Karl Rove appeared on Fox News’ “Studio B with Shepard Smith” this afternoon and said that while Hillary Clinton will give her full-throated support to Barack Obama when she speaks this evening, Obama has problems with voters that Hillary can’t fix with a speech.
“I hope the Obama people are not counting on this speech to heal the [Obama-Clinton voter] rift,” he told Smith. He said there are two audiences for Hillary’s speech tonight. One will be in attendance and is composed of true-blue Democrats — those who will support Obama no matter what. The other audience is made up of the 18 million people who voted for Hillary Clinton in the primaries, 4 million or 5 million of whom are now for McCain or are undecided.
“Those people … [Hillary] can’t solve it for ’em. Only Obama can solve the problem that he’s got with them. They voted for her because they like her, and because they developed a problem with him. Remember, he begins to lose primaries when he is on the verge of becoming the nominee. His problem is his problem and not one [she can solve].”
Smith mentioned that working-class Democrats and women tend to like Hillary more than Obama. He asked Rove, “Is there something she can do to tell women and lunchpail Democrats to go to him?”
Rove answered that Hillary could mention abortion, and get women revved up about McCain’s pro-life stance, but added, “The people we’re talking about here — older, white, blue-collar voters — they’ve got a problem with him and she’s not going to be able to solve it for them. The Obama campaign is fooling themselves if they think she’s going to be able to do that tonight.”
Smith asked how Rove thought the Hillary supporters in the crowd would react when she spoke, pointing out that the Democrats have people spaced throughout the crowd to try and keep there from being any real rowdiness, and Rove talked about the fact that you can script a convention, but you don’t want to take that kind of drama out of it.
Rove replied, “You’ve got the American people sitting there saying ‘This is a theater production being put on for my benefit. I know it’s phony in a certain way, but does it ring true with me?’ And so you do want drama.”
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