Appearing on (where else?) Fox over the weekend, Karl Rove wove a web of obfuscation to defend his role with a $50 million GOP slush fund and attack President Obama for calling attention to it.
In a speech, President Obama said that “two groups, funded and advised by Karl Rove,” have been huge players in support of the Republican candidate in the Illinois Senate race. On Fox News Sunday, Rove passionately responded. Note what Rove denies, and doesn't deny:
Rove vigorously denied having personally put up the money for the two groups in question, the 527 group American Crossroads and its 501(c)(4) non-profit arm, Crossroads GPS. Instead, he said he is “helping to raise money for these groups” and “absolutely doing everything I can to raise money for them.” He then attempted to direct the Fox audience to American Crossroads' web site so they could donate to the group. This was apparently too much even for Bret Baier, who repeatedly said “all right” over Rove's recitation of the URL.
I'll leave it to someone else to explain the political distinction between Rove personally contributing the money, and lining up the donations from billionaire Texas oil barons. He's still providing the group's funding, whether it's coming from his bank account or not.
What did Rove avoid denying? Obama's statement that Rove has “advised” the groups. So is he? Is he picking the races the groups are targeting? Defining lines of attack? Approving the attack ads?
Fox has been utterly unconcerned that their top “political analyst,” who regularly appears on air unopposed by any Democrat to discuss the 2010 elections, is simultaneously raising money that is being used to bolster Republican campaigns. But you think they'd care if he's guiding American Crossroads' decisions on which races to spend that money on.
If Karl Rove is reading his group's polling of Senate race, picking out the best paths of attack on Democrats, and simultaneously channeling those attacks into TV ads and his Fox News commentary, you would think that even Fox would have to respond.