Tea Party Joins Allies Urging Republican Donors to Shun Rove

Tea Party leaders and Republican activists renewed their attacks on political strategist Karl Rove today, seeking to dissuade donors from backing his effort to help candidates he views as electable win Republican primaries.

“Mr. Rove and his allies must stop blaming conservatives for his disastrous results” in recent campaigns, said a letter that aims to discourage contributions to the Conservative Victory Project that Rove has formed.

The letter was sent to major donors to the American Crossroads super-political action committee, a group previously created with Rove’s assistance. The 18 people signing the letters include Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder of the anti-tax Tea Party Patriots, Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, former Ohio secretary of state Ken Blackwell, and ForAmerica Chairman L. Brent Bozell.

American Crossroads and its sister nonprofit, Crossroads GPS, spent more than $175 million in 2012 in independent efforts supporting the Republican bid to oust President Barack Obama and take control of the U.S. Senate. Obama won re-election and Democrats expanded their control of the Senate by two seats.

Rove, 62, last month announced the formation of the victory project group. Jonathan Collegio, its spokesman, said in an e- mail at the time that Republicans lost some Senate races last year and in 2010 because of “undisciplined candidates running bad campaigns,” and that new group “seeks to help elect the most conservative candidates in Republican primaries who can win in general elections.”

The move sparked immediate criticism that Rove was attempting to play kingmaker.

‘Stop Posturing’

Today’s letter said Rove must “take ownership of his record,” and “also stop posturing himself as a conservative -- his record supporting wasteful government spending and moderate candidates over conservatives spans decades.”

Collegio, in a response, said in an e-mail that the new group is “relentlessly focused on stopping President Obama’s agenda, winning a conservative majority in the Senate and expanding the conservative majority in the House.”

Rove shepherded George W. Bush’s political career and served in his White House as deputy chief of staff.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jonathan D. Salant in Washington at jsalant@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jeanne Cummings at jcummings21@bloomberg.net.

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