Tea Party Adversary Karl Rove: Christie Gained 'Street Cred' with Movement After Traffic Scandal
After orchestrating efforts to diminish the Tea Party, Republican establishment strategist Karl Rove decided to offer his opinion Sunday on whether Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's handling of the traffic scandal that is engulfing his administration would help him with Tea Party conservatives.
On Fox News Sunday, Rove said the way Christie has handled the scandal so far "probably gives him some street cred with Tea Party Republicans" who want leaders to take responsibility. After it was revealed that two of Christie's top aides ordered lanes on the George Washington Bridge to be closed last year to cripple Fort Lee, Christie said he did not know anything about it and ousted them.
"I think he did himself a lot of good-bye stepping forward and being very straightforward and very candid and very blunt and taking immediate action," Rove said before saying that "the jury is still out on this and whether or not this sort of brash style in New Jersey is transferable anywhere else in the country."
After Rove declared war on the Tea Party with the formation of the so-called "Conservative Victory Project" last year as part of his Crossroads network, conservatives and Tea Partiers soured so much on Rove and his affiliate groups that Rove is trying to neutralize the Tea Party by more creative means.
Recently, Rove and his agents have been reloading against the Tea Party by establishing groups that are "legally separate from Crossroads," but share board members, including Stephen Law who happens to be the president of Crossroads, and treasurers.
During the 2012 election cycle, Rove and his affiliate groups spent nearly $450 million without winning a single race. Still, those in Rove's orbit have said his groups have better financial controls than conservative organizations and groups.
Writing in The American Spectator, Jeffrey Lord, the conservative stalwart who worked in the Reagan administration, said that Rove and other Washington establishment groups "have declared war on the Reaganite conservative base of the Republican Party." Lord accused the Republican establishment of trying to deliberately "sabotage the GOP from within" to ensure that "Reagan-style conservatives – the base of the Republican Party – are defeated by Establishment, statist Republicans."
Lord wrote that Republicans who controlled Washington during the 2000s had full control of all three branches of federal government in a way Reagan never did, and they joined with liberal statists to expand the size and scope of government, laying the groundwork for turning Washington into America's preeminent "Boomtown." That is why Lord said electing more statist Republicans favored by Washington's permanent political class will not stop the reckless – and wasteful – spending that only benefits those with ties to "Boomtown."