Stan Hubbard on call with Karl Rove: GOPers "weren't saying anything like, 'Hey, you dumb son of a bitch'"
Hubbard (right) to Rove: 'I ain't mad at'cha.'
Politico reports that Karl Rove's American Crossroads super PAC spent $204 million this campaign cycle. Less than six percent of that spending went toward GOP candidates who ended up winning their races.
Understandably, some rich conservative donors -- such as Stan Hubbard, founder of Hubbard Broadcasting, the company that owns KSTP -- aren't thrilled with those results. So during a conference call last Thursday with Hubbard and other conservative fat cats, Rove tried to make a case that Crossroads' spending wasn't for naught.
Politico later spoke with Hubbard about the call. Here's what he said:
The call was civil, focusing on questions such as, "'where was my strategy, was it right, was it wrong? What did we find out that we didn't know before?' That kind of thing -- nothing negative, no recriminations or blame," said Minnesota media mogul Stan Hubbard.
Donors "weren't saying anything like, 'Hey, you dumb son of a b--,'" added Hubbard, who has donated to both the Rove-conceived American Crossroads super PAC and its secret-money nonprofit affiliate Crossroads GPS. "It was all very businesslike. It was as if you were in a business conference and you were a retailer and 'why didn't this product sell better?'"
On the call, some donors even told Rove, "'I'm glad I gave to you. I feel we made progress,'" recalled Hubbard. "Every quarterback, every coach doesn't call every play 100 percent right," he added. "I don't know how you're going to blame him. What are you going to blame Karl for?"
Some GOP leaders aren't as forgiving as Hubbard. From Politico:
Richard Viguerie, a pioneering direct-mail consultant, called for Republicans to purge from their ranks Rove and Ed Gillespie -- who helped found Crossroads and later moved over to Mitt Romney's presidential campaign -- as well as Romney advisers Stuart Stevens and Neil Newhouse. "In any logical universe," he argued, "no one would give a dime to their ineffective super PACs, such as American Crossroads."
Rick Tyler, a former strategist for the pro-Newt Gingrich super PAC and a top adviser to Todd Akin's Missouri Senate campaign, called Crossroads' efforts "a colossal failure" and asserted, "Rove has too much control over the purse strings." [So an Akin adviser is accusing Rove of being a failure? Ouch!]
Rove "has a lot of explaining to do, mostly to his donors. I don't think donors are ever going to invest in that level again because it turns out that the architect didn't know what he was talking about," Tyler told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
But another Minnesota Republican Politico spoke with said Rove still has more sway within the GOP than Viguerie and Tyler want to believe.
"Anybody who says that Karl Rove is somehow diminished or marginalized is not thinking clearly," said our ex-guv Tim Pawlenty. "He is a well-regarded, well-respected organizer and analyst, and he will continue to be so."
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