MR. RUSSERT: Does [Bush] think that Roe v. Wade was properly decided?
MR. ROVE: He's going to pick people for the bench and will strictly interpret the law. He's not going to have a litmus test. He's not going to ask judges--potential judges in advance how they would determine cases that might come before them. He thinks that violates the fundamental principle of what judicial nominations ought to be about. He believes that he ought to pick people who will impartially apply--interpret and apply the law, not people who have a political agenda or a personal agenda that they want to pursue on the court.
Russert wasn't asking him about judicial appointments. He asked a simple question about President Bush's opinion concerning whether he thinks this case was properly decided. We know that he has an opinion concerning the topic because the next question appears to be answered honestly:
MR. RUSSERT: Does he think a right of privacy exists under the Constitution?
MR. ROVE: Griswold vs. Connecticut, I'm not sure. I've never discussed Griswold vs. Connecticut with the president.
Rove didn't turn this one around to be about judicial nominees.
Later on the program Russert asked Barack Obama, Senator-Elect from Illinois about morality and the Democratic Party.
I think that sometimes the Democrats have to run upstream or swim upstream because we've got the Republicans making it out as if we don't care about these things, and we should be able to engage and be willing to engage in the discussion about morality and values. Of course, part of our message has to be that moral values includes the immorality of 45 million uninsured or the immorality of working people who are having trouble raising a family despite working full-time. That has to be part of the moral equation. And if we are able to frame things in that fashion, then I think we can be successful.
I believe that Obama strikes a chord with this being an issue of immorality with the current state of America.
He discusses partisan politics, specifically, the danger of the slash and burn politics,
I told the president was that we all have a stake in seeing him have a successful presidency. I don't think that the Democrats succeed by rooting against the president in office but we have to be honest where we disagree with him and he's got to make his case where he's presenting issues that we're skeptical about.
Unfortunately, there is little reason for people to trust that the President is going to open his policies up for any discussion with those who disagree.
He left the show with a dose of humility:
You know, a little--some of this hype's been a little overblown. It's flattering, but I have to remind people that I haven't been sworn in yet. I don't know where the rest rooms are in the Senate. I'm going to have to figure out how to work the phones, answer constituent mail. I expect to be in the Senate for quite some time, and hopefully I'll build up my seniority from my current position, which I believe is 99th out of 100.
Beware of Vice President Cheney there on the Senate floor and you'll be fine.