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Rove Blasts Obama Policies at Forum

Karl Rove, former advisor to President George W. Bush, said that the next presidential election will hinge on President Obama's handling of the economy and healthcare reform.

Karl Rove came to Fredericksburg blasting Barack Obama's domestic policies, singling out the president's handling of the economy and healthcare reform for particular emphasis. He also weighed in on the 2012 presidential race, saying with a grain of salt that the Republican nomination would fall to Mitt Romney or Rick Perry and that Obama's reelection hinges on the economy. 

He also hard particular words for former Alaska governor and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, seeming baffled by her waffling on a presidential run. 

"I can't figure her out," said Rove. "You go to Iowa all the time, you have your movie premier in Iowa, you release your book in Iowa…I think I'd say to her: do you really think the rules don't apply to you? If you think the rules apply to you, then get in." 

"I made the mistake of saying that her schedule looked like that of a presidential candidate and she got furious at me," said Rove. "Go figure…I probably just irritated her again."

Rove's remarks took place at the Fredericksburg Forum event in the Dodd Auditorium of the University of Mary Washington. 

Outside the event, as patrons were taking their seats, about 25 demonstrators gathered in protest of Rove's appearance on campus. Organized by the non-partisan progressive political group Virginia Organizing, the protestors loudly chanted slogans like "Jail Karl Rove", "Karl Rove, Go Home", "Make Jobs, Not War," and others. The group rallied along the sides of the campus walk leading up to the main entrance to the Dodd Auditorium. 

At one point, the protestors tried to relocate to a side entrance which was being heavily used by patrons to access the theater. Members of the Campus Police had to intervene to move the protestors back to their designated area, to the chagrin of protest organizers. 

Rove used about half an hour to deliver a speech in which he was critical of Obama's handling of the economy and health care reform. He labeled attempts by Democrats to advance tax increases on the wealthy as an economic policy fueled by resentment, a notion which struck him as un-American.

"This idea somehow that America is going to be advanced by pitting people against each other based on the size of their wallet is not the way to move this country forward, and frankly…not smart politics," said Rove. 

Rove also singled out the Affordable Care and Patient Protection Act health care reforms introduced last year. He said that the act, derisively known as Obamacare, remains unpopular with voters due to the social influence exerted by health care practitioners. 

"There are 14.5 million people who work in healthcare…many of them don't like the bill and are talking about it," said Rove. "Given the choice of believing a politician or your doctor, who are you going to believe?" 

Rove holds out hope for the coming election, saying that any opportunity a nation has to discuss the big picture items affecting it is a good one. 

"America never suffers when Americans are engaged with what their future is going to be," said Rove. 

Rove said that right now, the front runner in the Republican primary is Rick Perry. He said Perry's strengths were his convictions and his outspokenness, a refreshing quality in politics. He said Perry's weaknesses ranged from a lack of experience on the national stage and a lack of experience in federal governance. He also called Perry's performances in his three debates have been "terrible".

"The third one was just simply dreadful," said Rove. 

Romney's strengths, Rove said, was his experience in presidential campaigns, as well as Romney's presidential looks, though he added that this could be a double edged sword. 

"Sometimes his problem is that he looks too perfect," said Rove. "We like to have our politicians with a few warts."

But Rove said that if Romney was to survive the Republican primary, he must distinguish between the health care reforms he signed into law as governor of Massachusetts and the Affordable Care and Patient Protection Act.

Perhaps the biggest applause line of the night came as forum moderator Stephen Farnsworth asked Rove about possible cuts to defense spending. Rove seemed to bristle uncomfortably on the concept. 

"When we don't provide the necessary resources, it invites people to be aggressive," said Rove. "We have to modernize our systems, we have to be damn careful about putting America's security at risk."

Rove also said that Virginia would be a critical state to win in the 2012 election - for Republicans, that is. 

"The commonwealth is going to be the ground zero state," said Rove. "Obama can win re-election without winning Virginia, but the Republican's cannot."

Eric Alam September 29, 2011 at 10:37 AM
The first new rule says you HAVE to have insurance. Both my husband and I have pre-existing conditions, and although the new bill says we can't be denied coverage because of it. So far, the cheapest health insurance we've been able to find is called "Penny Health" search for it online if you are pre-existing conditions.
Alicia Knight September 29, 2011 at 11:21 AM
Eric - The health care law also provides for help for people who can't afford the insurance and also helps people with pre-existing conditions (which is nearly everyone over 40.) Here is a website that is helpful http://www.healthcare.gov/index.html The health care reform law does make some positive changes that will help a lot of people when it finally takes full effect in 2014, but I still think that single payer health care would have been the best way to go. My Canadian and Australian friends love their health care. I wish we had the same...
Xiaohong Germaine September 29, 2011 at 03:04 PM
Dodd Frank and Medicare have destroyed the country with OBAMA. This plan started with Clinton and Freddy and Fanny and the liberals (really communists) have succeded in destroying even the constitution. OBAMA can Kill American Border Guards with on word from the news. China has succeeded and is well aware of its success.
Grandson of Liberty September 30, 2011 at 02:08 AM
Alicia, you seem to have been drinking the Kool-Aid. If the Canadians love their healthcare so much, why do they come down here when they need it, especially their politicians? My Canadian friends are very perplexed we are trying to move to a system of government Europe is fleeing from. I am not surprised the moderator had such a ridiculous question and ashamed that it gained such applause. Military spending is an enumerated power in the Constitution - the "Great Society" programs are not only unconstitutional, but down right bankrupting our country and enslaving our citizens. We can't sustain this spending as a society and we are only shifting the price of our luxury on our posterity.
Alicia Knight September 30, 2011 at 12:41 PM
Grandson -- Factual Kool-Aid. My friends in Canada and Australia thank their stars that they have free public health care in their countries. One friend lived here in the US, did not have health insurance (COBRA benefits ran out and he was not yet eligible for HBs with his new employer) and had to file bankruptcy because he could not afford to pay for treatment of his heart attack. Moved to AU where he has free health care. A Canadian friend's husband has a serious vascular condition that lead to long hospitalization with intensive care, multiple surgeries and long-term rehabilitation. She tells me all the time that she is grateful not to live in the US because he husband's illness would mean bankruptcy for them on this side of the border. Other CA friends tell me how relieved they are when they go to the doctor that no matter what -- they will get the care they need without the anxiety of worrying how to pay. Think about how many people in the US who have health insurance but who still go bankrupt because it doesn't pay all the cost of an illness. My sister has cancer -- has good health insurance -- but her chemo costs are so high that she is constantly worrying about how to pay for her treatment. It's really hard to concentrate on getting well when you have to worry if you can afford to pay. It's a bitter view this factual Kool-aid, but your tea is blinding you to the reality of 43 million fellow citizens who do not have any health insurance.

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