Karl Rove is refuting Nancy Pelosi's claim that she could have arrested him "on any given day" when she was speaker, telling Fox News that the House Democratic leader is "dead wrong."
"I'm sure she had a good laugh, and it's nice to know that she dreams of slapping me in her own personal jail, but didn't have any authority to do it," Rove told Fox News.
Pelosi boasted about her supposed ability to arrest Rove during a meeting Wednesday with bloggers, as she complained about the ongoing congressional probe into Operation Fast and Furious.
She suggested that Republicans -- by voting in committee Wednesday to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt in the course of their Fast and Furious investigation -- were going to lengths she never did while Democrats were in power.
She said Rove, former adviser to then-President George W. Bush, could have been held in contempt, too.
"I could have arrested Karl Rove on any given day," she said. "I'm not kidding. There's a prison here in the Capitol."
But she said the process wouldn't "serve our country" and so "that's why I didn't arrest Karl Rove when I had the chance."
A House committee actually did vote, in 2008, to hold Rove in contempt for not responding to subpoenas for information on U.S. attorney firings. That vote never reached the floor -- the Holder contempt vote hasn't yet reached the floor, either.
But Rove told Fox News that Pelosi never had the power to arrest because the contempt vote was contained to the committee level.
"She's absolutely dead wrong," said Rove, also a Fox News contributor.
"The only way I could have been arrested is if the House had adopted the resolution, which it did not," he said. "So it's nice to know that Speaker Pelosi wanted to have me arrested. It's nice to know that she thinks she had the power to. But we're still a nation of laws, and she had no authority to do so, and had she attempted to arrest me on any of the number of times that I was in and out of the Capitol, without a resolution passed by the entire House of Representatives, she would have been up the proverbial creek without the proverbial paddle."
The Pelosi comments were first reported on Mediaite and other blogs, and later confirmed by Fox News.
A spokesman told Fox News Pelosi made the comments during a "lighter moment during a columnists' and bloggers' roundtable."