Washington (CNN) - What's on the mind of the man often called "Bush's Brain"? In an interview with CNN Wednesday, Rove wondered if the Tea Party movement will help, or hurt, Republicans. And he said his former ally-turned-critic, onetime White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan, is talking "strange."
The former senior adviser to President Bush told CNN's Wolf Blitzer that the Tea Party movement is a wide and diverse group, but said he worries the movement might harm the GOP.
"It will hurt the Republican Party if some elements of the Tea Party decide to become third party advocates, because it will split the conservative vote," he said.
Despite that concern, Rove said he believes the vast majority of tea partiers "are trying to figure out, in a decentralized, grassroots way, how they can remain a force, a movement, that holds the feet of elected officials in both parties to the fire."
Meanwhile, Rove was reserved in responding to fresh and stinging criticism from McClellan - Rove's first time doing so.
On MSNBC Tuesday, McClellan said, "Karl Rove is someone who's always had this mentality, that politics is war. And … he believes in winning at all costs. And that means embracing political spin and political manipulation to achieve what your goals are."
McClellan added: "It's kind of like the Japanese soldier. Long after World War II is over, they just, refusing to accept or believe that World War II is ended. How do you reason with someone like that?"
Rove told Blitzer he did not want to respond, but said, "Comparing me to some Japanese soldier stuck in a jungle on some southeast Pacific island is just a little strange."
Asked about his relationship with President Bush, Rove said he speaks with the former president often. "He's deeply involved in his presidential center in Dallas," Rove said. "He's polishing a book that'll be out in November. Life is really good for him."
Rove is currently promoting his new book, "Courage and Consequence: My Life as a Conservative in the Fight," which details his role in the decision to invade Iraq, the CIA leak scandal and other topics.
Watch the full interview at 5 p.m. EST on "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer."