Rove Says Obama Paints Romney as `Vampire Capitalist’

Photograph by Lynne Sladky/AP Photo

Workers place displays at the Republican National Convention inside of the Tampa Bay Times in Fla.

Mitt Romney will teach voters watching the Republican National Convention something new about him, said Republican strategist Karl Rove, predicting the candidate’s time this week in Tampa would help him win the Nov. 6 presidential election.

Romney is “going to get better known and more accepted,” Rove said. In often biting commentary at a Politico breakfast this morning, Rove said Obama has failed to introduce a vision for his second term, preferring instead to win re-election by attacking Romney as ‘‘a weird, rich vampire capitalist.’’

He said the Democratic dings on Romney’s wealth, tax rate and private equity background would continue, though he said Obama is turning off voters who ‘‘are desperate for a president to offer more.’’

Rove was a senior political strategist to President George W. Bush and helped him win re-election in 2004. Now, Rove guides American Crossroads and Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies, two outside groups that can raise unlimited money from individuals and corporations and are helping Romney through television advertisements.

The objective of the Crossroads groups is ‘‘to sort of even up the playing field’’ with Democrats, whom he said have relied upon unions, sympathetic media and their own outside groups for decades. Politico reported Republican-allied super-PACs and nonprofits could invest $1 billion this election cycle. Rove
said it would be closer to $500 million.

‘‘I was sick and tired of having to fight with one hand tied behind my back,’’ he said.

Rove wore mercury head dime cuff links he’d purchased in South Carolina — a fashion choice he revealed when prompted by host Mike Allen, Politico’s chief political reporter. When Allen mentioned that Rove’s career as an analyst has been more lucrative than his time as Bush’s political architect, the native Texan snapped, ‘‘None of your damned business.”



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