Why Donald Trump Is Now Lashing Out At Karl Rove

It appears Donald Trump is on the rampage yet again. This time he's set his sights on former Bush White House adviser and longtime GOP operative Karl Rove, who earlier this week used his opinion column in The Wall Street Journal to criticize the former president for the speech he delivered at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) last weekend. Rove pointed out that in a straw poll done at CPAC, with Trump's most ardent supporters in attendance, while 97 percent viewed the former president favorably, just 68 percent said they wanted to see him run again and only 55 percent indicated they would support him in 2024. 

"Why the muted enthusiasm from a crowd of Mr. Trump's most fervent fans?" Rove asked (via The Wall Street Journal). "The explanation may be in what the ex-president said and didn't say in his 15-minute definition of Trumpism. There was no forward-looking agenda, simply a recitation of his greatest hits. People like fresh material. Repetition is useful to a point, but it grows stale."

Trump hit out at Rove, calling him a RINO

If you had guessed that Karl Rove's comments would not go down too well with the former president, you'd be right. Not long after, a statement was released by Trump, in which he called Rove a "pompous fool with bad advice" who has been "losing for years." Trump also referred to Rove as a RINO, or Republican in Name Only (via The Hill).

In his statement, the former president also blamed Rove for Republican losses in Georgia, and said if the party were to be successful, they needed to do away with establishment figures like Rove, former Arizona senator Jeff Flake, former Tennessee senator Bob Corker, and Pennsylvania senator Pat Toomey, who is set to retire in 2022. He also singled out Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming, daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, writing, "we'll see what happens," apparently referring to her future with the party.

Trump also took a dig at Rove's ratings on Fox News, writing, "Karl Rove's voice on Fox News is always negative for those who know how to win. He certainly hasn't helped Fox in the ratings department, has he?"

Karl Rove has dismissed Trump's accusations

It seems that despite Donald Trump's best efforts, Karl Rove, who was behind George W. Bush's victories in 2000 and 2004, could have the last word — at least for now. In a statement to Reuters, Rove outlined his Republican credentials, saying he had voted for every GOP candidate since he turned 18, and had only worked for Republican candidates since then. That statement could have been a veiled dig at Trump who, was once a registered Democrat in New York (via Thought Co). 

Rove also dismissed Trump's claim that he had gone to the Oval Office to lobby for a 5G contract on behalf of himself and an unnamed consortium (another thing Trump accused Rove of in his statement), saying he had "a different recollection of Mr. Trump's views on 5G." The veteran GOP operative also defended his position at Fox, saying he would "continue to use his whiteboard and voice to call out balls and strikes."

Rove's opinion column on Trump will mark the second time this week that The Wall Street Journal has done a piece that is critical of the former president. On March 1, the paper ran an editorial pointedly addressing the GOP's need to look past the Trump legacy and toward a new generation of Republicans. In the piece, the WSJ editorial board argued that if the party continued to focus on Trump and his political grudges, they could not expect to recapture the house, senate, or White House.