Rove Reacts to Pelosi's 'Pathetic, Silly Little Comment' on Ground Zero Mosque

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," August 18, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: The top Democrat in all of Congress says she supports investigating opponents of the Ground Zero mosque. Now the stunning comments from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi were made earlier today in San Francisco.

Take a look.


REP. NANCY PELOSI, D-CALIF., SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: There is no question that there is a concerted effort to make this a political issue by some. And I join the -- those who have called for looking into how is this opposition to the mosque being funded? How is this being ginned up?


HANNITY: All right, so if Nancy Pelosi is so interested in keeping an eye on all of those who oppose the mosque, I wonder if that includes the former chairman to the DNC.

Listen to this.


HOWARD DEAN, FMR. DNC CHAIRMAN: I think a good reasonable compromise could be worked out without violating the principle that people ought to be able to worship as they see fit.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: You're calling for a compromise. So, are you calling for the mosque to be moved?

DEAN: Well, I think another site would be a better idea. Again, but I would look to do that with the cooperation with the people who are trying to build the mosque.


HANNITY: Now hours ago Pelosi's office told Fox News that she wants more information on both those funding the mosque and those who oppose it. Now that's ironic considering that the developers of the site today said they will not rule out taking money from Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Now when asked by ABC News if foreign donors would be used, the developers refused to comment.

Also tonight WNBC in New York reports that the developer and the imam behind this project have rejected a meeting with New York Governor Paterson to discuss alternative sites for the mosque.

So in the end they are taking a page from Nancy Pelosi's playbook by refusing to sit down with anyone they disagree with.

And here with analysis is the author of The New York Times best seller, "Courage and Consequence," Fox News contributor, the one and only, the architect, Karl Rove.

Sir, welcome back.

KARL ROVE, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, great to see you, Sean.

HANNITY: All right. Well, first of all, if I had to look back and maybe we'll look back the week after November 2nd this year, this has got to be -- just from a purely political perspective -- one of the worst weeks the Democrats have had, I think, since Barack Obama has been president.

ROVE: It has been a dreadful week and -- and it is coming to a close on a very odd note here midweek.

You know, Nancy Pelosi, at a news conference in San Francisco, said what? She wanted Harry Reid investigated who opposes the building of the mosque? That she wanted a number of members of the House of Representatives who are Democrats who have come out in opposition? Jonathan Altmire of Pennsylvania -- Democrat from Pittsburgh, has come out in opposition of the mosque.

She wants them investigated? I mean this -- this to me is mystifying.

You know, Sean, there are three explanations for this, either she made a mistake today, in which she ought to walk it back quickly, or she was serious. And if she was serious then the question is, was she calling on the Justice Department to investigate? Is she going to assign this to a congressional committee to investigate?

What violation of the law is there? What form or people are going to be investigated? Who's going to be investigated? Are you going to be investigated because you've spoken out against it? Am I going to be investigated because I was on "Good Morning America" this morning --

HANNITY: What about the 9/11 families?

ROVE: -- and said I was against building it?

HANNITY: Well, what about --

ROVE: Yes, the 9/11 families.

HANNITY: Yes, I mean --

ROVE: Yes.

HANNITY: Are they going to be investigated? But first of all she didn't -- she had a chance to back off it. So the answer to your question is, it wasn't a mistake, she was serious, Karl.

ROVE: Well, there's one third explanation,  Sean, which is the one that I'm rapidly thinking is the -- is the real answer, and that is this is just darn silly. I mean if she was serious -- I mean think about this. If she was serious, I mean -- she's got to then tell us what's wrong, who is going to investigate. Is it going to be the Justice Department? It can be a congressional committee? What's the threshold? What's -- you know, if I drove myself to this appearance tonight, does that mean that I've now spent money on gasoline in order to come here, in order to say I'm opposed to building at the site where it's proposed?

I mean what's the threshold for investigating? Look, this is ridiculous. This is silly. She said something that she was just clearly thinking about her --

HANNITY: Wait a minute. I think it's bigger than this. And I may -- I may have a gentle disagreement with you here.

Because remember, we have the head of the House Rules Committee say, rules don't matter. We make them up as we go along. Nancy Pelosi, you want to find out what's in the bill, you'll find out what's in the bill after we pass the bill.

You know we had another congressman saying on tape he doesn't care what impact something would have on the Constitution of the United States.

Karl, you know, this seems to be standard fare here. You know this is not just one isolated incident.

ROVE: Look, if she's serious about investigating then she has to spell out now how she's going to investigate it. If not we can just all assume this was a silly tempt to sort of dissuade people from speaking their minds, that this was her attempt to be sort of (INAUDIBLE)strutting around on the stage in trying to intimidate people from exercising the other right which is in the First Amendment which is the right of speech. Free speech.

HANNITY: What do you --

ROVE: You know, I -- look. I just think this is just -- we ought to be -- this is pathetic. This is sad. The speaker of the House of Representatives said what? And then went out and defended it again? I mean please. Does she think we're in some kind of a little state or, you know, PC state?

HANNITY: Apparently.

ROVE: I mean this is silly.

HANNITY: Apparently.

ROVE: This is just silly.

HANNITY: I don't think it's silly. I think it's frightening more than it is silly.

We spent a lot of time on this program going over the views of the controversial imam that is spearheading this effort. Now they're saying tonight that in fact they'd take money from Saudi Arabia and Iran.

What is your reaction to that?

ROVE: Well, look, I do think there are questions about who's behind all of this. I mean this goes to the motives. My problem with the site is that it is so close to Ground Zero and I don't trust this imam, the things that he said after 9/11, the things that he says today, refuses to condemn Hamas.

The thing that he is -- I mean this is sort of a triumphalent message that they're trying to send that, you know, we're sitting -- even the name itself, the Cordoba Initiative named after the victory of Islam that took over Spain in which they took the oldest church in the country and turned it into a mosque.

I mean this is all triumphalism that is -- that passes the bounds of decency. If they truly believe in respect for all religions and the sensitivity of the people who suffered a loss on 9/11 they ought to reconsider this.

HANNITY: Well, I think --

ROVE: But failing that, they need to tell us who's behind it and where is the money coming from.

HANNITY: Then I think Andy McCarthy has a good point. That non- Muslims ought to be allowed to go to Mecca and Medina. Perhaps we could add synagogues and churches there as well which we all know is not going to happen.

It seems like that somehow the narrative of the left has been that the victims here are those that are Muslim, not the people that were jumping out of the towers on September 11th, 2001, not the 3,000 people that died and not the families that have suffered every day since.

So it seems like -- everyone seems to have this backwards that Islam is under attack, Muslims are under attack, and I don't see that at all. I think the very people that are demanding sensitivity, are they willing to show the same sensitivity back to America and non-Muslims?

ROVE: Yes. Look, I agree with most of what you've had to say. But on the issue at hand, I think that we've got to insist the media has got to ask Nancy Pelosi to back up. What did she mean by investigate? And if she's not willing to spell it all out then we can just sort of shake our heads and express our disdain for how she has handled this issue, and write it off as pathetic, silly little comment by a woman who's attempting to intimidate people into silence.

The American people on this issue are not going to be intimidated into silence. They were willing to let this go forward in a normal fashion. But the president of the United States has created an enormous problem for our country and done the wrong thing by on Friday night jumping in and strongly endorsing the building of this mosque at the site and then Saturday morning flip-flopping and trying to walk back.

And then today a doing a double reverse and saying he didn't regret it at all. I mean the man has done incalculable damage to our image overseas among moderate Muslims who thought they heard one message on Friday night and another message on Saturday.

And what they're trying to make out of today's message from him is probably pretty confusing.

HANNITY: And our State Department is paying for this controversial imam for his trip to the Middle East on top of all of that.

So, all right, Karl Rove, we have a lot more to get to tonight. Thank you for being with us.

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