Friday, December 6, 2013
Bloomberg Businessweek has an exclusive inside look at a recent meeting between Republican strategist Karl Rove and potential donors to his super PAC American Crossroads. The story also has a Maine hook, as Rove gives his assessment of the U.S. Senate race.
The story notes that Rove is an uneasy about the race, where Republican Charlie Summers is trailing independent Angus King. Rove also has a message for Republicans who donated to current U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe: Get your money back.
The reason, Rove notes, is that Snowe isn't planning to give Summers any of the $3 million in campaign money that she accumulated before deciding to drop out of the race in February.
From the story:
"An exception to Rove’s Senate optimism is Maine. Retiring Republican Senator Olympia Snowe is, 'still sitting on $3 million in hard money,' Rove said. 'She’s going to use the money, her husband (Jock McKernan) told me, for charitable and philanthropic efforts.' He looked around the room. 'So if any of you gave her money, I would call and ask for your money back. If you do, give it to Charlie Summers, our Republican candidate.'
Summers, Rove continued, is a 'remarkable' human being. He was elected to a traditionally Democratic seat in the State Senate from Portland—'Portland, Maine, is sort of like Portland, Oregon, only they’re somewhat nicer and don’t smoke as much dope'—while on active duty in Iraq in Gulf War I, and is now Maine’s Secretary of State. 'This is a guy who loves to campaign,' Rove said."
Rove apparently doesn't tell donors the reason why Snowe isn't giving to Summers. However, reports in the Portland Press Herald, and most recently Politico, have shown that Snowe is unhappy that Summers, her former staffer, declined to endorse her last year when she was facing a tea party primary challenger.
During the meeting Rove noted the importance of the Maine and Massachusetts senate races.
From the story:
“But we’re gonna lose, either [Summers] or Scott Brown (Massachusetts)—we can’t afford to lose both,” Rove said ominously. “If we win both, we’re in great shape. If we lose one, it starts to get a little bit edgy. If we lose two, we’re in real difficulty.”
Steve Mistler covers politics and government for the Portland Press Herald. He spends a lot of time in the hallways of the State House.