On Fox & Friends Weekend this morning, Karl Rove, Bush’s “Architect,” continued to deride the GOP’s new front runner, Donald Trump: But, strangely, he was rebutted by none other than Trump’s biggest GOP competitor, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee. After calling Trump “a joke candidate” with “weird conspiracy theories” last night on On the Record with Greta van Susteren, Rove not only defended his caustic comments but also attacked Trump further as a “birther,” a big Democratic supporter, and an “interesting guy with a bad hair” deal on F&FW this morning. Later, during the program, Huckabee strongly defended his maverick Republican rival against the GOP establishment attack dog.
During the FNC contributor’s usual weekend appearance on F&FW, Rove was asked by co-anchor Dave Briggs why he had called Trump “a joke candidate” on Greta last night.* Rove replied that “these early polls” simply showed that still non-anchored Republicans had “sorta flocked” to this “interesting guy” and, to boot, derogated Public Policy Polling (the group that had conducted the poll showing Trump with a nine-point lead over his closest competitor Huckabee) as a “Democrat outfit in North Carolina that does a notoriously bad job of polling in Republican primaries.”
Following-up Briggs’ query, F&FW guest co-host Juliet Huddy asked, “Would he be a good President?” Derisively, Rove replied, “Not after what he’s done over the last couple of weeks. Look, he’s embraced this ‘birther’ thing. He had a lot of problems to begin with.” Elaborating, Rove harrumphed that Trump had given $196,000 to Democrats including Harry Reid, John Kerry for President, and Joe Biden; had called Pelosi great; and had given money to the last two leaders of the Democrats in the House. Concluding, he continued, “Look, if he’d gone out there and said, ‘I’m gonna fix our economy and I know how to create jobs and I’m a businessman and here are the five things I’m gonna do.” When Huddy countered, “Don’t you think people already assume that he can do, that that’s what he’s gonna do,” Rove sneered, “No, no! Look, look, look! All they know him [sic] is he’s an interesting guy who’s got a bad hair deal.”
Shortly thereafter, when Governor Huckabee appeared on the show, he was queried about Rove’s remarks by Briggs. Introducing the topic, Briggs said, “Karl Rove was just here and he called him [Trump] last night ‘a joke candidate’ [and] ‘inconsequential’ [and] he stuck by that this morning. Then, he inquired, “Does he have a realistic chance, Donald Trump, at winning this thing? Because, look, it might spike you early on, this ‘birther’ thing but, long term, when you get to a general election, is he a serious candidate?”
Coming to Trump’s defense, Huckabee answered, “I don’t think the ‘birther’ issue is a good issue. I don’t think it is lasting. It’s got him a lot of, maybe, attention. I don’t agree with it. But, I don’t think [that] people are rallying behind Donald Trump because of the ‘birther’ issue.”
Surprised, Briggs, replied, “No, you don’t?” Shaking his head, Huckabee answered, “No, I don’t.” Probing, Briggs inquired, “Then, why do they?”
Sounding almost like a supporter, Huckabee replied, “Because they know him. They feel like he’s a tough-minded, no-holds-barred business guy that would be tough with China, tough with the Saudis, [and] tough with the rest of the world.” When co-host Clayton Morris interposed, “And he’s got a popular television show what’s also helpful,” Huckabee added, “And, he knows how to fire people!”
Of course, Rove was smart enough to get ‘W’ elected twice: Nevertheless, his political acumen has been questioned of late by the right as he staunchly defends the GOP blue bloods against the insurgent blue collars. Perhaps, like the Tea Party, Rove may deem Trump “not sophisticated” enough to represent the Republicans. However, if Huckabee is right, “Bush’s Brain” may want to think again.
*Fox & Friends Weekend – 04/16/11 (@ 8:16 a.m. ET)