Hot new conservative rallying cry: "Support my campaign to thwart Karl Rove"?

Karl Rove is a man on a mission — a mission to help what he deems to be the most “electable” candidates actually get elected, whatever that may mean exactly in practice.

Right out of the starting gate, Sunday’s NYT story on Rove’s new group’s ambitions identified the possibility of Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King running for the soon-to-be vacated Senate seat of Democrat Tom Harkin — and King is preemptively sounding the alarm, via Politico:

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) says Karl Rove and American Crossroads are out to get him and his supporters should pony up to stop them.

…[T]he likely Iowa Senate candidate sent an email to supporters Thursday seeking cash for a potential campaign.

“I have not made a decision on this matter, but already Karl Rove and his army have launched a crusade against me,” King writes. …

“They said I couldn’t win in 2012 — the entire political machine was against me — but I soundly defeated my opponent by 8 percentage points,” he writes. “So let me be clear. Nobody can bully me out of running for the U.S. Senate, not even Karl Rove and his hefty war chest.”

But, Rove’s crusade actually probably isn’t a bad thing for King’s potential primary bid. If anything, the Attack of the Establishment is only likely to galvanize King’s supporters all the more, and Team King is actually kind of okay with it, reports Katrina Trinko at NRO:

Allies of the conservative potential Senate candidate are practically chortling about how the swings taken at King by Steven Law, president of the Conservative Victory Project, are boosting King’s prospective candidacy. …

Indeed, tea-partiers across the country have been galvanized by a New York Times story detailing a new effort by the Rove-run American Crossroads PAC to target purportedly unelectable GOP Senate candidates in primaries. …

“If Karl Rove wants to get Steve King to run, he’s doing a hell of a job,” says Ryan Rhodes, an Iowa tea-party coordinator. “It’s almost like pushing him to run.” …

“It probably did more to rally people around Steve King and to make it more difficult for guys like Tom Latham to explore a run than it did to convince Steve King not to run,” Robinson says.

As you might imagine, Mark Levin had much to say on the subject when he interviewed Rep. King on his radio show last night; take a listen over at RightScoop. Exit quote, just to peak your interest: “Bring it on, doughboy. Bring on your little whiteboard. We’re ready.”

David Strom 7:01 PM on September 24, 2022