Politico’s Jonathan Martin reports that Karl Rove called Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) “late last week and urged him to contact John McCain to withdraw his name from vice presidential consideration.” Citing three unnamed sources, Martin writes that Lieberman “dismissed the request” from Rove.
This morning on Fox News, host Megyn Kelly asked Rove to confirm the Politico’s report. Rove responded, “Sen. Lieberman’s camp denied it and so did my camp last night, so I guess Politico.com was wrong.” “Is that a non-denial denial?” Kelly asked. Rove said the Politico story “is not right,” but he refused to say whether he did indeed call Lieberman and what they talked about:
KELLY: Did you call him [Lieberman]?
ROVE: Uh, uh, the report is absolutely incorrect.
KELLY: Now you’re waffling. Did you call him?
ROVE: Uh. Look, I’m not going to get into who I call and don’t call. But this report that I called Senator Lieberman and told him, you call Senator McCain and withdraw from the vice presidential, is incorrect.
Growing more uncomfortable by the moment, Rove refused to answer Kelly’s repeated question about whether he talked to Lieberman. “Okay, not gonna go there,” Kelly finally conceded. Watch it:
Rove repeated throughout the interview that the Politico story was “incorrect,” but he never explained what those inaccuracies were.
Yesterday, columnist Robert Novak, one of Rove’s long-running propaganda peddlers, reported that “influential McCain backers, plus McCain himself, would pick the pro-choice liberal from Connecticut if they thought they could get away with it. But they can’t get away with it — and this has been made clear to McCain by none other than Joe Lieberman himself. “
“Rove is pushing Romney so aggressively some folks are beginning to wonder what’s going on,” grumbled one veteran Republican strategist.
Jonathan Martin says “Rove is incorrect” when he claims that both camps have denied the story. He says Lieberman’s office has not denied it, adding: “I’m not sure what Rove means by ‘my camp,’ but I have not heard anything from him, others in Bushworld or McCain’s campaign denying the story.”