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Why Does Anyone Listen To Karl Rove’s Empty Advice?

Karl Rove

Why does anyone listen to Karl Rove anymore?  After his epic meltdown on Election Night 2012, when he insisted in the face of the counting of real votes that his little white board projections still gave Mitt Romney “a path to victory” and after the expenditure of something like $325 million found Rove winning only 9 of the 31 races his American Crossroads Super-PAC played in during the 2012 election cycle.
 
Yet, at the end of last week there was Karl Rove on the op-ed page of The Wall Street Journal claiming that Republican Senate campaigns that should be winning are lagging because (wait for it) a lack of money. (link to Rove op-ed at the end of this article)
 
In Rove’s estimation Republican Senate candidates face something like a $20 million deficit verses their Democratic opponents.
 
We have a little news for Mr. Rove: In white board-free real life, the money of small donors (the area where the GOP lags Democrats the most) flows to issue-driven candidates and causes – it is ideologically driven giving – and if the GOP and its candidates stand for nothing, small donors won’t give.
 
The same goes for grassroots conservative volunteers and, unfortunately for the future of our country, if grassroots conservatives won’t donate, or volunteer, they may not vote either.
 
As we examine the question of why anyone still listens to Karl Rove it is worth recalling that after the Rove-inspired 2012 Republican disaster he launched an effort to appoint himself as “the decider” of which Republican primary candidates were “electable” and which were “unelectable.”
 
Conservatives pushed back on this effort calling for open primaries and not only launched an effort to recruit candidates, they also launched a fundraising effort to match – and in the beginning they cleaned Rove’s clock.
 
In the first half of 2013 the two major Tea Party oriented Super PACs – the Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund super PAC and the TeaPartyExpress.org PAC raised more than Rove’s three PACs combined.
 
According to POLITICO, the three Rove affiliated Super PACs, including “American Crossroads, Crossroads GPS and the Conservative Victory Project jointly posted a $3.37 million fundraising haul ...in the first half of 2013.”
 
In contrast, Breitbart’s Michael Patrick Leahy reported, “the two leading Tea Party political action committees--the Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund super PAC and the TeaPartyExpress.org PAC--took in more than $4.1 million combined during the same period. The Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund raised $2 million and the TeaPartyExpress.org PAC raised $2.1 million. Both groups also had plenty of cash on hand as of June 30, 2013, the end of the reporting period. The Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund had over $600,000 in cash, and the TeaPartyExpress.org PAC had over $800,000 in cash.”
 
More importantly, while POLITICO reported that $1 million of the $3.3 million raised by Rove's groups came "from a single corporate donor," most of the donations to the Tea Party PACs came from unitemized donations of less than $200.

Indeed, Leahy noted that USA Today reports "more than $8 out of every $10 collected by the Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund came in chunks of $200 or less, according to the group's first fundraising report with the Federal Election Commission."
 
Then came the 2014 Republican primary season and a scorched earth campaign by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Republican establishment, Rove’s Super-PACs and their Big Business allies which by-and-large achieved primary victory for the candidates they backed.
 
So Rove and his Big Business donors got what they wanted – candidates who either stood for policies, like amnesty, that grassroots conservatives oppose, or who avoided the issues and like Mitt Romney campaigned on their resumes.  
 
What Rove doesn’t seem to understand is that those missing millions that he thinks Republican candidates need to win their 2014 Senate campaigns have already been given to candidates like Chris McDaniel, Joe Carr, Dr. Greg Brannon, Dr. Milton Wolf, Frank Roche and Dave Brat who stood for the positions that grassroots conservative donors favor.
 
These small donors oppose amnesty for illegal aliens, they favor a strong national defense against radical Islam and respect for the constitutional role of Congress in war-making, and they want an end to the culture of government lies created by Barack Obama and his Democratic allies on Capitol Hill.
 
They are not going to give to and support candidates who won’t stand for and campaign on those issues.
 
The conventional wisdom is that, Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock, two good and decent men who lost their 2012 Senate campaigns in high-profile gaffes “cost Republicans control of the Senate” because they were “too conservative.”
 
That is a convenient lie put out by Rove and his allies to mask the fact that what really cost Republicans control of the Senate was the content-free campaigns run by Rove-backed establishment losers such as George Allen in Virginia, Tommy Thompson in Wisconsin, Connie Mack in Florida, Heather Wilson in New Mexico and especially Rick Berg who lost in North Dakota and Denny Rehberg who lost in Montana, even while Romney was carrying both those states.

The Rove-inspired content-free TV ads those candidates ran in 2012 won't gain Republicans a Senate majority in 2014.
 
Republicans who ran as conservatives in 2012; Ted Cruz in Texas, Deb Fischer in Nebraska and Jeff Flake in Arizona, all won.

Even if only one of the three (Cruz) has consistently delivered on their campaign rhetoric it was the limited government constitutional conservative message, not the candidate's campaign budget or resume, that lifted them to victory in 2012.
 
The problem closing the deal with voters that Republicans are having in 2014 isn’t a lack of money. It is a lack of message.
 
Unless and until struggling Republican Senate candidates start ignoring Karl Rove’s advice and nationalize this election around the issues of opposition to amnesty for illegal aliens, a strong national defense and ending Obama’s culture of government lies they can expect the same results they got in 2012.

Click the link to read Karl Rove's "Why a GOP Senate Majority Is Still in Doubt."

Click this link to read CHQ Chairman Richard A. Viguerie's article "GOP Refuses to Nationalize the Election."

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