Reagan's Texas Campaign Manager: Rove Directed ‘Technically Separate Entity’

February 13, 2013 - 1:05 AM

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GOP political consultant Karl Rove. (AP)

(CNSNews.com) -- Although GOP political consultant Karl Rove said he was the director of the Texas campaign for Ronald Reagan in the fall of 1980, the manager of the Texas Reagan-Bush campaign confirmed in a statement on Tuesday that Rove had directed a “technically separate entity” that was called the Victory Committee.

On The O’Reilly Factor on Feb. 7, while addressing criticism by conservatives of his political action committee, Karl Rove said, “I was the director of the Texas campaign for Ronald Reagan in the fall of 1980, and was appointed by President Reagan to sit on the White House Fellows Selection Panel.”

On Feb. 8, CNSNews.com spoke by telephone with Ernest Angelo Jr., who explained that he was the campaign manager of the Reagan campaign in Texas in 1980. Angelo said that the way it worked was that Texas Republican Gov. Bill Clements was the chairman of the campaign after Reagan won the GOP nomination in July; Angelo served as campaign manager; Richard D. Shelby was the field director; and Gary Hoitsma was the press/communications leader.

Angelo further said that sometime in late August, early September Karl Rove was brought in as director of the Texas Victory Committee. He also noted that Shelby had reminded him that day, during a phone conversation, that Rove had been hired as director of the committee.

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Ernest Angelo Jr., the manager of the Texas Reagan-Bush campaign in 1980.

The Texas Victory Committee was an extensive phone bank, get-out-the-vote operation that reportedly was very successful. In that position, Rove worked under Angelo at the committee.

“He worked for me and was involved in the campaign,” Angelo told CNSNews.com on Feb. 8.

On Feb. 12, Angelo released a statement to various media. It reads as follows:

Following are additional comments regarding the 1980 Reagan Campaign in Texas:

In 1980 I was Texas Chairman of Reagan for President in the primary. In late summer we organized the Texas Reagan-Bush campaign with Gov. Clements as Chairman and me as the full time volunteer Manager.

Extensive conversations with fellow members of that campaign have confirmed details involving our implementation of one of the first Presidential election campaigns that permitted an extensive, locally financed effort on behalf of our candidates. That effort involved a technically separate entity, which we called our Victory Committee.

While it was not necessary for me to do this review to know that Karl Rove worked with and for me in that effort, it has enabled me to confirm that Karl was executive director of the Victory Committee.

Our team achieved a huge win for President Reagan and that should be the overriding memory for all of us who were involved in whatever capacity.

Ernest Angelo Jr