POLITICS
05/03/2013 12:55 pm ET | Updated May 03, 2013

Democrats Question Karl Rove Over GOP Senate Op-Ed

AP

Senate Democrats are questioning Republican strategist Karl Rove about which GOP Senate candidates he considers "ill-suited" for the 2014 election.

Rove wrote in an op-ed published Thursday in the Wall Street Journal that the Republican Party should avoid candidates who could self-destruct or lose leads in key states. He used the op-ed to highlight several Democratic senators he believes Republicans could defeat, but did not name any GOP candidates that would be detrimental to the party's goal of recapturing the Senate majority.

"Republican success will depend on having quality Senate candidates," Rove wrote. "Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock self-destructed last fall, and other candidates squandered important opportunities."

Rove's work recruiting Senate candidates has put him at odds with the tea party, which sees him as trying to make the GOP too moderate. Republicans are attempting to avoid the Senate primaries the party faced in 2010 and 2012.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee was quick to point out that Rove did not say specifically who he considers "ill-suited," and that it was unlikely that the GOP could avoid primaries.

“Republican primary voters have a right to know who GOP boss Karl Rove thinks is awful,” DSCC spokesman Justin Barasky said in a statement obtained by The Huffington Post. “Rove promised his big donors he would weed out bad candidates and back establishment Republicans, but Tea Partiers and rank-and-file conservatives simply don't trust their party leadership in Washington and don't want them hand picking their Senate nominees.”

The DSCC is asking Rove to comment on certain candidates, including Alaska Republican Joe Miller, who detained reporters at an event during his 2010 Senate race; Georgia Rep. Jack Kingston, who has stressed his strong conservative position in a probable GOP primary; and Iowa Rep. Steve King, who compared immigrants to dogs in 2012.

Rove's chief of staff said Rove was traveling and did not have a response to the DSCC.

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