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Rove And O’Reilly Blame Republican Birther Controversy On Democrats

Reported by Ellen - February 17, 2011 -

On The O’Reilly Factor last night (2/16/11), Bill O’Reilly and Karl Rove did their best to spin a new PPP poll which found that 51% of Republican primary voters think Obama was not born in the United States – by accusing Democrats of cooking up the poll in order to paint Republicans as crazies. So I wonder what O’Reilly and Rove would have to say about a recent Frank Luntz focus group in which the majority of Republican Iowa primary voters thought Obama is a Muslim. Rove and O'Reilly also opined that the birthers came from the Ron-Paul-supporting wing of the party even though the poll indicated the birthers support Palin.

First, O’Reilly sneered that the PPP poll is not accurate. “The sample is so miniscule, very few people vote in the Republican primaries and to isolate them would be a challenge even for Gallup.” So O'Reilly cited another poll, this one by CBS News which shows that 58% of Americans believe Obama was born in America. (O'Reilly forgot to mention that 32% of Republicans and 41% of Tea Partiers think otherwise). Furthermore, as O’Reilly surely knows, Republican primary voters are not the same group as Republicans in general.

Nevertheless, O’Reilly added, “There is no question that some Democrats are trying to marginalize Republican opposition in 2012 by painting them as nuts.”

Sorry, Bill. I think they might be doing that all on their own. Just take a look at Frank Luntz’ focus group of Republican Iowa primary voters on Hannity last week and check out their answers when Luntz asks how many think Obama is a Muslim.

O’Reilly arrived at his conclusion after watching David Gregory grill John Boehner on Meet The Press about birtherism. “There’s no doubt in my mind,” O’Reilly said, that the Democrats have decided, “Let’s divide the Republican Party.”

“This is the White House strategy,” Rove agreed and then blamed Obama for not quelling the rumors. “The president could come out and say, ‘Here are the documents.’ But they’re happy to have this controversy continue because every moment the conservatives talk about this, they marginalize themselves and diminish themselves in the minds of independent voters.”

Actually, as Rove and O’Reilly must know, Obama released his birth certificate during the 2008 campaign. But I’m sure Rove was “happy” to blame Obama because every moment Rove raises doubt about Obama, it deflects from blame of Republicans. Furthermore, the reason Gregory pressed Boehner so hard was because of his refusal to outright disavow the birthers in his own party. When asked about Luntz’ focus group, Boehner said, “It's not my job to tell the American people what to think."

I guess the White House got together with their secret BFF, Frank Luntz, got him to select a phony group of Republican primary voters, got him to ask the question on Hannity and then pimped David Gregory to ask Boehner about it, knowing in advance Boehner's answers would make him look bad. It makes perfect sense.

But apparently having satisfied themselves that they had convincingly put all the blame on Democrats, liberals and their flunkies in the media, Rove and O’Reilly went on to admit that there’s a problem in the GOP that needs to be addressed. He and Rove suggested that Ron Paul supporters are to blame. But the candidate overwhelmingly supported by the birthers is Sarah Palin.

After he and Rove agreed Obama was born in Hawaii, O’Reilly said, “There is though… an element of the Republican Party that’s far right and really loves this kind of discourse.”

Rove called that element “a fraction, a tiny percentage” but added, “I do say this: Republicans had better be clear about this. We had a problem in the 1950’s with the John Birch Society and it took Bill Buckley standing up as a strong conservative and taking them on. And within our party we’ve got to be very careful about allowing these people who are the birthers and the 9/11 deniers to get too high profile and say too much without setting the record straight… Whatever (the percentage) is, it ought to be less because we need the leaders of our party to say, ‘Look, stop falling into the trap of the White House.’”

So who’s supposed to do that, Karl? Who’s supposed to tell a significant portion of their constituency that their beliefs are just a Democratic plot that should not be discussed?

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