Sunday shows: The return of Rove; Gibbs, Axelrod go on the offensive

Karl Rove will step back into the spotlight this weekend, appearing on two Sunday morning shows to promote his new memoir.

Rove, who has been a staunch defender of President Bush since he left office, acknowledges in Courage and Consequence that the president probably would not have gone to war with Iraq had he known there were no WMD's. But for the most part his tome is a steadfast defense of his former boss.

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Rove will discuss his book, and likely take a few shots at President Barack Obama, when he appears on both "Meet the Press" and "Fox News Sunday" this week.

Meanwhile, the two top Democratic vote-counters -- Senate whip Dick Durbin (Ill.) and House whip James Clyburn (S.C.) -- will discuss healthcare reform on "Meet the Press." Expect guest host Tom Brokaw to press the two on what healthcare deal, if any, the two chambers can reach.

Roughly the same questions will be posed to Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chairman and a member of the House Democratic leadership, and House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) when they appear on "Fox News Sunday."

The White House will send out two top aides to barnstorm the airwaves. Senior adviser David Axelrod will appear on "Meet the Press," "This Week," and CNN's "State of the Union."

Press Secretary Robert Gibbs will chat with Bob Schieffer on "Face the Nation" and Chris Wallace on "Fox News Sunday."

Both aides will likely be pressed on when the White House would like to see Congress finish its work on healthcare.


Following Gibbs on "Face the Nation" will be Karen Ignagni, the top lobbyist for the health insurance industry. Obama has been very vocal in his criticism of insurance companies for raising their rates. Look for Ignagni to defend her industry and discuss how healthcare should be changed to keep costs down.

Ignangi will have to answer to Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), who has been a lead spokeswoman for her party on healthcare reform.

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) will appear on CNN's "State of the Union" to make the case against Democrats' healthcare reform. Boehner said Friday that no House Republicans would vote for the final bill.

Finally, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) will talk to ABC's "This Week." Graham has been negotiating with the White House to reach a deal on closing Guantanamo. He's also met with the president recently to discuss immigration reform.