Karl Rove took to the Fox News airwaves today to defend George W. Bush’s honor, and to make the case that the former president and Rick Perry have a whole lot in common.
Here is the video from Media Matters:
Karl Rove tore Rick Perry apart first for accusing Ben Bernacke of treason, and then for claiming that he is different that George W. Bush,
Well again look, Perry does want to establish himself as being his own man, but there are two ways to do that. One is to say, I’m my own man. I am who I am. The experiences that have made up my life have made me who I am. Another way is to try and contrast yourself with the former president and do so in a way that is dismissive of the former president.
Now why one would want to do that when they are both from Texas, why they’ve both got a cordial relationship. Why one would want to do that, I don’t know. Look it did not matter to George Bush in 1998 that he went to Yale and that Perry went to A&M. Bush raised went out of. He moved heaven and earth to get Rick Perry elected as his running mate and lieutenant governor. He raised him money outside the state. He made certain that his phone banks only called people that were for both men in order to get them out to vote.
In 1998 George H.W. Bush, the former president, President Bush 41 only cut two television ads for candidates in the entire country, for his son Jeb Bush in Texas, (Rove meant Florida) and the closing ad endorsing very strongly Rick Perry for lieutenant governor, and so you know look I know from the perspective of the former president that he has a cordial personal strong friendship of nearly two decades with the governor. I think that’s true for the governor too, but why he falls into this pattern of sounding like he is being dismissive of the former president is not smart politics strategically or tactically.
Rove was asked if he felt Perry was ungrateful to the Bushes, and he answered, “Well you know, it sounds like that. Well you know look, Bush moved heaven and earth. He likes Rick Perry, and again why, I chalk it up to he’s on the stage for the first time, he’s trying to find his way.” Rove later said that Perry was making comments about Bush that artificially create in some people’s minds the there’s a divide between the two men. He said if he was running for president he would want to get his people in his camp, instead of saying things that cause people to ask why don’t you like him.
So much for Rick Perry’s big plan to run away from his past with George W. Bush, Rove pointed out Perry’s biggest political problem. Even though his religious beliefs are getting a lot of play right now, politically that isn’t what would sink him if he won the Republican nomination. Perry is going to be joined at the hip with the political anchor named George W. Bush. Perry owes his career to the former president, and the Bush people like Karl Rove did today, are not going to allow him to forget it.
Rove would have to be blind or crazy not to see why Perry is doing this. George W. Bush is still wildly unpopular, and any Republican nominee that is tainted with the legacy of Bush is doomed to fail in November.
The dressing down that Rove gave Perry was all about protecting the legacy of his former boss, and the administration that he worked for. This was a warning shot to Perry that he better pay the proper respect to the Bushes or there will be consequences.
The last thing Rick Perry needed was Karl Rove going on national television and basically telling the world how close Perry and Bush are and how much Perry owes Bush. Rove made it seem like Perry and Bush are on the same page and a lot alike.
Karl Rove just made any potential Obama campaign against Rick Perry next fall a whole lot easier.
I am sure that Obama For America found Rove’s remarks extremely helpful.