Karl Rove asserted that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton "enters the general election campaign with the highest negatives of any candidate in the history of the Gallup Poll," and added: "The only person who comes close is ... hers are at 49. The only other candidate to come close was Al Gore with 34, I believe." In fact, Gallup's polling results show that President Bush's unfavorability ratings as he entered the 2004 general election campaign were consistently above what Rove claimed to be "close[st]" to Clinton's unfavorability rating -- "Al Gore with 34" percent.
An Associated Press article reported that Karl Rove, during an appearance on Fox News Sunday, "[b]lamed congressional Democrats for standing in the way of changing Social Security and immigration law." But the AP did not note -- as Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace did during his interview with Rove -- that "there was tremendous opposition from your own party on immigration reform and, frankly, not much support on Social Security reform."
In appearances by Karl Rove on Sunday morning talk shows on Fox, CBS, and NBC, not one interviewer asked whether an August 19 Washington Post article was accurate in stating that, according to White House officials, one of Rove's "two basic rules" in putting together briefings for political appointees was "to make sure they complied with the Hatch Act," a federal law that limits political activities by federal employees. As the article noted, "the Office of the Special Counsel ... has concluded that the Hatch Act was violated" during a briefing that was conducted by a Rove aide for political appointees in the General Services Administration.
On Fox News Sunday, Sen. Trent Lott claimed that President Bush would be "making a huge mistake" if he allows "his close advisers in the White House to testify before Congress under oath," adding: "There is a thing called executive privilege." While host Chris Wallace noted the number of Clinton administration officials who testified, he did not question Lott about his assertions then about the limitations of executive privilege: that the president should not be able to claim executive privilege unless national security considerations are involved.
On Fox News Sunday, while discussing John Edwards' decision not to participate in a Fox-sponsored Democratic debate in Nevada, panelists Bill Kristol, Juan Williams, Brit Hume, and Nina Easton all ignored Edwards' specific criticism of Fox News.
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