Karl Rove: AOC's excuse for Bernie Sanders' Michigan loss doesn't add up

New York Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's reasoning for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders' loss in Michigan doesn't quite add up, Fox News contributor Karl Rove said Friday.

Appearing on "America's Newsroom" with host Sandra Smith, Rove – and his whiteboard – crunched the numbers after Ocasio-Cortez told "Special Report's" Bret Baier Thursday she believed voter suppression contributed to Sanders' shortcoming.


"Well, I think one thing that isn't being talked about is the rampant voter suppression in this country," she said. "Right there in Ann Arbor, where we had that rally, those kids were waiting three hours in line to vote in Michigan."

"You're saying that you think voters didn't get to vote that wanted to vote in Michigan?" Baier asked.

"Absolutely. You know, obviously, there's also more that we need to do in terms of turning out youth voters," Ocasio-Cortez replied. "We need to make sure that we're inspiring young people to turn out. But when you do turn out, you should not be waiting three, four, seven hours in order to vote."

"Well, let's let the numbers speak for themselves," Rove said. "Joe Biden got 838,564 and Bernie Sanders got 576,916 in Michigan. That means there was a gap between the two men of 261,648."

"Every degree serving student in every school in Michigan — there are 450,000 of them. Now, a bunch of those students already turned out," he continued. "The exit polls say 16 percent of the turnout were people between the ages of 18 to 29.  And they broke for Bernie Sanders with 76 percent of the vote. That's about 193,000 to 61,000 for Joe Biden."

"So, it's just impossible that the only reason that Bernie Sanders lost in Michigan was that they had polling places in Washtenaw County, which is what she was referring to the University of Michigan that caused students to stand in line," he stated. "It just doesn't make sense."

According to the Fox News Voter Analysis, Democratic primary voters under age 30 were still a source of strength for Sanders in Michigan, but he won just 13 percent of seniors — and more than twice as many seniors turned out than young voters.

"She goes around and a lot of other Democrats are going around tossing this voter suppression charge at Republicans — saying this is all a dirty trick by the Republicans," Rove noted.

"Well, you know, in Michigan the city council and the mayor set the polling places," he continued. "The city of Ann Arbor, Michigan – I checked this morning – the mayor is a guy named Christopher Taylor: Democrat."

"There are five wards with two council members each. Of those 10 council members, nine are Democrats and one is an Independent," he told Smith. "There is not a single Republican involved in setting the polling places in the University of Michigan."

"So, if she has a problem with election officials not getting the votes out...go complain to her fellow Democrats," he advised.


Rove said Texas Southern University in Houston had experienced a similar situation where voters had to wait as many as seven hours to cast their votes.

"And, guess what? The county executive: Lina Hidalgo, a Democrat. And the tax-assessor collector who is in charge of the elections process is Mark Sullivan: a Democrat," he remarked.

"So, you know, maybe she's right that some of the students didn't vote. But, it's not the...261,000 plus that was the difference between Bernie winning and Bernie losing," Rove concluded.