Karl Rove refused to accept that Obama won the presidential election on Tuesday night.
Rove, former senior adviser and deputy chief of staff to President George W. Bush, spent a lengthy amount of time on Fox News Channel -- which had already called the election -- arguing that it was too early to declare a winner.
MSNBC called Ohio -- and subsequently the election -- for Obama at around 8:15 p.m., followed soon after by Fox.
But not long after that, Rove appeared on Fox News Channel, where he argued that there were too many votes not yet accounted for in Ohio, particularly in Cuyahoga and Hamilton counties.
Rove did the math and figured that at least 720,000 were left to account for and that there were only 991 votes separating Romney and Obama when the state -- and election -- were called.
"This is premature," he told Fox News' Megyn Kelly and Bret Baier.
After several minutes, Baier and Kelly decided she should take a walk to the "decision desk" to see how confident the network's experts were in their call. (Watch video below.)
"We're actually quite comfortable with the call in Ohio," one of them told her, adding that the largest outstanding county is Cuyahoga, which he called "Democrat territory." "There just aren't enough Republican votes left for Romney to get there."
But that wasn't enough to convince Rove, who again began presenting numbers supporting his argument.
"It may be that Obama wins the state, but there seems to be a lot of votes that need to be cast," he said, adding: "Let more of the votes come in and start to see more of the separation and validate it and not make a very early call. The public perception is that it looks a little odd to be making a call with a 991-vote difference."
Replied Baier: "They are pretty confident back there Karl, but we will keep going back and forth. I don't know if we will send Megyn back there again."
Yet another "decision desk" expert was then brought into the studio to take part in what the anchors quipped was becoming a "cage match."
It's doubtful that Rove was finally convinced, but the whole thing finally ended after more than a half-hour of airtime, with Rove declaring "this is not a cage match."
Added Kelly, with a slight smile: "No, it was a respectful discussion between two brilliant guys."
- Politics & Government
- Karl Rove
- Fox News Channel
- Megyn Kelly