GOP strategist and current conservative punching bag Karl Rove took to Fox News on Wednesday night to defend himself from criticism of his controversial new electoral effort to squelch certain types of Republican candidates.
Rove's Conservative Victory Project is designed to stop GOP primary candidates considered too conservative to win general elections from gaining traction, an objective that has quickly offended a number of tea party activists and Republican politicians.
Speaking with Sean Hannity of Fox News, Rove began by addressing recent attacks that had come from a national tea party group and from journalist Bob Woodward.
Rove appeared willing to accept an apology from the Tea Party Patriots issued Wednesday after an email from the group depicting him as a Nazi made the rounds. Rove offered a harsher rebuke to Woodward, who over the weekend characterized the Conservative Victory Project as a sort of "Politburo."
"The last time I checked, the Politburo was the ruling body of the Soviet Communist party and oversaw the extermination of tens of millions of people and during the Cold War threatened the United States with nuclear annihilation and just because Woodward is a center-left journalist, he can get away with calling me a communist and nobody is bothered by this,” Rove said.
The former Bush adviser went on to deflect recent criticism from former GOP House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who had jabbed Rove's American Crossroads super PAC as a vehicle for "cronyism" and questioned its effectiveness after failing to produce in the 2012 elections. Rove admitted that that many conservative organizations were "run by consultants who are more concerned with their fees and profits than they are with advancing the cause" but argued that his super PAC was guided by different goals.
Rove concluded with a defense of the Conservative Victory Project, characterizing it as an effort to help ensure that the donors who contributed to his super PAC with the goal of getting Republicans elected were actually seeing a return on their investment.
"We deserve to have a right to be involved in primaries, and we want to go about it in a thoughtful fashion," Rove said. "Look, If you take the attitude that nobody ought to be involved in primaries, fine. But if you take the attitude that some groups ought to be able to be involved in primaries and not other groups, then there's a little bit of a hypocrisy there. And we have a right just like everybody else to be involved, and in a low-key, collegial fashion we're going to try to do what we can to get the most electable, strong conservatives, so we don't give away seats."