Sunday, July 27, 2008

Transcript: Karl Rove on FOX News Sunday (7-27-08)

Read the entire transcript:

WALLACE: First of all, your overview of Obama's trip — did he shore up his credibility as a potential president and commander in chief?

ROVE: I think the short answer to that is we don't know. Every big event like this has plusses and minuses. And there are some things that he did that did shore up his standing.

For example, he was on the same world — he was on the same stage with world leaders. There was the shot of him in the helicopter with Petraeus over Baghdad in the stories. And he clearly dominated the media with his world tour for, you know, more than a week.

He received a semi-endorsement from Maliki of this idea that U.S. troops could be brought out by the — by 2010, though there is a big difference, I think, underneath the surface between Obama's view and Maliki's view.

And finally, he had these huge crowds in Germany. And those were all on the plus side, and that helped him.

On the other hand, he remains against the policy — the surge — that made success in Iraq possible, and I think that's hard to fathom. The dominant photograph of the opening stage of this world tour was him hitting a three-point shot in Afghanistan. I'm not certain that's the best image if you want to say, "I'm a world leader."

He had three tough interviews with Terry Moran, Katie Couric, Gibson — they were all tough interviews. And the crowd was big, but it was in Germany, and he's running for president of the United States, not president of Europe.

And then finally, we had this dust-up over the visit to wounded troops, and there was also sort of a hint of arrogance. They demanded that they be — that he be treated as a — as the occupant of the White House, with White House rules.

And I think, frankly, finally, the speech in Germany, while it was soaring in its rhetoric, was actually, you know, somewhat vacuous. I mean, I'm not certain there was much "there" there. And he's received some criticism in the European press for it.

So on balance, I think, short-term plus, but potentially a long- term — long-term, it might not make that big a difference for him.

WALLACE: I want to go back to the — particularly the reception from the Europeans and that extraordinary crowd in Berlin — 200,000, according to police reports.

Back in 2004, you and other Republicans went after John Kerry as being too continental, too European, in his sensibility. I talked to the Obama camp about that this week, and one of the top strategists said to me that they feel the country is way past 2004 and freedom fries and now would very much welcome European support.

Video: Home Energy Prices Could Soar

With no relief in site. It's a fine mess this oil President has gotten us into. At least his friends are benefiting. Can you imagine what your energy costs would be if the Bush and his neocon handlers decided to attack Iran?

Obama on Meet The Press: Transcript (7-27-08)

The interview was done from London by Tom Brokaw. Read the entire transcript:

MR. BROKAW: Do you believe that President Maliki would be in a position to more or less endorse your timetable of getting troops out within 16 months if it had not been for the surge?

SEN. OBAMA: You know, we don't know, because in my earlier statements--I mean, I know that there's that little snippet that you ran, but there were also statements made during the course of this debate in which I said there's no doubt that additional U.S. troops could temporarily quell the violence. But unless we saw an underlying change in the politics of the country, unless Sunni, Shia, Kurd made different decisions, then we were going to have a civil war and we could not stop a civil war simply with more troops. Now, I, I...

MR. BROKAW: But couldn't they make that political decision because troops were there to help them make it.

SEN. OBAMA: Well, the--well, the--look, there's no doubt, and I've said this repeatedly, that our troops make a difference. If--you know, they do extraordinary work. The troops that I met, they were proud of their work, they had made enormous sacrifices, they had fought, they had helped to construct schools and, and rebuilt the countryside. But, for example, in Anbar Province, where we went to visit, the Sunni awakening took place before the surge started, and tribal leaders made a decision that, instead of fighting the Americans, we're going to work with the Americans against al-Qaeda. That was a political decision that was made that has made a huge difference in this entire process.

So the, the point I want to make is this, Tom, I mean, you know, if we want to look at the question of judgment which is the one that John McCain raised, John McCain's essential focus has been on the tactical issue of sending more troops, and he's, he's made his entire approach to foreign policy rest on that support of Bush's decision to send more troops in. But we can have a whole range of arguments about past decisions--the decision to go into Iraq in the first place, and whether that was a good strategic decision, where we've spent a trillion dollars at least by the time this thing is over, lost thousands of lives in pursuit of goals John McCain supported that turned out to be false. We can make decisions about does it make sense for us to set a time frame for withdrawal to encourage the kind of political reconciliation that needs to take place to stabilize Iraq. We can talk about the distractions from hunting down al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan, where there is no doubt that we would be further along had we not engaged in some of these actions, and...

MR. BROKAW: But we have to talk about the reality of what's going on in Iraq right now.

SEN. OBAMA: Well, but, but, but, let me...

MR. BROKAW: And the Anbar awakening, most people believe, was successful in large part because the American troops did come in and make it possible for them to have the kind of political reconciliation...

Click for more from 'Meet the Press'
Obama sticks to his guns on 'Meet the Press'

SEN. OBAMA: Tom, look--Tom, I'm, I'm--the fact that--the...

MR. BROKAW: Do you disagree with that?

SEN. OBAMA: As I said before, our troops made an enormous contribution, but to try to single out one factor in a very messy situation is just not accurate, and it doesn't, it doesn't take into account the larger strategic issues that have been at stake throughout this process. Look, we've got a finite amount of resources. We've got a finite number of troops. Our military is stretched extraordinarily because of trying to fight two wars at the same time. And so my job as the next commander in chief is going to be to make a decision what is the right war to fight, and, and how do we fight it? And I think that we should have been focused on Afghanistan from the start. We should have finished that job. We have not, but we now have the opportunity, moving forward, to begin a phased redeployment and to make sure that we're finishing the job in Afghanistan.
- See a 9 minute video excerpt from the interview.

McCain: Immigration Reform Like My Becoming an "Astronaut"

Another strange comment from John McCain. He is essentially telling us, in this interview with a Pennsylvania newspaper, that immigration reform is as likely as him becoming an astronaut and landing on the moon. Read the entire transcript of the interview:

Q: The immigration legislation that you worked on in the Senate last year. Would you try to get that passed as president?

A: Of course, it was my proposal twice, but the fact is it was rejected twice. I mean I’d like to be on the next launch to the moon. I’d like to be an astronaut. There’s a lot of things I’d like to see. Working

together, in a bi-partisan fashion with the president, we thought we came up with a proposal that would address all aspects of the issue. We failed.

Rather than go back and fail again, we need to secure the borders and make sure that Americans have that confidence in border security and then we move on to other issues.

Video: Barack Obama on Meet The Press (7-27-08)

The interview was held in London by Tom Brokaw. Read the entire transcript:

Video: Increased Dangers on America's Beaches

You need to see this video before going to the beach this weekend. We must deal with the fact that the environment is playing a greater role in our lives. We need to be prepared.

Study: Media Liberal Bias Directed Against Obama

The McCain people have been gripping about the media coverage for Obama, the same way Hillary did. They were both wrong. They confused press bias for sour grapes. This from the LA Times:

Haters of the mainstream media reheated a bit of conventional wisdom last week.

Barack Obama, they said, was getting a free ride from those insufferable liberals.

Such pronouncements, sorry to say, tend to be wrong since they describe a monolithic media that no longer exists. Information today cascades from countless outlets and channels, from the Huffington Post to to CBS News and beyond.

But now there's additional evidence that casts doubt on the bias claims aimed -- with particular venom -- at three broadcast networks.

The Center for Media and Public Affairs at George Mason University, where researchers have tracked network news content for two decades, found that ABC, NBC and CBS were tougher on Obama than on Republican John McCain during the first six weeks of the general-election campaign.