UPDATED WITH OBAMA AND VIGUERIE COMMENTS...
WASHINGTON--White House deputy chief of staff and senior adviser Karl Rove will resign at the end of the month, leaving President Bush without his long serving and loyal political strategist as he winds up his second term.
White House hopeful Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) offered a hard goodbye in a statement. "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."
The departure is not likely to diminish the drive, so far unsuccessful, of Democratic members of Congress to force Rove to testify. Democrats want to investigate Rove's role in leaking/confirming the name of a CIA operative.
Rove joins a string of Bush inner-circle confidants who have left the White House: Former chief of staff Andrew Card; communications czar Dan Bartlett; counselor Karen Hughes (returned to Texas, then headed back to handle public diplomacy at the State Department) and counsel Harriet Miers.
With Bush by his side on Monday on the south lawn of the White House. Rove, voice choking up some said, "I look forward to continuing our friendship of 34 years, to being your fierce and committed advocate on the outside and to the next journey we might make together."
for transcript of Bush and Rove, and complete Obama statement, click below..
from the White House....
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release August 13, 2007
STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT
AND KARL ROVE, DEPUTY CHIEF OF STAFF AND SENIOR ADVISOR
11:31 A.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: Karl Rove is moving on down the road. I've been talking to Karl for a while about his desire to spend more time with Darby and Andrew. This is a family that has made enormous sacrifices not only for our beloved state of Texas, but for a country we both love.
We've been friends for a long time, and we're still going to be friends. I would call Karl Rove a dear friend. We've known each other as youngsters interested in serving our state. We worked together so we could be in a position to serve this country. And so I thank my friend. I'll be on the road behind you here in a little bit. I thank Darby and I thank Karl for making a tremendous sacrifice, and I wish you all the very best.
MR. ROVE: Today, I submitted my resignation as Deputy Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor effective the end of the month. Mr. President, I'm grateful for the opportunity you gave me to serve our nation and you. I'm grateful for being able to work with the extraordinary men and women that you've drawn into this administration. And I'm grateful to have been a witness to history. It has been the joy and the honor of a lifetime.
I've seen a man of far-sighted courage put America on a war footing and protect us against a brutal enemy in a dangerous conflict that will shape this new century. I've seen a leader respond to an economy weakened by recession, corporate scandal and terrorist attacks, by taking decisive action to strengthen the economy and create jobs. I've seen a reformer who challenged his administration, the Congress, and the country to make bold changes to important institutions in great need of repair.
Mr. President, the world has turned many times since our journey began. We've been at this a long time. It was over 14 years ago that you began your run for governor, and over 10 years ago that we started thinking and planning about a possible run for the presidency. It has been an exhilarating and eventful time.
Through it all, you've remained the same man. Your integrity, character and decency have remained unchanged and inspiring. Through all those years, I've asked a lot of my family, and they've given all I've asked and more. And now it seems the right time to start thinking about the next chapter in our family's life.
It's not been an easy decision. As you know from our discussions, it started last summer. It always seemed there was a better time to leave somewhere out there in the future. But now is the time. I will miss, deeply miss my work here, my colleagues, and the opportunity to serve you and our nation, Mr. President.
But I look forward to continuing our friendship of 34 years, to being your fierce and committed advocate on the outside, and to the next journey we might make together.
At month's end, I will join those whom you meet in your travels, the ordinary Americans who tell you they are praying for you. Like them, I will ask for God's continued gifts of strength and wisdom for you and your work, your vital work for our country and the world, and for the Almighty's continued blessing of our great country.
Thank you again for this extraordinary opportunity. (Applause.)
END 11:35 A.M. EDT
from the Obama campaign..
The following is a statement from Senator Obama on Karl Rove’s announcement…
“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. But to build a new kind of politics, it will take more than the departure of a man or even an Administration that constructed the old – it will take a movement of everyday Americans committed to changing Washington and reclaiming their government.”
Richard Viguerie on Karl Rove's Resignation: Good News for Conservatives
MANASSAS, Va., Aug. 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is a statement from Richard A. Viguerie, author of Conservatives Betrayed: How George W. Bush and Other Big Government Republicans Hijacked the Conservative Cause (Bonus Books, 2006), on the resignation of White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove:
"Karl Rove's departure from the White House is good news for conservatives. We may -- may -- have a more conservative Bush presidency with Rove back in Texas.
"As President Bush's chief political advisor, Karl Rove was a master in the care and feeding of conservative leaders, keeping them mostly silent as the Republican Party moved Left during the Bush presidency.
"He used the usual carrot and stick to do this. The carrot was access to the White House -- and conservative leaders proved just as vulnerable as others to the lure of a photo op with the President, lunch in the West Wing, or a returned phone call from Karl Rove. The stick was fear -- speak out, and not only will you lose any hope of access, you will be branded as an extremist, or someone who's helping the Democrats by speaking out.
"Using both carrot and stick, Karl Rove was able to silence or get the support of most conservative leaders as President Bush and congressional Republicans greatly expanded the size and reach of the federal government, including (but certainly not limited to) ...
-- No Child Left Behind
-- Prescription drug benefits
-- Nation-building on a scale never attempted before
-- Farm subsidies
-- Steel tariffs
-- Massive federal deficits
"Yes, Karl Rove was a political genius -- he was, after all, the successful architect of Bush's election in 2000 and reelection in 2004. But as the President's chief policy advisor, Rove was the architect of George W. Bush's betrayal of the conservative cause.
"Karl Rove's biggest failure was to leave the White House without achieving his stated goal of establishing the Republicans as America's permanent governing party. To even mention that today -- after the 2006 elections, President Bush's plummeting poll numbers, and the GOP's bleak prospects for 2008 -- brings embarrassment or laughter, depending on your political viewpoint. No wonder Karl Rove wants to forget about those boasts.
"Rove failed in that goal primarily because he attempted to advance the Republican Party by using raw, naked political power and bribing voters. He copied the Democrats and was more successful than them -- for a while. But then conservatives and independents caught on to his game. We started rebelling, first over Harriet Miers and most recently over the amnesty bill. Meanwhile, the Republican Party had lost its 'brand' as the party of small government.
"How do we recover from the Rove Era? We have to reject the bribing of voters and instead build on President Reagan's legacy. We must re-establish the conservative movement (and the Republican Party, if it wishes to survive) as the movement and party of ideas, empowering people instead of government, and with a strong national defense but no more nation-building.
"'Bush's brain' will soon be gone. Let's hope that wiser counsel prevails in the White House in the future, but let's not depend on that. We conservatives have work to do."