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Direckshun 02-11-2013 02:36 PM

Video: Karl Rove under fire from the right.

Direckshun 02-11-2013 09:53 PM

Karl Rove: The biggest loser
By Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder and national coordinator, Tea Party Patriots
02/07/13 11:30 AM ET

While Barack Obama is busy shredding the Constitution, Washington, D.C. insider Karl Rove is busy trying to destroy what is left of the Republican Party by launching a multi-million dollar Super PAC to usurp representative democracy, disenfranchise American voters, and concentrate even more power in Washington DC.

Rove and the professional “consultant class” think that only Washington D.C. insiders like them – not the American people – should get to decide who runs for public office.

That’s why he is launching the “Conservative Victory Project” – a Super PAC whose mandate is to wrestle local decision-making power away from the American people, so that only Washington DC insiders can hand-pick our candidates – against our will – again.

What happened the last time Washington D.C. insiders hand-picked our candidate? We got Mitt Romney; a man who struggled day after day to articulate a conservative position on the economy, which the consultant class told us was the area of his expertise.

The result of their “brilliant” campaign: four more years of Barack Obama.

That’s what happens when the consultant class decides what’s best for American citizens. They listen to focus groups instead of our founding fathers. They value polling over principle. And they choose mushy establishment candidates over strong, principled conservatives.

Their results speak for themselves. Barack Obama is still president. Harry Reid is still Senate majority leader. And Speaker John Boehner is still caving in to his Democratic opponents almost every chance he gets.

It is laughable that Rove is calling his new “command and control” group the “Conservative Victory Project.”

First: it is not a “Conservative” project. It is a project designed to shut out real conservatives, and to protect establishment Republican candidates who are hand-picked by a small cabal of Washington DC know-it-alls – over the objections of the American people.

Second: it takes even more nerve for Karl Rove to launch anything with the word “Victory” in it, when he just lost a winnable election to Barack Obama.

Rove ran the biggest political action committee in political history in the 2012 campaign – and lost big. The left, which humiliated Rove whose seemingly only strategy was to run ads and spend money, called him a “laughingstock” and correctly noted that “Election 2012 made Rove, even more than the Republican ticket, its biggest loser.”

Why would anyone want a loser picking “winners?”

This power-grabbing scheme is an assault on Federalism. It is an assault on states’ rights. It is a war on conservative principles and on local, representative democracy.

And it loses elections.

Aside from losing the 2012 presidential election, and handing our country to Barack Obama for four more years, here is what happened when Washington D.C. consultants forced their hand-picked Senate candidates on the American people, they lost: Josh Mandel (Ohio), Tommy Thompson (Wis.), Connie Mack (Fla.), Denny Rehberg (Mont.), Rick Berg (N.D.), George Allen (Va.), Linda McMahon (Conn.), Charlie Summers (Maine), Pete Hoekstra (Mich.), Joe Kyrillos (N.J.), Scott Brown (Mass.) (when Scott Brown was a Tea Party candidate, he won. With Karl Rove in his corner, he lost). After a track record like that it is surprising it wasn’t renamed by donors as “American double-cross.”

Note the name change that will not have the baggage of American Crossroads’ abysmal record.

After Rove became 2012’s “biggest loser,” Donald Trump tweeted it best: “Congrats to @KarlRove on blowing $400 million this cycle. Every race @CrossroadsGPS ran ads in, the Republicans lost. What a waste of money.”

Now, the Washington D.C. consultant class wants to waste even more than their donors’ money. They want to lay waste to the rights of American citizens to choose their own representatives.

Let’s hope that Karl Rove’s 2013 war on democracy is as big a loser as he was in 2012.

blaise 02-12-2013 07:13 AM


BucEyedPea 02-12-2013 09:11 AM


Originally Posted by Direckshun (Post 9395486)

Aside from losing the 2012 presidential election, and handing our country to Barack Obama for four more years, here is what happened when Washington D.C. consultants forced their hand-picked Senate candidates on the American people, they lost: Josh Mandel (Ohio), Tommy Thompson (Wis.), Connie Mack (Fla.), Denny Rehberg (Mont.), Rick Berg (N.D.), George Allen (Va.), Linda McMahon (Conn.), Charlie Summers (Maine), Pete Hoekstra (Mich.), Joe Kyrillos (N.J.), Scott Brown (Mass.) (when Scott Brown was a Tea Party candidate, he won. With Karl Rove in his corner, he lost). After a track record like that it is surprising it wasn’t renamed by donors as “American double-cross.”

This is true. The Rs that won were not moderates, they lost. Even 8 out of the 11 Ron Paul guys, endorsed by him as well won in the House.

Another question is why does Rove still get his talking slot on Fox with all this, while others lose theirs? Something to think about with Fox.

Direckshun 02-21-2013 09:14 AM

Sensing weakness, Karl Rove’s critics pounce
2/20/13 7:36 PM EST

For the first time in a dozen years, Karl Rove’s critics smell blood.

After his electoral wipeout in November — and motivated by years of resentment that’s spilling over — Rove’s credibility within his own party is at an all-time low.

His ability to sell donors on his new endeavor, the Conservative Victory Project, took a beating with a rollout in The New York Times, the newspaper conservatives love to hate.

Just this week, a tea party group grafted his image over a Nazi in an email pitch. Newt Gingrich, who spent much of 2012 lambasting Rove and the rest of the GOP establishment, faulted Rove for trying to handpick candidates. And last week, Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad spoke publicly about phoning Rove to tell him his latest venture was ill-conceived.

Such open season on Rove would have been unimaginable even six months ago, as the Crossroads groups he co-founded cruised along to a $300 million fundraising goal. But that was before November, when a bad election night was capped by a bad Rove performance on Fox News — a call heard ‘round the world as he insisted the presidential race, which the cable network had just called for Barack Obama, was far from over.

He’s been re-signed by Fox, which guarantees him a powerful bully pulpit going forward. But, while it might be a stretch to say he’s gone from guru to goat, he will have to spend months making a case to skeptical donors, several Republican fundraisers conceded.

“He’s got a donor backlash and he’s got an activists backlash,” said one prominent Republican donor. Several people who cut big checks to Crossroads feel burned, this person said, adding some believe Rove is letting his group off too easy with his insistence that the problem last year was bad candidates.

“This idea that he’s the curator” of the Republican Party has taken a beating, said the donor. Further, the donor said — echoing sentiments made by others — the Times story about the Conservative Victory Project made both Crossroads and Rove a focus, as opposed to the process of picking candidates. And it set CVP up in direct opposition to another major conservative outside group, Club for Growth, that has been able to tout electoral successes.

To be sure, Rove remains a serious figure within the party — one who a number of donors still respect immensely — as evidenced by how few people would criticize him on the record.

Still, Gingrich’s column put a fine point on a common gripe among activists about Rove’s approach. Though CVP’s aim is to help prevent Republicans from nominating disastrous candidates like Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock, it fails to account for the fact that some establishment-preferred Senate nominees lost, too.

“In seven of the nine losing races, the Rove model has no candidate-based explanation for failure,” Gingrich wrote on the conservative site Human Events in an op-ed piece. “Our problems are deeper and more complex than candidates. Handing millions to Washington-based consultants to destroy the candidates they dislike and nominate the candidates they do like is an invitation to cronyism, favoritism and corruption.”

“I think he made a strategic mistake in going after the tea party,” said one Republican donor. “That front page in the Times didn’t help it.”

The problem, the donor said, is “we have no messenger and no message.” And before people write more checks, the person said, they want to hear from Rove about what will be different.

A few rich Republicans have flatly rejected solicitations from Rove since Election Day, according to a GOP strategist who works with donors.

“They think he just screwed up,” said the strategist, predicting that Rove would never be able to raise as much as he did for Crossroads in 2012. “I still think he’ll have tens of millions to play with. I have no doubt that he’ll do $40 [million] to $60 million, but I don’t think he’ll ever see the $350-million mark again.”

In an interview on Fox News’ “Hannity” Wednesday night, Rove took umbrage at Bob Woodward’s recent criticism of him and defended his effort to sway primaries. Woodward said over the weekend that Rove was trying to create a “politburo” to ordain candidates.

“The last time I checked the Politburo … oversaw the extermination of tens of millions of people and during the Cold War threatened the United States with nuclear annihilation,” Rove said, “and just because Woodward is a center-left journalist, he can get away with calling me a communist and nobody is bothered by this.”

As for CVP, he added: “Look, if you take the attitude that nobody ought to be involved in primaries, fine. But if you take the attitude that some groups ought to be able to be involved in primaries and not other groups, then there’s a little hypocrisy there. And we have a right just like everybody else to be involved in a low-key collegial fashion.”

Rove referred a call from POLITICO to Crossroads spokesman Jonathan Collegio, who was bullish about how the group will do this cycle.

“We’re confident we’re going to have the funding we need” to be a significant player in 2014 races, he said.

Collegio added: “Gingrich is right that we need [good] candidates across the board. … what created the media flashpoint is the cases of tea party candidates failing were far more spectacular than the slow-motion defeats of some of the more establishment candidates. But this was never about picking a fight with the tea party. This was always about something we should all agree with, which is finding the best candidates for general elections.”

Two sources with knowledge of Crossroads’ fundraising insisted it has fared well, so far.

A senior Republican operative was harsher in assessing Rove’s critics. That people who are “working and living in Alexandra, Va., would complain that somebody actually isn’t making a living off what he’s doing … and call him an inside-the-Beltway [person] is laughable.” Rove has said that he makes nothing off Crossroads and his supporters have angrily pushed back on the notion that his efforts are motivated by self-enrichment.

Another strategist, who’s worked with outside groups, took note that one of Gingrich’s complaints was with “billionaires” picking candidates. Gingrich was famously kept alive as a presidential candidate by more than $20 million in super PAC donations from Sheldon Adelson, the Nevada casino magnate who has long adored the former House speaker.

Dave Carney, who spent years as Rick Perry’s top political strategist and is well familiar with Rove, took a kinder approach.

Continue Reading Text Size-+reset“Karl wears big boy pants,” he said. “He is in the arena trying to be a positive force. Not everything a person attempts works out as intended and politics is a very public spectacle and all of your warts and failings are on display in HD! Criticism is a byproduct of this business and if Karl had thin skin he would have been a college history teacher a long time ago.”

The schadenfreude is not surprising considering Rove has a number of enemies in the consulting class and has been, in many ways, the shadow leader of the party for years.

“Nobody played more ironclad hardball than Karl for a long, long time,” said one operative. “When you don’t have all the power or cards, don’t be surprised [that] when you make mistakes … that long knives come out.”

Chris Chocola, head of the Club for Growth, was magnanimous about Rove, saying that despite the “repackaging” of Crossroads and “asking the wrong questions and identifying the wrong problem,” Rove has “ done a lot of good things and he’s a smart guy.”

However, Chocola added, “He’s taken a wrong turn here.”

Not everyone believes Rove’s fortunes have taken a hit.

“I don’t know if he’s going to have a problem or not, it’s hard for me to see,” said Fred Zeidman, a Texas-based Republican donor with deep ties to George W. Bush’s world.

“It’s hard for me to see” that happening, he added. “He played to the base for so long, and they loved him … he is no less smart than he ever was and he realizes we’ve got to win.”

“Do I think he might have problems raising money from some of the folks that gave him money last time? [Possibly] … but again for every door that closes, I think another one will open. … He admits his own mistakes, for lack of a better word, and he’s got his finger on the pulse of where America is.”

Another GOP strategist who’s worked with outside groups described the attacks on Rove this week as “over the top,” and suggested that groups like the Club for Growth
are using him as a straw man to motivate a donor base that is as listless after the 2012 cycle as anyone else’s.

While anger with Rove is running deep now, a Republican donor who speaks with him frequently said the likeliest outcome is that people come back to him later this year, given that there are few other options.

Asked why, the donor said, “because what else do they have to do?”

BucEyedPea 02-21-2013 09:53 AM

Gingrich is using Rove as a whipping boy for his own aspirations too. Gingrich is full-bore Establishment Republican—Rockefeller Republican—who knows how to use the right rhetoric to lure conservatives. This is politics for ya'.

Meanwhile, I'm hearing Jeb plans to run and has also said he'd govern like LBJ. It just doesn't get any worse. Yet, Paul was put out to pasture.

Direckshun 02-21-2013 10:00 AM

Republicans Seeking Better Returns Reject Kingmaker Rove
By Michael Tackett
Feb 20, 2013 11:00 PM CT

For more than a decade, Republicans have looked to Karl Rove for the solution. Now, a growing number see him as the problem.

Rove, 62, has put his imprimatur and donor money behind the Conservative Victory Project, formed to choose more electable Republican candidates and avoid such defeats as those of Todd Akin in Missouri and Richard Mourdock in Indiana, two races the party was banking on winning as part of expanding its U.S. Senate caucus.

That has drawn fire from numerous party activists, former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, and even businessman Donald Trump, all of whom say Rove shouldn’t try to play kingmaker.

“I am unalterably opposed to a bunch of billionaires financing a boss to pick candidates in 50 states,” Gingrich wrote in a Human Events article published yesterday. “No one person is smart enough nor do they have the moral right to buy nominations across the country,” added Gingrich, whose 2012 bid for the Republican presidential nomination was aided by $21.5 million in donations from casino mogul Sheldon Adelson and his family to a friendly super-political action committee.

The fight between Rove and other Republican officials and activists is a proxy for the larger issues the party faces as its traditional apparatus wanes in campaigns dominated by independent groups and big-dollar donors.

Diminished Party

“The advent of super-PACs has been at the expense of the two-party system,” said Terry Holt, a Republican adviser to House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio. “In the current context, where the party isn’t as strong and big-donor influence can go its own way, you just have fewer ways for the party to stay broad.”

Rove is “responding to his experience and to the very real need for the party to be more competitive again,” Holt said.

The rift comes as party officials are working to build unity, become more competitive in statewide and national races and avoid confrontation with the anti-tax Tea Party supporters who provide an animated activist base even as many of their candidates alienate voters.

“This dust-up is the latest skirmish in the never-ending war between GOP pragmatists and purists,” said Jack Pitney, a professor of political science at Claremont McKenna College.

Avoid Incompetence

“The Conservative Victory Project wants to avoid the nomination of incompetent candidates, even if that means supporting a less conservative candidate over a more conservative candidate,” said Pitney. “Its critics see it as an effort to purge strong conservatives from the party.”

For Rove, it’s a rare moment where criticism is coming from fellow Republicans rather than Democrats.

He became a target for partisan attacks after serving as the principal strategist for President George W. Bush’s rise in Texas politics and two presidential victories. In 2010, Rove helped organize two of the most active independent political organizations -- bankrolled by unlimited funding from largely secret donors -- in a further effort to shape elections and expand the Republican Party’s influence.

American Crossroads and Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies spent a combined $175.7 million on the 2012 elections, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a Washington-based research group that tracks campaign spending. The Crossroads groups backed the unsuccessful presidential bid of Republican Mitt Romney, lost 10 of 12 targeted Senate races, and were defeated in four of nine House seats.

Hide Record

Brent Bozell, chairman of ForAmerica, a grassroots group that promotes limited government and Christian values, said Rove “blamed Akin and Mourdock, anything to hide his record, which is just beyond abysmal. We are saying we are not going to put up with this. He is not going to tell conservatives what to think and not going to pick our candidates.”

Akin and Mourdock both lost to Democrats they had been favored to defeat after making controversial comments about rape.

Bozell and others cited a study by the Sunlight Foundation, a Washington group that tracks political money, that found the American Crossroads groups had a success ratio of 1.29 percent of “$103,595,960 spent in the general election and ending in the desired result.”

Best Candidates

Rove declined an interview request. Jonathan Collegio, a spokesman for the Conservative Victory Project and American Crossroads, said the groups had “come to the conclusion that we need to increase the caliber of candidates running for office in Republican primaries, and our goal is to elect the most conservative candidates in primaries who can win” general election contests against Democrats.

“We have made absolutely clear we are not trying to pick a fight with the Tea Party,” Collegio said. “We are simply trying to pick the best candidates available.”

That’s not how David Bossie, president of Citizens United, a Washington-based group that says it is “dedicated to restoring our government to citizens’ control,” sees it.

“I like it that voters get to decide,” Bossie said. “I think Rove is trying to defend himself and deflect from his failure. I hear from donors. I hear from grassroots people across the country who are offended by the very fact that Karl Rove thinks he knows best.”

“If American Crossroads has done a great job, why create some new entity with the name conservative in it?” Bossie asked. “So everybody thinks it’s good because it is from a conservative outfit?”

Governor’s Rebuke

Rove earned a rebuke from a leading Republican office- holder when the Conservative Victory Project indicated he would oppose U.S. Representative Steve King of Iowa should the Republican who is a favorite of Tea Party activists make a bid for the Senate seat Democratic incumbent Tom Harkin is giving up in the 2014 election.

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, also a Republican, said Rove should leave the primary to Iowans.

Tim Albrecht, Branstad’s spokesman, said the governor “believes Karl Rove received his message, which is that meddling in the Iowa primary would be counter-productive to his efforts, and that Iowa Republicans will be making this decision.”

Collegio said he had no information on any talks between Rove and Branstad.

“It sounds like somebody from D.C. and outside of states and congressional districts is trying to make decisions for a local area as to what’s best for that local area, as if they know what is best,” said Jenny Beth Martin, a co-founder of Tea Party Patriots, which is based in Woodstock, Georgia, and says it has about 1,000 active local coordinators around the country.

’Local Control’

“That’s the antithesis of what our movement stands for,” she said. “We want local control. We want to choose our own nominees. We don’t want consultants from Washington D.C. coming in and telling us who they deem the most winnable candidates.”

The controversy prompted Trump to declare in one of many anti-Rove messages on Twitter: “I don’t like bullies. I am not going to stand around and watch @KarlRove target the Tea Party. Karl Rove gave us Barack Obama. Loser.”

John Weaver, the chief strategist for the 2012 presidential campaign of Jon Huntsman, the former Republican governor of Utah, said his party is missing a larger point about policy.

“At the end of the day policy is politics,” Weaver said. “It’s kind of the self-appointment process that people don’t like but at the end of the day primary fights should be over policy differences. To single out candidates and single out grass roots and spend more from sources not disclosed is not a healthy thing.”

Dave Lane 02-21-2013 10:25 AM

Funny thing is, for once I agree with Rove. He is "right" and the more the Rs and TPers veer to the right the less meaningful they become.

Best of luck and hold strong to the farthest right positions you can find.

BucEyedPea 02-21-2013 10:37 AM


Originally Posted by Dave Lane (Post 9422220)
Funny thing is, for once I agree with Rove. He is "right" and the more the Rs and TPers veer to the right the less meaningful they become.

Best of luck and hold strong to the farthest right positions you can find.

Instead of this bogus and meaningless label of "farthest right" —which doesn't say anything about issues—you should look at it from the pov of view of the Constitution or within the framework of what our govt was founded on: diffused power as a federal republic, a federal govt that is not too big, low taxes, freedom and prosperity. Not more programs, more war, more empire, more fascism, more socialism. That's really what you actually argue for.

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