Hardball | February 07, 2013
>>> first of all, our object is not to be for the establishment. it's to be for the most conservative candidate who could win. this is not tea party versus establishment.
>> welcome back to "hardball." at his peak he was called bush's brain and the architect, but today our own howard fineman wrote karl wrov is done. rove's new effort to back conservative candidates who he thinks can win has incited a civil war . gop big wigs like rove who would like to move past primary that is brought them losses and the likes of o'donnell, angel, akin, and myrrh mourdock. tea party types are outraged that rove would try to insert himself into the democratic process . matt kibbe is president of the tea party group freedomworks. matt, thanks for being here. would you remember win primaries or general elections and isn't that what this is all about?
>> well, i think i want to win both, and the definition of a competitive candidate, the conservative that can win, is very much up for reinterpretation when rove gets involved because, remember, he thought arlen specter was the most conservative man for the job in pennsylvania. he thought charlie crist was in florida. he thought david due hurst was in texas and our view is if you can bind a set of values and the ability to communicate and to run a statewide campaign, that's how we repopulate the republican party . i think karl rove is headed in the wrong des.
>> to use a basketball analysis, couldn't one argue that karl rove 's losses were three-pointers, they were tough shots and the tea party losses were layups? christine o'donnell in delaware, that was a layup for mike cassell had he captured the gop nomination.
>> well, i mean, you're cherry picking because nobody bats a thousand to use another sports analogy. certainly the tea party hasn't batted a thousand but if you look at who the young vibrant authentic rock stars of the republican party are, they're guys like tim scott . tim scott wouldn't have won his first congressional election if we'd have applied this status quo litmus test . we would have gone with the establishment guy. we wouldn't have marco rubio to run in 2016 . we wouldn't have rand paul , wouldn't have mike lee . if you look at who republicans get excited about, who is actually putting ideas on the table and who is the most credible challenger to hillary clinton in 2016 , it's our guys, not karl rove 's guys.
>> let me give you a tangible example of the future from just today's newspaper. a candidate that perhaps karl rove will steer away from. paul broun , the georgia congressman running to replace saxby chambliss and the times pointed out today, quote, mr. broun, a physician on the house science, space, and technology committee, attracted attention last fall for saying that, quote, evolution, embryology and the big bang theory , all of that is lies straight from the pit of hell. i'll bet that plays well inform his congressional district but my hung is that's not playing well even in a conservative state like georgia when you're talking statewide in the general. what do you say?
>> well, of course, paul is going to get a lot of competition in that primary fight. you're going to be looking at guys like tom price and tom graves who have an incredibly strong record of fiscal conservatism. i think the core of the tea party , remember, is not social issues, it's not abortion, it's not immigration, it's not these other things. it's whether or not we should spend money we don't have. it's whether or not the government should live within its means. that's how the candidates that have been successful have won, and i do think there's a message discipline that needs to be encouraged in our primary system, but you don't get that by choosing from the top down. you have to let the process work itself out. we believe in competition. we believe in open-ended bottom up democratic processes and that's what you're going to see in georgia , and we're going to find the right candidate.
>> i take it it's not broun. you're not making the commitment one way or the other to him.
>> we're not making a commitment to anyone. we're doing a candidate forum in a couple weeks to see what all of the candidates have to say with no preconditions and let grassroots activists in georgia give us the feedback to tell us whether or not we should get involved, how we should get involved, and who they think the best guy for that job is.
>> karl rove claimed on fox earlier this week that he wasn't just about protecting incumbent candidates. he was about winning. listen to this.
>> our job is not to protect incumbents, it's to win races by stopping the practice of giving away some of these seats like we did in missouri and in indiana this past year and that may mean telling the incumbent republican that if he's going to be in the race, he shouldn't expect any funds from crossroads in the general election . if some people think the best we can do is todd myrrh you can do -- todd akin and richard mourdock , they're wrong. we need to get better conservative candidates and win.
>> when i saw that tape, i said to myself it reminded me of a lecture first year of college in a government class. in fact, i'll give a shout out, dr. frank colin who said this. he said parts exist for one purpose, to win. i think that's true if you think about it for the republican or democratic party . that's not necessarily the case for tea party activists. you're there to assert an ideology. the gop is not there for that purpose. do you agree with that?
>> i agree with that. both political parties are all about winning, and sometimes they put ideas aside to pursue political expediency. that's not what we're about, but i would argue that standing for something and being authentic on those issues works both for republicans on our sets of issues and for democrats on their sets of issues and the progressives have done a very impressive job of taking over the democratic party . we're just trying to put some ideas back in the republican party .
>> right. but you can stand for things that don't necessarily line neatly up in some faux ideological box as being liberal or progressive or conservative , isn't that the problem? that everything has become a lit tus test at both ends?
>> i don't know. there's practicality on tactics but we're not going to negotiate on whether or not we should balance the budget, and to go back to rove's basic point, he was the guy that tried to convince all of us that mitt romney was the most electable. how did that turn out?
>> rush limbaugh sided, you'll be happy to know this if you don't already, with the tea party this week arguing that rove's plan will bring in moderate candidates. here is what he said.
>> the establishment republicans, the inside the beltway establishment types, remember, these are the people, they supported charlie crist over marco rubio . these are the brains, these are the guys that are going to protect the republican party from you. they also opposed rand paul . and, remember, they supported arlen specter over pat toomey and on and on. there are countless examples. the bottom line is they don't have any better record at picking winners than the quote, unquote, amateur tea party types do. and even when they pick winners, what do we end up winning? we get squishy republican moderates.
>> also with us is willie brown , the former mayor of san francisco . mayor, weigh in on this. i will ask you to do something that won't come naturally to you. put on a hat for the different side of the isle and be the politician and advise them on which path should they now travel?
>> they really should travel the path of selecting quality candidates, period, without reference to their base philosophy. do not require candidates to pledge a certain kind of commitment on taxes. do not require candidates to pledge a certain kind of commitment on something that's inconsistent with good judgment. leave candidates with the ability to do what's right. urge them to do what's right. you will select people who have those kind of qualities and you'll end up winning. if not, you're going to end up losing just as the republicans did the last time around.
>> you would think this is good news for democrats who are watching what's taking place on the gop side of the aisle, this notion na karl rove could fund and field slats of candidates that would have a different philosophy than mr. kiby and the tea party folks.
>> well, i don't think that karl rove is going to be able to be successful independent of other kinds of relationships. you literally cannot start a third party movement within a party and think you can be successful. he's already proven that he can blow a whole lot of dough on a whole lot of people and lose elections. that's not good. it would be just as bad if democrats suddenly decided they wanted to all be progressive. they wanted to all sign on to certain kinds of things. mr. obama has been consistent. he has not owned by the left wing of the democratic party . he's not owned by the conservative wing of the democratic party . he's not owned by the moderate wing of the democratic party . he's not owned by organized labor . he's not owned by all of those who are into conservation activities. he has presented an opportunity for the public to see someone who says, i'm going to represent the best interests of everybody, and --
>> thank you for being here. mayor, i'm sorry we're cut short. we're glad we got you in her.
>>> up next, foss news let's go of another reality challenged pundit dick morris . he now admits he was wrong, quote, at the top of his lungs when he predicted a romney landslide. how do you keep an older car running like new? you ask a ford customer. when they tell you that you need your oil changed you got to bring it in. if your