Karl Rove Quotes

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Karl Rove
White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy
In office
February 8, 2005 â€“ August 31, 2007
President George W. Bush
Preceded by Harriet Miers
Succeeded by Joel Kaplan
Senior Advisor to the President
In office
January 20, 2001 â€“ August 31, 2007
President George W. Bush
Deputy Barry Jackson
Preceded by

Sid Blumenthal
Joel Johnson
Doug Sosnik

Succeeded by Barry Jackson
Personal details
Born (1950-12-25) December 25, 1950 (age 66)
Denver, Colorado, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s)

Valerie Mather Wainwright (1976–1980)
Darby Tara Hickson (1986–2009)
Karen Johnson (2012–present)

Children Andrew (with Hickson)
Alma mater

University of Utah
University of Maryland, College Park
George Mason University
University of Texas, Austin

Website Official website

I supported Pat Toomey when he ran in 2010. I gave him money in September of 2009 because I wanted him to be the U.S. senator. I personally contributed my own money.
Karl Rove
I know enough about European politics to know you've got a lot of crazy people who make their way onto the ballot.
Karl Rove
I think wealthy conservatives are busy investing in profit and job creation and enterprise, and wealthy liberals, many of them either from the media industry themselves or from – they recognize the value of communications and are more ready to put money into a less profitable enterprise, namely the media.
Karl Rove
If you really want to diminish a candidate, depict him as the foil of his handler. This is as old in American politics as politics itself.
Karl Rove
Alinsky's 1971 book, 'Rules for Radicals,' is a favorite of the Obamas. Michele Obama quoted it at the Democratic Convention. One Alinsky tactic is to 'Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.' That's what the White House did in targeting Rush Limbaugh, Rick Santelli and Jim Cramer.
Karl Rove
I mean, if you have to wake up in the morning to be validated by the editorial page of the New York Times, you got a pretty sorry existence.
Karl Rove
Has there ever been a more revealing moment this year? Let me just put this in fairly simple terms: Al Jazeera now broadcasts the words of Senator Durbin to the Mideast, certainly putting our troops in greater danger. No more needs to be said about the motives of liberals.
Karl Rove
Look, in 1800 the sainted Thomas Jefferson arranged to hire a notorious slanderer named James Callender, who worked as a writer at a Republican newspaper in Richmond, Va. Read some of what he wrote about John Adams. This was a personal slander.
Karl Rove
Ronald Reagan wasn't in the establishment of the Republican Party either, nor was Richard Nixon.
Karl Rove
Crossroads is second to none in our support of Tea Party candidates. In 2010 and '12, we spent over $30 million for Senate candidates who were Tea Party candidates. We spent almost $20 million for House candidates who were Tea Party candidates.
Karl Rove
In his first 100 days, Mr. Obama has put the fate of his presidency in the hands of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. He may come to regret that decision.
Karl Rove
The world is a better place with Saddam Hussein gone.
As people do better, they start voting like Republicans – unless they have too much education and vote Democratic, which proves there can be too much of a good thing.
Karl Rove
I believe in traditional marriage.
What Mr. Obama wants in a nominee isn't really 'empathy' and 'understanding.' He wants a liberal, activist Supreme Court justice.
Karl Rove
I hate to sound sort of diffident about it but it strikes me that a lot of people on the right have got active lives and are doing other things.
Karl Rove
It's not comfortable for me to write about my family. I'm not comfortable writing about me.
Karl Rove
I think it's dawning on some Democrats that obstructing the Patriot Act, like they've been obstructing everything else, is bad for them politically.
Karl Rove
You need to look at Congress as having a certain capacity. Now, the capacity varies from year to year and from body to body, but there is a finite amount of things that Congress can attentively do.
Karl Rove
If you look underneath the surface of the Tea Party movement, on the other hand, you will find that it is not sophisticated. It's not like these people have read the economist Friedrich August von Hayek.
Karl Rove
The Tea Party movement is a wide and diverse group. It will hurt the Republican Party if some elements of the Tea Party decide to become third party advocates because it will split the conservative vote.
Karl Rove
Mr. Obama plans to boost federal spending 25 percent while nearly tripling the national debt over 10 years. Americans know that this kind of spending will have economic consequences, including new taxes being imposed by the new progressives.
Karl Rove
Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 in the attacks and prepared for war; liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers.
Karl Rove
I'll never get out of politics. I have friends in public office. I have things that I want to do. You can't go back in life. I won't go back to the existence I had before of running a political consulting firm and signing up clients and advising campaigns in exactly that way.
Karl Rove
My parents, particularly my father, had been used by commentators, political journalists and political commentators, to attack me, and the collateral damage was the reputations of my father and my mother.
Karl Rove
And not only that, I also have the MacBook Air which is really cool. Even my wife is jealous of my MacBook Air.
Karl Rove
Our competition for American business is no longer in the next county or the next state, it's around the world.
Karl Rove
We've been probably to some degree too successful.
I left the White House in 2007. You know, I knew when I went there that it would be for a limited period of time. I was grateful that the average tenure of a white house senior aide is 18 to 20 months. I was there for nearly seven years.
Karl Rove
Negative politics have always been around.
You may be right that people say: 'You know what, we had Obama. He was inexperienced. The guy had great rhetoric, sounded good, looked good, but has turned out to be an utter disaster. I want someone where I have confidence and credibility that they're up to the job and that I can trust what they tell me.'
Karl Rove
Cindy Sheehan is a clown. There is no real antiwar movement. No serious politician, with anything to do with anything, would show his face at an antiwar rally.
Karl Rove
Somebody gets to be smart and somebody gets to be dumb. If we win, it'll be because of the president. And if we lose, it'll be because of me.
Karl Rove
Mr. Obama has an ingenious approach to job losses: He describes them as job gains.
Karl Rove

Memo to White House: Calling voters stupid is not a winning strategy.
And I think there's something about conservatives frankly – and the Left, when it comes to their channels of persuasion, are unpersuasive. They are, most of them are hate-filled, obscenity-clogged rants of anger and hatred.
Karl Rove
Life is rough for a lot of people. Some people live in greater material circumstances than others, but life is rough for everybody.
Karl Rove
You all had something to do with keeping me employed.
At the core, we are dealing with two parties that have fundamentally different views of the world.
Karl Rove
But, look, Washington is a town that creates myths for its own existence and its own amusement, and I was a subject of myth, sort of like Grendel in Beowulf – you know, not seen very often but often talked about.
Karl Rove
Mr. Obama denounced the $2.3 trillion added to the national debt on Mr. Bush's watch as 'deficits as far as the eye can see.' But Mr. Obama's budget adds $9.3 trillion to the debt over the next 10 years. What happened to Obama the deficit hawk?
Karl Rove
I've been booed on stages. I'm a little bit tougher than to walk off a stage because someone says something ugly.
Karl Rove
Memo to White House: Calling voters stupid is not a winning strategy.
Remember the Tea Party movement didn't get started in September of 2008 when the bank bailout was passed. It really began on Feb. 19th, 2009 when a television commentator named Rick Santelli stood up and said what the hell are we doing bailing out people who couldn't afford a mortgage by taking money from people like me who are prudent?
Karl Rove
Well, marriage is a very important part of our culture and our society. If we want to have a hopeful and decent society, we ought to aim for the ideal.
Karl Rove
If you really want to diminish a candidate, depict him as the foil of his handler. This is as old in American politics as politics itself. It's easy to point at me. I'm convenient.
Karl Rove
I wish I had the billions of dollars that George Soros has that he has used to fund Democratic causes in the past.
Karl Rove
I think if you talk to my colleagues, I was less than a fearsome individual.
Karl Rove
For a person who promised hope and civility in politics, Mr. Obama has shown a borderline obsessiveness in blaming Mr. Bush.
Karl Rove
'Empathy' is the latest code word for liberal activism, for treating the Constitution as malleable clay to be kneaded and molded in whatever form justices want. It represents an expansive view of the judiciary in which courts create policy that couldn't pass the legislative branch or, if it did, would generate voter backlash.
Karl Rove
In Europe and the United States, you've got different systems to select candidates, and no system is perfect.
Karl Rove
The difficulty for Mr. Obama will be when the public sees where his decisions lead – higher inflation, higher interest rates, higher taxes, sluggish growth, and a jobless recovery.
Karl Rove
The claim made by Team Obama that every dollar in stimulus translates into a dollar-and-a-half in growth is economic fiction. The costs of stimulus reduce future growth. No country has ever spent itself to prosperity. The price of stimulus has to be paid sometime.
Karl Rove
Look, there ought to be politics in politics.
I would have strong opinions and be prepared to argue my case, but if you talk to my colleagues, I think you'd find they consider me the jokester, the informal mayor of the West Wing.
Karl Rove
I have become an adjective. There is something called a Rovian-style of campaigning and it's meant as an insult. One columnist said it consists mainly of throwing mud until it sticks. One prominent blogger described the elements of a textbook Rovian race as fear-based, smear-based and anything goes.
Karl Rove
Well, I'm a Christian. I was a born a Presbyterian and became an Episcopalian.
Karl Rove
Well, I don't want to become a prognosticator.
The fallback position in politics is if you don't know what you want to be about, and if you don't know what your vision is, go at somebody else.
Karl Rove
If there's a leak out of my administration, I want to know who it is.
Many Democrats have a pre-9/11 worldview.