Karl Rove Says If Biden Campaign Is Smart, It Should 'Go Hard' At 1 Trump 'Mistake'

The longtime GOP strategist, who's a Fox News contributor, played Democratic adviser for a moment in a "striking" interview.

Karl Rove, the GOP strategist who helped guide George W. Bush to two presidential victories, advised President Joe Biden’s campaign to “go hard” at Donald Trump’s embrace of the “thugs” who stormed the Capitol in 2021. (Watch the video below.)

“If they were smart, they’d take the January 6 and go hard at it,” Rove told MSNBC’s Ari Melber at the Rancho Mirage Writers Festival in California earlier this year, in an interview that Melber aired parts of this week. “They would say, ‘He wants to pardon these people who attacked our Capitol.’”

Rove said the siege on Jan. 6, 2021, was “a stain on our history, and every one of those sons of bitches who did that, we ought to find them, try them and send them to jail.”

Rove, a Fox News political contributor, told Melber that Trump and his camp have committed a “mistake” for Democrats to exploit.

On Tuesday, Melber shared parts of the conversation on his show for the first time, calling it “pretty striking.”

“One of the critical mistakes made in this campaign is that Donald Trump has now said, ‘I’m going to pardon those people because they’re hostages.’ No, they’re not,” Rove said. “They’re thugs.”

“Why Trump has done this is beyond me,” Rove said of the former president’s defense of the rioters who attacked police officers to penetrate the Capitol in an attempt to overturn the 2020 election.

“It is a mistake on the part of the Trump campaign to allow the president’s impulses to identify himself with the people who assaulted the Capitol, rather than people who stand for law and order,” he said.

Trump’s strategy to characterize the accused or convicted as “hostages” did not discourage a Michigan police union from endorsing him on Tuesday.

Trump, who faces criminal charges for his alleged role in fomenting the insurrection, has taken to performative measures to reinforce his loyalty to the Jan. 6 detainees at rallies.

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