Karl Rove: 'Bad idea' for Trump to hold a lot of rallies in 2018

Republican strategist Karl Rove said Friday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpAverage tax refunds down double-digits, IRS data shows White House warns Maduro as Venezuela orders partial closure of border with Colombia Trump administration directs 1,000 more troops to Mexican border MORE would be wise to spend 2018 focusing on his agenda, rather than campaigning leading up to the midterms.

In an interview on Fox News, Rove said that Trump has enjoyed a boost in his popularity in recent days because of his focus on tax reform. By putting an emphasis on his policy agenda, Rove argued, Trump could turn around his low approval ratings.

"He's not very popular and the way to become more popular is to become less political and more involved in his agenda," said Rove, a former senior aide to President George W. Bush.

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Trump is fresh off the first major legislative victory of his presidency after congressional Republicans passed a sweeping rewrite of the nation's tax code this week. The president signed that measure into law on Friday. 

For most of his first year in office, Trump has suffered dwindling approval ratings, which Rove attributed to the president's off-the-cuff attacks against critics and political opponents, as well as his bombastic, combative rhetoric. 

Trump has relished campaign-style rallies, even after taking office this year. He often uses the events to tout his victory in the 2016 election and boast about his Electoral College win.

The Washington Post reported that Trump met earlier this week with his former White House chief of staff Reince PriebusReinhold (Reince) Richard PriebusIs a presidential appointment worth the risk? Ex-White House aide says 'cartoon villain' Kellyanne Conway bad-mouthed colleagues Trump Org hires former WH ethics lawyer to deal with congressional probes MORE, the former head of the Republican National Committee, to discuss the 2018 midterms.

"The president ought to spend 2018 focusing on his job as president and advancing an agenda that makes a difference in the lives of ordinary Americans, and he should downplay politics," Rove said on Fox.