Rove: SOTU Intent Was to Give Democrats Talking Points

Wednesday, 29 Jan 2014 02:45 PM

By Wanda Carruthers

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President Barack Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday was intended to give Democrats talking points, and then blame Republicans if they "didn't get what they want" in Congress during the year, Karl Rove said Wednesday.

"This was all designed to do two things. One is to give Democrats a series of talking points about what they were supposedly trying to achieve this year. And, then, to be able to blame the Republicans, if they didn't get what they want," Rove told Fox News' "Happening Now."

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Rove, who served as deputy chief of staff to President George W. Bush, said much of President Obama's speech contained "old familiar themes," such as minimum wage increases, unemployment benefits, immigration reform, and climate change. He said what was new in the speech was "relatively small and very unimpressive."

The statements the president made about Obamacare were meant to "stiffen the spine" of Democrats facing reelection in the fall, Rove explained. He said the topic of women getting paid less than men was simply to "add to the narrative of what (Democrats) are all about."

Rove stressed the president does have authority to issue executive orders, as President Obama has threatened to do if Congress does not act on legislative issues. He said the test of its legality was whether or not the president's actions were based in statute. On this point, Rove claimed President Obama "doesn't seem to care what the law has to say."

"There is no statutory authority for a president to exempt an entire class of people from immigration law enforcement, and yet he did it.

"There is no provision in the Affordable Care Act that gives him ability to unilaterally suspend the employer mandate, but he did it," he said.

Rove maintained the president might act through executive order and then "dare somebody" to take him to court. He said he thought the president's threat of executive orders was "more bluster and bluff than reality."

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