At a New York State GOP dinner on Wednesday evening, GOP political advisor Karl Rove said in a speech that the Democratic party did not understand the consequences of the 9-11 attacks.
"Liberals saw the savagery of the 9-11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers," Rove remarked.
"Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 and prepared for war."
House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today regarding Rove's comments last night:
"President Bush and Republican leaders should repudiate Mr. Rove's shameful and blatantly false remarks, and Mr. Rove should promptly and fully apologize for them.
"The entire nation united in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and Democrats and Republicans united in support of destroying the evil Taliban regime in Afghanistan. Last night, Mr. Rove attempted to use that important and inspiring time in our nation to try to score cheap political points.
"Mr. Rove said that he did not respond to the 9/11 attacks with moderation and restraint. None of us responded moderately to those savage and heinous terrorist attacks. However, Mr. Rove does not respond to any situation with moderation and restraint, in the slash and burn tradition of Lee Atwater, Newt Gingrich and Tom DeLay.
"Love of country and concern for the troops drive the legitimate policy questions about the prosecution of the war in Iraq. These questions are not only being raised by Democrats, but by leading Republicans and the American people. The fact of the matter is that this Administration has not presented a clear success strategy for Iraq - and the American people know it.
"It is unfortunate that a senior member of the White House staff would choose to put forth divisive and mean-spirited political rhetoric rather than help provide the American people with a strategy for success in Iraq."