Sunday, May 27, 2018
Politics

Karl Rove has advice for Mitt Romney, Barack Obama

TAMPA — Karl Rove has made the transition from Republican operative to political analyst, but his biting humor and sharp-elbows style haven't gone anywhere. Weighing in on the 2012 presidential race Monday morning, he had high praise for Republican nominee Mitt Romney and criticized President Barack Obama's re-election campaign.

Rove said Obama's approach leaves him "completely mystified" and that the president has allowed the campaign to dominate too much of his time.

"This has not been a campaign in which it has been, 'Look at my record, I'm proud of my record and here is my vision for a second term,' " Rove told a capacity crowd at the launch of the POLITICO/Tampa Bay Times Playbook Breakfast Convention series.

But Rove has also been "mystified" by Romney's response to questions about whether he pays his fair share of taxes. Romney can choose not to release additional tax returns, Rove said, but he should paint Obama's attacks as about politics and not transparency.

Generally speaking, however, Rove praised Romney's efforts and predicted he was headed to the White House. The Republican National Convention will help him win over voters, Rove said. "The key thing for Mitt Romney is, at the end of this convention, the people say I know something about him personally that I didn't know about him beforehand."

The hourlong question-and-answer session moderated by POLITICO chief White House correspondent Mike Allen covered lots of ground and allowed Rove to show off his historical and political knowledge. Here are some highlights:

• The tea party: Focus should be on the sentiment that gave rise to the movement.

• The Hispanic vote: Republicans can't afford to lose such an important constituency.

• Romney's pick of running mate U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan: bold and unconventional.

• Rove's American Crossroads super PAC: "I got sick and tired of fighting with one hand behind my back."

• The timing of the veep pick: just right and it got the Medicare debate out of the way prior to the convention.

• Congressman and Senate hopeful Todd Akin: "What he said was indefensible, and the manner in which he handled it made it worse."

Rove also broke down Romney's path to winning the White House, saying he should carry all the states John McCain did four years ago and is on tap to cover a few more. Virginia, Florida, North Carolina, Wisconsin and Ohio are all in play, he said.

Rove also left the audience wanting more, teasing several times to an upcoming Wall Street Journal column that follows up on his popular essay channeling Obama adviser David Axelrod. This time, Rove says, he will take on the persona of a different insider, David Plouffe.

Tia Mitchell can be reached at [email protected] or (850) 224-7263.

Comments
Former President George H.W. Bush hospitalized in Maine

Former President George H.W. Bush hospitalized in Maine

BIDDEFORD, Maine — A spokesman for former President George H.W. Bush says the 93-year-old was experiencing low blood pressure and has been hospitalized. Spokesman Jim McGrath tweeted just after 2 p.m. Sunday that Bush will likely remain in the hospit...
Updated: 2 hours ago
More LGBT issues loom as justices near wedding cake decision

More LGBT issues loom as justices near wedding cake decision

WASHINGTON — A flood of lawsuits over LGBT rights is making its way through courts and will continue, no matter the outcome in the Supreme Court’s highly anticipated decision in the case of a Colorado baker who would not create a wedding cake for a s...
Published: 05/26/18
Carlton: Sometimes taxpayers pay for not doing the right thing

Carlton: Sometimes taxpayers pay for not doing the right thing

I may have cracked the code. Found a way to sell doing the right thing. Discovered a method of persuasion in certain matters of fairness, conscience and the greater good.Like giving our fellow Americans a second chance.When morality-based arguments d...
Published: 05/26/18
North Korea demolishes nuclear test site as journalists watch

North Korea demolishes nuclear test site as journalists watch

PUNGGYE-RI, North Korea — North Korean leader Kim Jong Un made good on his promise to demolish his country’s nuclear test site, which was formally closed in a series of huge explosions Thursday as a group of foreign journalists looked on. The explosi...
Published: 05/24/18
Trump violated the Constitution when he blocked his critics on Twitter, a federal judge rules

Trump violated the Constitution when he blocked his critics on Twitter, a federal judge rules

President Donald Trump’s decision to block his Twitter followers for their political views is a violation of the First Amendment, a federal judge ruled Wednesday, saying that Trump’s effort to silence his critics is not permissible under the U.S. Con...
Published: 05/23/18
All those city services that fuel Lightning fever? Team, not taxpayers, foot the bill

All those city services that fuel Lightning fever? Team, not taxpayers, foot the bill

TAMPA — All those public watch parties during the Tampa Bay Lightning’s postseason run? And how about the rally at Joe Chillura Courthouse Square Park with the big white Lightning logo spray-painted on the grass? You need police to prote...
Published: 05/23/18
Romano: A pathetic legacy for Florida’s all-or-nothing Democrats

Romano: A pathetic legacy for Florida’s all-or-nothing Democrats

Explain this to me: In the world of partisan politics, how is being an independent thinker a bad thing? When it comes to general elections, we seem to like rogues and mavericks. We want outsiders and swamp scrubbers. Folks appreciate a good finger-...
Published: 05/22/18
‘World’s most expensive Witch Hunt’: Trump lashes out at New York Times, Democrats

‘World’s most expensive Witch Hunt’: Trump lashes out at New York Times, Democrats

WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump lashed out Sunday at "the World’s most expensive Witch Hunt," trashing a new report in the New York Times that said an emissary representing the governments of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates offered help...
Published: 05/20/18
Obama’s education secretary: Let’s boycott school until gun laws change

Obama’s education secretary: Let’s boycott school until gun laws change

Former Education Secretary Arne Duncan pushed a radical idea on Twitter: Parents should pull their children out of school until elected officials pass stricter gun control laws.His tweet came hours after a shooting rampage at a Houston-area high scho...
Published: 05/20/18
China offers to buy more US products to reduce trade imbalance

China offers to buy more US products to reduce trade imbalance

WASHINGTON - China offered to boost its annual purchases of U.S. products by "at least $200 billion" Friday as two days of talks aimed at averting an open breach between the two countries ended in Washington, a top White House adviser said.Larry Kudl...
Published: 05/19/18