Republican strategist Karl Rove says it’s too early to tell whether the bungled Fast and Furious gun-trafficking operation or the national security leak scandal will end up being a factor in the November presidential election. “We really can’t,” Rove told Fox News’ Sean Hannity Tuesday night.
But Rove said Attorney General Eric Holder’s grilling earlier Tuesday by Republicans on Capitol Hill was “a pretty extraordinary event,” especially the heated confrontation between Holder and Texas Sen. John Cornyn, who demanded that he resign.
Still, Rove cautioned that the economy would continue to be “a central issue of the race” because, he said, people “have lost a lot of wealth” during Obama’s time in office.
“The last three or four years have been really bad for Americans in prosperity and we have an anemic recovery,” Rove said.
“So, when the president says, ‘We are on the right track or I’ve created prosperity, or we have gotten jobs’ … or we’d be worse off if we hadn’t spent this [bailout and stimulus] money,’ the American people just don’t buy those lines,” he added.
Rove also described a new strategy memo urging the Obama campaign to shift the narrative away from the economy as a “pretty dire” acknowledgment by Democrats that the president is in serious trouble.
Rove said memo on the one hand urges the president to do “one smart thing,” which is talk about the future, but on the other urges him to attack Mitt Romney, “which is not so smart.”
Attacking Romney, Rove said, will only remind voters in the end of Obama’s “stated promise in 2008 to change the tone in Washington and be a different kind of president.”
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