Joe Trippi says Karl Rove most fears John Edwards.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Many political watchers are wondering exactly why former top Bush aide Karl Rove has attacked New York Sen. Hillary Clinton so aggressively since he announced he was leaving the White House last week.
Well, Joe Trippi, one of former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards' top strategists, thinks he knows the answer: Rove "doesn't want John Edwards to win the Democratic nomination."
"Rove knows that Democrats will rally around whomever he attacks—so he attacks the candidate he thinks Republicans can most easily defeat," Trippi wrote to supporters in a fundraising e-mail. "It may seem backwards, but Rove and his cronies did the same thing last time around. In 2004, they were scared of John Edwards, so they attacked John Kerry."
"Rove is using his sneaky, underhanded tactics to try and trick Democrats into rallying around a candidate who won't be as strong as John in the general election," Trippi added.
Rove, who announced he is leaving his post at the White House at the end of the month, has repeatedly criticized Clinton, arguing her "high" disapproval numbers render her a "fatally flawed" candidate.
- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney