Karl Rove, Fox News contributor and former deputy chief of staff for President George W. Bush, says of comedian-satirist Stephen Colbert’s interactions with Rove’s bespectacled canned-ham likeness, “Ham Rove,” “He’s an entertainer so he gets to be funny and exaggerate things and so forth. Though I have to admit, when he took out the knife and started stabbing it, I think he might need a little bit of professional counseling on his anger management issues.”
Rove joked “I don’t know whether that was working out his inner feelings, or encouraging maybe someone to maybe mimic him or just sort of being funny. But there was a little bit of anxiety in his stabs there.”
Before joining the “This Week” roundtable, Rove sat down with ABC News’ Benjamin Bell, answering a variety of viewer questions from Facebook, including the lighthearted about “Ham Rove” and George W. Bush’s paintings, his career and his thoughts on the Iraq War 10 years later.
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Q: What do you think of President Bush’s paintings?
A: “I have one. I have one of the original, first forty-threes. He painted my wife and our dogs. And he’s pretty good. Particularly, I called him when Barney died. And he’d painted a picture of Barney, which I thought was really, you know, clearly from the heart.”
Q: In your opinion, what was the greatest accomplishment of the Bush administration?
A: “Well, if you had to pick one, it would obviously be in the aftermath of 9/11, keeping America safe and foiling efforts to follow on the attack of 9/11 with others.”
Q: When you think about the Iraq War, 10 years after the invasion, do you have any regrets?
A: “Sure, of course. Looking at the end of any conflict, I bet people look back and clearly have regret about the loss of life. And clearly, everything in hindsight, you know, becomes clear as to what you should have done or shouldn’t have done. Every conflict is like that.
“But the world is a safer place with Saddam Hussein gone. If he were not removed from power, can you imagine what the Middle East would look like today with Saddam Hussein, who was successfully undermining the United Nations by ignoring the agreements he made in the aftermath of the first Gulf War, undermining the oil for sanctions regime, had every confidence that he could ultimately be free of them, and he would be emboldened with, you know, a fifth of the world’s oil supplies and the capacity to reinstitute his dangerous weapons programs. And if he were not alive, the country would be run by one of his sadistic sons, Uday or Qusay. And can you imagine how difficult that would make that part of the world? In retrospect, sure, lots of regrets. Lots of things you would like to have done differently. But the world is a better place with Saddam Hussein gone.”
Q: Do you consider Chief Justice Roberts to be a disappointment?
A: “Well, in one sense, yeah, you wish he had gone on the other side and been 5-4 declaring [President Obama's health care law] unconstitutional. On the other hand, when you appoint someone, you appoint somebody because of their character, their convictions, their abilities. And not because you have a belief, a confidence, in a foreordained outcome in any given decision.
“You appoint them for their leadership and their legal acumen. And you have to look at the long. .. narrative of his record on the court, which is only now beginning. Had I wish he had acted differently in it? Yes, but on the other hand, he’s been a strong leader who has restored public confidence in the court and has led the court to make some important decisions.”
Q: iPhone or Blackberry?
A: “iPhone, of course.”
Q: Favorite movie of the year?
A: “It’s a tie, ‘Skyfall’ and ‘Lincoln.’ I enjoyed both of them immensely. Best Bond movie ever. And a really fine movie on ‘Lincoln.’”
Q: Comfort food?
A: “Fried chicken.”