Former presidential adviser Karl Rove said Wednesday in order for businessman Herman Cain and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich to build on advantages recently gained in their 2012 Republican nomination runs, they need to spend more time in the early primary states.
“Gingrich has had good debate performances — the question is whether he’ll be able to translate them into strength in these early states — he’s started to move up in some of these polls and he’s started to move up in the national polls,” Rove told Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren. “People in Iowa, and New Hampshire, and South Carolina in particular, but also Nevada and Florida — but particularly those first three — they take this seriously.
“So they’re consuming a lot of information — talking about it a lot — and they want to see these candidates a lot,” Rove said. “And that’s where Cain and Gingrich need to be spending time in these — Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina in order to maximize the opportunity that they’ve been given by their performance in the polls or their performance on the trail.”
Van Susteren noted that another candidate, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, has taken the high road in a new ad airing in Iowa, in which he touts his job-creation record.
“It’s a positive ad — which he probably needs to have. My only question would be: Has he spent enough time in Iowa so that people — you know, people in Iowa say: If I see your television ad before I hear you’ve been in my community, you’re a hot dog,” Rove said. “This was Mitt Romney’s problem four years ago — he ran several million dollars’ worth of ads in February, March, and April of 2007, long before he’d spent a considerable amount of time in the state, and people in the state said: ‘That’s not how we do it in Iowa.’
“So we’ll see — it’s a good first start to try and reintroduce himself,” he said. “It’s difficult to get a second look. We’ll see how well he does there.”
Van Susteren asked Rove when he thought the GOP electorate will decide on who will run against President Barack Obama.
“Hard to say because we’ve got a very odd calendar,” Rove said. “If somebody sweeps those early — say, three out of five of the earliest contests — then they’re likely to be the nominee. So we could know by the end of January or early February.
“But we’ve got this big hiatus — because of the party rules — in February, and so it’ll be interesting to see how people handle this three- or four-week period where we’ll simply have debates, candidates dropping out, endorsements, people maneuvering, people spending money on television,” he said. “And then we’re going to have a wave of primaries — Arizona and Michigan at the end of February —and then Super Tuesday. We have two Tuesdays back-to- back in March. So they’re going to have a lot of primaries.”
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