New super PAC formed to help influence Republican primaries
February 3rd, 2013
01:07 PM ET
1 year ago

New super PAC formed to help influence Republican primaries

Washington (CNN) – The organizers of American Crossroads have formed a new super PAC called the "Conservative Victory Project," aiming to make sure Republican congressional primary victors can also win the general election.

As he does with other Crossroads groups, former Bush political adviser Karl Rove will advise this new organization, which will be led by Steven Law, the president of both American Crossroads and its advocacy sister Crossroads GPS.

The group wants to institutionalize the rule of former conservative activist William F. Buckley and to nominate "the most conservative candidate in the primary who can win the general election," according to Victory Project spokesman Jonathan Collegio.

"Our party has lost at least six Senate races in the last two election cycles not because of conservative ideas but because of undisciplined candidates and subpar campaigns," Collegio told CNN.

"We want to elect conservative candidates to the House and Senate," he added. "But we have to win general elections."

There was widespread dismay from some within the party after losses in the general election in 2010 by Sharron Angle in Nevada and last year by Todd Akin in Missouri and Richard Mourdock in Indiana - all of whom were initially favored and strongly supported by tea party activists. They won primaries against candidates who experts thought had a better chance of capturing the general election. Their losses were at least partly blamed on comments they made that seemed out of the mainstream.

The formation of the Victory Project is being met with scorn from some conservative activists.

Upon news of the organization's formation, Tea Party Patriots national coordinator Jenny Beth Martin tweeted: "TPPatriots want to save USA. Karl Rove wants to line pockets-Don't Tread on Us! Tea Party bites back-never gives up!"

"The Conservative Defeat Project is yet another example of the Republican establishment's hostility towards its conservative base," Matt Hoskins, executive director of the Senate Conservatives Fund group, said in a statement Sunday. "Rather than listening to the grassroots and working to advance their principles, the establishment has chosen to declare war on its party's most loyal supporters."

SCF, which works to push conservative candidates, backed Ted Cruz, Deb Fischer and Jeff flake in their successful Senate races last year.

The Crossroads groups did not have a great success rate, themselves, in 2012, as most of their favored Senate candidates ended up losing.

Some conservatives point out that not only did Akin and Mourdock lose last year but so did more mainstream candidates such as Rep. Denny Rehberg of Montana, Rep. Rick Berg of North Dakota and former Rep. Heather Wilson of New Mexico.

Project organizers have already started reaching out to their financial backers, some of whom were uneasy about getting involved in intraparty fights. That is why this new group was formed separately.

"Some donors are concerned about primaries where many are concerned exclusively about the general election," Collegio said.

The group, which will disclose its donors, will make its decisions on whom to back based on research about candidates' positions, their fundraising power and their ability to organize and run an effective campaign. It will not recruit candidates nor coordinate with party leaders.

One race it could get involved is in West Virginia, where Rep. Shelley Moore Capito had already announced her decision to run for the Senate even before incumbent Sen. Jay Rockefeller announced he was going to retire. Capito, who is in her 7th term, is viewed as a formidable candidate with a strong fundraising base.

However several conservative groups, including the Senate Conservatives Fund, already have come out against her, calling her record "liberal" and saying she supported too much government spending.

– CNN Political Editor Mark Preston contributed to this story.


Filed under: Fundraising • Karl Rove • Republicans • Senate
soundoff (98 Responses)
  1. Scottie

    By all means, GOP, PLEASE keep giving your money to KKKarl Rove. He did such a splendid job in the last election. He raised (and spent) about $300 million and GUARANTEED a RepubliKKKlan victory. But, the message appears to have not gotten out because Obama was re-elected and Mitt was sent back to Kolob in his magic underwear.

    Memo to Rove – even if Mitt HAD carried Ohio, which he did not, he still would have lost by a substantial margin in both the popular vote and the Electoral College vote. But, don't let reality stop you. Please keep trying until you decimate the GOP.

    I am beginning to wonder if Rover might not actually be a double agent working for George Soros inside the GOP. Soros himself could not do better at bringing down the GOP house.

    February 4, 2013 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  2. RINO Bill

    Rove's track record, as of late, has been unimpressive.

    I certainly would not consider his new super-pac to be a wise investment. If you have more money than you know what to do with it, be my guest. ... but you will be laughed at.

    February 4, 2013 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  3. Sniffit

    Rove = Over

    February 4, 2013 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  4. ThinkAgain

    @Scottie: "He raised (and spent) about $300 million and GUARANTEED a RepubliKKKlan victory."

    I loved it when Karl about gave birth to a litter of kittens when the post-server crash results in Ohio did not swing that state for Romney. Thanks to Anonymous, the election was clean and fair.

    February 4, 2013 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  5. Michael in Houston

    Its never pretty watching someone try to remain important. Rove lost his PAC donors a ton of money in the last election and cant bear to face the fact that the Nation rejects him, the tea party, Sarah Palin, and Rush Limbaugh.

    February 4, 2013 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  6. Name david martin

    well- to paraphrase a great political essayist- "republicans, they eat their young."

    February 4, 2013 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  7. SOUTHERN HOTTIE

    Ugh. When will the GOP get a clue and tire of dough boy? The rest of the country has.

    February 4, 2013 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  8. rs

    Hogan's Goat-
    I agree with you completely. It is interesting that the dividing line between the "sane" GOP, and the "crazy" ones line lies somewhere between the GOP in the Senate who seem to be trying to embrace the late 20th Century or so, and the GOP in the states (like mine in AZ.) that seem to be, well, rabid.
    Like other state GOPpers, AZ.'s brand is out to halt abortion and birth control, stop sex ed, Science and rational teaching ;pollute as much of the state as possible, including our meager water sources; fight the federal government at every turn (yet "revere" the U.S. Constitution) and lose in court; turn back all citizen initiatives; give GUNS rights(the actual firearm); and more.

    Thus, not only is the GOP insane, it suffers from multiple personality disorder!

    February 4, 2013 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  9. Wake up People!

    Well I was wondering where our resident gr@nd dr@gon has been since election night. I see you have finally recovered Karl. Go ahead, give him billions to basically flush down the toilet. It worked so well the last time didn't it?

    I also want to say Kudos to the GOP/baggers, your doubling down on stupidity is just what normal, everyday, Americans need to see in order to run as far away from you nutjobs as possible.

    February 4, 2013 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  10. Hogan's Goat

    Out of gratitude for what he did to get the Homeland Security Act passed, the GOP will make sure he never has to work a day in his life.

    February 4, 2013 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  11. rs

    Michael in Houston-
    Well, I wouldn't worry much about Mr. Rove- he'll take his cut and remain quite rich. In some ways he is doing what the GOP does best- look out for themselves. The country and their constituents- not so much.

    February 4, 2013 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  12. Larry L

    It is important for real conservatives to purge themselves of Neo-Con marketing tricks. Generating hate with dishonest presentation of socially conservative issues simply collects votes from fearful people. If tempered with compassion and tolerance, the traditional conservative ideology of fiscal conservatism, a rational defense policy, and respect for personal freedoms can unite people. Intelligent conservatives must embrace science, reject ignorance, and refuse to obstruct progress for political gain. They must not generate and perpetuate mindless conspiracies. Come back to earth and we'll have two viable political parties once again.

    February 4, 2013 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  13. Ancient Texan

    rs- And the Democratic Party is no longer the Party of Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, or even Bill Clinton for that matter. Kennedy would called a right wing Republican today.

    February 4, 2013 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  14. ritmocojo

    I guess Karl Rove finally got his money back from Romney afterall. Heard he was that guy that reached into the SUV trying to get at Romney's neck when he was invited to the White House for lunch with Obama after the elections.

    February 4, 2013 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  15. rs

    Name david martin

    well- to paraphrase a great political essayist- "republicans, they eat their young."
    ____________________________________
    That is why they are "pro-life".

    February 4, 2013 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  16. tv22

    A lot of people seem to forget that he's one of the great political operatives, along with guys like Axelrod or Carville. Sure you may not agree with him if you're not a Republican, but he got Bush elected and has raised millions for conservative issues. You can hate the guy, but he's good at what he does.

    February 4, 2013 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  17. NotFooledByDistractions

    So now instead of feeding the beast he and his cohorts created, he's going to war with it? Wow Karl, you're a real genius.

    February 4, 2013 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  18. ggram

    Just go away fatso Rove...

    February 4, 2013 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  19. Al-NY,NY

    Ancient Texan

    rs- And the Democratic Party is no longer the Party of Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, or even Bill Clinton for that matter. Kennedy would called a right wing Republican today.
    ---------

    and "St Ronald Reagan" who the GOP can't fall over enough to try to attach their name to is a tried and true RINO

    February 4, 2013 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  20. roro

    @tv22 – Hitler, Mengele, and Ivan the Terrible were also good at what they did, but I wouldn't want to use them as comparisons.

    February 4, 2013 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  21. rs

    Ancient Texan

    rs- And the Democratic Party is no longer the Party of Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, or even Bill Clinton for that matter. Kennedy would called a right wing Republican today.
    ________________________________________________
    Point well taken. However, I would argue Mr. Obama has been far to the right of the LBJs or the Kennedys, just as the GOP continues it out-of-control death spiral ever-rightward.

    February 4, 2013 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  22. Larry L

    @tv22

    "Sure you may not agree with him if you're not a Republican, but he got Bush elected and has raised millions for conservative issues. You can hate the guy, but he's good at what he does."
    ================================================================================================
    If you are a Republican you can credit him with destruction of the compassionate conservative ideology. He did not promote "conservative issues" but used social issues to generate hate and division. He knows the number of wealthy people is insufficient to elect their political choices, so it was necessary to energize the fearful masses with lies, conspiracies, and an entire culture of right-wing extremism. He is good at those things!

    February 4, 2013 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  23. TomGI

    Fantastic, a new Republican super PAC to skim.

    February 4, 2013 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  24. d slocum

    Don't the Republicans ever learn? Karl Rove engineered the 2012 GOP campaign and look how that turned out. He was wrong on his predictions, his campaign tactics were offensive. Rove is yesterday's news. In other words, Americans are "on to him". Rove is a major player in the self destruction of the Republican Party.
    Akin, Angle, and Mourdock lost because they were sadly lacking in intellect. The voters recognized their shortcomings. Plain and simple.

    February 4, 2013 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  25. NurseLi143

    What Karl still fails to realize, is that it is his own close association with the GOP that makes it impossible for them to regain credibility or popularity. The wealthy dinosaurs love him but they're going extinct. And an infighting strategy of "divide" sounds like conquering them will be a foregone conclusion.

    February 4, 2013 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
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