Karl Rove says in a new memoir that the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq badly damaged the Bush administration's credibility and led to dwindling public support for the war. The former White House political adviser blames himself for not pushing back against claims that President Bush had taken the country to war under false pretenses, calling it one of the worst mistakes he made. The president, he adds, did not knowingly mislead the American public about the existence of such weapons.
In Courage and Consequence, Rove argues that history will look favorably on Bush's two-term presidency, particularly his decision to invade Iraq. He calls the 2003 invasion the most consequential act of the Bush presidency and a justifiable response to 9/11. "Having seen how much carnage four airplanes could cause, Bush was determined to do all he could to prevent the most powerful weapons from falling into the hands of the world's most dangerous dictators," Rove writes. He calls Bush's achievements over two terms "impressive, durable and significant."