The man who the establishment GOP considers to be the brain behind their business has been caught telling lies about one of the most popular grassroots conservatives of our day, Ted Cruz. Karl Rove recently wrote a blog post for his own website attacking Senator Cruz’s new book, while also taking the time to personally attack Senator Cruz by calling him a liar. Rove explicitly says that portions of Cruz’s book are outright fabrications and then explains “what really happened.” Except that Senator Cruz still has proof for his account, while Rove only has his own memory of the events.
Shortly after Rove published his blog post calling Cruz a liar, the Cruz campaign fired back by releasing an email chain proving that Cruz was right and Rove was lying.
The 2009 incident, exposed to the public by Cruz in his new book, A Time For Truth: Reigniting the Promise of America, which goes on sale to the public on Tuesday, was first reported by Breitbart News in an exclusive excerpt obtained on Saturday. The story, as Cruz tells it, is that when Cruz was running for Attorney General of Texas—which he did in 2009 and 2010, before dropping out after current Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, then the Attorney General, decided to run again for his seat—he sought out the endorsement of the elder Bush in a meeting.
Rove had previously advised Cruz against running for Attorney General, telling him he should just build support for his political future and remain Solicitor General of Texas for the time being. When he learned of Cruz’s meeting with Bush 41—and Bush 41’s check to Cruz’s campaign and planned public endorsement of him—Rove was allegedly “irate.”
“Karl had found out about my meeting with George H.W. Bush and called me on the phone,” Cruz writes in the book, in an excerpt obtained by Breitbart News. “He was irate, demanding, ‘What in the hell do you think you are doing?!’”
As Breitbart News reported, Cruz noted that Rove was “in the process of helping raise money for the George W. Bush presidential library in Dallas,” and that “Texas donors were giving the Bushes tens of millions, including major donors who were supporting the Dallas state rep who wanted to run for attorney general” so those donors “were now berating Karl.”
“He suggested that the elder Bush was too old to have good judgment anymore,” Cruz wrote…
On Sunday evening, Rove responded to the firestorm that will obviously create friction between him and the Bush family—since he implied in his conversation with the then future-U.S. Senator that he believes the elder President Bush was too senile to make endorsements on his own—with a blog post titled “A Time For Setting the Record Straight.”
“One piece of advice I offered him was that he should stop describing himself as the ‘next Sen. Marco Rubio’ (R-FL) since he did not have Senator Rubio’s outstanding legislative record of accomplishments as speaker of the Florida House of Representatives,” Rove wrote. “Mr. Cruz’s account is wrong in other particulars, starting with an implication I would question the judgment of one of the finest men I have ever known, President Bush 41, whom I went to work for when I was 22 years old and have revered ever since. When Mr. Cruz and I talked in 2009, I was not raising money for the Bush Library, nor was former President Bush 43 [George W. Bush, 41’s son] going to endorse some unnamed state representative for state attorney general, nor were any library donors ‘berating’ me.”
In response to Rove’s blog post, Cruz released an email chain he and Rove had in 2009 that explicitly proves Rove is lying on several counts. The press release, mocking how badly Rove got this wrong in his blog post, is headlined: “Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) Sets Record Straight With Karl Rove.”
This flap should be the proverbial nail in Rove’s GOP coffin, but somehow I doubt that the GOP establishment will be too upset with Rove’s attacks on Cruz. If Rove had tried smearing Jeb Bush, John Kasich or some other establishment candidate the fallout within the Party would be far greater. As it is, Rove is already despised by most conservatives, so this will just reinforce their distaste for the man while his stock might actually improve among establishment types. It’s sort of gross, isn’t it?