Morning Joe | February 04, 2013
>> so let's see how the gun debate fits into this next story. a group of republican donors is rolling out a new effort to try and fend off tea party challengers who say they're hurting the gop's chances of taking control of the senate. it's called a conservative victory party . and it's backed by karl rove and the super pac american crossroads. their aim, to institutionalize the buckley rule by supporting in primaries the most conservative candidate who can actually win a general election . the new effort is meant to be a counterweight to more hard-line conservative groups that have spent big money on primary challengers to their liking. the organization is already eyeing seats being vacated by democratic senator tom harkin of iowa and republican senator saxby chambliss of georgia. i'm just wondering, do you need to -- is the same well where you want to go to renew the republican party ?
>> you're talking about karl rove ?
>> i'm talking about karl rove .
>> that is, it seems to me, john heilemann, a good question to ask. you go to karl rove , a guy that just got pasted in this last election. i know karl , i like karl .
>> part of the past 20 years.
>> he got pasted, and also some conservatives brought up, he was part of the bush administration that people like peg -- i'll say it peggy noonan , myself, others think destroyed the conservative movement by spending us into record debt.
>> and you're seeing, you know, the immediate reaction among some parts of the conservative movement , parts of the tea party , more populist part of the party , attacking the group, saying that he's the karl rove and his allies, they have a bad record to run on and that they're deviating from the principles of true conservatism and they want to back sellouts. i think the main thing you're going to see over the course of this next cycle is a further deepening of the schism between the two kind of pieces of the republican party . the establishment wing and this more populist wing. this is not a bring the party together development. this is a party that's going to drive that wedge even further.
>> that's what i'm thinking.
>> this is not also -- mark, this isn't really so much about ideolo ideology.
>> it's about competence.
>> it's about competence. do i sound like michael dukakis ? and i'll just say it, cuchinelli. the guy is certifiable when it comes to mainstream thought. he attacks medicaid, medicare, social security . this is a guy that said he was thinking about not giving his children social security numbers because that's, quote, how they track you. this is a guy that says things that offend voters. terry mcauliffe , it looks like he's going to walk into this thing because of cuchinelli. and i speak from knowledge because newt gingrich and the republican establishment worked against me because they thought i was too conservative to win my district. how do you sort through it?
>> who's the poster child for this? it's congressman akin, todd akin , who lost the seat in missouri. the day akin won the primary, every republican i know in the house said, this guy will never be a senator because he's going to say something stupid. again, not --
>> everybody knew.
>> if you take akin's positions and paul ryan 's positions on almost every issue, they're indistinguishable. it's about competence and handling yourself to get through a general election .
>> let me give you another good example, bob mcdonnell . bob, conservative guy, really conservative guy, he went to regent university . they attacked him as a right- wing nut . and you know what bob was for?
>> jobs. he ran one of the most competent, great, mainstream conservative -- that's why a lot of the chee-to eaters out there, oh, joe, he hates conservatives -- no, it's not that i hate conservatives. i'm like bobs for jobs. that's how i want every republican candidate to look on the campaign trail. you compare bob to this cuchinelli guy, their views are probably indistinguishable on a lot of things. but bob is competent. he knows how to win. it's like i want a guy that runs a 4.3 40 if he's playing on the university of alabama . i should have the right to say, i'll take the guy who runs a 4.3 40 instead of the guy that smokes and does a 5.5 40.
>> you've got this open senate seat in iowa, tom harkin is retiring. they look at congressman steve king . if he runs in the primary, he could easily be the nominee. and his record of saying things that gets him in trouble is pretty long. they feel like we're not going to sacrifice that seat to another guy who could lose the general election simply because he can't control his mouth.
>> competence also cuts against karl . this argument in this area you're making, it's obviously true. the problem for him is that his record of, quote, of his competence in the last election cycle has taken a bit of a beating. and i think it just puts him -- he's like almost the wrong messenger for the argument within the party because the party -- a lot of people in the party look at him and say, hey. look at your record in 2012 .
>> by the way, steve, that went all the way through, as we know, infamously, election night . and there's people --
>> the famous election night .
>> -- that are very, very close to george w. bush that afterwards said, you know, karl 's always had his own set of numbers. and he does this to us in the bush white house , too. are donors, steve, really going to be giving karl rove hundreds of millions of dollars again after his performance in 2012 ?
>> well, that's exactly where i was going. if i were a donor to that side of the aisle, i would get back to this competence question. i would say to myself, is this the guy who i want to have take the next few hundred million dollars and try to change the republican party ? my own answer would be no, but we'll find out pretty soon whether donors are willing to go one more time with karl or not.
>> you know, this country needs a good, strong, vibrant, diverse republican party , and i was reading the article. i'm, like, huh, yeah, good, good. and then it said it was backed by karl rove . and i thought, uh, it's just going to be the same thing all over again. seriously. someone explain to me how this is going to be different.
>> you know who would be great for this and i think you guys would agree, haley . not haley in a group of people. haley . put him on this, and let him raise the money. let him pick the numbers. remember, haley is a guy that said take jim jeffords because jeffords on his most liberal day was more conservative than the most conservative democrat in vermont. haley understands. haley knows it's about winning. he knows how to win. and by the way, he helped engineer '94 along with newt and some other people. he knows how to elect some pretty conservative guys.
>> despite his record in some races last cycle, karl rove has a pretty long record of winning races, too, and understanding the buckley rule. nominate the most conservative candidate who can win a general election .
>> he did it in texas .
>> what's that?
>> he did it in texas . we've elected a lot of people in texas .
>> coming up, david axelrod . also, "time's" rana foroohar and lawrence wright . up next, mike allen with the stories in the "politico playbook." first, bill karins with a check on the forecast. bill?
>> good monday morning. over the weekend we saw light snow from the great lakes to the northeast. we're doing it again this morning. this is a series of clipper lows, weak winter storms. we'll have about three of them this week. we'll keep our eyes out on friday or possibly a bigger one. in the meantime, one storm is exiting new england . brought us the light snow yesterday. but we do have a good band of snow especially north of chicago. that's the travel trouble spot. going to pick up probably two to four inches there. now it's snowing northern indiana , much of southern michigan , eventually detroit, toledo and areas around cleveland and pittsburgh. that will be more or less late today. and then towards philadelphia and new york city later on this evening, again, one to three inches at most. it's not looking like a blockbuster storm. it's very cold still from the great lakes. northern plains all the way through new england . that won't change this week. so your forecast today, mostly cloudy skies from d.c. to boston. still on the chilly side in most spots. very beautiful weather, though, if you want to look at the rockies, denver continues to be abnormally warm. dallas, a few showers but you're warm, too, along with florida. as we go throughout even tuesday, not a lot changes this week. we're still kind of stuck in this weather pattern at least till friday. but good news for everyone that's been really frozen from d.c. to new england , it looks like a big warm-up is coming by the time we get to sunday. most of us should be in the 40s. a shot of times square . this time tomorrow, probably a little bit of light snow. you're watching " morning joe " brewed by