With Tea Party backed candidates winning primaries in several states, is the movement usurping the GOP? Fox News Sunday’s Chris Wallace interviewed Republican campaign strategist Karl Rove over the issue and his party’s refusal to back Delaware candidate Christine O’Donnell.
Rove said that in order for the Republicans to win they need a winning strategy. The problem with O’Donnell is that there are several questions about her past that have gone unanswered. If those questions linger, Rove warned, O’Donnell can only win if voters decide to ignore them and care about government spending and the recently passed health-care reform bill instead. The winning strategy, however, would be to answer those questions in a sympathetic manner.
When confronted with O’Donnell’s admittance to “dabbling in witchcraft” back in 1999, Rove expressed concern over the many churchgoing people in Delaware who would want to have some answers about that. “I, frankly, think a winning strategy requires coming to grips with these questions and explaining them in the most sympathetic way possible so that people unblock their ears in Delaware and begin hearing the broader message,” said Rove.
On the current political drama in Alaska, Rove was asked if Lisa Murkowski’s write-in campaign would win her the Senate seat or cost the Republicans the election. The first part of his reply was a lighthearted jab stating that in a write-in campaign, voters have to spell the candidate’s name correctly and he challenged anyone to write Murkowski’s to see if they can get it right.
On a more serious note Rove added that he couldn’t imagine the state of Alaska wanting two liberal Democrats who were in line with the Obama Administration’s agenda representing them in Washington but feared that Murkowski could accomplish that as a “spoilsport”.
My hope is that the Republicans and conservatives in Alaska recognize the bigger issue, which is defeating President Obama’s agenda and go for this highly qualified Republican nominee, a West Point graduate, a military veteran, a graduate of one of the nation’s most prestigious law schools, a former magistrate judge, a practicing attorney in the state and an active Republican.
Asked about the impact of these primary results on the 2012 presidential race, Rove said that it was too early to tell. People are focused on the midterms and on getting Republicans who are keeping true to the core tenets of the party elected. He did add about Sarah Palin however that if she wanted to prove the amount of pull she had and become the frontrunner instead of just one party favorite, she should head for Delaware and help O’Donnell’s Senate campaign. “Sarah Palin has enormous magnetism and a big following,” he said. “And let her employ it in the field on behalf […] of the candidate that she cares so much about.”