Rick Santorum's decision Tuesday to suspend his campaign effectively ends the GOP nomination fight. But it doesn't mark the start of the general election between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama. That contest has long been under way. Obama's speech to the Associated Press last week and two appearances in Florida on Tuesday provide a glimpse of the low road the president and his campaign likely will take.
He will distort beyond recognition his opponent's arguments. For example, he explained to news executives at the AP that Republicans want to "convert more of our investments in education and research and health care into tax cuts -- especially for the wealthy." Actually, no one has suggested that.
No honest differences are possible with Obama. He will impugn the motives of any who disagree with him. As he told the AP, his opponents want to "let businesses pollute more and treat workers and consumers with impunity." His agenda "isn't a partisan feeling . . . [it]isn't a Democratic or Republican idea. It's patriotism." To disagree with him is unpatriotic. That's to be expected from Republicans, whom Obama says stand for "thinly veiled social Darwinism . . . [that is] antithetical to our entire history."
Obama will build entire edifices on top of one fake premise, all dressed up in one big phony assumption. Take the House GOP budget plan. It increases federal outlays from roughly $3.6 trillion this year to nearly $4.9 trillion in 2022. In the AP speech the president called this a "cut" because he wants to increase spending to $5.8 trillion in 2022.
Rove is the former senior adviser and deputy chief of staff to President George W. Bush.
Karl Rove joined Fox News Channel as a political contributor in February 2008. He also currently serves as a columnist for the Wall Street Journal. Mr. Rove helped organize the political-action committee American Crossroads. His latest book is "The Triumph of William McKinley: Why the Election of 1896 Still Matters" (Simon & Schuster, 2015). Follow him on Twitter @KarlRove.