POLITICS
11/05/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Rove Criticizes McCain's Handling Of Campaign, Gives Electoral Map To Obama

Appearing on Fox News Sunday, Karl Rove criticized the McCain campaign for its handling of several strategic operations of the campaign.

Asked about the candidate's decision to shut down its Michigan operations, Rove, who serves informally as an adviser to McCain, seemed perplexed that the campaign did it with such apparent flair.

"I don't know, I don't know," said Rove. "And not only that, but it set off a spat of warfare inside the Michigan Republican Party with the former national committee man sending a letter to Sarah Palin saying 'please contest the state,' and leaking that to the members of the state central committee which guaranteed it would be in the hands of the press."

Later in the program, Rove was quizzed about a Washington Post piece that contained a quote from a McCain aide saying the campaign wanted to "turn the page" on the economic crisis and start going after Obama on character traits. Rove didn't dismiss the idea, arguing that it needed to be accompanied with a positive economic message that voters could latch onto. But he was, once more, at odds to explain why McCain would talk about it publicly.

"Again I wonder about that. Some of the best strategies are the strategies you don't call attention to," he said. "For example, right now Obama is running a television ad in battleground states where he basically calls government run health care an extreme and tries to position himself as somebody... You don't see them out there calling attention to it... They simply let the tactic play out."

Separately, in a post on his website, Rove projected that if the election were held today, Obama would get at least 273 electoral votes and become the next president of the United States. The architect of George W. Bush's two presidential campaigns attributed the Democratic nominee's rise to the current economic woes and cautioned that landscape is fluid. But, he added:

"39 new state polls released in the first three days of October have given Barack Obama his first lead over the magic number of 270 since mid-July. Minnesota (10 EV) and New Hampshire (4 EV) both moved from toss-up to Obama, giving him 273 electoral votes to McCain's 163, with 102 votes remaining as a toss-up."

"If the election were held today, Obama would win every state John Kerry won in 2004, while adding New Mexico (5 EV), Iowa (7 EV), and Colorado (9 EV) to his coalition. Remember, though, that these state polls are a lagging indicator and most do not include any surveying done after the vice-presidential debate on Thursday night."