Republican political consultant Karl Rove says President Barack Obama has transformed from a figure of hope into “a conventional politician” who is incapable of turning the economy around in time to “rescue him” from defeat in November.
Rove also told Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren Wednesday the Mitt Romney campaign was right to “ding” Obama for tinkering with the 1996 welfare reform law to make it easier for people to qualify for benefits.
Citing recent polls, Rove said “President Obama’s negatives stem from his handling of the economy primarily,” an indication the American people believe “he’s turning into a conventional politician, not the, you know, figure of hope and aspiration that people had in 2008” when he was elected.
Rove said Romney’s negatives are based on questions of whether he’s “a rich guy” who has any concern for the middle class and whether he has a plan and is “strong enough and presidential enough to get it done.”
Given a choice between the two, Rove said he’d rather be the candidate with “Mitt Romney’s problems,” than Obama’s because even “a radically improving economy” won’t help the president before November.
“We are not going to get the kind of jobs and economic growth that are going to rescue him,” said Rove, now a Fox New contributor and the founder of the pro-GOP super PAC Crossroads GPS.
“We’re going to be in October and November, essentially where we are today, with 13 million people unemployed, unemployment above 8.2 percent, home values low, family income down, people worried about the future,” he said.
Rove also suggested a Romney ad charging the president changed the 1996 welfare reform law to in effect do away with the work requirement is likely to reinforce the image of Obama as an ordinary politician who abuses his power.
“I think Romney was right to ding them,” Rove said of the ad.
“What they’re trying to do is to make it easier for people to stay on welfare longer by jimmying around with the definitions” of work, Rove said, referring to an Obama administration waiver program that essentially provides options for the states to consider when determining welfare benefits.
“They are making it more difficult to reduce welfare. They’re making it easier to increase and lengthen and keep people on welfare,” he added.
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