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House Dems Call for Retraction from Rove

Washington, DC, June 22, 2005
Congressman Jerrold Nadler and more than 50 Democratic House colleagues today called on White House advisor Karl Rove to retract remarks he made about Democrats’ response to 9/11.  According to a report in today’s New York Times, Rove alleged that after the attacks Democrats: “wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers.”

In his remarks, delivered at a fundraiser for the Conservative Party of New York State, Rove also accused Democrats of desiring to “[put] our troops in greater danger.”

House Democrats swiftly called on Rove to retract his false and inflammatory comments in a letter organized by Congressman Nadler.

The list of signers comprises Representatives Nadler, Ackerman, Berman, Tim Bishop, Robert Brady, Corrine Brown, Sherrod Brown, Cleaver, Conyers, Costa, Crowley, Susan Davis, Doyle, Engel, Eshoo, Evans, Frank, Gonzalez, Grijalva, Gutierrez, Hinchey, Holt, Honda, Israel, Lantos, Levin, Lowey, Maloney, McCarthy, McDermott, McGovern, Meeks, Menendez, Michaud, Napolitano, Oberstar, Pallone, Pascrell, Rangel, Reyes, Linda Sanchez, Schakowsky, Serrano, Solis, Strickland, Tauscher, Towns, Mark Udall, Velazquez, Wasserman Schultz, Watson, Weiner, and Woolsey.

June 23, 2005

Karl Rove
Senior Advisor to the President
The White House
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. Rove:

We are writing to request a retraction of your comments at last night’s fundraiser for the Conservative Party of New York State.

We read with great dismay a report in today’s New York Times that you made several reckless and baseless remarks about what you alleged to be the difference between Democrats’ and Republicans’ responses to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.  Your nasty words merit an immediate correction.

First and foremost, your assertion that after the towers fell Democrats “wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers” is ridiculous, insulting, and false.

While we know that you do not serve as an elected official and were not required to be present at the Capitol on September 11 and the days following, it is surprising that you wouldn’t remember that the House authorized a swift and potent military response to the attacks on a vote of 434-1.  That is hardly the picture of moderation and restraint – to say nothing of therapy and hospitality – that you so venomously offered at last night’s event.

It seems to be a popular pastime for you and some in your party to tout the nation’s post-9/11 unity and subsequent actions as a cherished accomplishment of the Bush administration.  It would be nice if unity were your actual intent.  Instead, as we saw in your performance last night, you continue to use 9/11 as a political tool to divide the nation.  This must come to an end.

As we continue to prosecute the war on terrorism, it is more essential than ever that we focus our energy on solutions – not empty, false attacks and inflammatory rhetoric.  That you would travel to Manhattan, of all places, to trash-talk and belittle our response to the attacks is staggering.  This type of nonsense can only make it appear to Americans that when it comes to looking out for the nation’s interests and security, the Administration has a tin ear.

As a first step toward restoring proper focus and respect to the governance of this country we request that you take back your comments from last night.  If you are as committed to unity and progress as you claim to be, we are sure you will agree that a retraction is in our nation’s best interest.

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