Politics

Cain: Rove attacks me to help Romney

Former Godfather’s Pizza CEO says former Bush White House strategist Karl Rove is attacking him in an effort to help former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the Washington Examiner reports.

Cain’s comments came after Rove, considered the principal architect of President George W. Bush’s political career, mapped out a list of recent Cain “gaffes” on a whiteboard during a Fox News Channel appearance Monday morning. “The whole effect of this is to not create an image, I think, of him being a flip-flopper,” said Rove. “I think it’s to create an image of being not up to the task.”

“It’s a good thing the voters are not looking at Karl Rove’s little whiteboard,” Cain told the Examiner’s Byron York Monday afternoon. “I believe it is a deliberate attempt to damage me because I am not — quote, unquote — the establishment choice. But why not go with the choice that the people seem to like?”

He continued: “What has Karl Rove done? If I become the nominee, he has given Democrats talking points for a commercial to attack me. It makes no sense unless it’s a deliberate attempt on his part to try to push me down so that the candidate he wants rises to the top.”

Asked which candidate he believes Rove wants to win the nomination, Cain said, “I believe he wants Romney to get it.”

Rove dismissed the criticism. “Herman Cain is the one giving the Democrats material for attack ads,” he told York. “I want the strongest nominee to emerge from the process. I have no personal favorite. Fox expects me to call balls and strikes as I see them.” (ALSO ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL: Perry campaign: RomneyCare made Mass. an ‘illegal immigration magnet’)

Rove also told York, however, that Cain has time to recover from his missteps. “Every candidate is entitled to a few mulligans,” he said. “Because of his energy and passion, he gets more than the normal number of mulligans. But he’s running out of them. And he should not expect everybody to be cheerleading every mistake he makes.”

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