Karl Rove roared back Tuesday night against tea party critics within his party who say his super PAC’s new initiative is aimed at undermining their candidates during Republican primaries.Ouch. Karl Rove just put a serious hurtin' on that straw man. But really, it is a straw man. Republicans who voted to nominate Mourdock and Akin weren't making some sort of political calculation about who they thought had the best chance of winning the general; they were voting for the candidate they thought best represented their beliefs. Given that Mourdock and Akin represent the heart and soul of the GOP, it's not surprising that they won their primaries. If Karl Rove has a problem with that, his beef isn't with the political acumen of GOP primary voters—it's with what the GOP stands for.
“Some people think the best we can do is Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock – they’re wrong. We need to do better if we hope to take over the United States Senate. We need to get better conservative candidates and win,” Rove, a former White House adviser to President George W. Bush, said on Fox News.
But since Rove decided to defend himself by questioning the political competence of his critics on the right, let's take a look at some of the highlights from his 2012 track record:
• Connie Mack (FL-Sen, more than $4 million)
• Denny Rehberg (MT-Sen, almost $5 million)
• Heather Wilson (NM-Sen, almost $500,000)
• Tommy Thompson (WI-Sen, more than $7 million)
• George Allen (VA-Sen, more than $11 million)
• Rick Berg (ND-Sen, almost $2 million)
• Josh Mandel (OH-Sen, more than $6 million)
So the best Karl Rove could do in 2012 was seven senate races, seven losses, and $30 million—and it doesn't even include the more than $100 million that Rove spent on Mitt Romney's behalf or the $5 million he spent on Mourdock's behalf. Given Rove's abysmal track record, it's no surprise he'd want to convince rich Republicans that candidates like Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock are the only things standing between the GOP and victory. That's the way he'll keep his gravy train running.