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Rove: ‘Who Cares’ Whether Muslims ‘Approve Or Like The President Of The United States’?

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"Rove: ‘Who Cares’ Whether Muslims ‘Approve Or Like The President Of The United States’?"

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Last night, Karl Rove went on Fox News and lambasted President Obama’s speech in Cairo, saying that he would give him a grade of “D minus” on the “important parts of the speech.” Host Bill O’Reilly then decided to play “devil’s advocate” and pointed out that President Bush’s approach wasn’t all that great since Muslim communities around the world “hated him.” Rove responded that it doesn’t really matter what they think:

O’REILLY: Okay? The bottom line on it is that President Bush may have been right in a lot of the things that he said and did during the war on terror in his administration. But the Muslim world would not listen to him. They wouldn’t. They didn’t like him. They hated him. He was demonized. And they didn’t like him at all.

ROVE: No, I totally disagree with you.

O’REILLY: The Muslim world –

ROVE: Totally disagree with you.

O’REILLY: — the Muslim people. They didn’t like him.

ROVE: Well, no, no. Look, I disagree with you.

O’REILLY: Well, all the polls showed in every Muslim country that President Bush’s approval rating was 20 percent. So I mean how can you disagree?

ROVE: You know what? Who cares about whether or not they approve or like the president of the United States? The question is do they respect the policies of the United States government? And you bet they did. Because we showed strength and power and influence.

Watch it:

Not only did many Muslim countries not “like” President Bush, they also didn’t respect his policies. A 2006 poll of five Muslim nations found that just 8-16 percent of those surveyed believed that “the ouster of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein made the world a safer place.”

In fact, the reason that so many Muslim communities didn’t approve of Bush was because of his policies. The United States may have had “strength and power and influence,” but under the Bush administration, it used it to “weaken and divide the Islamic world,” according to a 2007 poll of four majority Muslim nations. The abuse of this power is what led to “widespread…unfavorable attitudes” of the United States by Muslim nations throughout Bush’s two terms.

Not that Rove ever cared what they thought anyway.

Transcript:

ROVE: I’d give him sort of on the opening one sort of a B minus or maybe a B. But on the important parts of the speech, that is to say understanding the nature of the U.S. relationship with the Middle East, I would give him a D minus.

Look, what’s our relationship with Saudi Arabia? It’s not one of tension fed by colonialism. I mean, it’s just not. And his comments about extremism and terrorism, I would give him a C minus on them.

O’REILLY: Okay.

ROVE : I mean, I was glad that he said –

O’REILLY: Now let me play devil’s advocate here. I think he was talking about the religious aspect more than the nationalistic aspect. He was addressing Muslims rather than governments. Because we do as you point out have a decent relationship with Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and many other Arab nations.

But I think what the president was trying to do was the art of persuasion. First of all, sympathizing with Muslims, you’ve been exploited in the past. We understand that it wasn’t right. And we made mistakes. You know, kind of a humble pie thing. Get that common ground going.

ROVE: Yeah.

O’REILLY: I mean, here’s the bottom line.

ROVE: Yeah, common ground but.

O’REILLY: Here’s the bottom line. Mr. Rove, Mr. Rove, wait, listen to me.

ROVE: Yeah.

O’REILLY: Okay? The bottom line on it is that President Bush may have been right in a lot of the things that he said and did during the war on terror in his administration. But the Muslim world would not listen to him. They wouldn’t. They didn’t like him. They hated him. He was demonized. And they didn’t like him at all.

ROVE: No, I totally disagree with you.

O’REILLY: The Muslim world –

ROVE: Totally disagree with you.

O’REILLY: — the Muslim people. They didn’t like him.

ROVE: Well, no, no. Look, I disagree with you.

O’REILLY: Well, all the polls showed in every Muslim country that President Bush’s approval rating was 20 percent. So I mean how can you disagree?

ROVE: You know what? Who cares about whether or not they approve or like the president of the United States? The question is do they respect the policies of the United States government? And you bet they did. Because we showed strength and power and influence.

I thought one commentator put it pretty good. The most powerful thing that Barack Obama has done to win the respect of the Islamic people, of the Muslim people around the world was three well-placed shots to in a negotiation with terrorists who had hijacked a U.S. boat.

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