Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Rove says: Leaker should be fired

3 Questions asked of Karl Rove.
1) About smearing Max Cleland
2) Why is repealing the estate tax more important than port safety.
3) Why no one has had to answer for outing Valerie Plame.

Isaacson soon brought up the three questions Clinton had posed Friday night: If he had the opportunity, Clinton said, he would quiz Rove about a 2002 Republican advertising campaign questioning the patriotism of Sen. Max Cleland, a Vietnam veteran. Clinton also wanted to ask why repealing the estate tax is more important than port safety, and why no one has had to answer for outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame.

"Contrary to the suggestions, the
mythmaking of D.C., I didn't run the [Saxby] Chambliss campaign," Rove
said of the 2002 Senate race in Georgia. In that race, Republican
challenger Chambliss attacked Cleland, a Democrat, as unpatriotic,
despite the fact that he'd lost two legs and an arm in the war.

Cleland lost his seat to the Republican challenger.

"Make up your mind: I'm either a genius or an idiot," Rove said. He
denied that he played any role in the campaign, adding that he did not
think it was helpful for any campaign to call a war hero unpatriotic.

As for the Plame affair, Rove stumbled and then refused to answer.

Valerie Plame was an undercover CIA agent whose identity administration
sources revealed to conservative columnist Robert Novak after her
husband, Ambassador Joseph Wilson, publicly challenged the
administration's claims about Iraq's nuclear program. Her career with
the CIA ended, and some of her sources may have been in jeopardy as a
result of the leak.

Isaacson posed the question in the same way
Clinton had Friday night. Issacson, parroting Clinton, pointed out that
if a member of the Clinton administration had outed a CIA officer,
"You'd be sending people to demand impeachment. You'd be playing it
better than the Democrats can play it against you."

Rove then said that after a "careful, thoughtful, aggressive investigation," then the person responsible should be fired.

"Have confidence in the process," he said.

But Isaacson continued pressing on the issue asking, "Don't you have some regrets about that? That was [a] regrettable event."

"I'm going to respect the fact that there's an ongoing case," Rove said, again to hissing from the audience.

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