Former presidential adviser Karl Rove said Tuesday whether or not New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie enters the 2012 presidential race, the Republican field is strong and there is plenty of time to choose the person to unseat President Barack Obama.
“I mean, this has been a pretty interesting thing to watch. In a very short period of time, since [Christie’s] swearing-in in January of 2010, he’s become quite a figure on the national stage, because of what he’s done as governor,” Rove told Fox News’ Sean Hannity. “He took on the teachers unions — he’s blunt, he’s straightforward — he’s the everyman of American politics, and he’s got quite a following.”
Hannity noted that many on the left are saying that Republicans are pushing Christie to run because of a lack of confidence in the present field of GOP candidates. The Fox host said he does not believe that is the case.
“Well, I agree with you. Look, in June, I think it was like 50 percent of Republicans were happy — enthusiastic about the field— which is a pretty good number for that time. Today, it’s over two-thirds and approaching three quarters,” Rove said. “And we have four months until voting begins. We really are at the point where people are starting to gain enough information and make judgments about these people.
“Now, I do think there’s something else going on here, which is, I think Republicans want to get this thing right — and they want to have a big robust contest — and the more robust the better. And for a lot of Republicans, it is just beginning,” he said. “So the idea of a Chris Christie candidacy, or Sarah Palin candidacy, or Mitch Daniels candidacy — all they find intriguing — because they say: Look, we’ve got four or five months until we vote, or six or seven months until my state votes, we’ve got plenty of time to make a decision — let’s see these people go at it and see how they do.”
Rove noted that Obama’s top political adviser, David Axelrod, said earlier Tuesday that the president faces a “Titanic struggle” in his road to re-election.
“I did think Axelrod had a good comment — he said: This is a titanic struggle,” Rove said. “The Obama presidency is hitting the iceberg — he’s started to go down with all the passengers in the West Wing on it. It is a titanic struggle because you know, you just steered it right into an iceberg. The choice is between the president’s policies or something different.”
Hannity then noted Obama’s recent speech to the Congressional Black Caucus did not go over well and it showed that the president is having trouble shoring up his base.
“Yes, well, this is what my column is about on Thursday in the Wall Street Journal. I think he’s making a grave mistake by thinking that he needs to worry about the black caucus and these professional, you know, mealy-mouth . . . and weak-kneed people inside the Democratic Party — and that the way he has got to do is appease them by moving to the left,” Rove said. “That makes it difficult for him to get to the voters whom he needs to win in order to win this election. There are two ways to go about strengthen your base: One is by doing what he’s doing — that is to say, going out of his way to sound like a left-wing nut with class warfare, and all this stuff. Or it is by articulating a vision that inspires your people to be for you.
“He clearly can’t do the latter, so he’s doing the former and it’s going to hurt him with independents, Midwestern voters, young voters, college-educated voters, women — all of whom have declined in their support for him larger than the national average,” he said. “His problem is going to get worse before it gets any better because of what I think is a completely flawed and stupid strategy.”
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