WASHINGTON Karl Rove says a one-time Republican campaign worker who has accused him of dirty tricks against a former Alabama governor is a "complete lunatic," and he calls CBS a "shoddy operation" for airing her allegations.
In an interview with GQ magazine, President Bush's former political guru says he has never met Jill Simpson, an Alabama attorney and GOP campaign volunteer who has claimed that Rove tried to sabotage Democratic Gov. Don Siegelman's career.
CBS says it stands behind the "60 Minutes" program from February in which Simpson said Rove asked her to find evidence that Siegelman was cheating on his wife. Rove declined to respond to her allegations on the program.
Simpson, who has given sworn testimony to congressional investigators, has claimed she overheard conversations among Republicans suggesting that Rove pushed the Justice Department to go after Siegelman, who was convicted on corruption charges in 2006.
"She's a complete lunatic," Rove said in the interview. "I've never met this woman. This woman was not involved in any campaign in which I was involved. I have yet to find anybody who knows her."
Asked why CBS aired her allegations, he said, "Because CBS is a shoddy operation." It aired the story to get good ratings, he added.
Simpson's attorney, Priscilla Duncan, said she would ask the magazine to retract the remarks and apologize to Simpson.