Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King, a tea party favorite, is using criticism from an American Crossroads-backed group as an opportunity to do some fundraising.
The group, the Conservative Victory Project, says it will seek to influence 2014 Senate primaries, with the goal of promoting candidates who are conservative but electable.
The Victory Project also aims to prevent the rise of candidates like former Missouri Rep. Todd Akin and Indiana State Treasurer Richard Mourdock, who in 2012 each made gaffes that abruptly derailed their Senate campaigns. (RELATED: Conservative leaders draft irate letter after American Crossroads staffer dares criticize their “beloved” Brent Bozell)
A New York Times story on the organization this week revealed that King, an Iowa Republican considered to be a possible 2014 candidate for the Senate seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Tom Harkin, is one of the organization’s top targets.
“We’re concerned about Steve King’s Todd Akin problem,” Steven Law, president of American Crossroads, told the Times. “This is an example of candidate discipline and how it would play in a general election. All of the things he’s said are going to be hung around his neck.”
King has not yet announced a decision about whether he will run for the Senate, but he is apparently using Law’s remarks to raise money for a potential campaign.
“I’m under attack and I urgently need your help to fight back,” he writes in a fundraising letter. “I have not made a decision on this matter, but already Karl Rove and his army have launched a crusade against me. … They said I couldn’t win in 2012 — the entire political machine was against me — but I soundly defeated my opponent by 8 percentage points. So let me be clear. Nobody can bully me out of running for the U.S. Senate, not even Karl Rove and his hefty war chest.”
“At the end of the day, my decision will be based on what I believe is best for our state and our country, and whether or not I can count on your continued support. Your donation of $25, $50, $100 or more today will not only help me ward off Karl Rove’s baseless attacks, it will tell me you will continue to stand with me,” the letter concludes.