Fox News chairman Roger Ailes said Republican consultant and Fox News contributor Karl Rove “was wrong” and “our guys were right” on Election night in calling Ohio for President Barack Obama.
After Fox News’ election team called Ohio for Obama, Rove had an on-air meltdown, insisting that the network had prematurely determined Obama would win the state.
“As it turned out Rove was wrong,” Ailes said. “He backed down. Our guys were right. We stayed with it. Megyn did her famous walk down the hall. And it all worked out.”
Ailes told TVNewser that when it looked like Obama was going to win reelection, he decided to call it a night and went home early. When he arrived home, Ailes said he turned on the TV and “the first thing I see is Rove saying something like ‘you called Ohio too early.’ And I thought, ‘What the? What is this?'”
Ailes said he “quickly called [EVP of News] Michael Clemente” and told him not to go to commercial and have host Megyn Kelly “go confront the decision team. If you have to, make the decision team confront Rove.”
Ailes said he told Clemente, “We can’t do anything off camera.”
“I didn’t want the public or our competitors to say we somehow panicked and didn’t confront the truth on camera,” Ailes said.
Kelly, on Election Night, walked across the hall in the studio on live television to confront Fox News’ election team, and they gave her their rationale for why they had called Ohio for Obama on the air. Obama ended up winning Ohio’s electoral votes and reelection.