In a New York Times article last week about the American Crossroads-backed Conservative Victory Fund, a group dedicated to backing Republicans in primaries who are seen as strong general election contenders, King was singled out as an unelectable option the group would like to avoid having as the party’s nominee in the general election.
King has made an effort to turn lemons into lemonade, using the comments to fundraise. Still, he said, it is something he must deal with before announcing a run.
“When Karl Rove decided that he was going to make me his national poster child for their elitist attitude of deciding who would be the nominee and who would not be the nominee, now I’ve got a different battle I need to fight before the way can be cleared to do the analysis” about running, he said.
“And that it’s gonna become to clear, not just to Iowans but to everybody in this country, that when in comes to nominating candidates for the general election ballot, that’s a decision made in this state by Iowans and nobody else. And if you go to other states, they need that kind of protection to,” he said.
“If I would back up in front of Karl Rove’s initiative, that would just empower him, and he would go on state after state, candidate after candidate, and I don’t think any individual has the wisdom to make those kind of decisions,” King went on. “But I think Iowans together can make those decisions, and should. That’s the principle. We have to fight this out in the court of public opinion. I don’t know how long that’s going to take, but we have to clear with that before we can go on with the decision making process.”
Asked for a specific timeline, King replied: “It’s almost equivalent to declaring when a war will be over. And if you make the announcement, then the people who are strategizing will go ahead and move towards that strategically.”