GOP strategist Karl Rove went on Fox News today to argue that President Barack Obama "succeeded by suppressing the vote" -- an argument that directly contradicts the conventional wisdom that Romney failed to appeal to non-white and female voters.
Rove argued that Obama won with a smaller popular vote and a smaller margin of victory than in the 2008 election against Sen. John McCain. Instead of expanding voters, Rove argued, Obama "suppressed the vote" by demonizing former Gov. Mitt Romney and encouraging people not to vote.
"President Obama has become the first president in history to win a second term with a smaller percentage of the vote than he did in the first term," Rove said.
"But he won Karl, he won!" Fox News host Megyn Kelly interjected. Kelly also asked Rove how Republicans intended to appeal to minority groups, especially Hispanics, after doing so much to alienate them in 2012. Rove pointed to Hispanic-voter turnout in Texas to argue that there was no fundamental disconnect between his party and Latino voters.
As many pundits and strategists have pointed out, the Obama campaign succeeded in large part because it appealed to -- and registered -- non-white voters, expanding (rather than suppressing) the vote in key battleground states.
In a subsequent segment, Kelly would cite "demographics" and a "racial divide in the voting booth" that "raised questions" about whether the GOP needed to do more to reach Latinos and African-Americans. "Why can't the Republicans do better with people of color?" she asked her guests.
Rove's appearance on Fox News follows the now-infamous moment from election night when he argued with Kelly and co-host Bret Baier over the network's decision to call Ohio for the president.
By Dylan Byers. Posted 11/8/12 2:43 PM EST