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Don’t Buy Karl Rove’s B.S.

Karl Rove

Updated at 10:40 a.m.
The Associated Press
carried an interesting article today detailing how spending by Republican establishment Super PACs is way down so far down this election cycle.

According to writers Steve Peoples and Thomas Beaumont, “Groups such as American Crossroads [run by Karl Rove] and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce no longer are willing to risk major investments on hard-line conservatives who embarrassed GOP leaders last fall and rattled the confidence of party donors. Many remain concerned after last month's government shutdown highlighted Republican divisions.”

Jonathan Collegio, a spokesman for Rove’s Super PAC American Crossroads, told Peoples and Beaumont that the reason is, "Unlike previous cycles, we won't be sending good money after substandard candidates with weak campaigns." 

This is pure B.S. – the big business-oriented Republican establishment Super PACs didn’t support “hard-line” conservatives in the 2012 election cycle – they were mostly for the losing establishment Republican candidates in the GOP primaries.

What’s more, both Todd Akin in Missouri and Richard Mourdock in Indiana made the comments that blew-up their campaigns AFTER they had won their primaries. There was no evidence going into the primary that either of them was “substandard.” 

Indeed, both were longtime Republican politicians and the very fact that they each won a hard-fought primary against seasoned opponents is good evidence that, absent an attack of foot-in-mouth disease, either or both could have won.

We would also note for the record that Virginia’s George Allen blew-up his Senate campaign in 2006 with a racially charged foot-in-mouth comment and Rove and company did not try to drum him out of the Republican Party – they supported him in the 2012 Republican Senate primary and allowed him to swamp his principled limited government constitutional conservative opponent and proceed to run a weak campaign and lose in November.

Club for Growth President Chris Chocola had it pretty well right when he told NewsMax that, “I think there might be some money that is wasted because the question isn’t why Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock lost — we know why they lost,” said Chocola. “The question is really why did Heather Wilson in New Mexico, Rick Berg in North Dakota, Denny Rehberg in Montana, Tommy Thompson in Wisconsin, George Allen in Virginia and Linda Lingle in Hawaii — why did they lose?”

We could add Mitt Romney nationally and Connie Mack in Florida as well, but you get the point – there’s no evidence that running as a principled limited government constitutional conservative automatically made a candidate “unelectable,” and a whole lot of evidence that running as a Bush-type establishment Republican did make one “unelectable.”

As First Lady of the conservative movement Phyllis Schlafly detailed in a post-election column, “Of the 31 races in which Rove aired TV ads, Republicans won only 9, so his donors got little return on their investment… Rove’s Establishment losers included Rick Berg who lost in North Dakota and Denny Rehberg who lost in Montana, even while Romney was carrying both those states. Other Establishment losers were George Allen in Virginia, Tommy Thompson in Wisconsin, Connie Mack in Florida and Heather Wilson in New Mexico.”

The reality is that the big successes of the 2012 election were the election of principled constitutional conservatives such as Ted Cruz, Jeff Flake, and Deb Fisher to the Senate, the election of conservative Mike Pence as Governor of Indiana and the election of Tom Massie, Trey Radel, Jim Bridenstine, Steve Stockman and other limited government constitutional conservative “boat rockers” to the House. 

Phyllis Schlafly also made the point that, “There are two reasons why Rove and his rich donors don’t like grass-roots Republicans and tea partiers. The Establishment can’t order them how to vote, and the Establishment wants candidates to talk only about economic issues, never about social, moral, or national-security issues.”


The good news for limited government constitutional conservatives is that the numbers show that the Republican establishment’s money advantage is eroding.

As Michael Patrick Leahy reported in an incisive article for Breitbart, that in the first half of the year the two major Tea Party oriented Super PACs – the Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund super PAC and the 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 the first half of 2013.”

In contrast, Leahy reported, “the two leading Tea Party political action committees--the Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund super PAC and the PAC--took in more than $4.1 million combined during the same period. The Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund raised $2 million and the 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 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."

And there’s more good news; Peoples and Beaumont also reported that while fundraising for establishment-minded groups such as Crossroads has slow, the tea party movement is using the vacuum to strengthen its influence while recruiting like-minded candidates.

"Establishment donors are unhappy. They spent a lot of money and didn't do well," said Sal Russo, the Tea Party Express political director.

"We've been busy," he added, noting that his organization has interviewed more than 60 candidates this year across 17 states.

Why are Karl Rove and his establishment Republican patrons apparently faltering, while the allegedly unsophisticated amateurs of the Tea Party are building on their grassroots base to raise a national war chest?

It could be that Rove’s donors, even big government corporate welfare lovers that fund so many of the establishment GOP campaigns, did the numbers and decided investing in Rove sponsored candidates and campaign advertising had a very, very poor return.

Editor's Note:

Jeff Flake ran for the Senate as a fiscal conservative and was "saved" by the support of limited government constitutional conservative oriented voters. We agree he has "flaked out' since he got to the Senate, in pretty much the same way as Marco Rubio has disappointed conservatives, but he RAN as a fiscal and limited government constitutional conservative and was elected on his record as almost the lone voice against earmarks and the spending excess of the Republican Congress during the Bush years. His election was based on his advocacy of spending discipline and limited government, even if his subsequent record has been very disappointing, to say the least.

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Jeff A. Flake: The "A" stands for Amnesty.

The election of Flake in AZ proves once again that Conservatives cannot take candidates at face value. As an example, visiting Democratic Senator McCaskill's or Republican Senator Graham's websites you'll see that they are both opposed to amnesty. Or so they boldly assert. So, when any candidate makes claims, especially one who poses as a conservative- that candidate must be pressed beyond sound bites and catch phrases. Duplicity and deception are the tools used to gull, coddle, mollify and cajole conservatives to acquiescence and even support. Flake is a poster boy for this con game.

We cannot and must not take candidates at their word. They have to prove themselves by being challenged to explain themselves, their positions and their degree of conviction. And once elected, obviously, actions and votes speak louder than any words. Also, we must not ignore the old adage that a man be judged by the company he keeps. That Flake was close to McCain at the outset was all anybody needed to know. Wishful thinking is not a substitute for sound judgement.

The code words of the establishment and their media hirelings are part of the con. The battle within the Republican party is not between moderates and extremists. Its between corporatists pretending to be conservatives and conservatives just being themselves. Its between the vested interests and the people.

So when I hear advice to "stop squabbling," to "make nice," to accept "business as usual," I see these admonitions for what they are - "We who hold the power will not let it go - so shut up, lie down and go away."
The people have been aroused, the people know the score and the people are not going away.

In Fighting

Hey guys,
Get your act together and instead of getting stories through rumors why not set up a strategic get together and resolve the issues.
You can blame Rove and his PAC's or look within. Why did 5 million more than likely conservatives sit at home and not vote?
I really get sick and tired of this petty bickering which has allowed the Democrats to win.
Understand one thing for certain. There is no perfect candidate. Roves candidates get a screening before they fund them. What screening is done by the TEA PARTY?
The Republican Platform has to be supported by the candidates. There should be no litmus test. Weigh the positions of the Republicans and the Democrats. Which one do you prefer? So far, the left has never provided a candidate I would vote for. I held my nose with McCain and thought Romney would be best for the country. A businessman and a CEO. So how has the current President fulfilled your expectations above those of Romney? Honesty and integrity outweigh dogmatic positions.
I would never not vote and will always push for a conservative candidate. Social policies need to be put forward with solutions. Not just complain about someone not being conservative enough. How would you resolve and provide solutions to Obama care? Knowing that defunding would not get passed a President veto. Why not find a solution or alternative. Push the ones which Harry Reid would not put on the floor. Keep pushing solutions until election time and then make sure the candidate has alternative solutions to the nations problems. Just saying NO is stupid.

The Issues

We can no more "solve the issues" with the likes of John Mc Cain anymore than we can solve the issues with Obama. These men are traitors to the cause. Yeah, these men get screened allright, they get supported year after year with the same flaws glaring you in the face. They can always be counted on to:
1. Break with the party when holding the line is absolutely crucial.
2. Make really bad secret deals with the marxist Democrats, which, only part of, will be upheld, the part the Democrats like.
3 Criticize any principled fighter who fights for his constituency.

The Tea Party may have elected a few bums, but you can rest assured, those bums won't get our support again. We will primary them until we get good people in office. It may take awhile, but the Republican establishment has had a long while, and has failed to do what is necessary. Mc Cain should have been winnowed out a long time ago. We seem to be on a ratchet system with leftist legislation, they're always adding more and the Republicans never seem to roll any of it back. We need an entire term of congress or two dedicated to nothing but repealing leftist legislation and fixing some of the screwed up crap that goes on in our voting system. We had the House and Senate and the Presidency and pretty much got nothing done. Republicans did nothing of any value. That's why people stay home. You won't fight. Except to fight conservatives. It is not us that have to get in line, It's you!

Talky Talky

McCain's dad started the Vietnam War. Romney was unelectable, a terrible example of a C.E.O., establishment, and cousin to Cheney, Gore, Bush, and Obama. There is how much you vetted him. The only solution to Obamacare is to stop it, and the only ones who tried to stop it did not get the backing of other so called conservatives. Out with the fakes and in with the real in 2014. I am not interested in working with the other side, and by the way, conservatives do have solutions, you just have a hearing problem.


Are you sure you're on the correct site? This site is for conservative discussions. Millions were apathetic in 2012 because 1) Romney was a crappy moderate candidate that had implemented his own version of Obamacare; 2) Many were disillusioned by the lack of conservative choice and the total blindsiding by the mainstream media. For you to both tell conservatives and/or the GOP to "get together and resolve issues" and then wonder why millions didn't vote rings hollow. Actually, it sounds like a wishy-washy Boehner strategy.....go along to get along. That's exactly what conservatives want to avoid. I voted for Romney but I don't hold it over people's heads or bash them for not voting. You sure are missing a lot from that lofty view on your High Horse.


KR is a savvy man and one to blend words and parse but he is a guy who can use stats and make it sound like he is in the know, I give him credit for his slippery ways to keep the RINO in view..
How ever the train has now left the station on Holder and is speeding towards it's destination and that is to remove this racist obstructionist from a powerful position and open the gates to the impeachment of one WH Faker named Barry Sotero, it is the imperative and the needed catharsis this nation needs to cleanse this cancer of a over used agenda of lies and socialism from the blood stream....This country needs to right the ship of state and put a competent leader at the helm and keep as many strong minded moral people in place as possible.

Karl Rove's B.S.

Any Republican out there who sends one red cent to Karl Rove's Super PAC or the Republican National Committee is a full blown idiot. Every penny would be used to support the RiNO establishment and we would be worse off than we are now.


The reality is that the big successes of the 2012 election were the election of principled constitutional conservatives such as Ted Cruz, Jeff Flake and Deb Fisher to the Senate.

JEFF FLAKE? Principled constitutional conservatives?

Could you tell me what I'm missing?

the Flake

He has his teeth sunk in McLame's apron. Ask Flake and his mentor how much money they have saved the taxpayers with their government waste program. Can they name any???????


Fair point. Looks like they added an editor's note after your comment.