93 Facts About Karl Rove


Karl Rove was Senior Advisor and Deputy Chief of Staff during the George W Bush administration until his resignation on August 31,2007.


Karl Rove has headed the Office of Political Affairs, the Office of Public Liaison, and the White House Office of Strategic Initiatives.


Karl Rove has been credited for the successful campaigns of John Ashcroft, Bill Clements, Senator John Cornyn, Governor Rick Perry, and Phil Gramm.


Since leaving the White House, Karl Rove has worked as a political analyst and contributor for Fox News, Newsweek, and The Wall Street Journal.


Karl Rove was born on Christmas Day in Denver, Colorado, the second of five children, and was raised in Sparks, Nevada.


Karl Rove's parents separated when he was 19 years old and the man whom Rove knew as his father was a geologist.


In 1965, his family moved to Salt Lake City, where Karl Rove entered high school, becoming a skilled debater.


Karl Rove was a Teenage Republican and served as Chairman of the Utah Federation of Teenage Republicans.


Karl Rove's mother suffered from depression and had contemplated suicide more than once in her life.


Karl Rove stated that although he loved his mother, she was seriously flawed, undependable and, at times, unstable.


In December 1969, after a heated fight with his wife, the man Karl Rove had known as his father left the family and divorced Karl Rove's mother soon afterwards.


Karl Rove's mother moved back to Nevada, and his siblings briefly lived with relatives after the divorce.


Karl Rove learned from his aunt and uncle that the man who had raised him was not his biological father; both he and his older brother Eric were the children of another man.


Karl Rove has expressed great love and admiration for his adoptive father and for "how selfless" his love had been.


Karl Rove had only infrequent contact with his mother in the 1970s.


Karl Rove frequently withheld child support checks and spent them for herself.


On September 11,1981, Karl Rove's mother died by suicide north of Reno, Nevada, shortly after she decided to divorce her third and final husband, to whom she had been unhappily married for only three months.


Karl Rove stole 1000 sheets of paper with campaign letterhead, printed fake campaign rally fliers promising "free beer, free food, girls and a good time for nothing", and distributed them at rock concerts and homeless shelters, with the effect of disrupting Dixon's rally.


In June 1971, after the end of the semester, Karl Rove dropped out of the University of Utah to take a paid position as the Executive Director of the College Republican National Committee.


Karl Rove then enrolled at the University of Maryland in College Park in the Fall of 1971, but withdrew from classes during the first half of the semester.


Karl Rove traveled extensively, participating as an instructor at weekend seminars for campus conservatives across the country.


Karl Rove was an active participant in Richard Nixon's 1972 Presidential campaign.


Karl Rove held the position of executive director of the College Republicans until early 1973.


Karl Rove left the job to spend five months, without pay, campaigning full-time for the position of National Chairman during the time he attended George Mason University.


Karl Rove's campaign was managed by Daniel Mintz, of the Maryland College Republicans.


Karl Rove spent the spring of 1973 crisscrossing the country in a Ford Pinto, lining up the support of Republican state chairs.


For example, after the Midwest regional convention, Karl Rove forces had produced a version of the Midwestern College Republicans constitution which differed significantly from the constitution that the Edgeworth forces were using, in order to justify the unseating of the Edgeworth delegates on procedural grounds, including delegations, such as Ohio and Missouri, which had been certified earlier by Karl Rove himself.


Bush then wrote Edgeworth a letter saying that he had concluded that Karl Rove had fairly won the vote at the convention.


In November 1973, he asked Rove to take a set of car keys to his son George W Bush, who was visiting home during a break from Harvard Business School.


In 1976, Karl Rove left DC to work in Virginian politics.


Karl Rove describes this as the role in which he discovered his love for direct mail campaigns.


Between 1981 and 1999, Karl Rove worked on hundreds of races.


From 1991 to 1996, Karl Rove advised tobacco giant Philip Morris, and ultimately earned $3,000 a month via a consulting contract.


Karl Rove advised the younger Bush during his unsuccessful Texas congressional campaign in 1978.


In 1982, Karl Rove returned to assisting Governor Bill Clements in his run for reelection, but was defeated by Democrat Mark White.


In 1984, Karl Rove helped Gramm, who had become a Republican in 1983, defeat Republican Ron Paul in the primary and Democrat Lloyd Doggett in the race for US Senate.


In 1986, Karl Rove helped Clements become governor a second time.


In 1986, just before a crucial debate in the campaign, Karl Rove claimed that his office had been bugged by Democrats.


Critics, including other Republican operatives, suspected Karl Rove had bugged his own office to garner sympathy votes in the close governor's race.


In 1988, Rove helped Thomas R Phillips become the first Republican elected as Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court.


In 1989, Rove encouraged George W Bush to run for Texas governor, brought in experts to tutor him on policy, and introduced him to local reporters.


In 1990, two other Karl Rove candidates won: Rick Perry, the future governor of the state, became agricultural commissioner, and Kay Bailey Hutchison became state treasurer.


One notable aspect of the 1990 election was the charge that Karl Rove had asked the Federal Bureau of Investigation to investigate major Democratic officeholders in Texas.


Karl Rove's company worked for the campaign, but it ended with an upset loss to Democrat Harris Wofford.


Subsequently, Karl Rove sued Thornburgh directly, alleging non-payment for services rendered.


When Karl Rove refused, the RNC hired Kenneth Starr to write an amicus brief on Thornburgh's behalf.


Karl Rove was fired from the 1992 Bush presidential campaign after he planted a negative story with columnist Robert Novak about dissatisfaction with campaign fundraising chief Robert Mosbacher Jr.


Karl Rove helped Hutchison win a special Senate election in June 1993.


In 1994, a group called the Business Council of Alabama hired Karl Rove to help run a slate of Republican candidates for the state supreme court.


In 1993, Rove began advising George W Bush in his successful campaign to become governor of Texas.


Karl Rove has been accused of using the push poll technique to call voters to ask such things as whether people would be "more or less likely to vote for Governor Richards if [they] knew her staff is dominated by lesbians".


Karl Rove has denied having been involved in circulating these rumors about Richards during the campaign, although many critics nonetheless identify this technique, particularly as used in this instance against Richards, as a hallmark of his career.


Karl Rove says his work for the Bush campaign included direct mail, voter contact, phone banks, computer services, and travel expenses.


Karl Rove helped finance the sale of the company, which had 11 employees.


When George W Bush was first inaugurated in January 2001, Rove accepted an appointment as Senior Advisor.


Karl Rove was later given the title Deputy Chief of Staff to the President after the successful 2004 Presidential election.


Karl Rove played a leading role in the lead-up to the Iraq War.


In 2002 and 2003, Karl Rove chaired meetings of the White House Iraq Group, an internal White House working group established in August 2002, eight months prior to the 2003 invasion of Iraq.


In 2015, Karl Rove defended the decision to invade Iraq, telling an Iraq War veteran that Saddam Hussein was a threat to the United States.


In 2010, Karl Rove said his biggest mistake regarding the Iraq War was to not push back on the narrative that the Bush administration lied the US into the Iraq War.


On May 2,2007, the Senate Judiciary Committee issued a subpoena to Attorney General Gonzales compelling the Department of Justice to produce all email from Karl Rove regarding the dismissal of US attorneys controversy, no matter what email account Karl Rove may have used, with a deadline of May 15,2007, for compliance.


Karl Rove's book has been widely disputed with many key members of McClellan's own staff telling a completely different story.


On October 24,2006, two weeks before the Congressional election, in an interview with National Public Radio's Robert Siegel, Karl Rove insisted that his insider polling data forecast Republican retention of both houses.


Karl Rove argued that, without corruption and complacency, the Democrats would have gained around a dozen seats and Republicans could have kept narrow control of the House regardless of Bush's troubles and the war.


Karl Rove defended the Bush administration's use of waterboarding, a form of torture.


Over 500 of Karl Rove's emails were mistakenly sent to a parody website, who forwarded them to an investigative reporter.


On May 22,2008, Karl Rove was subpoenaed by House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers to testify on the politicization of the Department of Justice.


On February 23,2009, Karl Rove was required by Congressional subpoena to testify before the House Judiciary Committee concerning his knowledge of the controversy over the dismissal of seven US Attorneys, and the alleged political prosecution of former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman, but did not appear on that date.


On July 7 and July 30,2009, Karl Rove testified before the House Judiciary Committee regarding questions about the dismissal of seven US Attorneys under the Bush Administration.


Karl Rove was questioned regarding the federal prosecution of former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman, who was convicted of fraud.


The Committee concluded that Karl Rove had played a significant role in the Attorney firings.


Shortly after leaving the White House, Karl Rove was hired to write about the 2008 Presidential Election for Newsweek.


Karl Rove was later hired as a contributor for The Wall Street Journal and a political analyst for Fox News.


Karl Rove was an informal advisor to 2008 Republican presidential candidate John McCain, and donated $2,300 to his campaign.


One advance reviewer, Dana Milbank of The Washington Post, said of the book that Karl Rove "revives claims discredited long ago".


On March 9,2008, Karl Rove appeared at the University of Iowa as a paid speaker to a crowd of approximately 1,000.


Karl Rove was met with hostility and two students were removed by police after attempting a citizen's arrest for alleged crimes committed during his time with the Bush administration.


In July 2008, Karl Rove, who was hired by Fox News to provide analysis for the network's November 2008 election coverage, defended his role on the news team to the Television Critics Association.


Karl Rove agreed to debate one-time presidential candidate and former Senator John Edwards on September 26,2008, at the University at Buffalo.


In September 2009, Karl Rove was inducted into the Scandinavian-American Hall of Fame.


At that time, Karl Rove was being investigated by Democrats in Congress for his role in the 2006 dismissal of nine US Attorneys.


In 2010, with former RNC chair Ed Gillespie, Karl Rove helped found American Crossroads, a Republican 527 organization raising money for the 2012 election effort.


Karl Rove has lobbied on behalf of Rivada Networks, a communications technology business.


In December 2019, Karl Rove predicted that the 2020 Democratic Party presidential primaries would result in a contested convention; in December 2020, after Joe Biden was nominated at the 2020 Democratic National Convention with a clear majority of delegates, Politico named Karl Rove's prediction one of "the most audacious, confident and spectacularly incorrect prognostications about the year".


Karl Rove was an advisor to Donald Trump's 2020 presidential campaign.


In May 2020, Karl Rove accused former president Obama of engaging in a "political drive by shooting" after Obama gave a commencement speech to historically black colleges where he criticized the federal government's response to the coronavirus pandemic.


Karl Rove worked as a guest professor at the University of Texas at Austin in the fall semester of 2021.


Karl Rove taught a course for UT's Plan II Honors department called Modern American Political Campaigns.


Each week Karl Rove invited guest speakers for the students to interview including James Carville and Mary Matalin, former Secretary of State James Baker, Jonathon Swan, Ken Melhman, and others.


The class was protested by a variety of students accusing Karl Rove of being a war criminal.


Karl Rove married Houston socialite Valerie Mather Wainwright, on July 10,1976.


In June 2012, Karl Rove married lobbyist Karen Johnson in Austin, Texas.


In 2002, Karl Rove built a home in Rosemary Beach, Florida, just near Panama City; the home included a television studio for remote news appearances.