Rove: Will someone tell Woodward that I’m not in Washington?

posted at 1:21 pm on February 21, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

It’s been a tough week in public relations for Karl Rove. First, the Tea Party Patriots objected to Rove’s criticism of extreme rhetoric from grassroots organizations by, er, putting him in a Nazi uniform in an e-mail — for which they apologized, but not before making Rove’s case.  At nearly the same time, Bob Woodward painted Rove’s efforts to find prepared Republican candidates as an attempt to create an establishment “politburo” within the GOP, which Rove angrily denounced on Fox’s Hannity last night:

Karl Rove is defending his new super PAC’s intention to get involved in primaries, and criticized Bob Woodward’s assertion that he was creating a “politburo.”

“[Bob] Woodward goes on Fox News Sunday and calls me a member of the Politburo,” Rove said on Fox News’ “Hannity.” “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 was critical of Rove’s new super PAC, the Conservative Victory Project, during his Sunday appearance, arguing it was against Republican traditions.

“You’re going to set yourself up as a kind of Politburo vetting these candidates,” Woodward said. “I mean, the whole theory of Republicanism is to let the local, state or district decide.”

I’m afraid I don’t know what Woodward is talking about here.  Rove didn’t invent the independent PAC, not even within the GOP.  Both parties have a number of outside groups that provide funding to candidates in primaries and general elections.  Rove may be better organized than most, but it’s not a novelty, and since it’s not part of the Republican Party, it’s not a politburo, either — not even figuratively.

Maybe Woodward missed this for the last hundred cycles or so, but politicians who want to seek higher office are often judged on their effectiveness in interceding in primaries.  In fact, that’s practically a fantasy league for earlier presidential handicapping.  The local and state voters decide, but neither Republicans nor Democrats have ever been non-interventionists when it comes to flexing political muscle at any level.  Woodward has confused governing principles with election principles.

Frankly, I don’t get the angst over Rove’s PAC.  No one is forced to contribute to his PAC, so the people sending him cash must appreciate his efforts, as do the candidates receiving the donations.  Those who dislike Rove’s choices can organize for other candidates.  It’s no different than what has transpired in every election in recent memory, and it’s not the same as having official party orgs like the NRSC intervene in primary contests, which really is an establishment-control issue.

Here’s the full clip from Rove’s appearance last night, courtesy of Mediaite. Does the revelation that Rove spent nearly $6 million in support of Richard Mourdock last year temper any hard feelings over Rove’s new direction?


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Comment pages: 1 2

DannoJyd February 21, 3:19 PM

Hope you will be able to update us on the outcome from the floor of the convention.

Tell the story of Ted Cruz to any and all there.

We can do Ted Cruz deal in all states if we just work at it.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on February 21, 2013 at 3:55 PM

Karl can not bad mouth candidates that win their Primaries on the day of their win then claim to care in the least about the GOP all he cared about is the DNC and making sure the GOP will not obstruct the DNC. Karl had done more damage to the GOP than anyone in the DNC. He lost seats every election cycle from 2002 to 2008 giving Obama a filibuster proof Senate and the Presidency. Then he was shut out in 2010 and the GOP had record wins. He came back in 2012 and gave Obama a second term and gains in the Senate.

Don’t forget:
-Helped give us the first George Bush, the one-termer that would halt Reagan’s advances and bring about Clinton.
-Barely beat the loser Kerry, having to sink to Swift Boating to do it (this after his candidate was riding high after 9/11).
-Squeaked by the even-bigger loser Gore who couldn’t even win his home state.
-Needed to resort to scumbag tactics to defeat McCain in the 2000 primaries.
-His role in the budget busting scams such as Medicare Part D, 2002 Farm Bill, Bridge to Nowhere, etc. which ruined the GOP’s record of fiscal responsibility
-His little role in the Valerie Plame Scandal
-His coining of “compassionate conservatism”, thereby confirming the main-scheme media myth that conservatives by nature are somehow not compassionate.
And on and on.

I don’t believe him to be some kind of spy or anything, he’s merely a Lance Armstrong-style figure, a repulsive slug willing to do anything to win in the short term, damn the long term consequences to himself and everyone around him.

smiley on February 21, 2013 at 3:56 PM

Also, it’s humorous to see him in the above clip admitting that Newt is right and the GOP needs to move away from Big Consultant-driven campaigning and governing, because at the end of the day Big Consultants are in it for their own wallet and nothing else.

Aside from the fact that Rove, along other discredited hacks like Dick Morris, pioneered “Big Consultancy”, with his new PAC he’s basically doing EXACTLY what he claims to now be against and then some.

smiley on February 21, 2013 at 4:04 PM

Karl Rove–who has never been one of my favorite people–seems to be responsible for all the ills of the world lately. I don’t get the anger with him, either, other than the fact that he makes a convenient target for rightwing whining. And the rightwingers simply must whine.

Honestly, Mark Levin has been frothing-at-the-mouth irrational. Here at HA Tater tots seems to think that Rove is responsible for the selection of McCain and Romney. Really? Rove wishes he had that much power. As Ed points out, if you don’t like his PAC, don’t give him money. Considering the amounts of money he collects, obviously a lot of people DO like what he is doing.

Funny, but the rightwingers are very much like Obama, with their inability to accept blame for anything. They are more responsible for the current sorry state of the R party than their much-hated RINOs and Karl Rove are. Truth is, most of the country rejects their extremism–as Nick Gillespie points out, their positions on social issues are turning off younger voters in droves.

If the Republican Party insists on playing to its TruCon base, it will be consigned to the the dustbin of history. And if the TruCons think they will take its place because their views are just sooo appealing to the majority of the country, they are nothing short of delusional.

Whine on.

Meredith on February 21, 2013 at 4:13 PM

smiley on February 21, 2013 at 3:56 PM

wtf is this mess? Rove put it in his book he was absolutely terrified of where the Plame investigation was going and saw it ruin a good man when those involved knew Fitzpatrick was aware of Armitage and Colin Powell.

He never voted for a single earmark or pork project.

If those Swift Boat guys had not come out Kerry very well could have been president.

Rove’s job is to get people elected. That has been his career since he left the WH. It is a short term endeavor by design (until Obama showed up anyway) and he does not control how those he assisted vote after they win.

He was powerful enough to control everything and somehow lost it all for lack of focus?

I don’t owe Karl Rove anything but truth easily destroys your arguments.

DanMan on February 21, 2013 at 4:24 PM

If the Republican Party insists on playing to its TruCon base, it will be consigned to the the dustbin of history.
Meredith on February 21, 2013 at 4:13 PM

We’ve got one foot in the dustbin. You might want to ask yourself who’s been in charge during the “Dustbin era.” Is that’s too tough a question, try asking yourself when was the last time the Republican party “played to its Trucon base”, much less “insisted” on doing so?

The answers might compel a re-evaluation of the meaning of “nothing short of delusional.” Or not.

rrpjr on February 21, 2013 at 4:25 PM

And if the TruCons think they will take its place because their views are just sooo appealing to the majority of the country, they are nothing short of delusional.

Whine on.

Meredith on February 21, 2013 at 4:13 PM

this circular firing squad is what draws these buzzards in

Hey Meredith. If the GOP would actually govern as their base wished economic reality would detroy your dreams of utopia.

DanMan on February 21, 2013 at 4:29 PM

Meredith

Here piggy piggy piggy.

xblade on February 21, 2013 at 4:30 PM

Did Karl Rove direct that too? Now it’s 5 times worse and yet we’re still eating our own. Almost every GOP senator voted for the Sandy pork package, was that Rove? The GOP is going to give Obama Hagel. The New England caucus put the Sandy pork over the line. We simply need more conservatives in office and if Rove spent $6 million on a flawed candidate that lost you can’t possible think he doesn’t care about that.

Snark is fun but many of these comments are petulent rants. Of course many on these boards are likely verbaluces sent to stir the pot but man we better up our game or its going to be a long walk in the wilderness.

DanMan on February 21, 2013 at 3:55 PM

Yes.

Karl Rove was the defacto leader of the GOP from 2000 on with the exception of 2009-2010 when he was shut out by the Tea Party who had too much voice for him to overcome until 2012.

I remember all the stories about Karl Rove the Architect of the GOP.

Steveangell on February 21, 2013 at 4:49 PM

I don’t believe him to be some kind of spy or anything, he’s merely a Lance Armstrong-style figure, a repulsive slug willing to do anything to win in the short term, damn the long term consequences to himself and everyone around him.

smiley on February 21, 2013 at 3:56 PM

A Spy with no cover. Of course I did not mean that literally.

But this second paragraph is unsupported by the facts.

2010 Karl hired Ted Cruz to come up with a message GW could win with. I imagine Ted thought he got through to GW but obviously that was not the case. Although GW reused that message to win in 2004.

Karl lost seats every election he was able to control the message. As I said the message was from Cruz in 2000 not Karl.

Karl has been nothing but an albatross around the neck of the GOP.

Karl may not be a Spy but he could have not damaged the GOP more had he been one.

Steveangell on February 21, 2013 at 4:56 PM

I too have been a bit worried about Ed as of late. Allah too seems to be off of his game.

I hope they aren’t drinking Kool-aid.

DannoJyd on February 21, 2013 at 1:46 PM

They’re not off their game at all. They’re playing a different one than we are, and apparently writing to a set of talking points being provided by the folks that write the paychecks.

No problem there, but let’s not pretend things aren’t drifting leftward in here.

Midas on February 21, 2013 at 5:21 PM

Meredith on February 21, 2013 at 4:13 PM

The Republican party was dead in the water Meredith with no leadership in 2010 when the awful Tea Party gave it life AND the Speakership. So you say those ideas went from wildly popular to dead in 2 years. That doesn’t even begin to make sense.

Meredith you are so enamored by the Obama cult that won in 2008 and 2012 you see it as a permanent feature of American politics and anybody who was beaten by the NASTY negative campaigns in 2012 as the absolute picture of EVERYTHING to come. History would disagree with you just as the NASTY “Daisy” ad in 1964 was a sign the Democrats will go too far at some point for the American people and their victory was temporary. You are so caught up in your own vile nastiness you can’t see how vile and nasty the Democrat party is now. Thanks mostly to the MSM you aren’t exposed for the lies Obama and Reid spread. It may take a while for the stench and pain of Obamacare and strangling things like oil pipelines to finally make people wake up to who the nasty party is but don’t come around here and try and explain to us that the slime you spread against the right is actually some real description of who we are.

Conan on February 21, 2013 at 5:59 PM

I don’t owe Karl Rove anything

DanMan on February 21, 2013 at 4:24 PM

And yet you fly through walls defending him throughout this thread. Don’t forget your crash helmet.

BTW, why do you think they called him “The Architect”? Hint: it’s not because he’s good at picking out furniture. No, genius, he didn’t literally vote but he was very involved in policy in Bush’s day, particularly Medicare Part D of which he saw as key to the “permanent Republican majority” (so much for that, eh?).

http://www.cato.org/blog/creating-medicare-part-d-republicans-slit-their-own-throats

smiley on February 21, 2013 at 6:00 PM

Frankly, I don’t get the angst over Rove’s PAC. No one is forced to contribute to his PAC, so the people sending him cash must appreciate his efforts, as do the candidates receiving the donations.

+ 100..I agee fully Capt. Ed..:)

Dire Straits on February 21, 2013 at 6:01 PM

And yet you fly through walls defending him throughout this thread. Don’t forget your crash helmet.

smiley on February 21, 2013 at 6:00 PM

3 posts in 20 minutes before this. Who called him the architect? The same press that continues to cut down every GOP initiative. So Rove was so powerful he could control the entire GOP for 8 to 20 years spanning both Bushes but the GOP candidates and politicians themselves had no power to control their votes. Is McCain one of your senators?

My initial take was the petty screeching on the thread and yours just happened to stand out the most. Blaming Rove for Plame really stood out. I’m Tea Party all the way and when Romney floated to the top of the ticket was happy to vote for him. Not a purist, just a voter.

My individual contributions scored great in 2010 with Starr Parker being a huge outlayer. I don’t do party contributions. Regret 2012 was a total bust except for Cruz but once he was the candidate Romney got some too.

DanMan on February 21, 2013 at 7:04 PM

Rove: Will someone tell Woodward that I’m not in Washington?

…shut up pork brain…we know you are still in Oiho with your little white board…sucking on Sharpie fumes!

KOOLAID2 on February 21, 2013 at 7:55 PM

Hope you will be able to update us on the outcome from the floor of the convention.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on February 21, 2013 at 3:55 PM

I won’t be posting live due to being busy talking to other delegates on the convention floor in the hopes of swinging more votes for the better candidates, but I have thought about it.

No, I won’t be staying at a Holiday Inn Express either.

No problem there, but let’s not pretend things aren’t drifting leftward in here.
Midas on February 21, 2013 at 5:21 PM

WHEW! I worried that I was the only one noticing that. Thanks for the clarification.

Time for me to plow through the AlGorbal Warming to get upstate [140 mile trip]. WHEEE!

DannoJyd on February 22, 2013 at 11:04 AM

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