• With: Karl Rove

    ROVE: Yes.

    VAN SUSTEREN: ... and saying...

    ROVE: Right.

    VAN SUSTEREN: ... Senator Reid said -- Get a budget so we can begin this...

    ROVE: Pass a budget resolution! And remember, this is the president's budget. How many votes did it get in the U.S. House of Representatives this week? Zero! How quickly is Harry Reid going to bring up the president's budget proposal? He's never going to bring it up!

    VAN SUSTEREN: Well, he -- he could get his own. I mean, they could - - they own the Senate.

    ROVE: No, no.

    VAN SUSTEREN: He could have their own Senate budget.

    ROVE: That's right.

    VAN SUSTEREN: Senator Harry Reid could have that one, bring that one to the floor.

    ROVE: Well, and look...

    VAN SUSTEREN: Nothing to stop that.

    ROVE: And look, statutorily, they're required under the 1974 Budget Act to bring up a budget resolution. They have not done so in the last three years. Now, they're not -- you know, they aren't obligated to pass it, but they're obligated to bring it up, and they haven't even brought it up!

    Think about this. We're running a $3.6 trillion enterprise called the United States government, and we have not passed a budget under the regular order for an entire year since 2007. We passed a budget for half the fiscal year in 2008, for half of FY '09, fiscal year '09.

    But this president is operating not by having a budget passed in the normal order of things so that the government knows how much money it's going to spend over the next 12 months, but instead, by -- by a series of - - you know, of -- of continuing resolutions and stopgap measures. It's unbelievable!

    We've not had a highway funding bill, which traditionally, has been a six-year bill -- we've not had one since 2009! So we have people down at the state departments of transportation all around the country trying to figure out what is the next five or six years going to look like for them building roads and repairing bridges, and the federal government cannot bring itself, because of this administration, to pass a long-term highway bill!

    VAN SUSTEREN: I guess every time I hear someone in politics criticize someone, the first thing I think of is, Well, have you done your job? And when you criticize Paul Ryan -- I don't know if his budget's a good one, a bad one or someplace in between, but the first I think is, OK, where's your budget?

    And the Senate doesn't have a budget, so I'm very suspicious. But I'm curious whether this sort of -- you know, all the discussion now, whether it's about the Supreme Court or about the fact that the president is criticizing a congressman who has a budget and not pushing his own party to get a Senate budget...

    ROVE: Right. Right.

    VAN SUSTEREN: Is that a snapshot of the moment, or does it resonate in November, or are we going to all just be worried about gas prices in November?

    ROVE: Now, look -- no, look, I think the president's going to continue down this he line, picking fights with people he shouldn't be picking fights with, blaming others for the difficulties that are occurring on his watch, throwing up his hands about solving the problems that the country faces and not being serious about the challenges and the work ahead!

    You cannot tell me that if you have a budget that gets not a single Democrat vote in the House that this is a budget that is considered to be serious by members of your own party! If you can't get it brought up and voted upon by the United States Senate in a body (ph) and in a budget resolution which requires only 51 votes, when you have 54 -- excuse me -- 53 Democrats in the Senate...

    VAN SUSTEREN: Plus the president -- plus the vice president. You have 54.

    ROVE: Right. So I mean, you know, what is going on? I mean, the president is weak, and he is making himself look weaker by adopting these highly political tactics!

    VAN SUSTEREN: But then you look at the swing -- there was a Gallup poll where the swing states -- and he has -- and I assume that Governor Romney's going to be the nominee -- he's ahead of Governor Romney in the -- of the independents in the swing states by 9 votes -- by 9 points.

    ROVE: Let's first of all look at that. Swing states -- the president has 51 percent in the swing state poll. That's his vote. Governor Romney is lower than that, and right now, it's -- it is -- it's not a pretty sight for Governor Romney coming through this primary.

    But you know what? In those battleground states -- remember what it is, Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado, Iowa, Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Indiana, Florida and Virginia -- what did the president get in those battleground states in 2008? He got over 54 percent of the vote.

    So the president is not looking stronger in the battleground states, he is performing weaker than he did four years ago!

    VAN SUSTEREN: But he's still ahead.

    ROVE: Yes, that's right, but...

    VAN SUSTEREN: I mean, he may be weaker, but...


    ROVE: But here's the point. Here's the point. If you're -- if you're -- if you're dropping -- remember, he won -- he won by about 53-47. What happens if he today -- at a bad time for Mitt Romney, the president is underperforming what he did four years ago by 3 points, that means it's -- he's got the capacity to be a 50-50 race!

    And Romney will strengthen now the primaries are going to start to be behind him. The president is not in good shape. And point to the battleground poll -- remember, he carried virtually all those battleground states. If he has dropped 3 points in those battleground to 51, that means that some of those states, like Indiana and Virginia and North Carolina and Florida and Ohio could fall out of -- those were all close states. They could all fall out of his column.

    And guess what? At that point, the Republicans need one more state out of the battleground states in order to win. New Hampshire or Pennsylvania or Michigan or Wisconsin or Iowa or Colorado or Nevada or New Mexico, and the Republicans take the White House!

    VAN SUSTEREN: All right, you said this is a bad time for Governor Romney. He just won two states and District of Columbia. Why do you say it's a bad time?

    ROVE: Well, it's good time for him in the intra-party fight. He is - - he is -- he is -- I think -- and I've written this in my column tomorrow morning in The Wall Street Journal. I think he is -- it's an inflection point that moves the contest his way.

    But look, he's got a lot of cleanup to do now. We've come through a contest that has hurt the Republican Party brand and hurt his candidacy, particularly among independents, who kept thinking that -- looking at the Republicans, saying, Why aren't you talking about the big issues facing America?

    They tune in on these debates, and the moderators would not be asking questions about jobs and the economy and deficit and debt and spending and health care, they'd be asking weird process questions or making the Republicans look as exotic as they could.

    And now Romney has got to be in a place where he frames up the big issues, as he's begun to do this week with the speeches in Wisconsin and the speech today, as what's the big choice facing America on these big issues that the country cares about.