GOP strategist Karl Rove defended his new political organization Thursday night, which he says will back strong primary candidates and does not intend to undermine some of the more conservative tea party contenders.
To back up his statement, Rove told Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly that his Super PAC, American Crossroads, has provided more than $30 million to tea party candidates like Marco Rubio and Pat Toomey — two of the more conservative candidates in 2010’s Senate race.
Asked by O’Reilly whether he would cast Rubio as a “moderate” candidate, Rove fired back, “this is not a question of whether they are tea party or not, it’s whether they are bad candidates.”
Rove said the new offshoot of American Crossroads — called The Conservative Victory Project — will put increased efforts into vetting potential candidates and support those chosen throughout the electoral primaries, something donors are demanding.
“This is not about whether they are tea party or not, it’s about whether they’re good candidates or not,” Rove argued, holding up a dry-erase board showing how much Crossroads spent helping candidates, broken down by races and amounts.
“Thirty million,” Rove said. “I repeat, $30 million. I don’t know any other group in America that’s spent as much as Crossroads supporting conservative candidates.”
Rove’s super PAC gave money to support Richard Mourdock and Todd Akin and — after both men made their respective comments about rape — Rove said donors were angry and wanted the organization to do a better job backing “better conservative candidates."
O’Reilly then asked Rove about attacks on Ashley Judd, the Hollywood actress running for Senate in Kentucky.
“Are you trying to make her cry?” O’Reilly joked.
Rove’s American Crossroads has an ad attacking Judd as a radical Hollywood liberal. Rove said they wanted her to respond to issues now, before Hollywood glamorized her run for the Senate and tells her what to say.
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