Tea party group apologizes to Rove for Nazi photo
February 19th, 2013
04:51 PM ET
10 years ago

Tea party group apologizes to Rove for Nazi photo

(CNN) - As if the relationship between the tea party and veteran GOP strategist Karl Rove wasn't stained enough, the Tea Party Patriots apologized Tuesday for blasting out an email with an edited image of Rove wearing a Nazi uniform.

In the original fundraising message sent out Tuesday morning–with the subject line: "Wipe the Smirk Off Karl Rove's Face"–the group said "professional political cronies like Karl Rove are attacking the Tea Party movement."

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"They see people like you and me as a serious nuisance, and they will do everything they can to crush us," the email stated, with a pitch to send an online donation and support the organization.

Tea party Republicans have been in a war of words with Rove ever since he launched another super PAC, this one dedicated to ensuring candidates fare better in Republican primaries. Founders of the group point to six lost Senate elections in the last two cycles due to "undisciplined candidates and subpar campaigns."

"Our object is not to be for the establishment, it's to be for the most conservative candidate that can win," Rove said February 6 during an appearance on Fox News, where he is a paid contributor.

While Rove, the former top political adviser to President George W. Bush and co-founder of American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS, argues the effort is merely an attempt to groom better candidates, some conservative Republicans say the top strategist is trying to shut out tea party-minded candidates. The two sides have been entrenched in a bitter feud over the last two weeks.

However, Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder of Tea Party Patriots, one of the largest tea party groups in the country, apologized for the email Tuesday afternoon, saying the image was crafted by an "outside vendor."

The image, which was attached to a URL link, has been removed from the original email, but the photo was saved by multiple news outlets.

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It was "wrong and we have ordered them to immediately cease further use of the image," she said in a statement, adding that they "did not know about or approve" the manufactured photo.

"We apologize to Mr. Rove," the statement read. "While we may have strong disagreements with him on the future of conservatism, we want to be clear this imagery is absolutely unacceptable and are working to ensure this type of mistake doesn't happen again."

- CNN's Ashley Killough, John King, Paul Steinhauser, Kevin Liptak and Kevin Bohn contributed to this report.

Filed under: Karl Rove • Tea Party
soundoff (50 Responses)
  1. Logic N LA

    My question is why hasn't there been more said about rove's comment about electing " the most conservative person possible" – he is not interested in the most qualified, only the most conservative. Way to go Karl- you are as always, a moron.

    February 19, 2013 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  2. rs

    I dunno, TEA Party and the Nazis...........?
    Kinda works.

    February 19, 2013 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  3. LIbertyGuy

    I'm sorry but if the shoe fits.... Rove is Gerbals reborn. The democrats and the republicans combined are the Nazi party wake up people. Both Democrats and Republicans hate liberty and hate your freedoms. Moreover, they hate prosperity for all and only want prosperity for a few if you cannot see this well then enjoy your slavery!

    February 19, 2013 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  4. Strategic Bob

    An apology is in order, but not to Rove. Comparing him to the Nazis is a-historical. Rove and the lunatic right (aka the GOP and the TEAParty) are a bigger threat to the future of this nation than the Nazis ever were.

    February 19, 2013 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  5. Pete

    Let's hear it for Heir Rove who has the highest rank of ignorence republicans can give out the annis award given to one that typically looks like one..Good Rove because if the shoe fits wear it and as its been said many times before republicans do eat their own don't they!!

    February 19, 2013 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  6. Former Republican, now an Independent

    The Tea Party finally concedes that the entire current day GOP leadership are neo-fascists, and the Nazi markings are appropriate. What they don't admit is, the Tea Party leadership are over the edge neo-fascists.

    February 19, 2013 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  7. me

    I am tired of tthe race card

    February 19, 2013 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  8. carl arasi

    We have a bunch of Communist in Washington why not Nazis? Carl Rove looks cool in that Nazis suit!

    February 19, 2013 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  9. SecrtSqurl

    The Tea Party is such a lost cause. They represent everything that is wrong with the republican party. Democrats are dancing in the streets.

    February 19, 2013 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  10. Kristie

    It is funny that CNN thinks it newsworthy that the Tea Party publicly apologized; something you will NEVER see nor hear CNN doing.....

    February 19, 2013 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  11. Mark

    This is not the first time the TP have fallen back on the tactic of labeling people they do not like as Nazi's? i am left to wonder whether there is a pathology to this? To happen once we might excuse as the excesses typical of contemporary politics; but this is neither the first let alone second. And I am not buying the excuse of an outside provider – a party is responsible for everything that goes out.

    February 19, 2013 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  12. lonewolf

    I find it funny that the Tea Party would use an image of Rove in a Nazi uniform, I thought that was the regular outfit worn by the Tea Party.

    February 19, 2013 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  13. marie

    The Tea Party extremists will cost the GOP another national election. Their extreme views are frightening to the average American. Unfortunately, most republicans have to go along with their irrational views in order to have support. When the GOP loses another national election maybe they will learn that it is not the latino vote that will make a difference but to move away from the Tea party crazies.

    February 19, 2013 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  14. Royal Flush

    If the shoe fits wear it.

    February 19, 2013 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  15. jg

    Ahhhh.....the fascists turning on the fascists.

    February 19, 2013 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  16. Loathstheright

    He's a natural in that Nazi suit, it represents the GOP just fine.

    February 19, 2013 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  17. CronoT

    Godwin's Law proves itself true yet again. Although, it would be more accurate to compare/smear Karl Rove with Joseph Stalin & his cronies.

    February 19, 2013 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  18. altalks21

    Great example of self-destruction, like the picture

    February 19, 2013 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  19. michael collins

    Why apologize ti Rove? After the propganda smears he's engineered he got a little of what he dishes out back. Actually if you listen to AZI in viewpoint anyway.

    February 19, 2013 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  20. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    The first one to play the Nazi card is the loser. I guess that makes sense since the teapublicans don't have policies that make sense in the first place.

    February 19, 2013 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  21. Lee

    Does she think anyone really believes her when she says she didn't know about the photo? BS. I'm sure she knew and most likely approved it then felt some of the backlash. Even a lot of right-winger don't like the nazi garbage.

    February 19, 2013 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  22. The Dude

    I'm surprised that Rove is still with us considering all the money he lost on the last election. Turd Blossom at his finest!

    February 19, 2013 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  23. Surfer George

    Gotta love the TEA Party

    They have no positive value on the planet, even when I think they're on the right track with Rove.

    February 19, 2013 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  24. us_1776

    Rove AND the Tea Party are all sick in the head.


    February 19, 2013 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  25. Thomas

    I's say Karl Rove looks more like Elmer Fudd or Mr. Magoo.

    As for the Tea Party , they act like the Moral Majority . Both were just pawns , both were Punked by Karl Rove and Ralph Reed .

    February 20, 2013 12:14 am at 12:14 am |
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