Edwards on Rove: 'Goodbye, good riddance'
On hearing of Karl Rove's plan to exit the White House, top Democratic presidential candidates criticized his overt politicization of the presidency and divisive emphasis on partisanship. John Edwards decided to keep his condemnation short and sweet.
"Goodbye, good riddance," read the entirety of a statement released Monday afternoon by the former North Carolina senator's campaign.
Sen. Barack Obama deplored divisive political strategy employed by the president's longtime political adviser.
"Karl Rove was an architect of a political strategy that has left the country more divided, the special interests more powerful, and the American people more shut out from their government than any time in memory," Obama said.
Former Ambassador Joseph Wilson also condemned Rove's role within the White House. Rove was one member of the Bush administration who disclosed to reporters the identity of Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, an undercover CIA agent.
"When this breach of national security occurred, the President promised the American people that anybody in his administration responsible for the leak would be removed. Rove, identified by the prosecutors as one of the leakers, not only was not summarily dismissed, but has been allowed to leave on his own terms, to praise from the President," Wilson said in a prepared statement. "This sordid tale of compromising national security to cover-up and distract from the false rationale for the invasion of Iraq will forever remain in history a black mark on the Bush presidency."
House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers said his committee would continue to pursue more information from Rove and the White House about the firing of nine US Attorneys late last year.
“The need for Karl Rove to explain his role in the firing of the U.S. Attorneys does not diminish when he leaves the White House," Conyers said in a statement released by his office. "Our investigation to date has revealed the White House’s contempt for the rule of law and its interest in the politicization of the Department of Justice."
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) vowed the Senate Judiciary Committee, of which he is a member, would continue its inquiry as well.
"Karl Rove's resignation will not stop our inquiry into the firings of the U.S. attorneys. He has every bit as much of a legal obligation to reveal the truth once he steps down as he does today," Schumer said.
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), the Judiciary Committee's chairman, echoed that sentiment.
"Mr. Rove's apparent attempts to manipulate elections and push out prosecutors citing bogus claims of voter fraud shows corruption of federal law enforcement for partisan political purposes, and the Senate Judiciary Committee will continue its investigation into this serious issue. The list of senior White House and Justice Department officials who have resigned during the course of these congressional investigations continues to grow ... There is a cloud over this White House, and a gathering storm," he said.