The accusations are on, the gloves are off, and the brawl has swung on for days. But the war of words over the Obama administration’s allegations that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and GOP strategists have used foreign funding to influence the midterms is not over yet.
“Who’s the genius inside the White House who said, ‘You know what? We can win the election by using Karl Rove’s name’?” Karl Rove asked on “Fox & Friends” Tuesday morning. “I want to meet that idiot. I mean, who was that?”
Rove, a Fox News contributor, and former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie, along with the Chamber of Commerce, are targeted in a new Democratic National Committee ad questioning GOP funding sources. “Karl Rove, Ed Gillespie: They’re Bush cronies. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce: They’re shills for big business. And they’re stealing our democracy,” the ad says.
Vice President Joe Biden echoed the charge Monday afternoon. “I challenge the Chamber of Commerce to tell us how much of the money they’re investing from foreign sources. I challenge them,” he said. “If I’m wrong, I will stand corrected.”
“We accept the Vice President’s challenge here and now, and are happy to provide our answer: Zero. As in, ‘Not a single cent.’” Tom Collamore, senior vice president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, shot back in a statement.
“He better stand corrected,” Rove echoed Tuesday morning. “It’s bizarre to me. Why are the president and his people doing this?”
President Obama made no reference to the controversy in remarks at two Miami fundraisers Monday night.
Asked during an off-camera gaggle Tuesday morning whether that signals the president will back down from accusations against the business industry group, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said the president would mention it in the future.
“Entities like the Chamber have said they got money from overseas. Again, the larger discussion is on disclosing who these donors are. That’s the point the president has made. He’s not changing that point, and he’ll make it again.”
Turning the debate to whether groups under shield laws like the Center for American Progress should disclose their donors is another issue and “a very convenient Rovian trick,” Gibbs said, referring to the former Bush adviser.
“If you’re running ads, you should disclose your identity. That’s what the president believes,” he continued.
In answer to Rove’s Sunday accusation that the White House was basing off its attacks off a list of enemies, Gibbs held up a blank sheet of paper. “I’m releasing our enemies list,” he said. “Nobody’s on it, right? Now can I see the donors to American Crossroads?”
Rove, who with Gillespie founded the political group American Crossroads, says he only solicits contributions from U.S. area codes - and following the money will only lead Democrats down the proverbial rabbit hole. “It’s like Alice and Wonderland. You’re guilty until you prove yourself innocent,” said Rove. “Please, they have no evidence for this.”
And as for the silhouette of a thin man stealing a woman’s purse used in the DNC ad to illustrate ‘stealing democracy’? Rove has a response to that, too. “I am really upset that they’re suggesting Ed Gillespie was stealing that woman’s purse. I know Ed would never do that.” He added, “He’s a good Catholic boy.”
Watch Rove on "Fox & Friends" below:
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