There are three Republican candidates who can plausibly win the GOP nomination in 2016, former George W. Bush strategist Karl Rove said Wednesday, but he doesn't think Donald Trump is one of them.
Instead, Rove said he'd pick "[Jeb] Bush, [Chris] Christie, or [Marco] Rubio, in alphabetical order," telling MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program
that while he can make the case that "probably six or seven people," including Trump, can make the nomination, he doesn't think it's likely that the New York billionaire will win.
Rove said he also sees Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Ben Carson, or Ohio Gov. John Kasich as potential nominees, but of them all, he believes either Bush, Christie or Rubio will be the eventual winner.
Trump's Twitter feed Wednesday morning contained several retweets from people angered at Rove's appearance on the "Morning Joe" program, while Trump himself early on Wednesday slammed Rove for an interview with Fox News' Greta Van Susteran, after he told her Tuesday night that Trump should be watching over his shoulder for Cruz:
The Twitter slams continued a feud that began earlier this summer, even before Trump announced his candidacy, after Rove often complained that the real estate mogul should not be considered as a serious candidate for the presidency.
Meanwhile, Wednesday morning, Rove said that many Republicans are supporting Trump out of anger at the party and the establishment, but at the same time, no Republican is going to win the election by finding a "magic cache of voters. "
But the election ultimately won't come to stopping Trump, he said, who has "a high floor and a low ceiling," but instead will depend on consolidating 70-75 percent of the GOP primary electorate.
Meanwhile, Cruz is betting he will be the "guy who is counting on Trump collapsing and him inheriting his people," said Rove, and is being "cynical" by not saying bad things about him.
At the same time, Cruz has built up his caucus organization well in Iowa, and is campaigning in traditional ways, said Rove.
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