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Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa)
Rep. Steve King (R-Sociopath)
Over the weekend, we learned of Karl Rove's newest scam: a Super PAC funded by wealthy Republican donors to defeat unelectable tea party candidates in the primaries—candidates like Rep. Steve King (R-IA):
The group’s plans, which were outlined for the first time last week in an interview with [American Crossroads President Steven] Law, call for hard-edge campaign tactics, including television advertising, against candidates whom party leaders see as unelectable and a drag on the efforts to win the Senate. Mr. Law cited Iowa as an example and said Republicans could no longer be squeamish about intervening in primary fights.

“We’re concerned about Steve King’s Todd Akin problem,” Mr. Law said. “This is an example of candidate discipline and how it would play in a general election. All of the things he’s said are going to be hung around his neck.”

So, in the first-ever public interview about Rove's new group, they pointed to Steve King as the poster child of the kind of candidate they want to stop—but that was before the GOP's conservative base had heard anything about Rove's new effort. Now that the base has had a chance to respond, the blowback has been fierce—and Rove and his allies are already backpedaling. Here's how Law talked about King Tuesday morning on MSNBC:
CHUCK TODD: You look at Steve King, you think maybe he's not electable statewide? And yet he did beat a Christie Vilsack, and Democrats were following him around with video cameras, hoping to catch him in a Todd Akin moment, and they never did.

STEVEN LAW: Sure. And we put $400,000 into that race, actually, in support of him this last go around. But I think the question that I was raising in the New York Times piece was simply that candidate vetting, what people say, what they have done, what they might do in the future has got to be an ingredient in deciding who you're going to support down the road.

To recap: A few days ago, Law was basically calling Steve King an unelectable nut job, saying that he was "concerned" about King because of "King's Todd Akin problem" and the fact that "all of the things he's said are going to be hung around his neck." And now Law defends himself to conservatives by saying that his group actually spent $400,000 to try to elect King and refuses to repeat any of his pointed criticisms of King, instead saying he was trying to make a generic argument about how things a candidate has said or might say ought to be a factor in deciding who to support.

Not that I have any sympathy at all for Rove's plight, but if these guys can't even hold their ground in making a case against nominating a true screwball like Steve King, their new project is dead on arrival.

Originally posted to The Jed Report on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 09:45 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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