Fox News
May 10, 2011

Karl Rove Slams White House for Inviting 'Thug' Rapper to Perform

Guests: Karl Rove, former Bush adviser & Fox News contributor

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," May 10, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COMMON, RAPPER: My name is Common, the C to the O double M - O - N / Vote 2010 / I'ma let you know I came to rock everybody / I came to rock it for who? The Democratic Party / It's all good, yo you know we came to spot / I'm here for my man, the president, Barack / Obama

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: All right. That was rapper Common in October of last year at a Democratic rally headlined by President Barack Obama. Now, he's the guy will be performing at the White House tomorrow night, thanks to an invite from the first lady, Michelle Obama.

And although Common dropped the "n" word from the songs that he performed at the presidential event last year, he decided not to alter some of the most sexually explicit lines in his song.

So, I wonder if that is the type of family entertainment that he plans to have arrived tomorrow night at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Here with more on this unbelievable story, the author of The New York Times bestseller "Courage and Consequence," former Bush adviser, Fox News contributor Karl Rove.

Sir, welcome back.

KARL ROVE, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Thank you, Sean. Thanks for having me.

HANNITY: All right. Well, you know, this is a poetry event. And the evening of poetry at the White House. And, you know, as we look into the background, the lyrics, the statements about cops, and President Bush and some of the other controversial things. Do you think this was an appropriate invite?

ROVE: Yes, let's invite a misogynist to the White House, a guy who's called for violence against police officer, and called for killing the former president of the United States George W. Bush. This will set a good tone for the country. President Obama last week said he wanted to recapture that special moment we had after 9/11. And here week later, we have an example of how this White House can recapture that moment by inviting a thug to the White House. A man who call for the death of Mr. Obama's predecessor in office.

HANNITY: Well, I'm trying to understand this, and you know, Secret Service guys, if you make a threat like that, being in a song or in poetry, wouldn't the secret service take a little visit to your house?

ROVE: Well, no, not necessarily. But vetting these people, certainly somebody inside the White House had an ounce of sense and looked at his lyrics and could have said, you know, what, this is going to be offensive to the American people. It's going to be offensive in the moment that the president is trying to establish here. Maybe we ought to think about somebody else to invite. But no, they are inviting a guy who called, I repeat, for the previous president to be assassinated for violence to be committed against police officers. And whose lyrics are sexually explicit and misogynist. This guy is a thug. And why they are inviting him to poetry night at the White House, speaks volumes about President Obama and this White House staff. Who is asleep at the vetting desk?

HANNITY: Well, I mean, do I need to go through the list. Van Jones, and Holdren and Harold Coe (ph), and you know, the list goes, you know, longer and longer.

ROVE: I get it, Sean.

No, I don't know, but you know, what is worthy amazing is literally, last week the president in a very eloquent moment, President Obama said, we need us a country to come together and, you know, reestablish the moment that we had after 9/11. Now, I was a little dubious about it because, first of all, he invited both President Clinton and President Bush to go with him to New York in the aftermath of the killing of Usama bin Laden, and both of them demurred. And the White House leaked that they've invited them. I mean, like they were trying to embarrass both President Clinton and President Bush. And then to do this, it is like rubbing salt in the wound.

President Obama does not believe the things that he says. If he believed last week that he wanted to reestablish the great tone in the country after 9/11, why would he invite a thug to the White House who said, he wanted to kill President Bush for having taken the country to war in Iraq. And look, as long as we are at it, how do you think this makes Secretary Clinton feel? She voted for the war in Iraq. Did Common think she should be offed? You know, Senator Kerry, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted for the authorization of use of force in Iraq. Does common think he should be offed as well? I mean, this is offensive. And for the president to do this, and for the president's people to allow this to happen is reprehensible.

HANNITY: Extremely well said. I couldn't agree with you more.

One of the things, we now know beyond any doubt, and even Leon Panetta acknowledges that without President Bush's policies, rendition, Gitmo, enhanced interrogation, this moment of getting bin Laden wouldn't have happened. You know, and I thought Chris Wallace freely had the question of the week -- question of the month -- and that was, how does the administration justify putting a bullet in bin Laden's head but they don't support, you know, waterboarding or enhanced interrogation of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed? They couldn't answer it.

ROVE: Yes. Let me go one step further, the president rightly went to Fort Campbell in order to honor the SEAL Team 6 members who carried out this difficult and dangerous mission. And yet, at the same time, his attorney general is trying to prosecute the very interrogators who created the program that gave us the lead that lead to bin Laden. But how do you justify that? How do you justify honoring one group of heroes in this battle while you're attempting to prosecute and incarcerate other heroes in this battle. I mean, it's just, it is mind-boggling.

HANNITY: Yes, it is.

All right. Let me ask you about the battle over the debt ceiling and get your strategic thinking on this. It is very simple, Republicans are now saying, wait a minute, we don't buy this artificial deadline that the world is going to collapse, if in fact, we don't raise the debt ceiling by a certain date. They are saying, no, Wall Street and the markets are saying, no, we need a balanced budget. We need to show we are getting our fiscal house in order and willing to make some spending cuts. Do you think that in the end is the right strategy?

ROVE: I think it is a little bit more nuanced than that. We do at some point face an absolute deadline to either raise or not raise the debt ceiling, and there are bad consequences if we raise the debt ceiling without putting the country on a sound fiscal foundation. And there are bad consequences if we don't raise the debt ceiling. You know, even if you are able to cope it with it, it's going to require all kinds of consternation and all kinds of efforts inside the government. But I think the Republicans are absolutely right in saying, no more blank check. You've had an 84 percent increase in discretionary spending. You have made no effort to rein in entitlements.

You have, you know, your failed stimulus bill did not ignite the economic boom that you said it would. And we, no more blank check Mr. President. We need rein in spending and stop spending money we don't have. And so, before we ever get to vote on the debt ceiling, we are going to have a serious discussion about spending cuts. And I thought Boehner had a good -- we need more in spending cuts and fiscal restraint than we have in the amount for raising the debt ceiling.

American people, last month Resurgent Republic did a poll, 89 percent of the American people oppose what President Obama wants which is the so-called clean debt ceiling vote. And 47 percent of them said, don't raise it without spending cuts and deficit reduction. And 35 percent said, don't raise it at all. So, the president better get serious about spending cuts or he ain't going to get his debt ceiling.

HANNITY: All right. Karl Rove. A special friend of yours in studio tonight says you need a check-up, A to Z. So, you will have to deal with this at some point.

(LAUGHTER)

All right. Karl Rove.

ROVE: That's a private joke.

HANNITY: Yes, it is.

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