Rove, is despised and hated, and I want you to hear the hatred. I want you to hear the abject dislike that they have for Karl Rove in the Drive-By Media. This was this morning on the Today show. David Gregory was filling in there and talking to Chris Matthews he says, ‘So Karl Rove says it’s simply time to leave. He’s obviously been there a long time, well into the second term but he’s also being pursued by congressional investigators, by Democrats. So what do you make of the timing of his departure and the departure itself?’
MATTHEWS: He’s used executive privilege to protect himself from Pat Leahy and the Judiciary Committee, and Congressman Henry Waxman, both hot-to-trot to get him in a witness chair. I think Henry Waxman is going to go after him now. He’s not involved in any criminal proceeding with — like Scooter Libby is. He can’t claim he’s in the appellate process. He’s exposed now, it seems to me, on the leak case in terms of the eight US attorneys, uh, that were fired, uh, I think he’s also exposed there, not having the White House position anymore.
RUSH: The leak case? The leak case is over! Rove was not indicted. They can’t get over that. They just can’t get over it, and they want Rove to be blamed for this, even though there was no crime in the leak of her name. We know who the leaker was. It was Richard Armitage! You listen to this stuff, and you wonder: ‘Does reality ever seep in and make it through the boundaries, the tunnel vision, the narrative, the template these people have of their daily lives and the news?’ Gregory says, ‘Well, can Rove be compelled to testify now, out of office in a different way?’
MATTHEWS: This guy is the Democrats’ Moby Dick.
MATTHEWS: They’ve been after this guy for years. They blame him for Bush’s election. They believe he got a guy elected to the presidency who didn’t have the brains to get there on his own. They believe he forged the election of 2002, the congressional election, on the war in Iraq and won the election in 2004 the same way using evangelicals. They blame Rove —
GREGORY: For — for almost —
MATTHEWS: — for every problem they’ve had. He had a lot to do with developing that 2000 election whereby George Bush, a relative unknown, was able to come in and win the presidency basically by exploiting the Monica mess.
RUSH: Winning the presidency by exploiting the Monica mess! The one thing Bush has tried not to do is to be partisan in that regard. He came in with the ‘new tone.’ You remember all this? They don’t have a basis in reality. They are not grounded, folks, and that’s why I’m playing these sound bites for you. Here’s Joe Scarborough, by the way. He’s on vacation, but he called into his own show today — this is such breaking news! — to say this.
SCARBOROUGH: All of us now, in Washington, I think it was throughout most of 2006, every Friday it seemed the word was, ‘Karl Rove’s going to get indicted this Friday!’
SCARBOROUGH: Our staffs were told, ‘You know, you may have to stay late Friday night because they’re about to indict Karl Rove.’
RUSH: Yeah, well, he had five grand jury interviews or appearances. Not one led to an indictment. They were trying. I’ll tell you, folks, this was a process crime and the reason Rove was brought up there five times is so they could trick him into telling a lie, which is what happened with Scooter Libby. There was no crime being investigated anymore, because there wasn’t a crime in the first place. This still, to me, remains one of the most surreal events in American legal history. But nevertheless, they brought him up there five times for multiple hours, trying to make sure that he said something different one time from the previous time. Apparently, from all those five appearances they had nothing. They had nothing to begin with. They were just itching in the Drive-By Media, just itching for Karl Rove to be indicted. Rove, by the way, is correct when he says that who they really want is the president. The reason they target Rove is because — and this is funny but — they think Bush is a genuine stooge, a bumbling idiot. These people really do believe that Karl Rove is the Wizard of Oz. They believe he is the entire single brain in that administration. They believe it, folks. This is not something they just concoct and it’s not just their kook fringe that believes it. The entire elected leadership of the Democrat Party believes it. One more bite here before we go to the break, and this is Good Morning America with Diane Sawyer interviewing, via telephone, Washington correspondent George Stephanopoulos. She says, ‘You know, the Democrats quote, ‘They’re likely to nominate a tough, tenacious, fatally flawed candidate by the name of Hillary Clinton.” This is what Rove, how he describes Hillary. ”I think the Republicans have a very good chance to hold onto the White House,’ Rove says. What about these words that Rove says about Hillary Clinton and so forth, George? What do you think?’
STEPHANOPOULOS: Fascinating. I think this is the consensus view in the White House, including o-o-of President Bush. They all view Hillary Clinton as the strongest Democratic candidate, the most experienced. They also believe that she is such a polarizing figure that she could give, uh, Republicans a chance at winning the White House if she is nominated. Karl Rove’s partner in the 2004 campaign, uh, Ken Mehlman, has called Hillary Clinton an ‘angry’ candidate who — and they say that the American people simply won’t go for an angry candidate.
RUSH: This is consensus view in the White House according to George Stephanopoulos. By the way, I have a question, ladies and gentlemen. How long will it be before ABC or CBS or even NBC, offers Karl Rove a job hosting a Sunday morning show like Stephanopoulos has? How long will it be before one of the Drive-By networks offers Karl Rove a job as a political analyst with a rising star to eventually get his own show like they offered Stephanopoulos at ABC coming out of the Clinton White House? How long do you think it will be before Rove gets that offer?
RUSH: Here is John in Silver Spring, Maryland. John, I’m glad you called, glad you waited. You’re up first today. Great to have you with us, sir.
CALLER: Yes, sir, thank you, Rush.
CALLER: Just comment regarding Karl Rove.
CALLER: I get the opinion from talking to many of my friends —
CALLER: — I guess a feeling regarding the American people’s view of Congress and the presidency, that there’s just a mistrust of both Rove and Cheney, and it appears to me that they seem to be somewhat…a little devious in what they do.
RUSH: I wonder why people would think that?
CALLER: Well, I don’t know.
RUSH: Well, it’s called the media!
RUSH: It’s called the Drive-Bys and the Democrats because nothing could be further from the truth.
RUSH: They’re two of the most decent, warm, loving people you would ever run into!
RUSH: They are great public servants. They’ve given their lives to it.
RUSH: They’ve been vilified and demonized, as have I, by the Drive-By Media.
CALLER: Heh, heh. Well, Rush, I think that basically the American people’s feeling towards the war —
RUSH: Have you talked to the American people?
CALLER: No, sir. I’m just basing my ‘opinion,’ if you will, on the polls.
RUSH: Yeah, okay.
CALLER: That, you know, they’re not satisfied with the war and of course they blame President Bush, but I think they blame Vice President Cheney as well as Karl Rove.
RUSH: Yeah. Right.
CALLER: So I don’t know. That’s just my opinion. I just thought I would share it with you.
RUSH: Well, you’re entitled to an opinion.
CALLER: Yeah, sure. I understand.
RUSH: You are, you can have your own opinion and you’re entitled to be wrong. We have that freedom in this country. The fact of the matter is, if you want to base it on polls, recent polls are up. More people support the initial invasion of Iraq; more people think it’s going well. The president’s approval numbers are going up. This is all based on the surge. The New York Times — two stories in two days — says we can’t get out of Iraq now. Why, this is the wrong way to get out. The editorial today in the New York Times is actually about the Brits packing up and leaving. They don’t like it. This is to provide cover for the Democrats to drive that car back over the cliff so they can get back on solid ground here. I want to tell you guys a little story about Rove before we have to go to the break here. A week ago Friday, as you know, I had breakfast with Rove and a bunch of the White House people after dinner with the president the night before. In setting it up, Karl said, ‘Why don’t you bring that Snerdley guy with you?’
I said, ‘Snerdley is going to be in Florida. He’s going to be screening calls for my replacement.’
He said, ‘Ah, come on! Come on! Snerdley deserves some face time at the White House. He works hard. He’s stuck in Palm Beach all the time.’
So I said, ‘Okay, well, I’ll ask him.’
So I asked Snerdley, and Snerdley said, ‘No, no. I can’t.’
I said, ‘Come on. Karl is asking for you specifically,’ and I sent Snerdley a copy of Rove’s e-mail. So I took Snerdley up there with me, and he fended for himself on Thursday night, which he knows how to do quite well, and we got to the White House at 6:15, and we were the first to get in the Ward Room, and eventually Karl came in and demanded that Snerdley sit next to him for breakfast and spent the whole breakfast just regaling everybody with stories and so forth. That’s the kind of guy he is. I don’t know him well enough to know what’s bad about him, but I can’t imagine much. The times I’ve gotten to know him he’s just the exact opposite of this caricature they have of him in the Drive-By Media.
RUSH: Barack Obama has put out a statement on the resignation announcement of Karl Rove. Quote, ‘Karl Rove was an architect of a political strategy that has left the country more divided, the special interests more powerful, and the American people more shut out from their government than any time in memory. But to build a new kind of politics, it will take more than the departure of a man or even an Administration that constructed the old – it will take a movement of everyday Americans committed to changing Washington and reclaiming their government.’ Now, this guy went to that convention of these wacko kooks at the Daily Kos, the Yearly Kos thing. Anybody that can make a comment on political divisiveness aimed at Karl Rove having attended that is just beyond the pale.