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Tags: Rove | Obama | discourage | voting

NMX: Rove Says Obama Discouraging Voting

By    |   Monday, 27 August 2012 12:53 PM EDT

Political pundit and former presidential adviser Karl Rove tells Newsmax that President Obama’s re-election tactic is to discourage voting this November by making Romney “unpalatable” to voters who don’t want to vote for the incumbent.

He also asserts that Romney’s top priority is to appeal to swing voters because his conservative base is already “fired up and ready to go.”

And he says Senate candidate Todd Akin’s “nutty” comments about rape will make it difficult for Republicans to take control of the Senate.

Editor's Note: Will Obama Be Defeated? Vote Here!

Rove has been called the architect of George W. Bush’s successful presidential campaigns in 2000 and 2004 and served as senior adviser and deputy chief of staff in the Bush White House. He is now a Fox News contributor, and his American Crossroads organization is a leading force in raising funds for Republican causes.

Many observers assert that this is the most important election in generations. In an exclusive interview with Newsmax.TV in Tampa on Monday, Rove was asked if this will be reflected in voter turnout.

“Yes, among people who support Romney,” Rove says.

Watch our exclusive interview. Story continues below.

“But overall, we’ve had a period from 1996 through 2000, 2004 and 2008 of each election being larger than the previous one, starting with 2000 bigger than 1996.”

Regarding “what’s called the VAP — the voting age population — we’re likely to see that turnout flatline this year and maybe even decline a little bit because of the negativity of the campaign. Obama’s purpose is to discourage people who are nervous about voting for him for re-election from voting at all because he wants them to say, ‘All right, you may be leaning against me but I want to make it so unpalatable for you to vote for Mitt Romney that you just stay home.’”

Rove says it is more important for Romney that viewers of the Republican National Convention get a “clear and complete projection” of him as a man than a clear projection of the GOP platform. And that can be accomplished through more than just his scheduled speech on Thursday night.

“You do it through the entire convention,” Rove says. “For example, Tuesday night is going to be about small business, we can build this. Wednesday’s going to be about change. Thursday’s going to, obviously, be a big spotlight on him.

“Ironically enough, the Republicans, by losing Monday [due to the storm], lost the night they were going to devote to the critique of Obama. But frankly, that critique is pretty well laid in.”

Rove was asked if Romney’s top priority should be to appeal to the conservative base and make sure those voters get out to the polls, or appeal more to swing voters.

“Swing voters, because you don’t want the candidate to be spending the final weeks of the campaign reassuring those who ought to be firmly for him,” he responds.

“The good news is he doesn’t need to do that. We’re at a place where Republicans are fired up and ready to go, in part because of Romney and, frankly, in part because of three and a half years of Barack Obama. They’re ready to go.”

Akin, who is running against Democratic incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill in Missouri, sparked outrage when he said in an Aug. 19 interview that “legitimate rape” rarely leads to pregnancy because “the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” Akin has so far defied calls from leading Republicans to drop out of the race.

Editor's Note: Will Obama Be Defeated? Vote Here!

Rove says, “If Akin remains in the race, it makes the odds of the Republicans taking the Senate more difficult. The Republicans were looking at being able to pick up 51, 52, 53 seats. If he remains in the race, he’ll lose. The new Mason-Dixon poll has his favorability at 17 percent, well below anybody else in Missouri in politics.

“A plurality of Republicans want him out of the race. Independents want him out of the race by better than two to one. The only group in the electorate that wants him to remain in the race is Democrats by a 10-point margin, and I don’t think they have the best interest of the conservative movement or Republicans at heart.”

Rove adds: “This was a mistake on two levels: One, it is an outrageous and deeply disappointing comment. It is nutty. But what’s also bad about it is that he says it on Sunday morning in an interview that he’d earlier taped and he doesn’t apologize for it until Tuesday night and does it in a TV ad. So this is why the voters who a week before were giving him a 10-point lead over Claire McCaskill, three days afterwards were giving him a 10-point deficit to McCaskill.

“It’s because they were given the choice between saying, ‘What does he really believe — the thing he spontaneously said in an interview by a conservative journalist or the contrived thing that he says better than 60 hours later in a television ad?’ Obviously, the answer is they believe what he said on Sunday morning, not what he believes on Tuesday night.”

As to who Rove is most looking forward to hearing speak at the convention, aside from Romney, he says: “I’m looking forward to hearing a number of them, but Paul Ryan’s a pal of mine and I really am thrilled about him speaking.

“Chris Christie’s a pal of mine. He’s going to have a pugnacious address. And then Jeb Bush is going to give what many people will be surprised by. He’s going to give a very powerful call for the conservatives to be the party and the movement of reform, and I’m really looking forward to that.”

Rove was also asked if he would consider working in the White House again.

Editor's Note: Will Obama Be Defeated? Vote Here!

“You never say never, but I was there for seven years. The average tenure of a senior White House aide is about 18 months. When I went there, I had hair and I wasn’t gray. When I left, I didn’t have much hair and it was all gray.

“So you never say never but I doubt that the opportunity will ever come my way again.

“I was privileged to serve a great man and to do so for a number of years and to serve our country and I’m grateful for the opportunity.”

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Monday, 27 August 2012 12:53 PM
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