On March 19, the fifth anniversary of the Iraq invasion, Vice President Cheney flatly told ABC News that he doesn’t care about the American public’s views on the war:
RADDATZ: Two-third of Americans say it’s not worth fighting.
RADDATZ So? You don’t care what the American people think?
CHENEY: No. I think you cannot be blown off course by the fluctuations in the public opinion polls.
Last night on Fox News’s The O’Reilly Factor, former White House adviser Karl Rove defended Cheney’s comments. “The question was put to him, basically the implication, the question was shouldn’t you be making decisions based on what the polls tell you?” claimed Rove.
O’Reilly, however, disagreed with his fellow Fox News employee, calling Cheney’s response “a bad answer.” “I think Dick Cheney dismissed the folks with the ‘so’ remark,” said O’Reilly. “You know, he was a wise guy, was he not?” Watch it:
Eighty-one percent of the American public believes that when making an “important decision,” government leaders “should pay attention to public opinion polls because this will help them get a sense of the public’s views.” (Although it’s unlikely Cheney or Rove would care about this finding either.)
Once again, Fox News never identified Rove as an adviser to the presidential campaign of Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).
O’REILLY: When that question was put to Dick Cheney a couple weeks ago by an ABC News correspondent, he said so? Wasn’t that a bad answer?
ROVE: No, I think it was a different question that was put to him. The question was put to him, basically the implication, the question was shouldn’t you be making decisions based on what the polls tell you?
O’REILLY: No, no, no. The question, Mr. Rove, with all due respect to you, was here’s the polls. 66 percent don’t like Iraq. What do you think and he went so. Look, I don’t want to debate the issue about that. I’m saying that was bad PR by Dick Cheney.
ROVE: Well, there may have been a better answer to it. But the fundamental implication to the question was shouldn’t you be making decisions based on the latest poll run by our news organization.
O’REILLY: No, I would say no.
O’REILLY: But I think you can’t just dismiss the folks.
ROVE: Oh, no. And that’s right. Abraham Lincoln said, you know.
O’REILLY: I think Dick Cheney dismissed the folks with the “so” remark. You know, he was a wise guy, was he not?
ROVE: Well, I think he was not dismissing the folks. What I think he was dismissing was the direct implication. I question what that — you ought to be making decisions based on —
O’REILLY: All right.
ROVE: My news organization’s poll, which is —
O’REILLY: We see that a bit differently.
ROVE: Yes, sir.
misshusseinmolly Says: “Whoever thought I would agree with O’Reilly? He was correct in calling Rove on the “should leaders ever pay attention to the American people?” bit, but didn’t go far enough. Far from being a “wise guy”, Cheney was spinning to defend his treasonous actions by suggesting there were “fluctuations” in the polls and that Americans’ opinions should not factor into any decisions — when what he really meant was “I’m gonna use my power to do what I want, regardless of how it affects this country and the rest of the world.” And Rove was spinning to defend his old boss.
What O’Reilly should have done (but this would be expecting too much) was to ask Rove how Cheney could call opinions “fluctuating” when an overwhelming majority of Americans have said we are on the wrong track with Iraq for quite some time now. No fluctuation there.”