From NBC's Lauren Appelbaum, Victoria Riess, and Lauren Gall
In an address to the Republican National Committee, Karl Rove discussed the differences between the Democratic and Republican candidates running for president. Rove said they differ on important issues such as their positions on taxes, national security and health care, going as far as saying the Democrats have adopted "irresponsible words and irresponsible stands on the most important issue facing America, the security of our country and the security of our people" while Republicans have a "positive and optimistic view about what we ought to be doing about health care."
Rove spent the majority of the time speaking about Sen. Clinton and Obama. "If you saw the Philadelphia debate, you know Senator Clinton's got a problem with giving straight answers in this campaign," Rove said at the executive director's meeting in Washington, D.C. He also outlined Clinton's spending policy, saying although she claims fiscal responsibility, she has already proposed $800 billion in new spending.
"How can you claim to be fiscally responsible and want to increase the federal budget by $800 billion in four short years?" Rove asked. "She says, 'I have a million ideas and the country can't afford them all.' For once I agree with Senator Clinton."
He called on Clinton to release the documents detailing her work in the White House and slammed her for only receiving 55% of the vote in the Michigan primary last night. "Think about that," Rove said. "She's running against nobody and nobody gets 40% of the vote. The other 5% of the vote went to three other people. 27,924 votes went to the guy who believes in UFOs, the guy who dropped out and the guy who last held public office somewhere around 1855."
Regarding Obama, Rove went after his "present" votes while in the Illinois State Senate on controversial votes on abortion, the second amendment and privacy for sex abuse victims. "This is not the kind of change, and this is certainly not the kind of experienced leadership. This is not the kind of political courage that Americans want and deserve in their next chief executive."
Rove said the Republican nominee will have to do four things upon securing the nomination: "introduce themselves to the American people;" "immediately engage on kitchen table issues that we have great answers for but are sometimes concerned about talking about" like healthcare, cost of education, jobs, the economy, and trade; "campaign aggressively in places where Republicans don't usually campaign," reaching out to African Americans, Latinos, blue-collar workers, union households, etc; and demonstrate that they "understand the surge is working in Iraq."