Tea Party Sen. Mike Lee Takes Wait and See Approach on New Karl Rove Political Fund

February 13, 2013 - 8:41 AM

Sen. Mike Lee

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah)

(CNSNews.com) – Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), elected with the 2010 class of tea party candidates after snatching the GOP nomination from an incumbent Republican Sen. Robert Bennett, said there are two ways of thinking about Karl Rove’s new fundraising organization:

“If what Karl Rove is doing with this PAC is go out and try to find the best conservative candidate who can win, if he just wants to help support those candidates, then I think that’s great, and I don’t think there is a lot of concern among grassroots conservative activists about that,” Lee told CNSNews.com.

“If on the other hand what he’s wanting to do is change the type of candidate based on policy preferences, if he’s wanting to push candidates that are not ideologically consistent conservatives, and he’s wanting to push those to one side -- then I think a lot of grassroots conservative activists might have legitimate concerns with that,” Lee continued.

Rove, the chief strategist for former President George W. Bush, and former Bush White House official Steven J. Law recently launched a Conservative Victory Project, which will support "the most conservative electable candidates," Rove says.

Rove says the Republican primary process in the last election cycle produced unelectable candidates such as Todd Aiken of Missouri, who won the U.S. Senate primary, but lost the election to Democrat Claire McCaskill after making controversial statement about "legitimate rape" and abortion.

The New York Times reported that the Conservative Victory Project is “intended to counter other organizations that have helped defeat establishment Republican candidates over the last two election cycles.”

The news stirred concern among conservatives, who say Rove is not one of them.