Highlighting the split between big-business Republicans and their more socially conservative brethren, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) on Friday mocked Karl Rove and his allies at the super PAC American Crossroads as a bunch of out-of-touch "fat cats" who spend their time sipping drinks at country clubs.
If they paid more attention to regular people, Sessions argued on the Senate floor, Rove and his pals might have advised Mitt Romney to take a more aggressive stance on immigration, which could have put the wealthy former governor in the White House.
Instead, American Crossroads and its affiliated nonprofit, Crossroads GPS, spent more than $100 million in a losing effort that Sessions belittled.
"Now, my friend Karl Rove, from the Center for American Progress or something like that," Sessions said in a mistaken reference to the liberal think tank, "raised a bunch of money for Crossroads to run ads in the last election that was supposed to elect Mr. Romney. Didn't do so well, Karl. Sorry about that. Wish you'd been more effective."
Sessions argued that Romney could have won if he had made the case that he would treat undocumented immigrants compassionately but that the country would "have a lawful system of immigration that is enforced."
"But the crew, the Crossroads guys that go to the country clubs and drink with each other and plot and think they know something about politics -- and haven't been out talking to real people in decades -- they thought they knew better," Sessions said. "And they've been telling us all how we're supposed to do this and what good politics is."
Sessions contended that the immigration bill now before the Senate is bad economic policy that will drive down wages even if it helps expand the overall economy and boost corporate profits.
"I don't think this can be defended economically. But the fat cats who fund American Crossroads I'm sure see it differently," Sessions said.
The Alabama senator was especially incensed that Rove recently advised Republicans not to call the immigration bill "amnesty."
"Well, thank you, Mr. Rove. I appreciate that advice," Sessions said with notable sarcasm. "I think he's one of the most talented people I know, but I'm not taking his advice about this matter. I'm still meeting with average American people every week."
Michael McAuliff covers Congress and politics for The Huffington Post. Talk to him on Facebook.