President Trump delivered “deeply emotional and powerful” moments from the White House during the Republican National Convention, upsetting Democratic leadership, according to Fox News contributor Karl Rove.
The Republican incumbent granted a presidential pardon to Jon Ponder, convicted of robbing a bank before turning his life around, and held a naturalization ceremony for five new citizens Tuesday night in an “unusual moment” in American history, Rove noted.
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“The president has made extraordinarly effective use of the powers of incumbency,” Rove told the “Brian Kilmeade Show” Wednesday. “The people out of power get to gripe about it and the people in power get to take advantage of it.”
Ponder, who founded the nonprofit HOPE For Prisoners in 2010, spoke in a video at the convention, along with Richard Beasley, the FBI agent who arrested him. The president honored both Ponder and Beasley in 2018 during a ceremony in the White House Rose Garden during the National Day of Prayer.
Rove, former deputy chief of staff and senior advisor to President George W. Bush, celebrated that moment.
“That’s what America is all about. It’s about second chances,” he said.
Rove blasted Democrats for criticizing Trump’s use of the White House during the RNC.
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“This is a decision by the president in unusual times to do these events from the White House, but I don’t remember them criticizing when Jimmy Carter literally announced his reelection campaign in 1980 in the East Room of the White House,” he said. “It was a political rally in the White House.”
As for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., criticizing Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for appearing in Jerusalem, Israel as “appalling,” Rove said she is being hypocritical.
“If she is upset about the violation of norms then maybe she shouldn’t have stood behind the president of the United States at the State of the Union and ripped up his speech in a petty display of her petulance and anger and hatred of the man,” he said.
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Rove said Pelosi should be ashamed for putting politics ahead of the American people during the pandemic.
“I understand why she is angry,” Rove said. “She has been stymied by this president in so many ways but that doesn’t justify her behavior or give her a free pass to criticize him without acknowledging that she herself is violating norms in many ways.”