Rove Hits Back at Attacks From Right

Thursday, 21 Feb 2013 01:04 PM

By Dan Weil

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Karl Rove hit back at growing Republican attacks against him following his decision to unleash his Super PAC against conservative candidates he considers unelectable.

George W. Bush’s former senior adviser told Fox News’ Sean Hannity that he still wants to see “the most conservatives we can” get elected in national office.

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Rove has found himself under fire, with the Tea Party Patriots sending out a fundraiser picturing him in a Nazi uniform — a move that earned him a quick apology.

“I don’t know what adult supervision was needed there, but they apologize. I accept that,” Rove told Hannity. “Let’s get back to trying to get the most conservatives we can elected to office and turn back the Obama agenda. It’s amazing that they would send out something as offensive as that. I’ve got a thick skin, and I’m not going to worry about it.”

Then on Sunday, author Bob Woodward likened Rove’s effort to quash extremely conservative candidates to the activity of the Soviet Union’s Politburo.

Rove countered, “The last time I checked, the Politburo was the ruling body of the Soviet Communist Party, which enslaved hundreds of millions of people and oversaw the extermination of tens of millions of people and during the Cold War threatened the United States with nuclear annihilation.”

“And just because Woodward is a sort of center-left journalist, he can get away with calling me a communist, and nobody is bothered by this. Here is a guy who has been around Washington for 42 years as a journalist, and he tells me I ought to get out of politics and get out of Washington.”

The criticism of Rove began with the decision of his American Crossroads group to start a new super PAC – Conservative Victory Group – to prevent extremely conservative candidates from winning Republican primaries.

Plenty of Republican leaders have expressed their dismay since then. Newt Gingrich offered a particularly scathing assessment Wednesday in an op-ed piece on Human Events’ website.

“I am unalterably opposed to a bunch of billionaires financing a boss to pick candidates in 50 states,” Gingrich wrote. “This is the opposite of the Republican tradition of freedom and grassroots, small-town conservatism.

“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.”

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Rove shares Gingrich’s distaste for lining the pockets of consultants. “We have too many organizations that are run by consultants who are more concerned with their fees and profits than they are with advancing the cause,” he told Hannity.

Iowa GOP Gov. Terry Branstad also took a shot at the 62-year-old strategist. “I basically told Karl Rove that what he was doing is counterproductive and he needs to stay out of it,” Branstad said, describing a phone call between the two, according to The Huffington Post.

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