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Rove Disputes Fox's Call, Triggers 'Bizarre' Moment

He warned network against 'intruding in process'

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 7, 2012 2:47 AM CST
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(Newser) – Fox News contributor Karl Rove caused a kerfuffle by disputing his own network's decision to call Ohio for President Obama. He called the decision "premature," saying "we have got to be careful about calling things when we have like 991 votes separating the two candidates and a quarter of the vote yet to count," and warning that Fox should be "very cautious about intruding in this process," Mediaite reports. "That's awkward," joked Fox anchor Megyn Kelly, who headed over to the network's "decision desk" to interview its analysts.

Fox's pollsters defended the call. "We are actually quite comfortable with the call in Ohio," they told Kelly, explaining that most of the outstanding votes were in Democrats' territory. Asked whether he was satisfied, Rove said, "I just wanted to raise the question and I am a little sensitive about this, having been through this in 2000." Some reactions:

  • The New York Times called Kelly's "interrogation" of the Fox analysts "the most bizarre on-air encounter of election night."
  • But Kelly gets props from NPR's David Folkenflik, who writes that "she carried herself with aplomb for much of the night. Kelly noted that the guys in the room had run the magical vote screens ... she owned the studio."
  • Rachel Maddow didn't mince words, notes the Huffington Post, declaring that Rove was trying to get "the Fox News Channel to rescind its call in Ohio in favor of the candidate that he has bankrolled to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars. This is a remarkable thing."

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