Karl Rove attended the Republican State Committee fundraiser in Edison last week. That was supposed to be a secret until Todd Riffle told a Star-Ledger reporter.
Rove joined President George W. Bush on the quick trip to New Jersey, and remained behind the curtain at the event. It was back stage that he met Riffle, the Republican State Committee Communications Director, and his four-year-old daughter, Molly Riffle. The GOP staffer seemed so excited that his daughter met Bush and Rove that he told the story to a reporter. “Essentially, we bumped into him and said, ‘How are you doing, Mr. Rove,'” Riffle said. “He leaned over and was talking to my daughter. I think she told him about her shoes and that her favorite color was purple.”
It was from the Riffle item in the Star-Ledger’s Auditor column that New Jersey Democrats learned that Rove, Bush’s top political advisor, was at the event. Now the Democrats plan to use that as they seek to tie Republican legislative candidates to Bush.
Ironically, while Riffle used the presidential visit as a sort of “take you daughter to work day,” live television news trucks prepared to cover the event were asked to leave their designated area by police and secret service agents before the President’s arrival. Apparently the owner of the property did not grant permission and wanted the media out.
WNBC-TV reporter Brian Thompson wrote that he called Riffle and “he was almost apoplectic with the realization that our live trucks were being forced to leave the biggest event of the year for the party. Still, at that late hour, there was nothing he could do to save the situation, and we had to set up our shots a block or so away.
“Even the state police at the roadblock where we were moved to were chuckling over the GOP’s embarrassing lack of preparation,” Thompson reported.