On Fox News' The Daily Briefing, network contributor Karl Rove dismissed criticism of President Donald Trump for meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un at the Demilitarized Zone and stepping into North Korea without gaining any concessions as “political noise” and said that no one should “pay much attention to it.” But in 2008, Rove wrote a Wall Street Journal op-ed criticizing then-presidential candidate Barack Obama for saying he would meet with former North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il without preconditions:
Reagan knew he must not squander the prestige of the American presidency and the authority of the United States by meaningless meetings that serve only as propaganda victories for our adversaries. Mr. Obama seems to believe charisma and smooth talk can fundamentally alter the behavior of Iran, Syria, North Korea, Venezuela and Cuba.
If Mr. Obama believes he can change the behavior of these nations by meeting without preconditions, he owes it to the voters to explain, in specific terms, what he can say that will lead these states to abandon their hostility. He also needs to explain why unconditional, unilateral meetings with Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad or North Korea's Kim Jong Il will not deeply unsettle our allies.
If Mr. Obama fails to do so, voters may come to believe that he is asking them to accept that he has a “Secret Plan,” and that he is hopelessly out of his depth on national security.
From the July 1 edition of Fox News' The Daily Briefing with Dana Perino:
DANA PERINO (HOST): [Sen. Bernie Sanders and] other 2020 Democrats also dismissing the meeting between President Trump and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un as a photo op, with Sen. Amy Klobuchar saying, “There is more to diplomacy,” and that “it is not as easy as just bringing a hot dish over the fence to the dictator next door.”
PERINO: So Karl, I've always wondered -- I mean, I know that it's a presidential campaign and these folks are all need to be out there fighting, but in some ways, is even arguing about the president of the United States making an attempt to get talks back on track and criticizing that just a little desperate?
KARL ROVE (FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR): Well, they're being asked by the media, so I think they feel obligated to respond. But let's put this in a little bit of context. In July of 2007, in a Democratic debate, I think it was a CNN-YouTube debate, then-Sen. Barack Obama was asked if he would meet with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba, and North Korea without precondition. And he said, yes, absolutely, I would.
PERINO: Yeah, I remember that.
ROVE: So, I don't remember Klobuchar and Sanders and others who were on the stage back then criticizing President Obama for doing what President Trump is doing, which is, he's been --
PERINO: But the Republicans sure did.
ROVE: On, they sure did. Look, this is -- both parties' hands are dirty on this. Republicans jumped -- Sen. [John] McCain and Republicans jumped all over Sen. Barack Obama for saying that, and Democrats are jumping all over President Trump for doing it. But we ought to take that into account and just say this is political noise and not pay any -- pay much attention to it.
PERINO: All right, there are other examples, but I do want to ask you about politics, as well.