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ThePlumLIneGS whorunsgov plumline
Posted at 10:38 AM ET, 03/22/2012

Karl Rove: Bin Laden killing was no biggie

Keep an eye on this one, too, because it will also be central to GOP efforts to rewrite the history of the Obama presidency.

In his big Wall Street Journal Op ed piece today atttacking Obama’s campaign documentary and minimizing the magnitude of the economic crisis Obama inherited, Karl Rove also claims the killing of Osama Bin Laden was no big deal.

Rove cites this quote from Bill Clinton in the documentary to make the case that any president would have made the call Obama made:

As for the killing of Osama bin Laden, Mr. Obama did what virtually any commander in chief would have done in the same situation. Even President Bill Clinton says in the film “that’s the call I would have made.” For this to be portrayed as the epic achievement of the first term tells you how bare the White House cupboards are.

“That’s the call I would have made,” Clinton said in the documentary, according to Rove. And it’s true, Clinton did utter those words. But here’s the full quote from Clinton, at the 12:30 mark in the film:

“He took the harder and the more honorable path. When I saw what had happened, I thought to myself, `I hope that’s the call I would have made.’”

In Rove’s telling, Clinton said, “that’s the call I would have made. What Clinton actually said was, “I hope that’s the call I would have made.” Emphasis mine.

This comical level of dissembling and mendacity is to be expected from Rove. But it’s a bit surprising that the Journal’s editors either didn’t think to check such an obviously ridiculous representation of Clinton’s quote, or worse, that they just waved Rove’s dishonesty through in the full knowledge of what Clinton had actually said.

******************************************

UPDATE: Rove’s article now has an editor’s note appended, which reads: “An earlier version of this column included an incomplete quote from Bill Clinton in the last paragraph.”

Here’s what the paragraph now looks like:

As for the killing of Osama bin Laden, Mr. Obama did what virtually any commander in chief would have done in the same situation. Even President Bill Clinton says in the film “I hope that’s the call I would have made.” For this to be portrayed as the epic achievement of the first term tells you how bare the White House cupboards are.

As you can see, Clinton’s quote no longer supports the point Rove was making. And the current version is still truncated, and as a result still misses the spirit of his remark, which is completely at odds with Rove’s argument.

By  |  10:38 AM ET, 03/22/2012

 
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