Republican strategist Karl Rove said Thursday that President Barack Obama may be "disengaged and distant," but is still partially responsible for the IRS and Associated Press controversies that have engulfed his presidency.
"He is a disengaged and distant president," Rove said during an appearance on Fox News.
He said he finds it hard to believe the White House would not have been informed of the Justice Department's decision to access home and office phone records of AP reporters working on national security stories, Politico reports
"It is a bit appalling," said the former political adviser to President George W. Bush. "I can't imagine the Attorney General and the Department of Justice would not have given the Office of General Counsel inside the White House a heads-up they were about to take this very broad step of asking for the phone records of 100 journalists and editors at the AP. I just can't believe that would happen."
Rove, now a Fox News contributor, also argued that Obama is at least partly to blame for the Internal Revenue Service unfairly scrutinizing the tea party and other conservative groups that applied for tax-exempt status.
"Hey, look, the president in some degree is responsible for some of these acts. Remember in September and October of 2010, he went out and denounced ... conservative 501(c)(4) groups as enemies of democracy," Rove said. "You can't tell me some IRS bureaucrat in Cincinnati, Washington, California -- all of which were conducting investigations of conservative groups -- were not hardened by the president going out declaring the groups they were looking at, quote, 'enemies of democracy.'"
"The president is disengaged and distant, but he is paying the price for it," Rove concluded.
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