Karl Rove is making a list, checking it twice

The former Bush advisor got in a public tiff with a one-time congressional Republican staffer, and told his adversary he has a "file" on his old boss.


Alex Koppelman
April 10, 2009 7:45PM (UTC)

It seems Karl Rove can't even eat dinner without being accosted by a former Hill Republican staffer.

Politico's Anne Schroeder Mullins reports that the former Bush advisor was eating dinner at a Washington, D.C. steakhouse on Thursday night when Jason Roe, who'd been chief of staff to former Rep. Tom Feeney, R-Fla., came up to him looking for an argument over comments Rove had made on Fox News after the election, when Feeney -- and other Republicans, obviously -- had gone down to defeat. Rove had blamed the congressman for his own defeat, criticizing him pretty harshly, and Roe didn't want to take that lying down. That led to the following exchange, as written up by Mullins:

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Roe walked over to the table, "I'm Jason Roe."

Rove: "Oh, the famous Jason Roe."

Roe: "I don't know that I'm famous but I'm Tom Feeney's former chief of staff and I'm offended by your comments on Fox about Tom. You guys wouldn't be in the White House without Tom. And you made these really degrading comments about him that offended a lot of people."

(Sidenote: Tom Feeney was the Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives during the whole Bush/Gore 2000 recount.) Rove: "Well, I have a file on the things Tom Feeney said about George Bush."

Roe: "That says more about you than me that you kept a file on Tom Feeney. This guy was so restrained in his desire to criticize the President--even against this staff's advice." Rove: "I have a file."

Roe: "I'm right here, tell me to my face what's in that file."

Rove: "I'll send you the file."

Roe: "Well I hope the file is the beginning of the conversation and not the end. I would love to disabuse you of whatever you think of Tom Feeney's loyalty from this file."

Rove: "If you keep talking over me this conversation's going to end right now."

The two men reportedly had to be separated, though it doesn't seem like it took much effort to move Roe away from Rove's table.


Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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