Security

Card Rejects Rove’s Claim That Congress Pushed Bush To War: ‘His Mouth Gets Ahead Of His Brain’

Karl Rove asserted on the Charlie Rose show recently that it was Congress that pushed the Bush administration into war with Iraq. “The administration was opposed” to voting for a war resolution in the fall of 2002, Rove claimed. “It seemed it make things move too fast,” he argued.

As ThinkProgress documented, key leaders in both the House and the Senate — including then-Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD) — were asking Bush in 2002 to delay the Iraq war vote. But as Daschle recalled, when he asked Bush to delay the vote, Bush “looked at Cheney and he looked at me, and there was a half-smile on his face. And he said: ‘We just have to do this now.'”

This morning, former White House chief of staff at the time, Andrew Card, appeared on MSNBC’s Morning Joe and completely discredited Rove’s argument:

SCARBOROUGH: We have to start with something that we all are talking about a couple of days ago where Karl Rove went on Charlie Rose and he blamed the Democrats for pushing him and the president into war. Is that how it worked?

CARD: No, that’s not the way it worked.

Card went on to explain that sometimes Rove’s “mouth gets ahead of his brain”:

SCARBOROUGH: Is that just Karl spinning beyond the White House? …

CARD: Well, Karl is very smart. He’s — sometimes his brain gets ahead of his mouth. And sometimes his mouth gets ahead of his brain.

Watch it:

[flv http://video.thinkprogress.org/2007/11/andyonrove.320.240.flv]

Digg It!

UPDATE: The Politico’s John Bresnahan adds:

As someone who covered the 2002 vote on Iraq for Roll Call, Rove’s assertion that Congress was pushing for a quick vote on the use-of-force resolution is just not credible at all.

The White House pushed to hold that vote in October, just a month before the mid-term elections, and Democrats were forced to support it or risk losing their re-election campaigns.

It was a bare-knuckled political power play by President Bush and GOP leaders in Congress, and it worked very, very well. Republicans ended up winning back the Senate that fall, and the GOP picked up more House seats.

Transcript:

SCARBOROUGH: We have to start with something that we all are talking about a couple of days ago where Karl Rove went on Charlie Rose and he blamed the Democrats for pushing him and the president into war. Is that how it worked?

CARD: No, that’s not the way it worked.

SCARBOROUGH: What the heck? Seriously, what the hell was that about?

CARD: Democrats pushed us a lot of stupid things, but they didn’t push us into war.

SCARBOROUGH: Yeah, yeah. You worked with Karl. Is that just Karl spinning beyond the White House?

MIKA BRZEZINSKI:Spinning out of control?

CARD: Well, Karl is very smart. He’s — sometimes his brain gets ahead of his mouth. And sometimes his mouth gets ahead of his brain.