Interviews

Obama Playing to Far Left?

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST OF "YOUR WORLD": Welcome back President Obama playing to the far left this week and singing one Nancy Pelosi's praises, as he tries to secure re-election.

My next guest says the president's pandering will actually hurt him with independents. Karl Rove joining me now.

Explain, Karl.

KARL ROVE, FORMER SENIOR ADVISER TO PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: Well, it's actually already hurting him. The Gallup poll came out today. And in the Gallup tracking poll, the president's job approval is now 41 percent, 35 percent among independents, and that's down nine points this year.

And, look, you -- you -- one thing doesn't cause everything in politics. But the president's, you know, harsh partisanship, un- presidential demeanor, active campaigning well in advance of when he actually needs to campaign, plus all of these bad policy choices have -- have conspired to drive his numbers down.

And he doesn't make it better when he goes out to the left coast and - - and sounds as shrill as he has in the last couple of days.

CAVUTO: What did you make of his remarks earlier that, if not for the gas prices ya know -- I am paraphrasing -- things wouldn't be so bad for me in the polls?

ROVE: Well, look, they were bad before gasoline prices went up, but the fact of the matter is, people are paying more at the pump, more at the grocery store, more for their for health care. The jobs aren't coming back. Economic growth is not good.

And then you put on top of that the deficit, the debt and all this spending that people are so concerned about and the president -- it's not just one thing. It is a multitude of sins that have come together and conspired, ya know, to create a toxic stew for the president.

I mean, I appreciate it that he would say if the oil prices went away, I'd be OK, but the reality is, even if the high oil prices did go away, this president would still be in difficulty because of a broader range of issues that are all tied together.

CAVUTO: Yet, you know, it's interesting. Those issues notwithstanding, the growing angst reflected by seven out of 10 Americans, I guess, about the future...

ROVE: Right.

CAVUTO: ... when he is pitted against any of the prominent Republican names you hear, he beats them. In some cases, it is close as a tick...

ROVE: Yeah.

CAVUTO: ... but he beats them.

ROVE: Yeah.

CAVUTO: What is that all about?

ROVE: Well, first of all, don't be surprised. I mean, these -- these -- these people who want to seek the Republican nomination do not have the visibility or the profile or the in-depth public knowledge that President Obama has.

If I were the president, I would be worried about the numbers that we have now seen in a couple of polls. The Marist poll and then ABC/Washington Post poll both had -- the Washington Post/ABC poll had 45 percent of the American people said they will definitely not vote to re-elect him. Only 28 percent said they would vote to re-elect him.

That means that the Republicans need to get basically one out of every four people who are up for grabs, up in the air. That is not a -- that is not a -- that's a heck of a lot easier task than trying to get three out of every four who have yet to make up their minds. But right now...

CAVUTO: But what about...

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO: ... seem to be resonating and competitive among that field is Donald Trump? What do you make of that?

ROVE: Well, first of all, we've only have had one poll in which he -- in which he was atop the Republican heap nationally. And then there are others which show him further behind in these national head-to-head matchups with President Obama. Even though he is better known and obviously more in the limelight today than the other candidates, Mr. Trump is well behind President Obama.

I mean, there was an interesting Pew poll. They said 39 percent of the American people said the name that they had heard most recently being talked about as a potential Republican presidential candidate was Trump, followed by Romney at 12 percent. You know, he is -- he knows how to milk the attention. He's out there getting attention saying outrageous things.

It's going to be -- he's going to get a flurry of attention, but I don't think it is serious...

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO: When you say outrageous and all, of course, he took great umbrage to all of that. You don't take him seriously at all, do you?

ROVE: Well, I take him seriously as a businessman, as an individual.

If he had come out of the chute five weeks ago and said I am going to make this race about deficit, debt, spending, get America's prosperity going again, he could be a serious player. But when he jumped out and made the birther issue the centerpiece of his campaign, I had to scratch my head. That's not what the American people are worried about when they get up in the morning.

CAVUTO: But maybe there's a strategy to it. Maybe he sees that I can reach a base of the party that is firmly convinced there is something weird here, and that that is his entree to get you onto bigger issues like how much he thinks China is abusing us and OPEC taking advantage.

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO: What do you make of that?

ROVE: You get one chance -- you get one chance to introduce yourself, Neil. You get a chance to say, this is what I'm all about.

And if you spend five weeks saying, I'm all about Barack Obama was not born in Honolulu, that is a problem, because you only get one chance to introduce yourself in that way.

In the last couple of days, he has been trying to get away from the issue and spend more time talking about jobs and oil and deficits and debt and so forth, but he spent four-and-a-half, nearly five weeks out there talking about one issue.

CAVUTO: Do you think he could be the Republican nominee?

ROVE: And -- and again -- personally, I don't believe so at this point, no, not at this point.

CAVUTO: If he were, would you help him?

ROVE: Look, I am for the Republican nominee, whoever he or she is, but ya know, Mr. Murdoch asked me for my -- you know, for my candid appraisal when I'm invited on programs like yours.

And I just think it is a very bad strategy to build the -- build the launch of your campaign around Barack Obama wasn't born in Honolulu, Hawaii, in 1961. I mean, that's a -- that -- that ain't a winning strategy.

CAVUTO: To de-sort-of-tensify things here, could I look at your board again? Did I see a bunny rabbit on it?

ROVE: You saw a little bunny rabbit. Happy Easter, Neil, to you and your viewers.

CAVUTO: See? See?

ROVE: Graphic -- the high-tech graphics department here at Fox.

CAVUTO: See? And all these people say, you know, he's just all business all the time. Not true. Not true at all.

Karl, great seeing you. Have a wonderful Easter, my friend.

ROVE: You, too, Neil. Thank you.

CAVUTO: Donald -- Donald Trump, by the way, sends his love.

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