Karl Rove: 5 deep thoughts at start of GOP convention

Karl Rove, the political mastermind behind the George W. Bush White House, has resuscitated his political career since appearing before a grand jury five times in connection with the outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame. Now he runs Crossroads GPS and American Crossroads, two political organizations that could spend $1 billion combined to promote Republicans during the coming election. Bloomberg Businessweek magazine recently dubbed him "King Karl" in a cover article.

Here are five political pearls from arguably the No. 1 conservative powerbroker in America, offered at a breakfast to kick off the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., held by POLITICO.

1. Todd Akin's comment 'morally incomprehensible'

Shannon Stapleton/REUTERS
Republican political strategist Karl Rove (c.) and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R) of Utah greet an unidentified attendee (l.) on the floor of the Republican National Convention before the start of the opening session in Tampa, Fla., Monday.

Mr. Rove said he understands complaints from some parts of the Republican party that it’s “unfair” for Rep. Todd Akin (R) of Missouri to drop out of the Senate race after winning the party’s primary.  

Congressman Akin suggested that women's bodies could naturally prevent a pregnancy during what he deemed a “legitimate rape.” He has subsequently apologized for his remarks but vowed to carry on his campaign despite a hail of criticism from inside the GOP.

“Well, it’s unfair, I get that,” Rove said of the process of removing a candidate after the party primary. “But [what Akin said] was also incredibly wrong and there’s no recovering from it. It would have been one thing if he made some minor misstatement. But this is pseudoscience and morally incomprehensible.”

He thinks the party can still win the seat – seen as the easiest for the GOP to win from a Democratic incumbent before Akin’s implosion – if Akin does withdraw before the Sept. 25 deadline.

“If Republicans nominate a credible candidate they will leap into the lead and beat Claire McCaskill handily,” Rove said of the Democratic incumbent.

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