Bob Woodward reports that General David Petraeus was approached by Kathleen T. McFarland, a Fox News national security analyst, to relay a question from Fox News chief Roger Ailes: Would he consider running for president?
McFarland also said that Ailes — who had a decades-long career as a Republican political consultant, advising Richard M. Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush — might resign as head of Fox to run a Petraeus presidential campaign. At one point, McFarland and Petraeus spoke about the possibility that Rupert Murdoch, the head of News Corp., which owns Fox News, would “bankroll” the campaign.
“Rupert’s after me as well,” Petraeus told McFarland.
McFarland said she had spoken “directly” to the Fox News chairman and the “advice to you from Roger Ailes is. . . . He says that if you’re offered [JCS] chairman, take it. If you’re offered anything else, don’t take it; resign in six months and run for president.”
Woodward obtained audio of the conversation between McFarland and Petraeus, which is posted above.
“It’s never going to happen,” Petraeus said. “You know it’s never going to happen. It really isn’t. My wife would divorce me. And I love my wife.
Ailes commented for the story, suggesting that the idea was more of a joke.
“It was more of a joke, a wiseass way I have,” Ailes said. “I thought the Republican field [in the primaries] needed to be shaken up and Petraeus might be a good candidate.”