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This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," January 30, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
MARTHA MACCALLUM, 'ON THE RECORD' GUEST HOST: Today, President Obama visited Wisconsin. He was greeted there by Republican Governor Scott Walker. They spent a little bit of time together. But the Democrat who's running against Walker in November was MIA today. Business woman Mary Burke said her schedule -- she was packed today, unfortunately. She really had no time at all to spend with the president. But state Republicans claim that she was not wanting to be seen with President Obama. And this is something that we've seen in a number of races continuing to add up here, Karl. So, what do you make of that?
KARL ROVE, FOX NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST/FORMER BUSH SENIOR ADVISOR: Well, I think it's a really revealing incident. Look, you'd expect this in a red state that Mitt Romney won, but this was a state that President Obama won. And the fact that she's not willing to show up and be in his presence indicates something, that the president's job approval in Wisconsin is below water, he is more unfavorable than favorable, and candidates are seen with him at their own risk.
Remember, back in 2010, the Republicans picked up six seats in the United States Senate. And they did so in states that were largely purple or blue states. They won a seat in North Dakota, but they also won seats in Wisconsin, Illinois, the president's home state, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida, all of which President Obama had won in 2008. Scott Walker himself was elected governor in the state of Wisconsin. The county executive in Milwaukee elected the governor in 2010.
So, my view is that in a lot of these sort of blue states that President Obama won, states like Michigan and New Hampshire and Minnesota and Wisconsin, the Democrats are going to be running away from being with the president because, this year, the president did this on election day 2012, but his job approval today is under water, and Democrats don't want to be seen with him.
MACCALLUM: We've seen it. We've seen it, as you say, from Mark Pryor and Kay Hagan. Mark Begich also is on that list of people who haven't really wanted to spend a lot of time with the president.
But what I want to ask you, Karl, is you've been in this position before in the White House, because there was a period when President Bush was not somebody that a lot of candidates wanted to be campaigning with. And you know, what was his attitude about that? Because it seems like presidents say, you know what, I get it, I do care about my party and I want them to win and I'm willing to hang back because I'm going to be bringing baggage with me along on the campaign trail.
ROVE: Yeah. Some of them wanted President Bush to come in and do fundraising, and he did so. But you're right. That's why President Obama's likely to be making campaign appearances this fall. But they're more likely to be in places like Massachusetts and Hawaii and Washington State and not in places like Florida and North Carolina and Louisiana and Arkansas, and even places like Michigan and New Hampshire. He's likely to be in places that are solid, reliably blue, and that's the way it is. I mean, that's what it is.
But to me, there's an interesting sign that even this early in the year -- look, there's going to be a picture someplace of the Democratic gubernatorial candidate with Barack Obama, or at least you can put the two of them up on the screen together. What the heck damage does it do for you to pay a courtesy to the president of the United States by simply being around him when he's in the state, you know, on a nonpolitical event? I think that's a mistake on her part.
MACCALLUM: Interesting dynamic with Scott Walker spending time with him and Mary Burke not.
Karl, thank you. Great to see you.
ROVE: You bet. Thank you, Martha.