Conservative ‘architect’ Rove predicts Buck beats Bennet

'Super Pac Man' Rove lauds GOP candidates Frazier, Gardner, Tipton, laughs at Maes for gov

By Leslie Jorgensen
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

Republican political “architect” Karl Rove sounded a call to action — elect conservatives to office — to stem the tide of red-inked federal budgets during a speech before 350 folks attending a Heritage Foundation fundraiser at the Denver Marriott Tech Center on Wednesday.

Heritage Foundation President Edwin Feulner applauds Karl Rove’s Straight Talk Speech at a fundraiser at the Denver Marriott Tech Center.
Photo by Leslie Jorgensen/The Colorado Statesman
Stacked For Sales: “Courage And Consequence: My Life As A Conservative In The Fight” by the “Architect” Karl Rove, who spoke to more than 350 at a Heritage Foundation fundraiser in Denver.
Photo by Leslie Jorgensen/The Colorado Statesman

The legendary political strategist awarded high marks to Colorado GOP contenders for Congress — but questioned the Republicans’ choice of Dan Maes for governor.

“Your governor’s race is one of the weirdest things in the country,” declared Rove. “’What the heck were you thinking?”

“It’s a reminder of how important it is to have good candidates,” he said.

Laughter pealed through the ballroom.

“(Ken) Buck is going to be the next Senator from Colorado,” predicted Rove of the Republican candidate.

Rove is the force behind American Crossroads, a super political action committee that has recently invested more than a million dollars to help Buck defeat Democratic U.S. Senator Michael Bennet in Colorado.

“My job is to raise more than $52 million for House and Senate races. And guess what, we’ve raised more than that,” said Rove.

“I haven’t taken a dime,” said Rove, from the American Crossroads PAC that he’s promoted voluntarily over the past year.

The former deputy chief of staff and senior advisor to former President George W. Bush headlined a $75-a-person fundraiser in Aspen last week to help elect Republican congressional contenders Cory Gardner in the 4th District, Scott Tipton in the 3rd District and Ryan Frazier in the 7th District.

“I really like Ryan Frazier. I think Cory Gardner is a fine candidate. Scott Tipton fits the western slope,” said Rove. “They’re terrific and they’re fun to be with and they’re impressive.”

Frazier, Gardner and Tipton reached the top level of the Republican National Congressional Committee’s Young Guns program that identifies viable candidates.

The trio was likely counted in Rove’s prediction that Republicans will pick up between 37 and 45 House seats in the November election — and that just 39 seats are needed to oust Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. In the Senate, he said, Republicans will gain between eight and ten seats.

Rove reamed President Barack Obama’s liberal leadership and the Democratic-controlled Congress for passing the stimulus package, corporation bailouts, cap-and-trade and federal government health care — all of which, he said, are “bankrupting the country.”

The stimulus packages and bailouts, Rove said, were pushed by Democrats who promised it would cap unemployment at 8 percent during the economic recession. They warned, he recalled, that they said if the packages weren’t passed, unemployment would hit 10 percent.

“We’re getting the performance they said we’d get if we did nothing,” he declared.

“For the first time in my life, I’m afraid for the future of this country,” said Rove.

However, the Fox news political correspondent said that’s he’s optimistic about the next generation of emerging conservatives to pick up the mantle — but they won’t be inspired by people like him.

“We’re a bunch of old farts,” declared Rove. “We can’t convey the message.”

In his hop-and-drop tour around the country, the Republican strategist has spoken at several college campuses including Oberlin and Yale. After a debate over health care on Sept. 7 at the Yale Political Union, Rove said, the members voted for a resolution to “repeal Obamacare.”

“This generation that goes around with an iPod is not a generation that wants to be dictated to,” said Rove.

Because of technology, including sonograms, Rove said the young generation is pro-life, for personal responsibility, respects freedom and understands the free market.

“They’re our kind of people,” said Rove.

Asked about the future of the “tea party” movement, Rove said, the core groups might be small in terms of the number, but the message resonates to millions of voters, particularly independent, college educated and senior voters. He noted that Obama won election in 2008 because of substantial support from college educated and independent voters — but their support in this election will favor Republicans.

Rove, who was born in Denver, began his political activism as head of the national College Republicans, turned Texas from a “blue” to “red” state and was the mastermind behind George W. Bush’s gubernatorial campaign and in 2000, the presidential race.

At the close of the Rove’s speech at the $35-a-person Heritage Foundation fundraiser, conservatives were enticed to purchase the GOP political guru’s book, “Courage and Consequence: My Life as a Conservative in the Fight” by the “architect,” that has made the New York Times Bestseller List.

Leslie@coloradostatesman.com