Twenty-five conservatives on Wednesday called on American Crossroads founder and CEO Karl Rove to fire spokesman Jonathan Collegio for calling conservative activist Brent Bozell “a hater” in a radio interview.
"Bozell is a hater and he also has a long sordid history hating Karl Rove,” Collegio said on Wednesday’s “Mornings on the Mall” program on WMAL-FM in Washington. “He has weird, personal axes to grind.”
Collegio was responding to criticism by Bozell, chairman of For America, on Tuesday. Bozell attacked the effort started by Rove and Steven Law, the Crossroads’ CEO, to target Republican candidates the super PAC deemed unelectable.
Bozell charged that Rove and the Republican Party establishment were waging “gang warfare” within the GOP. The effort was first reported on Sunday in The New York Times.
In their letter to Law. the conservatives said: “We, the free men and women of this great nation, affirm everyone’s natural right to speak their mind — but we cannot and will not abide the unjust, personal broadside your aide, Jonathan Collegio, leveled against a man whose family has dedicated itself to advancing the cause of liberty for over half a century.”
They added that Collegio’s words were not “grounded in reason or principle; its justification was nothing more than disagreement with your newly formed organization.”
The letter described Bozell as a “legacy,” noting that his father, Brent Bozell II, wrote “Conscience of a Conservative” for Barry Goldwater. They also discussed Bozell’s uncle, William F. Buckley, the founder of the National Review.
“Ronald Reagan often saluted the contributions of the Bozell and Buckley families to the cause of American conservatism,” the letter said.
It added that Collegio’s attack reflected “the language of the establishment Republicans. It is the divisive language of the Left.
“Rather than engaging in an intellectual debate, you, Mr. Collegio, Mr. Rove, and others in the consultant class attack good conservatives and Tea Party leaders and members.
“On behalf of the conservative movement, we are demanding you terminate Mr. Collegio,’ the letter said. “An apology is not acceptable.
“You obviously mean to have a war with conservatives and the Tea Party,” the letter concluded. “Let it start here.”
Among those signing the document were Reagan biographer Craig Shirley; Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots; Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council; and David Bossie of Citizens United.
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