The following is from the July 16, 2008, edition of The Salt Lake City Deseret News. SMU Political Science Professor Matthew Wilson provided expertise for this story.

Rove criticism may be his way of helping Romney

By Lisa Riley Roche
Deseret News

Former White House strategist Karl Rove may be trying some new political tricks to help fellow Republican Mitt Romney secure the party's vice presidential nomination.

Rove, who left his post as a top adviser to President Bush last year and now serves as a commentator for Fox News, has long talked up Romney's credentials for the No. 2 spot on the GOP ticket.

But lately, Rove has been pointing out Romney turned in an "uneven performance" in his own failed presidential bid, saying the former leader of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City made mistakes because of his limited political experience.

Political analysts say the tougher talk about Romney's flaws may well be an attempt to boost Romney's chances of being chosen vice president by distancing him from an unpopular administration. . .

Another professor, Matthew Wilson of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, also said Romney should avoid too close a tie to Rove. "Mitt Romney certainly doesn't want to be seen as Karl Rove's creature," said Wilson, who specializes in religion and politics.

Wilson suggested Rove may be coming across as critical of Romney because he is concerned that McCain isn't listening to him.

"It may be that he senses McCain is going to go in another direction, and he doesn't want to be perceived as giving advice that has not been heeded," Wilson said.

Read the full story.

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