New super PAC formed to help influence Republican primaries
February 3rd, 2013
01:07 PM ET
10 years 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.

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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. Robert

    I always thought outing a CIA agent was a dangerous to do. Apparently Rove has escaped the consequences – so far.

    February 4, 2013 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  2. bcrunner

    Good Luck to him! Since his donors the last time around got NOTHING for their money!! If their "investments" did so badly in the last election, why would they give more of their money to this guy? Throwing good money after bad money...

    February 4, 2013 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  3. CEE

    Send your money.....suckers.

    February 4, 2013 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  4. EJ

    With our current POTUS being a closet Goldwater, one would think Rove would simply back step a little, pick up the phone and get some quality Jeff Gannon time, make a few vids with him and wait out Mr. Obama's term prior to breaking out his magic wand and the J. Edgar Hoover dress he bought so he can play Fantasia Wizard again and ruin some more lives.

    February 4, 2013 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  5. Jim

    Why the hell doesn't he just climb under the rock with his pals, Dubya,Cheney, and Rumsfied. No one will miss him.

    February 4, 2013 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  6. Karl "Adolph Eichmann" Rove

    Karl "Adolph Eichmann" Rove. Evil, personified. And the gift that keeps giving to the Democratic party.

    February 4, 2013 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  7. Marcia

    Yes -I love the whole idea-Rove needs more millions to waste-but this is a good idea-get rid of the crazies (sorry Rove after your performance of Fox election night that would include you) and put up real Republican candidate that might be sane enough to win

    February 4, 2013 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  8. Fire In The Hole

    Its never the message.
    Its always the messenger.
    Thats why the Conservatives will continue to lose elections.
    Not very Bright.
    Its a snake eating its own tail.

    February 4, 2013 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  9. CarolinaGirl

    When will they ever learn their way is not working?

    February 4, 2013 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  10. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Sending your money to Karl Rove has proven to be a bad investment. What was the return on all of that SuperPAC money Karl?

    February 4, 2013 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  11. Rudy NYC

    Fire In The Hole wrote:

    Its never the message.
    Its always the messenger.
    Thats why the Conservatives will continue to lose elections.
    Not very Bright.
    Its a snake eating its own tail.
    The problem is that conservatives have some sort of twisted sense of manifest self-rightousness, that their views are the one and only correct views. For example, a conservative would like at a group of newcomers and think to themselves, "they should join up with us." Liberals would look at that same group and think to themselves, "we shouuld join up with them."

    February 4, 2013 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  12. SuperD

    You Liberals make me sick. You are going to screw over the country so bad in this next 4 years to where you will not step outside because somebody is going to kick your ass. Your delusional policy and world view must be exterminated. Enjoy the high tide will you can, what goes up, must come down.

    February 4, 2013 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  13. Pam from Iowa

    Karl Rove, The Tea Party......the lunatic fringe!!!!

    February 4, 2013 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  14. Laurie in Spokane

    Without having read the article as to what Rove's up to next, I can only say I ferfently hope he just disappears and we never have to hear from him or of him again. Take Cheney and Bush with him.

    February 4, 2013 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  15. stevetall

    Who would hire this little weasel? Only the mentally deficient or morally bankrupt.

    February 4, 2013 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  16. LIP

    Sure, the Republicans lost by a bare margin, but this could make the difference, especially since the Democrats have several super pacs working to villify them. What goes around comes around and they will be back, just like both parties tend to do.

    February 4, 2013 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  17. LIP

    More taxes, fewer jobs, higher gas prices, higher prices at the grocery store, higher consumer prices all the way around equals a change in the way we perceive the real world and then we kick out the liberals.
    The latest mistake is defense cuts, which equal more unemployment in the military and those businesses supporting the military wherever their bases are located. It didn't work during Clinton's administration, so why will it work now?

    February 4, 2013 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  18. Ken

    The Republican Party/conservative wing of the U.S. government today reminds me of the Democratic Party/liberal wing of the part between the early 1970s and the early 1990s: confused, undisciplined, and at odds with reality.

    February 4, 2013 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  19. Steven Colo

    Why, gee. Why ever would they choose to change their name? The reason for failure is NOT in the name, guys.

    February 4, 2013 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  20. lolo

    Translation = We must keep our true agenda under wraps so that we can fool everyone and win. @SuperD, a liitle sour are we? You were not complaining when Dubya was screwing up and lying. I know Dubya is not in office now, but he left a huge mess to be cleaned up. Could it be because of the color landscape? You and your party have made a pact with the tea party devils and now you are eating your own.

    February 4, 2013 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  21. John

    You have Karl Rove and the TEA PARTY and than you wonder why the Republican Party can't win Election. Come on you really can't be that Dumb can you.

    February 4, 2013 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  22. California Gary

    You would think that after his embarrassing performance on election night, this clown would just go away. But he is like a fungus that just keeps coming back and making life miserable.

    February 4, 2013 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  23. 1969er

    Keep it goin' Karl Amost ready for retirement. Got those big bucks saved up.

    February 4, 2013 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
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