The alternate reality that Karl Rove and other right-wing Republicans call home wasn’t buying the notion that somehow President Barack Obama had carried the key swing state of Ohio on Tuesday evening.
Not even from his good friends at Fox News.
The GOP political strategist and former senior aide to George W. Bush balked with even the conservative network called both the state of Ohio and the election to the president. Rove challenged on-air hosts Bret Baier and Megyn Kelly by refusing to believe the Fox News “Decision Desk’s” call in favor of Obama.
“We have got to be careful about calling things when we have like 991 votes separating the two candidates and a quarter of the vote yet to count,” Rove warned the two stunned Fox anchors, much to their dismay. “Even if they have made it on the basis of select precincts, I would be very careful about intruding in this process.”
After an awkward pause, Baier, Kelly and Chris Wallace tried to make light of the situation, with Baier saying, “It’s great to have you guys here.”
Several minutes later, Kelly took the initiative to head over to the “Decision Desk” and hear from the network’s own number crunchers that Rove was wrong and Ohio most certainly belonged to President Obama in the 2012 election. She walked the cameras over to a conference room down the hall, and asked several analysts to confirm Fox’s surefire decision to call the election for Obama.
“You tell me whether you stand by your call in Ohio, given the doubts Karl Rove just raised,” she said.
“We are actually quite comfortable with the call in Ohio,” they responded. “We’re quite comfortable with the idea that Obama will carry Ohio.”
Chris Stierwald added: “There just aren’t enough Republican votes yet for Mitt Romney to get there.”
When Kelly asked the two analysts what percentage certainty they have that Obama has won, they responded by saying, “99.95 percent.”
The bizarre scene drew the attention of rival network MSNBC, with the on-air talent of the left-leaning network mocking the Fox anchors.
“I don’t mean to cross-advertise here, but I want to note that conservative cable news network Fox News Channel – Fox News Channel called Ohio for Obama, but the on-air talent is refusing to concede that they believe it,” Rachel Maddow said.
“Karl Rove is describing this as being just like 2000 and it is not over,” she added.
That’s when Chris Matthews also weighed in.
“Can you define that word ‘talent’ for the people who are not in this industry?” he asked. “They happen to have positions. It doesn’t say anything about their quality.”
“People who wear makeup and have cameras pointed at them,” Maddow replied.
But while NBC Political Director Chuck Todd then explained why it was impossible for Mitt Romney to make up the vote he would need to carry the state, Maddow continued to lambaste Rove and Fox News Channel.
“What’s happening on the right is that one of the on-air contributors on the Fox News Channel is also one of the single largest outside contributors in favor of Mitt Romney, who is Karl Rove, who is now trying to get – on air – to rescind its call in Ohio in favor of the candidate that he has bankrolled to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars,” Maddow said.
Todd said that the dissonance was expected, because so many conservatives had convinced himself that the polls leading up to this election were “skewed.”