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Report: Rove offered Bush's assistance in Lieberman campaign

Published: Wednesday August 9, 2006

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Karl Rove, a close advisor to the President, has expressed interest in assisting Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman in retaining his seat, despite a loss in the Democratic Primary last night, ABC News has reported.

Rove was, according to the report, acting on behalf of President Bush.

George Stephanopoulos, writing for the World Newser blog at ABC, wrote that a Lieberman aide had shared with the news agency a message from the White House: "The boss wants to help. Whatever we can do, we will do."

According to the report, The Lieberman campaign is assessing its options, including whether it is beneficial for a candidate attempting to appeal to independents and moderate Democrats in Connecticut to be publicly supported by the President.

Excerpts from the ABC report follow:


The White House might help Lieberman by putting the kibosh on any move to replace the weak Republican candidate, Alan Schlesinger, with a stronger candidate.

And it might be able to convince Schlesinger to drop out of the race and endorse Lieberman in the final week or two, when it's too late for another candidate to fill the GOP slot. A quiet White House effort to steer some money in Lieberman's direction is another possibility.

This is a tricky dance for Lieberman. He needs to figure out a way to get the benefits of Bush support -- some votes from loyal Republicans -- without turning off the independents and moderate Democrats he needs to win. The safest course may be a polite "thanks but no thanks" to the White House offer.