Rove Defends Project to Fight 'Unelectable' GOP Candidates

Wednesday, 06 Feb 2013 12:56 PM

By Dan Weil

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Republican strategist Karl Rove pulls no punches in defending the super PAC American Crossroads' new program to battle against Republican candidates it considers unelectable.

In an appearance on Fox News on Tuesday, he said the Conservative Victory Project isn't working against conservatives or the tea party. "This is not tea party versus the establishment," Rove said. "I don't want a fight."

He justified the new initiative by citing the failure of two GOP Senate candidates in November.

"Some people think the best we can do is Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock," Rove said. "They're wrong. We need to do better if we hope to take over the United States Senate. We need to get better conservative candidates."

Akin ran for Senate in Missouri and Mourdock in Indiana. Both alienated voters with controversial comments about rape.

"We ran ads up until Akin made his stupid comment. Now our donors say to us, 'Look, we don't mind giving money, but why are we backing candidates like Akin? Why are we stuck in the general election with candidates like Akin?'" Rove said.

Rove and Crossroads have come under fire in recent days from conservatives who claim they are only interested in protecting incumbents.

Club for Growth president Chris Chocola told Newsmax Monday, "You can win if you can articulate what Republicans are supposed to stand for clearly and convincingly anywhere. It's the people that are timid and are afraid of what Republicans say they're for — limited government, fiscal responsibility — that lose everywhere."

But Rove said the Victory Project's purpose isn't simply to boost incumbent Republicans. "Our job is not to protect incumbents, it's to win races by stopping the practice of giving away some of the seats like we did in Missouri and Indiana this past year. And that may be telling the incumbent that if he's going to be in the race, he shouldn't expect any funds from Crossroads in the general election."

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