Karl Rove vs. Bill O'Reilly: Bush Foreign Policy Looks Better in Hindsight


BILL O'REILLY: Do you know who else is having a difficult dance with this whole ordeal? The Republican party. Very difficult dance because even though it's a mess under President Obama and getting worse by the day and Iran coming up and that's just going to be awful, the Republican party's foreign policy under Bush the younger in Iraq and Afghanistan now in hindsight looks awful. And so the Republicans --

KARL ROVE: No it doesn't. In hindsight it looks better.

O'REILLY: You're talking as a partisan, I'm talking about the regular folks.

ROVE: Oh, no, no, no, wait a minute, I'm not talking as a partisan.

O'REILLY: They see Afghanistan and Iraq as not worth it. Every poll shows it.

ROVE: I disagree. I think they see it as in America's strategic interest to remove the Taliban and Saddam Hussein. What they look back and say was why are we now tossing away the hard won gains of America's military by doing what we are doing.

O'REILLY: You think they see that?

ROVE: Absolutely.

O'REILLY: Is the world a safer place?

ROVE: Is the world a safer place today? No. It is not a safer place because what we did in succeeding and removing the Taliban in Afghanistan and removing Saddam Hussein has been frittered away by the policies of this administration.

O'REILLY: Every poll I have seen, Mr. Rove, with all due respect to you, every single poll I've seen says Americans regret going into Iraq.

ROVE: No, look, look, look.

O'REILLY: We won it --

ROVE: Absolutely.

O'REILLY: We won it and Obama gave it away.

ROVE: That's the crux of the matter. That's why people regret it because look back now and see --

O'REILLY: I don't think the G.O.P. can exploit it to the max --

ROVE: Why is it not stable? I'm sorry?

O'REILLY: I don't think the G.O.P can exploit it to the max because Americans say look, why did we do it in the first place?

ROVE: Look, what's going to happen is until there is a Republican nominee in 2015 or 16, the Republicans are not going to be able to speak with one voice. But the question is going to be in 2016 between a Republican and a Democrat and the question is going to be the Republicans are going to say we need to have change from the failed policies of the Obama administration and interestingly enough we may have a Democrat who says, 'I may have been part of the Obama administration, but, yes, we need a change from the failed policy of the Obama administration.'

That's a difficult dance for the Democrats, more difficult than for the Republicans who can be forward looking and look to the future. The Democrats are going to be stuck on the fact that their frontrunner right now has a great deal of responsibility the foreign policy or will be seen as having such in 2016.

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