Karl Rove, President Bush's political lieutenant, told a closed-door meeting of 2008 Republican House candidates and their aides Tuesday that it was less the war in Iraq than corruption in Congress that caused their party's defeat in the 2006 elections.
Rove's clear advice to the candidates is to distance themselves from the culture of Washington. Specifically, Republican candidates are urged to make clear they have no connection with disgraced congressmen such as Duke Cunningham and Mark Foley.
In effect, Rove was rebutting the complaint inside the party that George W. Bush is responsible for Republican miseries by invading Iraq.
Um, no. Those two congressmen certainly didn't help, and may have pushed a few voters over the edge, but the proverbial cliff has to exist before one can fall off. If Bush had fired Rummy after re-election in 2004, or even as late as early 2006, the avalanche would likely have been averted. This is extremely weak spin, if that's what it is. If Rove actually believes that Iraq wasn't the primary contributor to GOP losses then he should be fired for sheer political incompetence.