On Feb. 4, prominent conservative blogger and new Fox News contributor Erick Erickson wrote any Republican candidate receiving the support of the American Crossroads organization should be "targeted for destruction" in GOP primaries by the conservative movement, in his RedState.com commentary.
The American Crossroads political group announced the formation of a project to influence the outcome of GOP U.S. Senate primaries in the 2014 election cycle on Feb. 3, according to a report on Politico.com.
American Crossroads is a non-profit organization co-founded by former White House adviser Karl Rove, who is viewed by many conservative political insiders as the unofficial strategist for the Republican establishment. The group will form a Super PAC – ironically dubbed “Conservative Victory Project” – with the goal of helping establishment-backed primary challengers overcome the power of grass-roots conservative activists.
Erickson made a clear case for Tea Party, libertarian, and right-leaning grass-roots party activists to use Rove's support as a way to determine who the unacceptable candidates in the 2014 primaries really are by writing:
"I dare say any candidate who gets this group’s support should be targeted for destruction by the conservative movement. They’ve made it really easy now to figure out who the terrible candidates will be in 2014."
In the 2012 election, Rove’s group spent $300 million supporting establishment candidates in U.S. Senate races and on behalf of Mitt Romney. The GOP failed to win control of the senate and Romney lost to President Barack Obama.
Conservative organizations like the Club for Growth and the Senate Conservatives Fund view the Rove-backed venture as an attempt to enforce a top-down hierarchy on the way the party selects its candidates. Both groups pointed to their success in helping elect U.S. senators such as Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Pat Toomey, and Ted Cruz.
In fact, conservative groups have evidence to support the fact that they possess a better election scorecard at winning U.S. Senate races than the establishment candidates backed by Rove and American Crossroads.
U.S. senators Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, and Ted Cruz actually had to overcome primary candidates heavily favored by establishment Republicans to win their seats.
This top ten list of Establishment Republican senate candidates defeated in 2012 conclusively proves the candidates backed by Karl Rove were soundly defeated in states President Barack Obama lost in landslides and also in states he won by large margins.
Erickson points out that Karl Rove's group intends to co-opt the conservative movement by using labels that identify itself as true to the ideals of the cause, by writing:
"In calling his group the 'Conservative Victory Project' he intends to lend a veneer of conservative credibility to candidates who may not be in the same way the Bush Presidency tried to create 'big government conservatism.' Count me out."
As the likely 2016 Republican presidential field includes senators like Sen. Marco Rubio, Sen. Rand Paul, and Sen. Ted Cruz, the internal GOP battle will play a pivotal role in determining the party's next presidential candidate to succeed President Barack Obama.
For grass-roots conservative activists, Karl Rove and his allies made their intentions clear on February 3.
The response of Tea Party voters, libertarians, and grass-roots organizers in the 2014 U.S. Senate primaries to American Crossroads' multi-million dollar campaign efforts will guide the future course of the Republican Party.
Steven Holmes is the Los Angeles Political Buzz Examiner.