Conservative Leader to Karl Rove: ‘Get Out of the Way’ and Let Us Lead

By Matt Cover | March 15, 2013 | 6:01am EDT

GOP political consultant Karl Rove. (AP Photo)

( Bossie, president of the conservative group Citizens United, said that if Republicans are to reverse their electoral fortunes and score much-needed political victories, establishment consultants such as Karl Rove need to “get out of the way.”

“If the Republican establishment leadership can just get out of the way of the conservative movement and of the Tea Party and give people something to look forward to – a positive image of America, a positive vision for the future of America economically, from a foreign policy, and from a social policy standpoint – we can win elections in this off-year, in 2014,” Bossie told in an interview Thursday.

Bossie took aim directly at Rove, the former adviser to President George W. Bush, challenging him and his newly formed Conservative Victory Fund to prove they are worthy of the name by backing conservative candidates like Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), who is currently mulling a run for Senate.

“I think Karl Rove should be embracing good conservatives,” Bossie said. “One way for Karl Rove to make it up – if he really wants to be a player in conservatism – then he needs to support [Rep.] Steve King when he is the nominee in Iowa.”

Bossie said that Rove’s backing of King – should he run – would be a test of the Republican power-player’s intentions with regards to the conservative movement. Rove angered conservatives by singling out Rep. King in announcing the launch of the Conservative Victory Fund, saying that the conservative congressman was just the type of candidate the group would try to deter from seeking office.

“I think that that’s going to be a telltale sign. If Karl Rove sits on his hands because Steve King is the nominee and he doesn’t help, I think that’s going to tell us a lot about the character of the Conservative Victory Fund,” Bossie said.

Bossie said that if conservatives are going to win future elections, conservative groups must begin talking directly to voters, going around establishment groups like Rove’s to get their message out.

“Voters still get to decide who the nominee is,” he said. “We as a conservative movement have got to make sure that the average person in America – the average member of the conservative cause, the conservative movement – that is a center-right person in America, the average voter understands that they [the establishment] aren’t the arbiter of who is a conservative and who’s not.”

“Taking a cue out of Barack Obama’s playbook of leading from behind is not a good answer,” he said. “Let the people lead if you’re not going to lead because there’s no leadership in the [GOP-controlled] House of Representatives, there’s been virtually no leadership.”

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