Former presidential adviser Karl Rove says President Barack Obama’s recent comment that he doesn’t need to be re-elected is just an attempt to show “he is above being president.” Rove also told Fox News’ Sean Hannity that Obama’s decisions to withdraw troops from Afghanistan and to open up the Strategic Petroleum Reserve is “all about politics.”
“You know what? I think he just says that in order to make us feel like he’s, you know, above being president — but look, he desperately wants to be president,” Rove said. “That’s why he’s given up the job of being president in order to be a full-time candidate about a year earlier than he needs to. That’s why he’s doing all of these fundraisers, and that’s why everything that this administration is doing, from the decision about Afghanistan last night, to the decision today about SPR, the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, it is all about politics.”
Rove said the timing of the withdrawal is also problematic, as “we are taking troops out of Afghanistan during the fighting season this year — and we’re going to be withdrawing troops before the end of the fighting season next year.”
“And this is after the president had earlier signaled that he was willing to stay, to keep them there through 2014 in order to fulfill the strategy which he himself adopted, which he himself blessed, which he himself ordered implemented in the fall of 2009,” he said. “And last night’s speech was one of the most self-serving political declarations ever made by the president of the United States and frankly made me ashamed.”
The former adviser to George W. Bush said there are several reasons why Obama is likely to lose in 2012.
“One is the economy — the economy is not where it ought to be,” Rove said. “It’s 9.1 percent unemployment. The Federal Reserve and the Blue Chip forecasts both suggest that unemployment is going to be above 8 percent next year.
“Remember, President Obama said that we would top out unemployment at 8 percent by the end of the summer of 2009 and be about 6.8 percent unemployment today,” he said. “And yet, with 14 million Americans unemployed, we are going to be well above [that] by Election Day next year, where he promised we would be at that point three years before. And look, no president has been reelected with unemployment above 7.2 percent since 1936.
“The second reason he’s in bad shape is, because of wrong policies. Fifty six percent of the American people disagree with his policy on the economy — his handling [of] the economy. Fifty nine percent disagree with his handling of the deficit. Only 38 percent of the American people agree with his signature domestic initiative, which is affordable healthcare,” Rove continued.
“Not to dwell on two many numbers. But this brings up his third problem: The way he has handled the economy and the way he’s handled major issues is driving down his numbers . . . If you take a look at his approval rating which was 67 percent, when he was sworn [in] and it’s 45 percent today,” he said.
Hannity asked Rove what he thought of Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor walking out on negotiations with Vice President Joe Biden on the debt crisis.
“Well, first of all, remember when Kyl and Cantor walked out, my gut tells me that they didn’t walk out unless they had conversations with both [Senate Minority Leader Mitch] McConnell and [House Speaker] John Boehner,” Rove said. “And they came to a united consensus, where the Biden negotiations was going, was nowhere. My sense is the Democrats are going to be comfortable trying to blow this up.
“But let’s watch and see what the Democrats do,” he said. “I bet you a dime to a dollar, there is some writer in the Treasury Department or West Wing in the White House who today is preparing letters to go to Social Security recipients, Medicare recipients and families of military members . . . saying, if we don’t pass a debt ceiling increase, you are not going to get paid or get your check. They are going to use every bit of pressure they can bring to bear.”
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