Donald Trump has slammed Karl Rove as “the most over-rated person in politics,” claiming the Republican strategist’s attack ads on actress Ashley Judd have increased her chances of winning a Senate seat.
“This is the same mind that spent $400 million and didn’t win a race. He’s the most overrated person in politics,” Trump said during a press conference following his Friday morning speech at CPAC 2013.
Judd is widely expected to launch a bid for the Democratic nomination for the Senate seat in Kentucky where she would take on Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in 2014 if she was successful.
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“I like Mitch McConnell and think what Karl Rove did to him was a disaster. Karl Rove has actually made her [seem] beautiful and make people think she is great,” Trump said.
Trump believes that Judd’s profile is only being increased by Rove’s ads, which have attacked her as a liberal figure who lives most of her time in California, Tennessee, and Scotland, and has little connection with the Bluegrass State where she lived as a child.
Judd herself has thanked Rove for the ads. Her spokesman said, “Ashley thanks Sen. McConnell, Karl Rove, and their negative allies for all the attention as she considers her future political plans, although a decision hasn’t been made yet.”
It is not the first time Trump has attacked Rove, whose Crossroads PAC had little success with its candidates in last year’s election. Earlier this week he claimed Rove’s ads had made Judd a “great candidate.”
Trump also said Friday that one of the key obstacles for Republicans is a failure to use their negotiating power effectively. He said the party made a crucial error when its members in Congress agreed to tax hikes without first reaching a long-term deficit reduction deal.
“Republicans have been too generous. As soon as they agreed [to tax cuts], I knew Democrats would want another,” Trump said.
He said the main struggle Republicans have in winning elections is getting voters enthused. “They need the leadership to get more people in the tent and to energize them,” Trump said.
Asked to grade House Speaker John Boehner, Trump said the Ohioan is doing his best at managing the different factions within the party.
“He should negotiate tougher with the Democrats, but I would give him a ‘B,’” Trump said. “He still has a lot of options at his disposal on the table.”
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