Rove slams Obama and McCain on economy

Calling the candidates "economically illiterate and irresponsibly populist," the former Bush advisor argues against restricting oil company profits.

By Vincent Rossmeier
Published June 19, 2008 8:23PM (EDT)

Sure, he may have lost his gig advising the current president and left his position amid allegations that he broke the law -- but you didn't think Karl Rove would stay on the sidelines for the 2008 presidential race, did you?

Rove has been working as a pundit for Fox News and an informal advisor to John McCain's campaign, but now he has also taken to publicly admonishing both presidential candidates on fiscal issues. In an Op-Ed in today's Wall Street Journal, Rove assails Barack Obama and John McCain for their economic policies, writing that the candidates are "economically illiterate and irresponsibly populist." Rove then ends the piece with this jab:

Messrs. Obama and McCain both reveal a disturbing animus toward free markets and success. It is uncalled for and self-defeating for presidential candidates to demonize American companies. It is understandable that Mr. Obama, the most liberal member of the Senate, would endorse reckless policies that are the DNA of the party he leads. But Mr. McCain, a self-described Reagan Republican, should know better.

That Rove would deride Obama's policies and reiterate the Republican allegation that Obama is the Senate's most liberal member comes as no surprise. But that he's attacking McCain as well might raise at least a few eyebrows, especially considering his role as an outside advisor to the presumptive Republican nominee's campaign. Rove criticizes McCain because the presidential candidate has said oil companies should be investing more money in the development of alternative energy. Rove disregards the idea, writing, "Buggy whip makers did not create the auto industry."

As for the unfettered free-market economics for which Rove advocates in his Op-Ed, I'll leave that to How the World Works. But I can't help remembering that Rove has had some difficulties with math in the past.

Vincent Rossmeier

Vincent Rossmeier is an editorial assistant at Salon.

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2008 Elections Barack Obama Jimmy Carter John Mccain R-ariz. Karl Rove