Thursday, August 10, 2006
Rove called his 'friend' Lieberman on primary day


Bush adviser Karl Rove called the conversation with Sen. Lieberman a "personal call" to one of his several Democratic friends.

(CNN) -- Is top Republican strategist and White House political adviser Karl Rove helping Sen. Joseph Lieberman's re-election bid, on the heels of the latter's Democratic primary loss this week?

No, according to White House spokesman Tony Snow, who on Wednesday denied an ABC News report that Rove offered to help Lieberman. But that doesn't mean the two men aren't talking.

On Thursday, Rove addressed the matter with reporters aboard Air Force One, en route from Texas to Wisconsin. He admitted talking to Lieberman, but according to Reuters, described reports that he pledged to assist the senator as "completely inaccurate."

"He's a personal friend, and I called him Tuesday afternoon -- 5:00, thereabouts -- and wished him well on his election that night," the GOP political guru said. "It was a personal call."

Ironically, the conversation came a day after Lieberman's campaign turned the name of his "friend" into an adjective roughly synonymous with "dirty" and "underhanded." The senator's campaign manager, Sean Smith, issued a statement accusing supporters of Ned Lamont (who won the primary) of "Rovian tactics," accusing them of bringing down Lieberman's Web site. (Full story)

Despite being a frequent target of Democrats' ire, Rove told reporters he did have good, social relationships with political opponents.

"[Senate Minority Leader Harry] Reid has been at my house for dinner, so I actually do have acquaintances and friendships on the other side of aisle," said Rove.
Posted By CNN's Washington Bureau: 8/10/2006 02:13:00 PM ET | Permalink
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