Opinion: Karl Rove: Joe Sestak’s lying or he’s protecting a felon in Barack Obama’s White House


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Well, it looks like we have an answer now to the question raised in that Monday Ticket item here: Obama White House probe of Obama White House finds no Obama White House impropriety on Sestak.

This Joe Sestak/Obama White House job mess does have legs. The public and the media are not buying the White House’s self-cleansing, self-serving explanation that everything was appropriate, just move along.


The issue of what Democrat Sestak was offered by an Obama aide to drop out of his ultimately successful Pennsylvania Senate primary challenge of what’s-his-name-the-old-former-Democrat-ex-Republican-now-Democrat Specter may well come up this morning at President Obama’s first White House news conference in months. (UPDATE: The news conference’s full transcript is now available here.)

It’s a lesson that White House after White House fails to learn, incomplete answers only raise more questions. If it smells like a fish, good chance it’s a fish.

With an opening oil statement, Obama will try to steer/frame the media focus toward the messy....

...Gulf spill story because a) there’s another bad guy to blame and b) the president has laid on another photo op down there on Friday before he skips the Memorial Day services at Arlington National Cemetery to vacation again, this time in Chicago.

One-time White House insider Karl Rove has been outside Washington most of recent months, promoting his new best-seller,’Courage and Consequence.’ But Wednesday he chatted with our buddy Scott Hennen, the upper Midwest’s top political talk-show host.

We’ve got a good piece of video down below for you to ponder. But let’s just quote some of the characteristically blunt, clear insight that’s made Rove so successful in politics, on the Fox News Channel and so hated/feared by opponents.


Here’s Rove on Sestak:

One of two things is true, you can’t have two things true. One or the other is true. Either Joe Sestak is lying and he was not offered a position in the administration in return for getting out of the primary. You know he’s a liar, in which case not worthy of public service. Or, he’s telling the truth, in which case somebody inside the White House committed a felony. 18usc211 says that, a government official cannot promise a job in return for anything of value and it has a long list of values. Saying to a member of Congress if you drop out of the primary and give a free ride to the general election for our Democratic nominee in return for which we will give you a government job, is clearly receiving something of value. The value is a clear path to the nomination of your favorite candidate..... What he in essence is saying is that there’s a felon inside the White House and I am going to stonewall and protect that individual. He has an obligation to tell. Either you’re a liar, Joe Sestak, or you’re protecting a felon.

Now, Rove on Democrats trying to blame George W. Bush for last month’s oil spill, as The Ticket revealed here Tuesday:

Obama Administration officials last year short-circuited the process and allowed Transocean and British Petroleum to drill this well to put this unit at the place that they were drilling and to do so without full environmental review and a full safety review. It was Obama Administration officials. Chris Dodd, you know, is reaching back. I wish he knew the facts. He clearly knew that facts when he got that improper mortgage from people he was writing legislation benefits for, but he doesn’t have the facts known here. In fact, it was on the front page of the New York Times....that the decision to allow this rig to drill in this place was granted last year with expedited approvals without a full environmental and safety review by Obama Administration officials.

And, finally, Rove on presidential behavior:

Look, the American people don’t elect a president with the hope that he’s going to spend most of his time blaming his predecessor. They elect a president to get things done. I think it hurts President Obama. It makes him look weak. You know, this constant ‘poor us, we were handed a bad thing, all the problems are the problems of the previous administration.’ You know, look, when Bush came into office he had a recession. You didn’t hear Bush go out and say, ‘Well you know Clinton, the stock market peaked in March of 2000. NASDAQ lost 50% of it’s value. We were headed to a recession and it’s all Clinton’s fault and we are cleaning up after the Clinton mess.’ The American people don’t want to hear that. So, look, that’s fine if they want to do that because I think it hurts them. It diminishes them. It makes them look weak and pitiful and that’s not what the American people want. The reason why the President has such a low approval rating when he should have high ones, is because of the way he conducts himself in office.

So, you think Obama will invite Rove over to shoot some hoops anytime soon? While you wait, give this tape a listen. There’s much more, including talk of the role of Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel in Penn-gate.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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