Former Bush strategist Karl Rove says he’s staying out of Wyoming’s Republican U.S. Senate primary between incumbent Mike Enzi and newly-announced challenger Liz Cheney, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney.
“Liz is a friend of mine,” Rove told radio host Hugh Hewitt on Thursday. “I also respect Sen. Enzi. This is going to be up to the people of Wyoming. They don’t need a Texan coming in there, and I grew up in the mountain west and you and I both know — particularly in the Rocky Mountain states and small states like Wyoming — they know everybody and want to make up their own minds about it.”
Rove has been criticized in recent months for his involvement with the Conservative Victory Project, which has been described as an effort to elect “establishment Republican candidates” over more conservative challengers.
Later on Hugh Hewitt’s show, Rove gave props to a number of potential candidates he would like to see run for the Senate in 2014, including Michigan Rep. Dave Camp, Arkansas Rep. Tom Cotton, Louisiana Rep. Bill Cassidy and North Carolina State House Speaker Tom Tillis. The former Bush deputy chief of staff also said former Republican Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown could be a viable Senate candidate in New Hampshire.
Rove then sidestepped a question on whether he would help former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush win the White House in 2016.
“Look, he’s got his own team and I’m not — I’m focused on 2014,” Rove said. “I think he is the smartest thinker in our party today. If he wants to run, he would be a big, huge player. My hope is that he gives it every solid look. I know one consideration is going to be, sort of the legacy of his brother, but as we saw recently the polls showed that President George W. Bush is today more popular than President Barack Obama, which says something about how quick things change in a couple of years.”