Karl Rove argued on Tuesday that his Super PAC is not really trying to start a war with the Tea Party, and that it’s just a matter of trying to find stronger candidates than Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock.
“This is not Tea Party versus the establishment,” Rove said on Fox News. “I don’t want a fight.”
“Some people think the best we can do is Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock. They’re wrong. We need to do better if we hope to take over the United States Senate. We need to get better conservative candidates and win,” he continued.
Rove was addressing an outcry by tea partiers and far-right conservatives over an initiative by his Super PAC, American Crossroads, to use big money GOP donors to fund establishment candidates in 2014. The plan is to prevent unelectable far-right candidates, often backed by tea partiers, from winning primaries.
Leaders of various tea party groups, such as Freedomworks, Club For Growth and the Tea Party Patriots, have all decried the new effort, referring to it as everything from “Orwellian” to less effective than a Ponzi scheme. Former Rep. Joe Walsh, R-Ill., who was backed by the tea party, even announced Tuesday that he will be forming his own Super PAC “to support freedom-loving conservative alternatives to” Rove.
Jillian Rayfield is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on politics. Follow her on Twitter at @jillrayfield or email her at email@example.com.