Republican strategist Karl Rove had some harsh words for President Donald Trump’s rollout of the controversial executive order that banned immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries last week.
In an editorial published Wednesday in The Wall Street Journal, the former senior advisor to President George W. Bush slammed the implementation of the order and strongly advised the Trump administration to do more planning:
“...The details of the president’s executive order ― as well as the timing and the confusion that accompanied the rollout ― are disconcerting.
The administration issued its policy Friday afternoon, a time normally used in Washington to bury bad stories. Moreover, it came unaccompanied by briefing papers and talking points, and no officials immediately explained it. It took two hours before reporters received copies of the final order ― and another two before White House officials answered their questions.”
Rove also pointed out that the widespread confusion left some travelers stranded, others deported and almost all confused.
“Chaos and controversy predictably followed. Thousands of protesters turned up at airports around the country. Lawyers rushed to courthouses and were rewarded with judicial orders hobbling the policy’s execution. The administration reversed itself a day later, allowing green-card holders to be exempted on a case-by-case basis.
Now imagine if the president had waited and implemented the policy carefully and deliberately.”
Rove’s critiques of the administration’s first two weeks in office were echoed by other prominent conservatives. On Thursday, many lambasted Trump for using a speech at the National Prayer Breakfast to ask those gathered to “pray for Arnold” Schwarzenegger’s ratings as host of the “Celebrity Apprentice.”
While most Republican leaders have been relatively silent during Trump’s more controversial moments, some have had sharp criticism for the president. Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly voiced concerns over the immigration ban during his show on Monday, saying: “We don’t want to tarnish the message the Statue of Liberty sends.” And a small but vocal group of GOP lawmakers in Congress have condemned the order.
Other blunders have demanded more active intervention. On Thursday, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) had to call Australia’s ambassador to the U.S. to clean up a diplomatic snafu after Trump reportedly berated the country’s prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, during a phone call.
Rove, who also had harsh words for former President Barack Obama’s intervention into the immigration debate, urged the White House to use the blundered rollout as “a teaching moment.”
“Some presidents got off to a bad start -- think John F. Kennedy and the Bay of Pigs. But Kennedy recovered by learning from mistakes. Mr. Trump and his aides should do the same. Next time, the stakes could be much higher, with graver consequences for the Trump presidency and the country.”
Read the entire editorial at The Wall Street Journal.