Former presidential adviser Karl Rove says although President Barack Obama’s poll numbers have been dismal, he can re-energize his base if “Republicans give him a chance to do so.” Rove also told Fox News’ Sean Hannity Tuesday that Obama’s supporters in 2008 — women, college graduates, Hispanics, and younger voters — are “disappointed he is different in office than they were led to believe.”
Hannity asked Rove whether Obama can get former voters back in his column.
“Well, you know, he can, but only if the Republicans gives him the chance to do so. These people have lost faith in him — they like him — I have been watching a bunch of focus groups, listening to a bunch of transcripts, reading a lot of analyses of these focus groups,” Rove said. “And these kind of people like him but they are terribly disappointed in what he has done. He has been different in office than they were lead to believe — and they believe his economic policies have tended to hurt far more than they have helped.
“They don’t like the Affordable Care Act — they think that he has governed from the left when they promised to govern from the center — so, they’ve made a decision about him which is: ‘We’re terribly disappointed in you.’ They are not inclined to vote for him,” he said. “The question is: Can the Republicans reassure them that they are up to the job and have a positive agenda that they say gives them comfort? It smells and feels like 1979, with people saying Jimmy Carter is just not up to the job — he’s just not qualified to have it. My question is: Is the Republican nominee up to it and can they give me confidence that they will get the job done?”
Hannity switched gears and asked Rove about Herman Cain and whether the presidential hopeful can come back from the latest allegation that he had a long-running affair. Cain said Tuesday he was going to reassess his campaign and his chances to win the GOP nomination.
“Well, they can, but you don’t use that word reassess without feeling internally that a lot of things have gone wrong. Look, whether it’s right or wrong — whether it’s fair or not — he’s been on the receiving end of the lot of body blows on this issue,” Rove said. “He mishandled it, in my opinion, the beginning of this which sort of fed the fires and we now have this latest allegation.
“And, you know, when you have 61 texts and emails — some of them at early hours and late hours — it just doesn’t on the surface of it look good,” Rove said. “And I suspect what he’s asking himself is: Am I the guy who could win the nomination and help put the country in the right place by defeating Barack Obama or am I not?”
Hannity then asked Rove about Newt Gingrich’s surging numbers and whether the race has come down to the former House speaker and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Rove said there still is room for a third contender.
“My gut tells me that because Iowa is an organization affair, that there is still a spot for a third person to sort of jump into this in Iowa — we will see here in about 35 days,” Rove said. “It could be Ron Paul, who has a well-organized group that will be — you know, wherever he is in the polls — he will do better in the turnout simply because his people are so committed. Michele Bachmann, this is her home state. She was born in Waterloo, Iowa — she lives next door, she’s campaigning hard.
“So, you know, I don’t know. But, look, we do know this: We have two candidates, Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney, who are atop the pack,” he said. “The question is: Is there going to be somebody else who in Iowa is going to jump in and grab a place at the table as well?”
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