Rove: Crossroads ‘did good things,’ defends super-PAC’s efforts

Top GOP strategist Karl Rove is pushing back against critics and defending the 2012 election performance of American Crossroads, the super-PAC he founded.

In an interview with the Washington Post, published on Sunday, the former adviser to President George W. Bush said the super-PAC and its non-profit advocacy arm, Crossroads GPS "did good things this year."

"It’s the way of politics that you’re going to have some good years, and you’re going to have some bad years," said Rove.

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But Rove added that the current election cycle validated the super-PAC model and that his group would assess their work. 

"We’ve got to carefully examine, as we did after 2010, an after-action report looking at everything with fresh eyes and questioning and figuring out what worked and what didn’t work," Rove said in the interview. 

The report also says Rove is considering whether Crossroads will involve itself in GOP primaries to boost candidates they believe would be more electable in a general election. But such a move could set up a clash between Rove’s group and other GOP-affiliated super-PACs.


Rove's groups raised and spent more than $300 million this cycle, but have faced criticism that they underperformed after President Obama won most swing states and Democrats managed to hold on to the Senate.

Rove had predicted that Romney would win the election and during election-night coverage on Fox News attracted attention for arguing that the network had called battleground Ohio too quickly for Obama.

Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer (N.Y.) on Thursday mocked Rove, saying that his reputation would “take a significant hit." 

“If Crossroads were a business and Rove were the CEO, he would get fired for getting poor return for his investors,” Schumer told reporters.

Senior Obama campaign strategist David Axelrod piled on, arguing that super-PACs had proved ineffective. 

“If I were one of these billionaires, I'd be wanting to talk to someone and asking where my refund is, because they didn't get much for their money,” he said.

American Crossroads spokesman Jonathan Collegio on Thursday dismissed those criticisms. 

"Democrats leveraged their incumbencies to extract huge financial advantages over their incumbents in 2012, and Republican super-PACs leveled the playing field, keeping the election close until the very end," Collegio said in statement to The Hill.