Rove rejects ‘birtherism’; hits back at Tancredo

Colorado conservative talk radio has been on fire of late considering the birther conspiracy, spurred by Greeley native Lt. Col. Terry Lakin’s coming court martial for refusing orders from the man he doubts is a legitimate Commander in Chief. Last week it was Peter Boyles taking on Fox News stars Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly, who both dismiss concerns over President Obama’s natural-born citizenship as unfounded conspiracy. Today Craig Silverman asked former Bush strategy man Karl Rove, in town for a controversial book signing, if he felt there was any legitimacy to birtherism. Rove responded all but laughed off the idea.

“The fact of the matter is that there is no evidence that he was born out of the confines of the United States and everybody agrees his mother was a U.S. citizen. He is a U.S. citizen. He was born in Honolulu, there are contemporaneous notices in the newspaper, there are documents in the possession of the state government.”

If any documents haven’t been released, Rove said thinking like a political operative, it’s probably because it keeps a large portion of the conservative wing chasing a wild goose.

“The president was born in Honolulu. He is eligible to be president of the United States. He is a native born American. His mother was a citizen. He is a U.S. citizen and all of this is a bunch of much adieu about nothing as far as his credibility is concerned.”

Silverman agreed with Rove but then raised another possible version of the conspiracy. The original birth certificate could be hidden away, he said, because it calls into question the president’s paternity. Maybe Barack Obama Sr. isn’t the President’s father!

Silverman also asked Rove about the alleged friction between Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo and the Bush-Rove White House. Tancredo openly lamented Bush’s pro-amnesty immigration reform policy, for example, and did so in typically fiery rhetoric. Tancredo said that Rove told him never to darken the door of the White House.

Rove said that if it’s true Tancredo said those things, then it’s just one of many lies Tancredo told about the Bush White House.

“While I have heard the attributed to him, I can’t believe he would say that… I never said any such thing to him.”

Rove said he did cross swords with Tancredo during the Bush years but it was, in effect, because Tancredo wouldn’t fall in line.

“It is one thing to say I have this opinion and the president disagrees with that. It is another thing to be a member of Congress and supposedly a member of the President’s party and to begin attributing motivations to the president for taking his positions. I am sure that any member of Congress would not like it if the White House staffer called up and misstated that member’s motivation for taking a particular view rather than just simply acknowledging their view.

“It was after that that Mr. Tancredo decided that it was politically advantageous for him to engage in all out warfare with the Bush White House and to say things that were patently not true. As I was saying, after he started to say that he was told not to darken the door of the White House, he not only darkened the door but, as I remember, had a pretty good time of it.”

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