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Karl Rove recalls the story of Senator McCain's adopted daughter
Nick Langewis and Mike Aivaz
Published: Saturday March 8, 2008

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There's a lot about GOP presidential candidate Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) that people don't know, says former Bush strategist and current Fox commentator Karl Rove. One of the many lesser known stories of McCain's remarkable life, according to Rove, is the story of how McCain came to adopt his teenage daughter Bridget.

"I think most of your viewers would be shocked to hear the story of Cindy McCain in Bangladesh, visiting an orphanage, and she has a small dying child thrust into her hands. And the--people in the orphanage say 'We can't care for her. She's dying. We don't know what to do.'

And Cindy McCain's impulse was to hold that--hug that child to her chest, get on an airplane and bring her home."

This version of the story is in sharp contrast to one presented to South Carolina's voters by a push-polling campaign during the 2000 presidential primaries; they were asked by their callers if they would be more or less likely to vote for Senator McCain if they knew he'd "fathered an illegitimate black child."

McCain would go on to lose South Carolina to George W. Bush.

"There were some pretty vile and hurtful things said during the South Carolina primary," McCain told Dadmag of the experience in June of 2000. "A lot of phone calls were made by people who said we should be very ashamed about her, about the color of her skin. Thousands and thousands of calls from people to voters saying 'You know the McCains have a black baby'...I believe that there is a special place in hell for people like those."

The following video was broadcast on Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor on March 7, 2008.