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Karl Rove: Obama Won Because Of Voter Supression

Karl Rove adds to the Republican theories of why Mitt Romney lost the election by accusing the President’s campaign of, wait for it, voter suppression:

Mitt Romney lost the election because President Barack Obama engaged in voter suppression, according to Republican political strategist Karl Rove.

“He succeeded by suppressing the vote,” Rove said in an interview on Fox News with anchor Megyn Kelly on Thursday afternoon, “by saying to people, ‘You may not like who I am and I know you can’t bring yourself to vote for me, but I’m going to paint this other guy as simply a rich guy who only cares about himself.’”

Rove didn’t actually give any examples of ways in which Obama made it harder for people to exercise their constitutional right at the polls — things like voter ID laws, which have been pushed by GOP legislatures around the country. In fact, Obama specifically said in his victory speech that it was unfair that people had to wait in line for hours to vote, which occurred in part because Republicans reduced the time period for early voting.

Rove did say that Obama had aired attack ads and painted Romney as out-of-touch with the concerns of ordinary voters, but these are fairly common tactics in politics, and Rove is certainly no stranger to them.

“Fifty-three percent in the exit polls said on Election Day that Mitt Romney’s policies would only help the rich. And they voted for Obama by a 9 to 1 margin,” added Rove. “Of the 21 percent of the electorate who said that the most important characteristic in a president was that he cares about people like me, they voted for President Obama by almost a 9 to 1 margin. They effectively denigrated Mitt Romney’s character, business acumen, business experience and made him unworthy.”

In other words Karl, they won the election.

I believe the appropriate word for these comments is chutzpah.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Tsar Nicholas says:

    I believe the appropriate word for these comments is chutzpah.

    Au contraire. Using urban vernacular as our translator ‘chutzpah’ basically means having big balls.

    Rove doesn’t have big balls. He’s lost his mind. Seriously. There needs to be an intervention.

    It started on election night. I was watching him closely. I’m sort of an amateur psychiatrist, you see. It goes back to the halcyon days when I handled psychiatric malpractice cases and psychiatric disability insurance case. Anyways, I was watching him and listening to him very intently. Because I sensed an approaching meltdown. And sure enough he started exhibiting the clear cut signs of having a total meltdown. I don’t think it’s gotten better since then. Dude has gone off the rails on a crazy train.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  2. Fiona says:

    Rove is searching for an explanation of the election that will placate his billionaire donors, given the amazing scope of his losses on Tuesday. Hopefully, this election will mark the end of anyone taking old Turd Blossom seriously, although he always have an “analyst” spot on Faux News.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  3. Murray says:

    It’s not just Rove who’s lost his mind, it’s the whole Fox network. They are hilarious since Tuesday night.

    It really looks like they weren’t acting prior to the election, they actually ended up believing their own line of crap.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  4. Robert in SF says:

    I think the use of the inflammatory term “suppress” is driving the analysis of this nonsense.

    He seems to clearly be saying that President Obama affected voter turn out by de-motivating the Gov. Romney potential supporters…therefore the voter turnout was “suppressed” or lowered in amount, frequency, or quantity….

    This is a non-issue, and much ado about nothing.

    Move along, move along, nothing to see here.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 9

  5. Chris Berez says:
  6. Anderson says:

    Given Rove’s proud record of campaigns on the merits, free from demonizing personal attacks, I think he deserves a respectful hear– ha ha! damn, knew I couldn’t keep a straight face!

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 25 Thumb down 0

  7. DC Loser says:

    Somehow I keep thinking about that infamous scene of Hitler having his breakdown in “Downfall” when he realizes he didn’t have all those troops he thought he had, and that his generals were lying to him. Time for another parody!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  8. DC Loser says:

    Why did my comment end up in moderation? Was it because I mentioned He Whose Name Cannot Be Mentioned?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  9. cd6 says:

    Is it too much that I’ve been sort of hoping one of the lunatics who gave turd blossom millions of dollars only to see him flush that cash down the toilet will now come after him 1920s loan shark style?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  10. de stijl says:

    By what stretch of the imagination (and I know we’re talking about Fox News here, but please bear with me) can a self-described news network justify the presence of the single largest controller of outside money in the election as an “analyst?”

    Not just as a guest who can provide insight as to American Crossroads involvement with the election, but one who sat at the effing desk all night long on November 6th? And who ordered Megyn Kelly to go down the hall and intimidate ask why the FNC quants called Ohio for Obama?

    Isn’t it a clear ethical conflict of interest in having Rove analyzing an election that his organization spent hundreds of millions of dollars trying to influence?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  11. Franklin says:

    @Robert in SF: Actually, re-reading it while ignoring the headline, I think you’re probably right. Political junkies easily link the words ‘voter’ and ‘suppress’ to mean something specific. The question is, did Rove intentionally use that word to make it sound like something it wasn’t? I wouldn’t put it past him.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  12. bookdragon says:

    I think we’re way past chutzpah here. We’re gonif territory (and if Sheldon Adelson isn’t using that word -at least privately – to describe Rove and Romney, I’ll be very surprised).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  13. Moosebreath says:

    So Karl, when you attacked John Kerry as a flip-flopper, was that voter suppression? When you attacked Al Gore as a serial exaggerator, was that voter suppression? If not, then why is attacking Romney as “simply a rich guy who only cares about himself” voter suppression? Or is this yet another example of how when a Democrat fights back, it is unfair?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  14. grumpy realist says:

    Karl’s just terrified that Sheldon’s going to get back to the real Las Vegas roots and go Bugsy on him.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  15. @Murray:

    Without defending Fox, they were actually much slower to call states, and the whole election, for either candidate than NBC News, which I also watched. NBC called Missouri for Romney, for example, 45 minutes before Fox did. (But Fox might have beat NBC in calling Penn. for Obama, I think but won’t swear to.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  16. I say again: Romney was defeated by people who did not vote at all. Here’s why.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

  17. David M says:

    @Donald Sensing:

    That’s misreading the numbers, there are no missing voters.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  18. @David M: People really need to click through and read that post in its entirety.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  19. al-Ameda says:

    Rove is just doing what Republicans do – declare the recently democratically elected Democratic president to be illegitimate. Look, Rove just shook down a bunch of multimillionaires for over $300 million and he has very little to show for it. No surprise that he’s trying to distract people from this debacle.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  20. Jim Henley says:

    Isn’t it time to wonder if George W. Bush made Rove look smart for awhile, rather than the other way around? What has Rove actually accomplished electorally since 2004? And without Bush fronting his efforts?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  21. Janis Gore says:

    @Donald Sensing: Mr. Sensing, for most of my life, I have been an independent woman.

    To my misfortune, I am again. I don’t give a damn about a Santa Claus government. Those benefits won’t buy me love.

    But I do give a damn about my neighbors, and my family, and my women friends.

    Take that as you will.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  22. Janis Gore says:

    Rolling Stones

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  23. Janis Gore says:

    Buncha simpering idiots.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  24. An Interested Party says:

    Here’s why.

    Umm, not really…actually what single/unmarried/divorced women really want is to not be demonized or treated like trash by conservative blowhards and to get the same respect that those same conservative blowhards show to white men…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  25. Janis Gore says:

    Add widowed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  26. Eric Florack says:

    Rove is addicted to the mythical center. He can’t admit what I said last April.

    Of course this has been happening ever since Reagan…. where every candidate the GOP has been coming up with has been a weak-kneed centrist, like Romney. Bob Dole? Both Bushes? McCain? really? These are really the strongest proponents of conservatism the party can find?

    Reagan’s winning, because of, not in spite of his very vocal social conservatism, you see, to today’s GOP leadership, is just an aberration. Forget that the same cries from the social liberals of that day were drowned out by the vast majority of voters. And remember, gang, the GOP establishment wasn’t happy, even back in the day, that Reagan won.

    The establishment GOP keeps ignoring these facts, and they keep coming up with the same result. And it’s happening again.

    The rank and file knows it, and so do the independent voters. YOU don’t. At least, you can’t bring yourself to admit it.

    Congrats, centrists. You’ve done it yet again.

    Instead of coming out strongly with the social conservative values of mainstream America, your pre-annointed boy backed away trying to save the mythical center, when the liberal media, in the form of Clintonita George Stephanopoulos, started playing the birth control game. To his credit, Romeny’s people identified the attack…. at least by the next debate.

    thing is, the response, while correctly programmed, was far too late to do much about it. That’s what happens when you have someone like Romney who speaks conservatism as a second language, and even then not very well. Stephy should have been called down then and there. Romney couldn’t find it in himself to do it.

    The stupidity, Doug, is not recognizing that voters know.. and dislike it… when the candidates biggest talents are playing both sides against the middle. And that’s all the GOP’s been able to do since the 80′s. And if they can’t do better than that, they deserve to lose.

    Rove has been part of the problem, of course. He’s a talented, likeable sort, but far too addicted to centrism to see the truth of the matter.

    But let’s look at a couple points Rove along with the left, simply can’t handle:

    First, Obama won with a smaller number of voters than in 08. Indeed, Romney got fewer voters than McCain. Now, that should be no shock, since Romney, back in 08 was considered to be less conservative than McCain, himself being no conservative. That perception among conservative voters hasn’t changed with the passage of 4 years.

    Secondly, notice that if you add Gary Johnson’s numbers from Florida and Ohio, to Romney numbers, it would have been more than enough for Romney to win in both those states. Clearly, a candidate that speaks conservatism as something other than a second language, would have been helpful… such a person would have won those states…. and I suppose the effect wouldn’t have been limited to that.

    All that was needed was a real conservative in the lead role. Ryan leaps to mind. Palin. Cain. People like Rove worked to drive such conservative people out of the lead roles in the party. And then wonders why the GOP he misleads, loses.

    And I say again, I’ve been saying this all along.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  27. Eric Florack says:

    WRT the voting numbers, I should have added that what suppressed the vote was a lack of someone to vote for..

    Obama voters from 08 came out in smaller numbers because many couldn’t bring themselves to allow a second term. Romney’s votes were low because as I predicted, conservatives sat on their hands.. in larger numbers than in 08.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  28. Jim Henley says:

    1. There are still millions of votes to count.

    2. Half the apples-to-apples drop in total vote – votes counted by a couple days after election day last year vs. votes counted by a couple days after election this year – comes from the “Hurricane Sandy states”: New York; New Jersey; Connecticut.

    3. Pre-election polls that included Gary Johnson as an option showed him drawing about equally from Obama and Romney voters. Johnson votes were by no means all Romney’s to get. In particular, Johnson’s “End ALL the wars, at home and abroad” platform meshes . . . poorly with GOP-brand conservatism.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  29. Jim Henley says:

    The performance of extremist GOP candidates in otherwise winnable Senate races (IN, MO, MD, even PA) ought to make one doubt that a more vociferously conservative presidential candidate would simply be adding voters to his existing total. More likely he would be adding some but subtracting others. You could also look at the total popular vote for the House, of which a majority went to Democrats. Only clever gerrymandering after the 2010 census saved the GOP majority.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  30. @Eric Florack:

    Secondly, notice that if you add Gary Johnson’s numbers from Florida and Ohio, to Romney numbers, it would have been more than enough for Romney to win in both those states.

    Well, first, Obama would have won the electoral vote without those states (which show how tough Romney’s road was). Without OH and FL, Obama has 285 EVs.

    Second: you are wrong on the Johnson numbers. The Sec of State page in Florida currently shows the gap between Obama and Romney to be almost twice the number of votes that Johnson received. The gap is even bigger in Ohio. And, as @Jim Henley correctly notes: you cannot assume that all voters from a given third party candidate will break 100% for one of the top two candidates–it simply doesn’t work that way.

    I recognize that changing your mind on your ideological positions is likely impossible, but is it really too much to ask for you to get basic facts straight?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  31. @Eric Florack:

    All that was needed was a real conservative in the lead role. Ryan leaps to mind. Palin. Cain.

    Ah yes, that would have done it for sure.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  32. @Jim Henley:

    The performance of extremist GOP candidates in otherwise winnable Senate races (IN, MO, MD, even PA) ought to make one doubt that a more vociferously conservative presidential candidate would simply be adding voters to his existing total. More likely he would be adding some but subtracting others.

    This.

    And this:

    You could also look at the total popular vote for the House, of which a majority went to Democrats. Only clever gerrymandering after the 2010 census saved the GOP majority.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  33. jukeboxgrad says:

    florack:

    Romney’s votes were low because as I predicted, conservatives sat on their hands

    Florack, I was wondering when you were going to show your face again. Speaking of what you “predicted,” I was hoping that you would explain what you said on 10/21:

    Obama has lost re-election. The only question remaining is how large a victory Romney is headed for.

    This is also good moment to recall that you told us a couple of days before Obama was elected (the first time) that he would lose and there would be “rioting in Grant park.”

    You’ve got quite a track record.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  34. anjin-san says:

    Rove is addicted to the mythical center. He can’t admit what I said last April.

    Being a pipsqueak in real life, and a megalomania is a pretty sad combination.

    Florack, I was wondering when you were going to show your face again. Speaking of what you “predicted,” I was hoping that you would explain what you said on 10/21:

    Obama has lost re-election. The only question remaining is how large a victory Romney is headed for.

    Game, set, match…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  35. anjin-san says:

    megalomania

    Sorry – megalomaniac…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  36. anjin-san says:

    Ryan leaps to mind

    Ryan? The amazing shrinking conservative? In a presidential election, Ryan looked like a kid running for student body president in high school who wandered on to the stage where the big boys work by mistake…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  37. An Interested Party says:

    It is literally breathtaking that the same sleazebag who was probably behind a nasty whispering campaign against Ann Richards and another equally repellent attack against John McCain would have the sheer unmitigated gall to talk about “voter suppression”…this slime needs to rank right up there at the top of the list as one of the worst political operatives to ever work in the history of American elections…meanwhile, the quite delusional Eric Florack continues with his fantasies about how a “real” conservative could somehow win the White House…judging from his predictions just before the 2008 election and this year’s election, he should really invest in some antipsychotic drugs…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  38. al-Ameda says:

    @Eric Florack:

    Obama voters from 08 came out in smaller numbers because many couldn’t bring themselves to allow a second term. Romney’s votes were low because

    as I predicted,

    conservatives sat on their hands.. in larger numbers than in 08.

    Yes, I saw your piece on Nate Silver’s 538 Website.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0