When Democrats accused George W. Bush of falsifying evidence to start the war in Iraq, Karl Rove advised him not to re-litigate the past—and now he thinks it was his biggest mistake in the White House. The Democrats’ assault “was a monument to hypocrisy and cynicism,” Rove writes in today’s Wall Street Journal, and though it didn’t win them the White House in 2004, it did lasting damage to him.
Most of the Democrats attacking Bush also believed that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, and the bipartisan Silberman-Robb report in 2005 found that Bush didn’t intentionally mislead anyone. But that didn’t stop Democrats from lobbing ad hominem attacks. The Democrats’ attacks “left us less united as a nation,” Rove laments. “In telling lie after lie, many lost their honor and blackened their reputations.”