When given the opportunity to rebut the sharp criticism leveled Tuesday by Brent Bozell directed at Karl Rove, Jonathan Collegio of Rove's American Crossroads might have made things worse, if not personal. "Bozell is a hater and he also has a long sordid history hating Karl Rove. He has weird personal axes to grind," said the spokesman for Rove's influential Super PAC.
Collegio's appearance on "Mornings on the Mall" on WMAL-FM in Washington DC was in response to Bozell's interview Tuesday, in which the chairman of ForAmerica, took great issue with the initiative started by Rove and Steven Law, also from American Crossroads, that was reported by the New York Times Sunday.
The interview with Collegio began straightforwardly enough, as he attempted to clarify what he described as an erroneous take on the new initiative that was reported by the New York Times as an attempt to identify more "electable" candidates from the pool of Republicans seeking Senate seats in 2014.
Collegio's claim that American Crossroads supported candidates like Sen. Rand Paul, Sen. Marco Rubio, and Sen. Ted Cruz is being disputed by many as being only half true, since the support was only after the primary process when the establishment candidates were defeated by the Tea Party upstarts.
The personal comments about Bozell have sparked outrage among many conservatives who see Bozell and his groundbreaking organization, Media Research Center, as a stalwart pillar in the modern conservative movement. A statement is being circulated to demand Collegio's resignation in light of the comments. One conservative insider remarked "that kind of language and tactic directed at a conservative is the kind of thing you'd see from Touré on MSNBC not from a fellow conservative serving a person with the profile of Karl Rove."
Mr. Collegio has subsequently offered an apology for his remarks:
Bozell called us “fake conservatives” — which is language that perniciously and unfairly judges the motives of others, and fails to acknowledge that there might be honest differences on strategy within the conservative movement.
For my part: I said that in the heat of a talk radio debate, I regret contributing to the vitriol, and I apologize to Mr. Bozell if it offended him. Believe it or not, I’m a big fan of both him and MRC.
One thing is clear: If Mr. Collegio was supposed to correct the record and rally conservative support for Rove's Conservative Victory Project, his statement about Bozell may have had the opposite effect.