GLENN: Let me go right to Karl Rove. Hello, sir, how are you?
ROVE: I'm great. How about you?
GLENN: This big brain of yours sitting there, I don't know what you're doing, writing books or whatever but it's sitting there and I would like to tap in. I'd like to suck your brain dry a bit for a few minutes.
ROVE: Sounds like a horror movie.
GLENN: You never listen to this program?
ROVE: I do.
GLENN: Let me just start with what you thought happened last night in Michigan with Mitt Romney and McCain.
ROVE: Well, I think two things. He was born there, he grew up there, he went to school there. His family's still there. His father was a very popular three-term Republican governor of the state. So he had a home, you know, a home court advantage that he took great advantage of but I think also there was an interesting play on the issue of the economy. John McCain in a pretty straightforward way said that some of the jobs in the auto industry were not coming back and that he would work with Michigan to find new jobs for the 21st century and talked about that. Mitt Romney sensing, I think, an opportunity basically said I'm going to work to strengthen America's auto industry and as President I'll be attentive to and work closely with the auto industry to bring back America's automobile strength and I think that helped him.
I took a look last night at some of the returns and it looked like Romney was doing particularly well on the eastern side of the state, the counties surrounding Detroit in particular where, you know, auto jobs are important.
GLENN: With you being the expert that you are, is there a guy that you look at from the results that you are seeing and just your gut saying this is the direction; if this guy would change 5% of his message or just tweak it, 5% of his message, he's on the right track, who is the guy that you think is going to bubble up?
ROVE: Well, I don't think it's that simple. There are four or five who could bubble up. The question is in the contests that are coming very rapidly here, South Carolina, Nevada and Florida, is somebody going to begin to pull away; that is to say, to have a consistent pattern of wins and by a convincing margin. Thus far we've had three different winners in five different states and nobody -- you know, last night was the biggest victory I believe we had seen thus far in a primary and we still are just at the beginning of the process. I mean, think about this. I mean, we had a big turnout last night. There were more people that turned out last night than voted in the three previous contests, Wyoming, Iowa and New Hampshire combined.
GLENN: If you were going to go to work for a candidate, who would you advise?
ROVE: I'm not going to go to work for a candidate and I want to stay married, Glenn. My wife, there would be a nationally known homicide if I would go to work for a candidate.
GLENN: All right. The Giuliani strategy, quite possibly the smartest thing or the dumbest thing, nowhere in between?
ROVE: Well, I think -- I wouldn't characterize it as smartest or dumbest but it is a big gamble. There are no ifs, ands or buts about it. He is basically willing to say I'm willing to absorb five or six losses before I have a big win. I was last night at dinner with some people from Florida. They were not Giuliani supporters. In fact they were like a lot of Republicans, still up in the air. But they had gone to -- one couple had gone to an event and seen Giuliani in their neighborhood and they said it was a huge crowd, very curious, interested to see what the mayor had to say but they said this appears to be the pattern throughout. He's been down in Florida campaigning here consistently the last several days and drawing big crowds. So we'll see if the gamble pays off. It will be a very unusual strategy. I've never heard of one like it before but this is a year when the inexplicable and the unusual happens.
GLENN: Talking to Karl Rove. I was watching the Today Show this morning and they were talking to Mitt Romney and they took a quote from Mike Huckabee that I had not heard where Mike Huckabee said, and I'm paraphrasing here, "The constitution in many ways," he was talking about abortion, "Is out of step with God's law and we need to not change God. We need to put our Constitution more in line with God, not try to change God." And when I heard that, I thought, my gosh, why is that the first time I've heard this in this media? Somebody overtly talking about changing the Constitution to make it more in line with God and yet it was just, it was a quick question to Mitt Romney, which led me to think, gosh, there's one candidate that I think that they are playing with kid gloves because they would like this guy to win the nominee and I think it's Huckabee because they just think that the Democrats can destroy him. Who do you think the Democrats want to win the Republican primary?
ROVE: You know, I think that's a parlor game. I think that's something that we political junkies talk about but in reality smart people understand that neither party has the ability to affect the outcome of the other side. And sometimes you better not wish, you know, wish hard because you may get it and it may turn out to be wrong. I mean, I think the Democrats more than a specific candidate would like to see the Republicans go at each other in a deeply personal way so that there are deep fissures, both personal and ideological that identify us at the end of this process. Now, the interesting thing thus far is that the party that is starting to see some deep personal animosity and some really long-lasting, you know, fratricide going on is the Democrats, not the Republicans. There's a lot of back-and-forth among the Republicans, but my sense is that most Republican voters are sitting there saying of the five candidates, I could find myself voting comfortably for three or four of them.
ROVE: And on the other side we see particularly in the aftermath of New Hampshire some really strong divisions emerging, you know, on the basis of personality. They just don't like each other and they are finding ways to scrap with each other and that's the kind of thing that is long-lasting. That's what Republicans do. But thus far we have been pretty well within the bounds. There have been a couple of instances where I think things have gone beyond but I think by and large people have been, you know, sort of the normal political combat.
GLENN: It's been interesting to watch the Democrats last night. They were just playing kissy face and yet none of them looked at each other. Just by body language you could tell they all hated each other. Karl, I've got to run. We have Mitt Romney coming up in just a second. Karl Rove, I appreciate you being on the program. And by the way, you just signed with my imprint Threshold Books. I was the first number one author for that. I'm passing the torch to you.
ROVE: Glenn, they promised what they would do for me that they did for you, make me number one on the New York Times Best Seller list.
GLENN: Congratulations, brother.
ROVE: Glad you're back. Good health to you.