That’s right, folks. Karl Rove, a former White House adviser who had a meltdown on Fox News on election night, and American Crossroads are creating a PAC dedicated to helping establishment candidates defeat conservatives in primary races:
The biggest donors in the Republican Party are financing a new group to recruit seasoned candidates and protect Senate incumbents from challenges by far-right conservatives and Tea Party enthusiasts who Republican leaders worry could complicate the party’s efforts to win control of the Senate.
The group, the Conservative Victory Project, is intended to counter other organizations that have helped defeat establishment Republican candidates over the last two election cycles. It is the most robust attempt yet by Republicans to impose a new sense of discipline on the party, particularly in primary races.
“There is a broad concern about having blown a significant number of races because the wrong candidates were selected,” said Steven J. Law, the president of American Crossroads, the “super PAC” creating the new project. “We don’t view ourselves as being in the incumbent protection business, but we want to pick the most conservative candidate who can win.”
Coming under fire for his new PAC — the Conservative Victory Project — Karl Rove, a former White House advisor under George W. Bush and founder of American Crossroads, said this weekend during a visit on Fox News Sunday that the Republican Party needs “fewer Christine O’Donnells and more Rand Pauls.”
Here’s the segment, in case you missed it:
That’s interesting. While you’re not going to get an argument from me that O’Donnell was a terrible candidate, Rove wasn’t exactly fond of Rand Paul during his bid for the Republican Senate primary in Kentucky back in 2009. On December 10, 2009, Rove penned an editorial on the GOP’s chances of taking back the Senate. Complimenting candidate recruitment for that cycle in Missouri, New Hampshire, and Ohio, Rove wrote, “Only Kentucky’s open seat vacated by Jim Bunning causes the GOP squeamishness.”
The fight for the heart and soul of the Republican Party heated up this weekend as David Brooks, whose columns at The New York Times occasionally knock the freedom movement, claimed that the establishment would eventually triumph:
“I think it’s the beginning of a longer-lasting thing,” Brooks said. “There’s been a lot of calls for Republicans to change. And we have seen that from everybody to Paul Ryan to Marco Rubio. Now we’re beginning to see the donor class really begin to change. There is some question: Are they trying to change just the candidates, so they don’t get Todd Akin, or they trying to actually change some of the substance? And, so far, it seems to be just the candidates. One of the interesting things — and I can’t say I know the answer to this — is, how much will the tea party fight back? There has been some effort that they are saying, oh, the establishment is taking over.”
“But my own sense of things so far is that there is not the will to fight among the tea party, and that a lot of people in the tea party are, frankly — they’re not,” he continued. “They are also Republicans. Say, Rush Limbaugh, for example, who is not tea party. He’s more an establishment Republican who wants the Republican Party to win. So I have a feeling that the establishment is going to have maybe an easier time of it than some might think.”
Karl Rove and his group, American Crossroads, set off a firestorm earlier this week when they announced the formation of a new political action committee that would intervene in Republican primaries when there is a conservative primary challenger present. American Crossroads has been in damage control mode due to the reaction of prominent figures in the conservative movement.
Of course, the new PAC is based on a false premise. Establishment candidates aren’t losing in Republican primaries for lack of spending money to get out their message — they’re losing because of their message. You don’t win a GOP primary by running on soft, middle of the road rhetoric. You win by, as Ronald Reagan once said, raising the banner of bold colors.
Kelleyanne Conway recently wrote a great editoral in USA Today about Rove’s new PAC, noting that people like Rove can complain all they want about conservatives who lost in races that they should’ve won, but there were even more failures by candidates who had mainstream GOP backing:
On the final day of the Republican National Convention, Clint Eastwood turned his speech into a humorous, but also odd, conversation with “Barack Obama,” an empty chair on stage beside him. Eastwood overshadowed Mitt Romney’s night, but the “empty chair” reference to Obama was adopted by many Republicans and meme became a hit on social media sites.
While he hasn’t had huge role in Romney’s campaign, Eastwood is back on the political scene in a new, 30-second ad for American Crossroads, which is spending heavily in swing states. This particular ad is part of the pro-Romney super PAC’s $12.6 million ad buy across seven swing states.
Talking over video of closed manufacturing plant, presumably unemployed Americans, and containers with Chinese written on the side being unloaded off a cargo ship, Eastwood explains, “In the last few years, America has been knocked down. Twenty-three million can’t find full-time work. And we borrow $4 billion every single day, much of it from China.”
As the video cuts to President Obama getting on Air Force One, Eastwood says, “If someone doesn’t get the job done, you gotta hold ’em accountable,” adding, “Obama’s second term would be a rerun of the first an our country couldn’t survive that.”
Eastwood closes by pitching Romney, explaining, “There’s not much time left, and the future of our country is at stake.”
You can view the ad below:
With the election now under three weeks away, outside groups are pouring money into swing states that could tip the presidential election. American Crossroads, a “super PAC” co-founded by Karl Rove which has already spent millions in toss-up Senate races, has launched an $11 million ad buy in eight swing states — including Colorado, Florida, Ohio, and Virginia, hoping to help defeat President Barack Obama’s bid for re-election.
The ad kicks off with President Obama, shown on a television inside a kitchen, talking, but quickly fades into a larger shot of a woman who begins asking questions about the lack of jobs, more national debt, and diminished family income under his administration:
With the next two presidential debates touching on foreign policy, President Barack Obama has set himself up for a lot of criticism from Mitt Romney. Whether or not Romney jumps on the failures of the White House — including dishonesty from the White House in the days after the Benghazi terrorist attack, which was initially blamed on an anti-Islamic video, or his recent failure to engage world leaders — remains to be seen.
Admittedly, I’m not a fan of neo-conservative foreign policy, but American Crossroads has released a powerful new ad showing that President Obama was serving as “eye candy” on TV talk shows instead of taking his job seriously:
With apologies to Ian Fleming, American Crossroads released a new web-ad today about President Barack Obama, economic supervillain:
If you’e heading down to the Republican National Convention next week in Tampa, you may run into Vice President Joe Biden. That’s right, folks, the Obama campaign’s worst spokesman, just two weeks after saying that the Romney-Ryan ticket would allow Wall Street to put African-Americans “back in chains,” is going to be in a city crowded with Republicans:
Vice President Joe Biden has plans to be in Tampa during the Republican National Convention next week, the Obama campaign said Tuesday. Biden has events in Tampa and in other cities next Monday and Tuesday, the campaign said.
In addition, “a strong bench” of surrogates will be in the Tampa area as well.
While visiting a Minneapolis high school Tuesday afternoon, Biden seemed to embrace his role in Tampa turning to reporters traveling with him, “Who’s going to Florida with me? Any of you going to be in Florida?
“Well I’m the speaker at the convention,” he continued to laughs. “I’m going to be down there.”
What could go wrong?
As noted earlier this week, American Crossroads launched a rather snarky ad endorsing Biden for Vice President, as opposed to someone else on the Democratic Party ticket, because of his proclivity for gaffes:
There is no denying that Joe Biden, our gaffetastic vice president, had a rough week. The Washington Post gave him the “Worst Week in Washington” award thanks to his off-remark during a campaign stop in Virginia that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan would allow Wall Street to put the predominantly African-American crowd “back in chains.”
Despite all the talk of a “new tone” that we’ve endured, it certainly does seem that the Obama campaign is lobbing most of the cheap shots during this campaign. Since Obama doesn’t really have much of an economic record on which to run, the tactics being employed are to be expected. But if Vice President Biden is supposed to score points for Obama, polls show that the campaign may want to think again before sending him back out on the stump:
Almost every recent poll has shown Biden’s numbers at a low point, with more voters viewing him unfavorably than viewing him in a positive light — though in most cases, it’s only by a few points.
Biden’s favorable rating, which was well into the 50s when he and Obama won the 2008 election and took office in 2009, has fallen to around 40 percent in most polls. An NBC/Wall Street Journal poll recently pegged his favorable rating at 35 percent (37 percent negative), while a Fox News poll showed the split at 41 percent favorable and 44 percent unfavorable.