Morning Joe | February 21, 2013
>> "politico." joining us now with the "politico playbook," the editor in chief is with us this morning, john harris . and we'll start with the backlash to karl rove trying to play kingmaker in the next election, not working so well.
>> that's true, mika. first off, let's underscore why this is important. the institutional republican party , the official republican party , is so weak that karl rove , even after all these years, remains one of the top two or three people, as we discuss what is the future of this very weakened republican party . what's interesting and what maggie in "politico" this morning discusses is the way he is taking arrows from republicans. he's used to taking arrows for a dozen years from democrats, from the media, from lots of sources. now the arrows are coming from republicans. two sources, activists who don't like karl rove 's establishment-based message and donors who just question whether his efforts are effective. so it's really got them on the fence.
>> how much money did he raise in the last cycle and spend of donors' money?
>> several hundred million dollars. i don't have the precise figure.
>> everybody's got a bad election. it happens. everybody has a bad election.
>> that's right.
>> you're only as good as your last election. but i've got to think, it didn't help that he was so wrong on so many counts. and like dick morris , kept going on fox saying they're going to win. even through the night. i'm just wondering, especially with that performance election night , because even bush people that ran the bush white house are whispering quietly. you know, karl always had his own numbers. he always had this alternate reality . he's getting it from all sides.
>> look, over the long term, life is more fair than unfair. karl rove 's greatest strength, i think, is this incredible confidence that he brings to the game of politics. i do think he's very, very skilled, operative. in this case that strength became a weakness. it removed him from the reality of the republican problems, at least in the way he talked about them. it looked like he was putting a happy face as the ship got lower and lower beneath the waterline. i don't think this is by any means the end of karl 's career. i think he's going to continue to be a major force in the republican party in the 2014 election and probably the 2016 election as well.
>> james, karl rove , how much harder is it for karl to pick up the phone after 2012 and say hey, give me a couple million dollars? we're going to get it right this time.
>> you know, it was harder, but sometimes in politics you need to do things and not say it. and harold, when rahm was there and was recruiting people at the committee, any good committee chairman in the house, he really tried to get the better candidates in. you try to talk other candidates out. and by the way, you could say to a candidate, you didn't run, if you get in there, i just want you to know that people are going to dump $250,000 on you. i don't know -- i'm not sure why karl had to announce they were going to do this. sometimes you can just do things in politics without kind of announcing, and you work in tandem with the republican house committee to try to get better people on the senate committee . obviously, when he did this, it was like i -- the way it came across is i, karl rove , will determine who runs for the senate in what states, and people said no. and then you've got the whole thing where they're raising money off of it, and steve king is saying this. and another guy is saying send me money because karl rove is getting ready to attack me. it's a predictable follow-up to this kind of thing that you see.
>> john harris , thank you so much.
>> thank you, john.
>> see you soon.
>>> coming up, an update on the oscar pistorius case where top prosecutors are now calling for the lead detective to be dropped from the investigation after he was hit with his own set of attempted murder charges.
>> is that bad?
>> that's not good.
>> is that bad? that sounds like louisiana or boston.
>> those details are next when " morning joe " comes right back.