Republican strategist Karl Rove on Sunday accused President Barack Obama of tearing the country apart by sympathizing with the parents of slain teen Trayvon Martin.
During a panel discussion on Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace asked Rove to respond to the possibility that the Justice Department could pursue civil rights charges after a Florida jury's found George Zimmerman not guilty of murdering Martin.
"I hope that this is the end," Rove said. "President Obama politicized this at the beginning of it, I believe, unfortunately, by injecting himself into it and saying that if Trayvon Martin -- that if he'd have had a son it would look like Trayvon Martin."
"We need a president to bring us together, not rip us apart," he added. "And I hope the Justice Department does not respond to the ill-advised recommendation of the NAACP to continue this controversy."
At a White House event last year, Obama had weighed in on the tragedy by reflecting on his own children.
"I think that every parent in America should be able to understand why it is absolutely imperative that we investigate every aspect of this, and that everybody pulls together, federal, state and local to figure out exactly how this tragedy happened," the president said. "But my main message is to the parents of Trayvon Martin. You know, if I had a son, he would look like Trayvon."
First Lady Michelle Obama has also said that "it's important for us not to lose sight of the fact that this is a family that’s grieving — and there’s been a tremendous loss. And we all have to rally around that piece of it."