Karl Rove: I Wasn't Bush's Brain Adviser rejects nickname as political dirty trick By John Johnson, Newser Staff Posted Mar 5, 2010 11:48 AM CST 36 comments Comments In this July 14, 2005, file photo, President George W. Bush and his then-Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove leave the White House. (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds, File) (Newser) – Karl Rove dismisses the notion that he was George W. Bush's "brain" as the oldest political trick in the book. “If you really want to diminish a candidate, depict him as the foil of his handler," he tells Matt Lauer of Today. “I’ve known him for almost four decades," says Rove, who's making the rounds to push his new book. "He is a really smart person. To suggest that I was his brain is derogatory about him."