January 9, 2007
Contact:
Anna Christopher, NPR

   

POLITICAL STRATEGIST KARL ROVE
REACTS TO NEW HAMPSHIRE PRIMARY RESULTS
ON NPR NEWS TELL ME MORE
TODAY, WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 9

ROVE TELLS NPR:
“AMERICANS ARE LOOKING FOR A WAY TO BREAK BARRIERS.
THEY WOULD LOVE TO ELECT A WOMAN PRESIDENT;
THEY WOULD LOVE TO ELECT AN AFRICAN-AMERICAN PRESIDENT.”

EXCERPTS BELOW; AUDIO AVAILABLE AT WWW.NPR.ORG


January 9, 2007; Washington, D.C. – In an interview with NPR host Michel Martin airing today on the news and talk show Tell Me More, political strategist Karl Rove reacts to the results of the New Hampshire primaries and comments on the role of gender and race in presidential politics, saying: “Americans are looking for a way to break barriers. They would love to elect a woman president; they would love to elect an African-American president. And to the degree that either gender or race plays into this race, it plays far more in a positive direction than it does in a negative direction.”

On polls leading into the New Hampshire primary, which predicted a win for Sen. Obama, Rove says: “Let’s not have Obama suffer for the mistakes of the pollsters. If you talk to political pros, you would find that there was pretty solid agreement that it’s really tough to poll a primary. And particularly a primary in a state like New Hampshire where they are not just simply voters, but active players in the drama, and they know it. So, you know, Senator Obama suffered a little bit from the expectations built up for him by the media that having won Iowa, and then looking at these polls, that he had double-digit leads in New Hampshire, that somehow or another it’s his fault that he didn’t live up to what the pollsters had predicted when the pollsters really had – we ought to take these polls with a grain of salt.”

On the factors behind Sen. Obama’s loss to Sen. Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire, Rove says: “Obama’s problem is not that he is – you know, he is an inspiring figure and an historic figure. That is not his problem. His problem is that he can – he’s – he deals with the concerns that people have about Hillary Clinton but he can’t close the argument, at least he didn’t in New Hampshire. He let the rhetoric soar, but it’s sort of like a lot of people probably said, well, you know, where is the beef.”

On the lack of a Republican frontrunner leading into Super Tuesday, Rove says: “We could enter Super Tuesday with three or four credible candidates, yes. In fact, look, last night’s results mean that both primary – both parties are going to have contests that exist through at least February 5th.”

All excerpts must be credited to NPR News Tell Me More. Television usage must include on-screen credit with NPR logo. For a full transcript of the interview, contact information is below. Audio of the interview is available at: www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=17955939

Tell Me More launched in April 2007, and brings fresh voices and perspectives to public radio. The daily one-hour program hosted by Michel Martin captures the headlines, issues and pleasures relevant to multicultural life in America. For stations and broadcast times, visit www.NPR.org