Karl Rove: Obama Wouldn’t Be President If McKinley Hadn’t Annexed Hawaii

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August 31, 2015 3:52 p.m.

Republican strategist Karl Rove said Monday that President Obama should be “more gracious” to the man whose name he just stripped from North America’s tallest peak.

After all, Rove told Time magazine, it was President McKinley’s administration that annexed Hawaii, making it possible for Obama to be President.

Obama announced Sunday that he would change the name of Mt. McKinley to the Alaska Native name, Denali.

Rove, former deputy chief of staff to President George W. Bush who is working on a book about President McKinley, told Time that he’d expect Obama to be “more gracious” to the man “who made it possible for him to be President.”

“In a serious vein, I would hope that he would find a gracious way to honor McKinley, who is an important figure in American history. And I’m not certain he has the authority to have done what he did; the designation was granted by law of Congress in 1917,” Rove told the magazine. “In a more jocular way, the guy ought to be more gracious to the guy who made it possible for him to be President.”

Obama was born in 1961 in Hawaii, which was annexed in 1898 during McKinley’s presidency.

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