Dobson Says He Didn't Discuss Roe v Wade With Karl Rove

By Susan Jones | July 7, 2008 | 8:31 PM EDT

( - Focus on the Family Chairman James Dobson says he did not discuss Roe v. Wade -- or any other pending issue that will come before the U.S. Supreme Court -- with White House adviser Karl Rove.

"I did not ask that question," Dobson will say Wednesday on his radio program. "You know, to be honest, I would have loved to have known how Harriet Miers views Roe v. Wade. But even if Karl had known the answer to that, and I'm certain that he didn't, because the president himself said he didn't know, Karl would not have told me that."

Focus on the Family released a transcript of Wednesday's radio program before it aired, anticipating great interest in Dobson's comments.

Some U.S. senators, including the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, have said they want to know what the White House told Dobson. If fact, Committee Chairman Arlen Specter has said he might call Dobson to testify during Miers' confirmation hearings next month.

On his radio program last week, Dr. Dobson told his listeners, "When you know some of the things that I know -- that I probably shouldn't know -- you will understand why I have said, with fear and trepidation, that Harriet Miers will be a good justice."

Dobson said he spoke with Rove on Oct. 1, a Saturday, the day before President Bush made his decision to nominate his White House counsel attorney to the Supreme Court.

"Now, as you know and as I'm sure many of our listeners know, there are members of the judiciary committee who are running from one talk show to another, threatening to subpoena me to find out what occurred in that conversation with Karl Rove. And I am going to make their job easier (laughter), because in the next few minutes, I'm gonna tell them what I would say to them if I were sitting before the judiciary committee."

On Wednesday's taped radio show, Dobson says Karl Rove "has now given me permission to go public with our conversation."

And here's what Dobson wants everyone to know:

He insists he did not receive assurances that Miers would vote to overturn Roe v. Wade. "It did not happen, period," Dobson said, regardless of what Democrats think.

Dobson says Karl Rove shared Miers "judicial philosophy" with him -- and it was "consistent with the promises that President Bush had made when he was campaigning."

Dobson said his comment about knowing something that he probably shouldn't know "really wasn't all that tantalizing."

He said he was referring to the fact that Rove had told him on Saturday that Miers was at the top of the short list of names under consideration.

"And as you know, that information hadn't been released yet, and everyone in Washington and many people around the country wanted to know about it and the fact that he had shared with me is not something I wanted to reveal."

Dobson says he and Rove "also talked about something else, and I think this is the first time this has been disclosed. Some of the other candidates who had been on that short list...were highly qualified individuals that had been passed over.

"Well, what Karl told me is that some of those individuals took themselves off that list and they would not allow their names to be considered, because the process has become so vicious and so vitriolic and so bitter, that they didn't want to subject themselves or the members of their families to it."

Dobson said conservatives who are bemoaning the president's failure to "appoint so-and-so" to the U.S. Supreme Court may not realize that "those individuals didn't want to be appointed." He said Rove didn't name any names.

Dobson accused Democrats of politicizing the process to the point where confirmation has "become an ordeal and many people just don't want to go through that. And I'm not sure I blame them. So, Karl Rove shared some of that with me. He also made it clear that the president was looking for a certain kind of candidate, namely a woman to replace Justice O'Connor."

Dobson said Bush's decision to choose a woman dramatically cut the "short list" of candidates.

"So, what was it that I couldn't talk about?" Dobson asked rhetorically. "The answer has everything to do with timing," he said -- the early word he received that Miers was at the top of the list.

"What did Karl Rove say to me that I knew on Monday that I couldn't reveal?" Dobson asked. "Well, it's what we all know now, that Harriet Miers is an evangelical Christian, that she is from a very conservative church, which is almost universally pro-life, that she had taken on the American Bar Association on the issue of abortion and fought for a policy that would not be supportive of abortion, that she had been a member of the Texas Right to Life.

"In other words, there is a characterization of her that was given to me before the president had actually made this decision," Dobson said. " I could not talk about that on Monday. I couldn't talk about it on Tuesday. In fact, Brit Hume said, "What church does she go to?" And I said, "I don't think it's up to me to reveal that."

"But by Wednesday and Thursday and Friday, all this information began to come out and it was no longer sensitive. I didn't have the right to be the one that revealed it and that's what I was referring to.

Dobson admitted that his explanation of what Rove told him will not satisfy liberal Democrats on the Judiciary Committee.

"I have no doubt that what I've just said will be a great disappointment to Senator Schumer and Senator Salazar and Senator Biden and Senator Durban and Senator Leahy and Senator Lautenberg and some of the other liberal Democrats, because Karl Rove didn't tell me anything about the way Harriet Miers would vote on cases that may come before the Supreme Court."

Dobson says he has "nothing to hide" and he'll be "happy" to testify before the Judiciary Committee if that what the committee wants him to do.

"But I won't have anything to say that I haven't just told millions of people. And so, that's really the end of my statement."