Embattled Republican strategist Karl Rove says that both he and American Crossroads, the political action committee he co-founded, will remain major political players despite their poor performance in this year's elections.
"We did good things this year," Rove told the Washington Post. "But look, it's the way of politics that you're going to have some good years, and you're going to have some bad years."
Rove said Crossroads may shift its focus to Republican primaries in hopes of helping to pick the strongest conservative candidates over more extreme and weaker ones. Many political analysts argue that moderate conservatives could have won Senate seats in Indiana and Missouri this year, for example, but more zealous conservatives elbowed them aside in nomination fights, but went down to defeat in the general election.
Rove also is considering using Crossroads to fund candidate recruitment through organizations such as the Republican State Leadership Committee.
And there will be self scrutiny. "We've got to carefully examine, as we did after 2010, an after-action report looking at everything with fresh eyes and questioning and figuring out what worked and what didn't work," Rove said.
Prior to last week's election, Rove repeatedly predicted that Republican nominee Mitt Romney would win. Of course, it was President Barack Obama who won convincingly. On election night, Rove got into an on-the-air dustup with Fox News over who would capture Ohio. Rove said it was premature to project an Obama victory there and that Romney could still win Ohio. Fox election analysts went with Obama, who did win Ohio, making Rove wrong again.
Later in the week, Rove said the Obama campaign had been "suppressing the vote" by deriding Romney for months. Rove said this was designed to drive Romney's support down. But vote suppression is generally defined as a series of restrictive measures and techniques aimed at keeping people from exercising their voting rights such as imposing stricter identification standards at the polls or using scare tactics and intimidation.
Many Republicans have criticized Rove and Crossroads for collecting tens of millions of dollars for TV ads and other activities, and having little to show for it in terms of electing Republicans.
Rove's supporters say that without Crossroads, the outcome would have been even worse for the GOP.
Rove rose to national fame as the strategist behind George W. Bush's two successful runs for the White House and as White House deputy chief of staff. He is now a Fox News commentator.
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Ken Walsh covers the White House and politics for U.S. News. He writes the daily blog, "Ken Walsh's Washington," for usnews.com, and is the author of "The Presidency" column for the U.S. News Weekly. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, and on Facebook or Twitter.