Sun Aug 19, 2007 11:47


CLICK: Documents Reveal Karl Rove as Source in Plame Case

8/19/07 MEET THE PRESS....



‘Meet the Press’ transcript for Aug. 19, 2007
Karl Rove, Ron Browstein, Matt Cooper, John Harwood, Kate O'Beirne

Updated: 12:54 p.m. ET Aug. 19, 2007

MR. DAVID GREGORY: Our issues this Sunday: The architect of the Bush presidency is leaving the White House. After 14 years by Bush’s side, what political legacy does Karl Rove leave behind? And what is the future of the Republican Party? Our guest, the outgoing deputy chief of staff, Karl Rove.

Then, the presidential campaign in full swing: Still testing the waters, Republican Fred Thompson makes his first visit to Iowa; Obama on the offensive against Clinton; and Giuliani wants his strained family relationship left out of the campaign. Insights and analysis from our political roundtable—Ron Brownstein of the LA Times, Matt Cooper of Conde Nast Portfolio, John Harwood of The Wall Street Journal and CNBC, and Kate O’Beirne of the National Review.

But first, Karl Rove.

SEN. HILLARY CLINTON: And I never thought I would see that our soldiers who serve in Iraq and Afghanistan would be treated as though they were invisible as well. Americans from all walks of life across our country may be invisible to this president, but they’re not invisible to me, and they won’t be invisible to the next president of the United States.

(End videotape)

MR. GREGORY: Reaction?

MR. ROVE: First of all, it’s laughable that this president does not have a strong relationship with the military and military families. Most of the ad was devoted to health care, which really to me was a sign of defensiveness. She understands she’s got a weakness on this. Hillary Clinton voted against providing seniors with a prescription drug benefit. Hillary Clinton voted against allowing people to save tax free for their out-of-pocket medical expenses. Hillary Clinton voted against medical liability reform so that docs are not forced out of practice by junk lawsuits. She opposes leveling the playing field so that people who pay for health insurance out of their own pocket get the same tax break the big corporations get for providing health care benefits to their employees. She’s against allowing people to shop for health insurance across state lines like we do with auto insurance so the consumers would have more choices and there’d be competition to get your business, give you more for less.

She is a person who now—she was opposed to and voted against allowing seniors to have a choice of keeping their current doc and their current health care plan through a private form of Medicare, Medicare Advantage, and now she’s voting for penalizing seniors who have those private health care plans through Medicare. This woman’s got one idea on health care, which is to let the government do it all, and she’s voted against all these very positive reforms which would allow the doctor and the patient to be in charge of health care.

MR. GREGORY: Has Barack Obama measured up to the hype surrounding him?

MR. ROVE: You know what? I’m going to let you ask your—you’ve got an excellent panel coming on, I think, later in the program. Why don’t you ask them this question.

MR. GREGORY: You haven’t shied away from talking about Hillary Clinton.

MR. ROVE: Well, I’m just, I’m just going to let, I’m going to let—I’ve said enough. I’ve got to, I’ve got to save a little bit more for later.

MR. GREGORY: Do you really fear Barack Obama? That’s why you’re spending all this time attacking Hillary Clinton?

MR. ROVE: You know, I—you know, I read that in the LA Times this morning. Those, those guys really out in LA have got to get clued in. I mean, come on.

MR. GREGORY: Let me ask you quickly about the, the investigation into the firing of U.S. attorneys. You have defended the firing of those attorneys. You’ve done so publicly. Why not then testify about that under oath as Congress wants you to?

MR. ROVE: Yeah, look, here’s the issue. There is a tension between Congress and the executive. Congress wants to be able to call the—this Congress in particular—wants to be able to call presidential aides up at its whim and convenience and have them testify. That would have a chilling effect on the ability of a president to get candid, straightforward advice from his aides. We have a constitutional separation of powers. The founders talk about this. They, they understood this issue, and they wanted to insulate the judicial, the executive and the legislative from each other in this respect. Imagine the outcry if the executive branch said, “We have a right to pull up any congressional aide we want and ask you at any time what advice you’re giving your member about a vote.” Imagine the outcry in the country if we said Supreme Court clerks can be called before Congress or called before the executive at any time to talk about what they’re, what they’re advising the Supreme Court Justices as they write their opinions.

The counsel’s office had made a very generous offer. If they want to find out what Harriet Miers and I said and did, we’d be happy to go up there and have a visit with them about it. But we would—have an obligation, when we’re sworn in as an officer inside the White House, a commissioned officer, we swear to uphold the Constitution, and the Constitution has a separation of powers. It should not—the Constitution should not be weakened, and we should not weaken the prerogatives of the power of the presidency just because somebody wants to have kind of show hearing on the Hill.


MR. ROVE: If they want to hear from me, the counsel’s office had made a generous offer. They didn’t take us up on it.

MR. GREGORY: Before we let you go, if anybody questions whether politics has been in your blood for many, many years, they only have to go back to January 18th, 1972 when a much younger Karl Rove spoke about Richard Nixon. Watch.

CLICK: Documents Reveal Karl Rove as Source in Plame Case

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