By Jonathan E. Kaplan - 05/16/06 12:00 AM EDT
President Bush’s top political adviser said yesterday that he remains “absolutely confident” that Republicans will be “just fine” in the midterm elections in November.
Speaking to a room packed full of reporters and lobbyists at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), Karl Rove delivered a vigorous defense of Bush’s economic policies.
While the event was billed as a major policy address, Rove offered no new proposals. However, he took questions from reporters, AEI staffers and a Democratic staffer with the Senate Budget Committee.
Asked about the current political climate, Rove said, “Look, we’re in a sour time. I readily admit it. I mean, being in the middle of a war where people turn on their television sets and see brave men and women dying is not something that makes people happy and optimistic and upbeat.”
He continued, “But I’m absolutely confident that — I heard this same kind of language about the 2004 elections in roughly the March, April, May, June period of June 2004. We’re going to be just fine in the fall elections.”
Pressed about the president’s dismal poll numbers, Rove said that he is “sanguine” about the numbers but that those numbers rise and fall and the White House will press forward with its agenda.
“We’re going to stay focused on good policy, and confident that that will ultimately take care of the politics of the matter,” he said.