Tea Party’s feud with American Crossroads gets nastier

Conservatives are calling for the super PAC's spokesman to be fired over his "hater" comment

Topics: Karl Rove, American Crossroads, Brent Bozell, Media Research Center, Tea Party, Family research council,

A group of conservative activists wrote a letter on Wednesday calling for the firing of Jonathan Collegio, the spokesman for the Karl Rove-backed super PAC American Crossroads, because he called one of them a “hater.”

It began on WMAL-FM’s “Mornings on the Mall” radio show in Washington, D.C., when conservative activist Brent Bozell accused Rove and American Crossroads of waging “gang warfare” on the Tea Party and conservatives. Collegio appeared on the show the next day and dismissed Bozell’s comments. “Bozell is a hater and he also has a long, sordid history hating Karl Rove too,” Collegio said. “He has weird, personal axes to grind.”

This did not go over well with Bozell, who reportedly interpreted “hater” to mean “racist,” and who rallied 24 other conservative activists to sign a letter to Crossroads president Steven Law, calling for Collegio to be sacked. “We, the free men and women of this great nation, affirm everyone’s natural right to speak their mind — but we cannot and will not abide the unjust, personal broadside your aide, Jonathan Collegio, leveled against a man whose family has dedicated itself to advancing the cause of liberty for over half a century,” the letter said, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The letter continues that Collegio used “the language of the establishment Republicans. It is the divisive language of the Left.”

Among the conservatives who joined Bozell were Reagan biographer Craig Shirley, Tea Party Patriots co-founder Jenny Beth Martin, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly and Citizens United’s David Bossie.

In a statement, Collegio apologized for “contributing to the vitriol,” but added that Bozell had called Crossroads “‘fake conservatives,’ which is language that perniciously and unfairly judges the motives of others and fails to acknowledge that there might be honest differences on strategy within the conservative movement.”



Collegio also attributed Bozell’s objections to “a generational difference in defining the word ‘hater,’” noting that the group of conservatives “took it as a severe insult akin to being called a racist,” when in fact he just meant it as a term for someone who is very negative.

This is the latest dust-up in a week full of angry rhetoric from Tea Partyers provoked by Rove’s new initiative, the Conservative Victory Fund. Former Rep. Joe Walsh, R-Ill., who announced his own super PAC to fight back against Rove’s super PAC, on Wednesday said that “If Rove wants a fight for the soul of the Republican Party, bring it on.”

Rove, Collegio and others at Crossroads have meanwhile been insisting up and down that they’re not interested in a war with the Tea Party, they just want to help Republicans field more candidates in the primaries who can then go on to win in the general election.

Jillian Rayfield is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on politics. Follow her on Twitter at @jillrayfield or email her at jrayfield@salon.com.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 11
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    Burger King Japan

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Burger King's black cheeseburger: Made with squid ink and bamboo charcoal, arguably a symbol of meat's destructive effect on the planet. Only available in Japan.

    Elite Daily/Twitter

    2014's fast food atrocities

    McDonald's Black Burger: Because the laws of competition say that once Burger King introduces a black cheeseburger, it's only a matter of time before McDonald's follows suit. You still don't have to eat it.

    Domino's

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Domino's Specialty Chicken: It's like regular pizza, except instead of a crust, there's fried chicken. The company's marketing officer calls it "one of the most creative, innovative menu items we have ever had” -- brain power put to good use.

    Arby's/Facebook

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Arby's Meat Mountain: The viral off-menu product containing eight different types of meat that, on second read, was probably engineered by Arby's all along. Horrific, regardless.

    KFC

    2014's fast food atrocities

    KFC'S ZINGER DOUBLE DOWN KING: A sandwich made by adding a burger patty to the infamous chicken-instead-of-buns creation can only be described using all caps. NO BUN ALL MEAT. Only available in South Korea.

    Taco Bell

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Taco Bell's Waffle Taco: It took two years for Taco Bell to develop this waffle folded in the shape of a taco, the stand-out star of its new breakfast menu.

    Michele Parente/Twitter

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Krispy Kreme Triple Cheeseburger: Only attendees at the San Diego County Fair were given the opportunity to taste the official version of this donut-hamburger-heart attack combo. The rest of America has reasonable odds of not dropping dead tomorrow.

    Taco Bell

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Taco Bell's Quesarito: A burrito wrapped in a quesadilla inside an enigma. Quarantined to one store in Oklahoma City.

    Pizzagamechangers.com

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Boston Pizza's Pizza Cake: The people's choice winner of a Canadian pizza chain's contest whose real aim, we'd imagine, is to prove that there's no such thing as "too far." Currently in development.

    7-Eleven

    2014's fast food atrocities

    7-Eleven's Doritos Loaded: "For something decadent and artificial by design," wrote one impassioned reviewer, "it only tasted of the latter."

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

0 Comments

Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>