Karl Rove signs his new book in Oklahoma City

Rove bucks talk of anti-incumbent sentiment, takes on his critics during book signing at Border’s in Oklahoma City.

BY BRYAN DEAN Published: May 18, 2010
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Karl Rove, one of the most polarizing political figures of the past decade, talked politics and signed books Monday at the Borders bookstore in Oklahoma City.

Rove recently wrote a memoir called "Courage and Consequences: My Life as a Conservative in the Fight.” Before signing copies of the book for about 60 people who stood in line, Rove answered a few questions.

He took issue with many political experts’ claims that a wave of anti-incumbent sentiment could have a major effect on this year’s elections.

"I would point you across the border into Texas,” Rove said. "We had primaries, and virtually every one of the Republicans and Democrats in the primary drew an opponent in the primary. None of them were defeated.”

Rove acknowledged that two Democrats face tough primary races today.

Sen. Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark., and Sen. Arlen Specter, D-Pa., both could be defeated in their party primaries, he said.

Specter switched from the Republican Party to the Democratic Party last year. Lincoln faces two challengers, including the former lieutenant governor of Arkansas.

"I’m not certain that if Arlen Specter gets defeated in the Democratic primary that it says much other than Democrats, after voting against him since 1980, aren’t ready to vote for him,” Rove said.

"Similarly, if Blanche Lincoln goes down or is forced into a runoff in Arkansas, I think it says more about local politics and a highly ambitious lieutenant governor.”

Rove, who is often called "The Architect” for leading George W. Bush to two terms in the White House, also took on critics who claim he bears much of the blame for the increasingly hostile tone of political rhetoric in the country.

Rove may have demonstrated why he is a polarizing figure as he confused several facts while criticizing President Barack Obama, who he said has compared him to a 1960s radical and misquoted him.

"Washington is tough, but it was tough before we got there, and it was tough after we left there,” Rove said.


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