Former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour is disputing a report that he left Karl Rove’s American Crossroads super PAC because of concerns over its new effort to winnow out GOP candidates deemed too extreme to win in a general election.
Barbour, also a former Republican National Committee chairman, said Thursday the story in The Huffington Post saying his decision to leave was connected to the targeting of candidates viewed as unacceptable "has no basis in fact."
The Huffington Post, citing three GOP operatives close to Crossroads, reported Wednesday that Barbour had departed because he was upset about the Conservative Victory Project, a Crossroads-affiliated program criticized by some Republicans as an effort by Rove to handpick his own candidates in congressional primary races.
“The HP article…has no basis in fact," Barbour told Politico Thursday
. "Nobody at HP even talked to me about it.”
He went on to say, “From the beginning of my involvement with American Crossroads in 2011, I repeatedly, consistently and publicly said my participation with Crossroads was to try to help elect a Republican president in the 2012 election.
”That effort ended last November; so did my American Crossroads effort.” Barbour continued, adding: “I left with high regard and respect for American Crossroads and its entire team, many of whom have been friends as well as colleagues of mine for many years. I expect them to help elect a lot of Republicans over the years to come.”
Politico reported earlier this year that Barbour had referred to the Conservative Victory Project as a “bad idea whose time has come” in a fundraising email sent out by Crossroads President Steven Law.
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