It’s not easy being Bush’s brain.
Republican über-strategist Karl Rove, once heralded as the architect of George W. Bush’s winning presidential campaign, is playing defense. He appeared on Fox News on Wednesday night to defend his super PAC, which has a purported goal of kneecapping extreme GOP candidates who may be able to win in the Republican primaries but not necessarily in the general election.
Particularly, Rove ripped veteran Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward’s suggestion that the GOP strategist was creating a “politburo.”
“The last time I checked the Politburo was the ruling body of the Soviet Communist party and oversaw the extermination of tens of millions of people and during the Cold War threatened the United States with nuclear annihilation and just because Woodward is a center-left journalist, he can get away with calling me a communist and nobody is bothered by this.”
Woodward told the network over the weekend that Rove is going to set himself up “as a kind of Politburo vetting these candidates. I mean the whole theory of Republicanism is to let the local, state or district decide.”
Rove is taking fire from his own party, too. Former Speaker Newt Gingrich came out swinging, calling Rove’s super PAC, the Conservative Victory Project, a “terrible idea.”“We don’t want to become a party in which a handful of political bosses gather up money from billionaires in order to destroy the candidates they don’t like,” he said.
Iowa Gov. Terry Brandstad has also lashed out at Rove, arguing it’s not “particularly helpful for out of state groups to attempt to manipulate the process.” And the activist group Tea Party Patriots sent out an email depicting Rove as a Nazi. (They said it was a mistake and apologized—Rove accepted.)
It seems as if just about everyone is against Rove. But is that true? Not necessarily.
Rove’s new group does have allies, of course. It’s led by Stephen Law, a former aide to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Red State’s Erick Erickson goes as far as to declare that Rove’s super PAC is “nothing more than Mitch McConnell’s super PAC,” suggesting it’s a move by the GOP establishment to take greater control of the process.
During the interview on Fox, Rove insisted his group had a right to be involved in the GOP primaries, just like groups like the Club for Growth.
“If you take the attitude that some groups ought to be able to be involved in primaries and not other groups, then there’s a little hypocrisy there. And we have a right just like everybody else to be involved in a low-key collegial fashion,” he said.
GOP strategist John Feehery and Wayne Slater, co-author of Bush’s Brain to weighed in on tonight’s Hardball. Check out the video above for more.