Karl Rove, the political architect of President George W. Bush’s successful 2000 and 2004 White House campaigns, is advising President Donald Trump’s reelection bid with a focus on swing-state battlegrounds and voter outreach, Business Insider reported Thursday.
While Rove’s role is both informal and unpaid, the longtime establishment Republican consultant has been in periodic contact with White House senior adviser Jared Kushner and campaign manager Brad Parscale, the news outlet said. The report comes after President Trump is said to have recently met with his political advisers at the White House to discuss his polling and fundraising figures with Rove in attendance, according to the New York Times‘ Maggie Haberman.
Speaking in February at the Society of the Four Arts in Palm Beach, Florida, Rove said President Trump “should be a shoo-in because the economy is great” — however — “The personal attributes of the president make this a contest” against former Vice President Joe Biden.
In August 2018, Rove criticized President Trump’s passionate self-defense against the establishment media, calling his rhetoric “over the top.”
“That just grates on me,” he told Fox News. “I grew up during the time of the Cold War. That is a phrase that was used by Stalin against the enemies of the communist regime. I think the president would be well advised to tone down the rhetoric.”
Rove infamously (and wrongly) predicted that then-Republican nominee Trump would lose the 2016 presidential election
“I don’t see it happening,” Rove scoffed in an October 2016 interview with Fox News Sunday.
If the Republican nominee “plays an inside straight, he could get it, but I doubt that he’s going to be able to play it,” he added at the time.
Trump went on to defeat then-Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton by a delegate count of 304 to 227.
In April, Rove said President Trump’s response to the economic crisis caused by the Chinese coronavirus will have a “huge impact” on his election.
“Presidents who are in recessions tend to lose, presidents who are not in recessions tend to win, but we have never been in a circumstance like this where the country has suffered economic contraction because of a virus this close to a presidential election,” he told Fox & Friends.