As the Republican Party continues to grapples with its 2012 election loss, Karl Rove, a high profile GOP strategist and veteran of the Bush administration, has created a new organization, the Conservative Victory Group to help field electable Republican candidates. Particularly of concern to the group is the 2014 Senate races in which Republicans will need to pick up six seats to gain control of the chamber. Some have blamed Republican electoral woes on hard-right candidates who upset more moderate contenders (and even incumbents) in the primaries, but could not win in general elections.
The group, an offshoot of Rove's super PAC American Crossroads, has already drawn heat from the more conservative elements of the party, often associated with the Tea Party, who fear they are being bullied by the so called "establishment." Rep. Steve King, the conservative Iowa congressman who is reportedly eying a 2014 Senate run, has already released a letter slamming the organization; "Karl Rove and his army have launched a crusade against me," said the letter, which also asked for donations from supporters.
Karl Rove has defended his group, saying on Fox News, "This is not Tea Party versus establishment. I don't want to fight." But other top-level strategists, like Club for Growth President Chris Chocola, have questioned whether it will really help the party, arguing the primary voters should be trusted to decide the best candidate. "They get to decide who the nominee is," Chocola said.
Is Karl Rove's Conservative Victory Group good for the GOP? Here is the Debate Club's take:
Ford O'Connell Republican Strategist, Conservative Activist, and Political Analyst
Jamie Chandler Political Scientist at Hunter College
Lara Brown Author of 'Jockeying for the American Presidency: The Political Opportunism of Aspirants'