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. nothing new here

    HA HA – the GOP is eating their own. Lovely.

    February 3, 2013 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  2. nothing new here

    The GOP needs to get back to basics.
    They do not need to be dealing with all these social conservatice issues. Social conservatism is a losing platform. Just focus on fiscal issues, and respecting individual liberties. Otherwise, freethinking Americans will continue to identify as independent voters, or at least join the Libertarian party.

    February 3, 2013 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  3. Pander Bear

    He did such a great job in the last election that I think all conservatives should give him lots of money.

    February 3, 2013 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  4. ThinkAgain

    I sincerely hope that Karl Rove soon goes the way of his mentor, Lee Atwater.

    February 3, 2013 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  5. Dude in Colorado

    I would look for this new, so-called "Conservative Victory Project" to drum up funding for more gerrymandering and mud-slinging rather than aiding it's preferred candidates in any legitimate effort to further their message to voters.

    February 3, 2013 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  6. TM

    After Rove's embarrassing meltdown on Fox during election night, and the total failure of Crossroads to elect their candidates, who exactly is dumb enough to listen to Rove again?

    February 3, 2013 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  7. Larry L

    Karl Rove offers Republicans the sleazy, corrupt, immoral side of modern politics. He will create false images, dirty tricks, and "swift boat" lies to promote whatever candidate the fat-cats approve. He represents everything that is truly evil about American politics. He is a master at dividing our people with deceptive and dishonest practices.

    February 3, 2013 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  8. Evergreen

    Please keep taking advice from Karl Rove. It worked very well in the last election.

    February 3, 2013 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  9. Sniffit

    "aiming to make sure Republican congressional primary victors can also win the general election."

    So they'll be primarily concerned with opposing Teatroll candidates? Turdblossom's 15 minutes are up.

    February 3, 2013 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  10. mk1

    Ah yes, just another way for Rove to make millions off the unsuspecting idiots on the right. His track record last year was so so good that the GOP would be fools to go along with this.

    February 3, 2013 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  11. jinx88

    I guess we will see how much more millions Karl Rove can spend of other peoples money in another losing effort.

    February 3, 2013 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  12. vic , nashville ,tn

    Karl Rove is destroying Republican Party, more super Pac mean more source of income for Karl Rove
    GOP has math problem this my projection
    By 2014 0.75% less white voters, and 1 % more minority voters
    By 2016 2% less white voters, and 3 % more minority voters
    By 2018 4.5% less white voters, and 5.5 % more minority voters
    By 2020 6% less white voters, and 9 % more minority voters
    How GOP will attract minority voters that is in question mark

    February 3, 2013 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  13. jane

    Whoever Rove support, I oppose...He should also remove whatever is hanging from his nose

    February 3, 2013 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  14. Former Republican, now an Independent

    Karl rove is anything but a patriot and one of the most dangerous men in America. He is a neo-fascist and is trying to buy U.S. elections as he believes the control of the country should lie in the hands of the wealthy.

    February 3, 2013 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  15. Larry L

    Karl Rove does not represent an old-fashioned conservative ideology. He's a marketing expert ready to sell toxic waste to children if the money was right. He makes a living out of duping fearful, ill-informed white people into believing in right-wing social causes – but only those that don't cost the wealthy any money. He energizes the under-educated to get votes – because no society has enough wealthy people to carry the vote alone.

    February 3, 2013 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  16. Ozzie

    One of the most evil men on the planet. Wake up, Republicans. Worship a new God – and I don't mean Rush.

    February 3, 2013 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  17. HenryB

    Here we go again. And we will continue to be swayed by these people.

    February 3, 2013 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  18. nothing new here

    This has got to be a joke.

    February 3, 2013 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  19. rs

    The GOP hasn't figured out that Rove is first and foremost out for Rove, and NOT Republican candidates. Fools and their cash....

    February 4, 2013 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  20. Hogan's Goat

    Why doesn't he find some other country to be the ayatollah of? We're sick of him.

    February 4, 2013 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  21. ST

    There is something very big and wrong with GOP. How would they keep on relying on people who made them fail? Reince Priebus, Karl Rove, Limbaugh, Fox News etc. etc. Does it really make any sense?? Really!

    February 4, 2013 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  22. Just a thought

    This is hilarious! I can't think of a more pathetic person working for a more pathetic party. This is what Conservatives are looking for in leadership? The GOP/Tea-a-Tards are going the way of the do do bird, and not any too soon – LOL

    February 4, 2013 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  23. Hogan's Goat

    We'll go no more a-roving.

    February 4, 2013 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  24. Pete

    Pretty good heading on influence,more like bribing or threatening to get votes..Remember their signs before the presidencial election scaring minority voters with jail time ,fines if they voted or how republican led states had more voting machines in republican led districts than in democratic minority led ones and voter supression by republicans was rampant...If it weren't for Pres.Obamas grass roots get out the vote organizing republicans would have won but all they did was show how racist and bigotted their party really was ...Republicans are going the way the KKK and other racial groups are heading for extinction and as usual their arrogence has overshadowed their ignorence,bigotry and all the money they have won't change what people think of their white trailer trash mentality ..Quit trying to woo people republicans,a snake will always be a snake no matter what skin you slip into!!

    February 4, 2013 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  25. snowdogg

    "Karl rove is anything but a patriot and one of the most dangerous men in America. He is a neo-fascist and is trying to buy U.S. elections as he believes the control of the country should lie in the hands of the wealthy."

    Totally agree!

    February 4, 2013 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
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