Former White House strategist Karl Rove appeared on “Hannity” Wednesday to defend himself and his super PAC American Crossroads against critics who charge that he is seeking out and potentially exerting improper influence on the Republican Party.
Earlier this week, an email was distributed on behalf of the activist group Tea Party Patriots with a photo depicting Rove as a Nazi. The group later apologized, but Rove questioned why the incident received so much more media attention than Bob Woodward’s suggestion on “Fox News Sunday” over the weekend that Rove has set himself “up as a kind of politburo.” (RELATED VIDEO: Rove denies he wants to destroy tea party)
“The last time I checked, the politburo was the ruling body of the Soviet Communist Party, which enslaved hundreds of millions of people, oversaw the extermination of tens of millions of people and, during the Cold War, threatened the United States with nuclear annihilation,” Rove said. “Now just because Woodward is a center-left journalist, he can get away with calling me a communist, and nobody is bothered by this.”
“Here is a guy been around Washington for 42 years as a journalist, and he tells me that I ought to get out of politics and get out of Washington,” Rove continued. “I’ve been in Washington a heck of a lot fewer years than he has.”
Rove refused to speculate why anyone would describe him as a Nazi, opting instead to launch into a defense of Crossroads. Some critics charge the well-connected group is undemocratic because it significantly funds and props up its favored candidates, while others feel Rove isn’t supporting true conservatives. (RELATED AUDIO — Mark Levin: “Who the hell died and made Karl Rove queen for the day?”)
“Look, I’m not going to try to explain the motives of somebody who would send out an email claiming another conservative is a Nazi — I’m just not,” Rove said.
“This idea being put forth by some that Crossroads is a bunch of consultants is absolutely wrong,” he continued. “Crossroads is a different kind of an organization. It’s run by a board of volunteers — business and political people. They hire the staff. They set the policies. They set the compensation. They approve the hiring. They approve the budget. They approve any change in the budget. We have a small professional staff that gets a salary, [and] doesn’t get a set of fees. There is a strict conflict of interest standard they have to abide by. … I don’t take a dime. I don’t even get my expenses reimbursed.”
There is nothing undemocratic about funneling money to certain candidates, the former White House deputy chief of staff argued.
“We deserve to have a right to be involved in primaries,” he said, “and want to go about it in a thoughtful fashion.”