If you’re a donor or potential donor to Karl Rove’s group American Crossroads, I recommend you listen to Mark Levin’s recent interview with Donald Trump, because they disclosed some long overdue truths that needed to be said.
Trump and Levin made several points that donors, the media, and the political class can no longer ignore and frankly should have picked up on long ago. When you see the facts all laid out, you’ll be asking yourself the same question as Levin: “I would say to the wealthy donors out there, why do you keep donating to him?”
The first point Trump makes is exhibit one in the case against Rove and something people should never, ever forget: “You know it was really Karl Rove who gave us Obama.” Mr. Trump is exactly right. The next time someone says Karl Rove is a political genius, just remember that his disastrous decisions during the Bush Administration paved the way for President Obama’s election, Obamacare’s implementation, and our unsustainable $16 trillion national debt.
The truth is that the only times in politics when the political pendulum swings that far in either direction is when things get really, really awful under the sitting president. What largely caused that political situation was Karl Rove’s wrongheaded advice to George W. Bush. Let’s also be honest about Rove being the architect of Bush’s two victories. Barely beating atrocious candidates like Al Gore and John Kerry is not exactly a heavy lift or something to brag about, because he nearly let both get away.
Mr. Trump’s second point was about Rove’s “lousy record” when it comes to the candidates he backed in 2012. Moderate, establishment candidates who were backed by Rove got crushed nearly across the board. Rove’s support of establishment candidates isn’t surprising; these are the people who come to Washington and don’t change a thing – exactly what Rove wants. Levin went on to make the point that Rove’s attacks on conservatives and the Tea Party are peculiar when you consider that the only reason the U.S. House went back to Republican control is because of Tea Party turnout in the 2010 midterm elections: “In 2006 they lost the Senate and the House when Rove was in charge, they haven’t gotten it back except in 2010 thanks to the Tea Party,” Levin said.
The third point Trump made was perhaps the most devastating: “They took $400 million of money that people put up to fight and they made the worst ads I’ve ever seen.”
The hundreds of millions in television ads Crossroads ran during the 2012 election had virtually zero impact. Donors trusted Rove to produce ads that were both innovative and effective and they got neither. Weak ads from one state to the next were placed on television and they failed miserably. “$400 million was wasted,” Trump went on to say. He’s exactly right, and what a shame it is.
This is personal for Trump because he was a $50,000 donor to Crossroads in 2010. That money could have been put to good use if it was given to groups with fresh ideas. So the next time you consider stroking a check to a Rove-controlled group, just remember what Donald Trump already knows: “Karl Rove, I just think he’s one of the most overrated people in politics.”