Sources close to Dr. Ben Carson are pushing back on what they say is a false narrative being offered by GOP establishment consultant Karl Rove, in which Rove is attempting to give off the impression he is helping Carson to take on 2016 GOP frontrunner Donald Trump.
“Karl Rove has no relationship with the campaign or Dr. Carson,” an individual with direct knowledge of these matters told Breitbart News on Saturday in response to a Bloomberg News story alleging otherwise. “Karl Rove knows Terry Giles, who is no longer with the campaign. In addition he knows Jeff Reeter from the Super PAC. Karl Rove at best introduced Jeff Reeter to Steve Wynn. But he does not now, nor has he ever, have a relationship.”
On Saturday, under the headline—“Karl Rove Opens His Rolodex For Ben Carson”—Bloomberg’s Ben Brody and Kevin Cirilli reported that Rove at one point set up a meeting for Carson advisers and fundraisers with billionaire casino mogul Steve Wynn.
“Rove confirmed to Bloomberg Politics that he acted as the go-between for the Carson camp and Wynn, a sometimes business competitor of Donald Trump, the rival Carson has been batting all fall for the Republican nomination,” Brody and Cirilli wrote.
They quoted Rove confirming he set up the meeting—and note that Rove didn’t attend the meeting.
“I introduced them but I don’t know anything further about that,” Rove said.
A spokesman for Wynn—a major GOP donor—was unable to confirm the meeting took place.
“Michael Weaver, a spokesman for Wynn, said in an e-mail that he so far has not been able to confirm the meeting with his boss,” Brody and Cirilli wrote.
The Bloomberg writers cast the supposed meeting as an escalation in what’s essentially been an imaginary Trump-Carson feud on the campaign trail. The GOP establishment has been dying for a Carson-Trump war for months, as the two outsider non-politician candidates continue to remain atop 2016 GOP presidential primary polling—where they’ve remained for months with Trump in first place and Carson in second—with mere weeks to go before the first votes are cast in Iowa in February.
“The mastermind of George W. Bush’s presidential victories in 2000 and 2004, Rove has not signed on with any of the presidential candidates this year, though he says he has dispensed advice to a number who have asked,” Brody and Cirilli. “Trump’s camp is viewing the effort to help the billionaire real estate mogul’s chief rival as an attack on the front-runner.”
They quoted Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski as lambasting Rove.
“Karl Rove is at the center of the GOP establishment — fearful of what real leadership in Washington D.C. will accomplish,” Lewandowski said. “Mr. Trump continues to expose the all-talk, no action politicians propped up [by] their dark money super PACs that have failed the American people for far too long.”
Despite the efforts by some in Washington-centric GOP circles to stoke a battle between Carson and Trump, there doesn’t seem to be one brewing any time soon. In addition to Carson’s team pushing back on this Bloomberg report in the quote to Breitbart News, they pushed back on it in the Bloomberg article—even though their quotes were buried deep within the piece.
“Rove’s role in setting up the meeting between Wynn and Carson advisers raised some eyebrows within Carson’s political orbit, with some advisers questioning Rove’s intentions, said one source familiar with the meeting and the campaign,” Cirilli and Brody wrote. “The source said they were skeptical that Rove was only acting to inflate Carson in an effort to ultimately take out Trump. ‘Karl Rove isn’t just going just to help Ben Carson out of the goodness of his heart,’ the source said. Terry Giles, a Texas lawyer who was one of the Carson advisers at the meeting, is no longer formally associated with Carson’s campaign or a pro-Carson super PAC.”