Karl Rove last week announced that he had given $2300 to the presumptive GOP presidential nominee John McCain.
Asked over the weekend about the donation, McCain said he has "always respected Karl Rove as one of the smart great political minds I think in American politics," and specifically refused to condemn Rove's hyper-partisan campaign tactics (including his smears against McCain in the 2000 South Carolina race).
QUESTION: Are there other signs you see that are encouraging to you...
MCCAIN: Oh yeah. A lot of the fundraisers from other camps are coming on board. And yeah we're seeing that coming together really well. We're seeing it.
QUESTION: Karl Rove?
MCCAIN: Oh I, listen, he ah. Nobody denies he's one of the smartest political minds in America. I'd be glad to get his advice. I get advice from a lot of people. I'd be happy to have his advice.
QUESTION: I was wondering about that, right....
MCCAIN: He beat me. I certainly would be glad to get his advice. I don't think I'd want to revisit how he did it. And I mean that. Not about South Carolina. I mean I don't feel like reliving my defeat.
QUESTION: Are you worried about, he uses very aggressive tactics is that something that--
MCCAIN: I've always respected Karl Rove as one of the smart great political minds I think in American politics. I've always respected him. We never had any ill will after the initial South Carolina thing. After we had the meeting with President Bush we moved on. I've seen Karl Rove many times when I've been over at the White House. We've always had pleasant conversations.
QUESTION: His tactics don't, you don't disapprove of them? They don't make you nervous?
MCCAIN: It's not so much whether I approve of his tactics or not. It's that he has a very good, great political mind. Any information or advice and council he can give us, I'd be glad to have. I don't think anybody denies his talents. So I'd be glad to get any advice and council. We would obviously decide whether to accept it or not.