Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Karl Rove on the perils of GOP radicalism

By Richard K. Barry 

Somehow Karl Rove has become my "go-to-guy" on assessing the relative radicalism and potential "un-electability" of GOP candidates. When Karl gets nervous, I'm having a good day. In fact, The Wall Street Journal is even a bit spooked by this Bachman/Perry surge, so I'm having a very good day, but I digress. 

As Karl said recently on Fox News:

You don't want these candidates moving so right in the Republican primary that it becomes impossible for them to win the general election, because it becomes a self-defeating message in the primary.

People want to win. They don't want somebody who goes so far to the extremes of either party that they lack a chance to carry a victory off in November. 
 
My point just after Rick Perry got in the race was that he will serve to pull Romney further to the right. This is simply because Romney will now have an opponent powerful enough to force him to defend his right flank. By the time Romney becomes his party's nominee, which he will become, there will be an extensive record of things said he will wish he could take back. 

Romney will have no choice but to rise to Perry's bait and Rove will have been proven right: extremism in the defence of the Tea Party view of the world is no way to win in November 2012. 

Here's Rove saying exactly what is quoted above, but he looks uncomfortable saying it, and I like that.


(Cross-posted at Lippmann's Ghost.)

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