Rove: ‘I Don’t Want a (Tea Party) Fight’ — with Fighting Words

Photograph by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

A Tea Party protester in San Francisco, California.

Karl Rove says he isn’t at war with the Tea Party.

Then he blasts the Tea Party groups complaining about his new venture into Republican primary races.

Rove was speaking with fellow Fox News employee Sean Hannity last night to explain the Conservative Victory Project, a super-political action committee that will spend money in Republican primary races, territory that other well-funded groups including the party itself have declined to traverse.

Yet, “this is not Tea Party versus the establishment,” Rove said.

His two other groups, the super-PAC American Crossroads and nonprofit Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies, are “second to none in our support of Tea Party candidates,” Rove said.

He unsheathed his weapon, a white board, and continued explaining that the Crossroads entities had spent at about $50 million on Tea Party candidates in the 2010 and 2012 elections. The names on his white board included Florida’s Sen. Marco Rubio, Kentucky’s Sen. Rand Paul, Pennsylvania’s Sen. Pat Toomey, and 2010 Senate hopefuls Sharron Angle of Nevada and Ken Buck of Colorado.


There were no 2012 names on the white board.Rove said later in the program that his Crossroads groups had raised $320 million last year.


So why are the anti-tax Tea Party groups dissing his new venture? Rove said, in effect, it’s because their work is inferior to his own Crossroads operation.


He called those complaining about him “fundraising entities” where “most of the money gets sucked up into overhead and goes to the pockets of the person who owns the website or owns the political action committee.” By contrast, Rove said, he is a “volunteer” for Crossroads and even pays for his own expenses.


The list of organizations unhappy about the Conservative Victory Project includes: FreedomWorks, For America, the Tea Party Express, Tea Party Patriots, and the Senate Conservatives Fund.


Developer Donald Trump and conservative talk radio hosts Laura Ingraham and Mark Levin also have said Rove shouldn’t meddle in primaries. Near the end of the Hannity interview, Rove said, “I don’t want a fight.”


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