POLITICS
03/01/2013 11:16 am ET

Karl Rove Doesn't Care About 'Core Beliefs' Of GOP Candidates, Says Club For Growth's Chris Chocola

The conservative backlash against GOP strategist Karl Rove continued on Thursday, with Chris Chocola, president of conservative anti-tax group Club for Growth, accusing him of engaging in a plan to prop up certain Republican candidates regardless of their "core beliefs."

"What Karl Rove and some of the establishment groups only care about is the brand," he said in an interview with CBS News. "They only care if someone's a Republican or not. They don't really care what their core beliefs are. I think voters actually care what their core beliefs are."

Rove has taken heavy criticism from the right over his announcement of the Conservative Victory Project, an offshoot of his American Crossroads super PAC designed in part to prevent unviable or extreme Republican candidates from winning GOP primaries. Earlier this week, Rove defended the effort, saying it was a necessary response to a number of embarrassing high-profile losses by Republicans in the last few election cycles. Rove claimed that donors to American Crossroads had chewed him out and demanded to know why the party appeared to be giving away seats that had been seen as winnable.

But Rove's conservative critics have accused him of trying to squelch authentic and sometimes powerful voices that they say make the conservative movement and the GOP dynamic. Chocola attempted to underscore this point on Thursday with a cereal analogy.

“If you go to the grocery store and you have a box of cereal that just has that brand but you don’t know what’s inside, you know, you’re not going to be too enthusiastic about buying it,” Chocola said. “But if you know what’s inside every single time, you’re going to become a loyal supporter of that brand. I think they’ve gotten the brand loyalty kind of backwards.”

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