Tags: Jeb Bush | Paul Ryan | Scott Walker | Ted Cruz | 2016 | presidential race

Karl Rove: Of 23 Likely GOP Pres. Hopefuls, the Winner Might Be ...

By    |   Thursday, 20 November 2014 07:40 AM

By Karl Rove's count, there are 23 Republicans who might be interested in running for president — excluding Mitt Romney.

In his latest Wall Street Journal column aimed at "political junkies," Rove sketchily takes inventory of their pluses and minuses.

He sees Arkansas' Mike Huckabee as the GOP's "most visible social conservative" while questioning the breadth of support he can muster. "Jeb Bush is a big thinker," though he wonders if another Bush can win. A "thoughtful" Sen. Marco Rubio, also of Florida, appeals to the same Bush constituency.

Rove is unenthused about the "fearless" Rand Paul of Kentucky because of his "wild claims" and sporadic "flip-flops" when his libertarian message falls flat.

He likes Bobby Jindal's healthcare expertise, while noting the Louisiana governor might skip a race that is laden with other governors. Chris Christie is able to garner broad local support, but his style might not appeal outside the Garden State.

The Republican strategist wonders whether Rick Perry's economic accomplishments makes a comeback possible given "his dismal 2012" performance.

As for Ted Cruz, Rove acknowledges his popularity yet casts doubt as to whether the Texas senator's confrontational style is "the path to the GOP nomination or the White House."

Paul Ryan is dubbed the GOP's leading theorist and will have to decide between a presidential run and focusing on tax reform. Rove sees Scott Walker, also from Wisconsin, as "courageous" though someone who needs to project more passion.

Rove also calls attention to newer faces: businesswoman Carly Fiorina of California and Maryland neurosurgeon Ben Carson.

His roster also includes perennial favorites Allen West, Herman Cain, John Bolton and Rick Santorum.

Other politicians past and present round out Rove's list: Mike Pence, Bob Ehrlich, Rick Snyder, Peter King, George Pataki, John Kasich and Rob Portman.

The veteran GOP insider lauds his party's 2016 presidential primary schedule for not kicking off until February, so that candidates can first show their mettle with the voters — not just their fundraising prowess.

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By Karl Rove's count, there are 23 Republicans who might be interested in running for president - excluding Mitt Romney — and he sketches their pluses and minuses in a Wall Street Journal column.
2016, presidential race, Republicans, Rove
Thursday, 20 November 2014 07:40 AM
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