Dashing into an elevator after a breakfast Tuesday morning at the Republican National Convention, top Republican strategist Karl Rove denied to pursuing reporters that he campaigned against Democrat maverick Joe Lieberman joining the GOP ticket.
Last week, Politico.com reported Rove phoned Lieberman and urged him to withdraw his name from Republican presidential nominee John McCain’s consideration of potential running mates. Citing three unnamed sources, Politico.com reported that Lieberman “dismissed the request” from Rove. McCain has since tapped Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as the party’s vice presidential choice.
On Fox News Sunday morning, Rove rebuffed Politico.com’s report, saying, “Senator Lieberman’s camp denied it and so did my camp last night, so I guess Politico.com was wrong.”
Continuing his non-denial denial, Rove said the story “is not right,” but refused to say whether he actually called Lieberman to talk about the subject.
“Look, I’m not going to get into who I call and don’t call,” Rove waffled uncomfortably when prodded. “But this report that I called Senator Lieberman and told him, ‘You call Senator McCain and withdraw from the vice presidential [race],' is incorrect.”
Rove sought to push Lieberman aside presumably because he strongly favored Mitt Romney as the vice presidential candidate, Newsmax reported last week.
Rove, President Bush’s former top campaign adviser, has no official role in McCain’s campaign, but he had been offering informal advice and touting Romney in his position as a Fox News analyst.
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