Karl Rove Blasts Republicans Who Back Trump’s False 2020 Claims
(Bloomberg) -- Longtime Republican strategist Karl Rove unleashed a sweeping attack on members of his party who have echoed former President Donald Trump’s falsehoods about the 2020 election and the subsequent Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, urging them to put patriotism ahead of political interests.
In a Wall Street Journal opinion piece on Thursday marking the one-year anniversary of the assault, Rove asked Republicans how they would respond if, after Trump won the 2016 election, Democrats had claimed fraud, stormed the Capitol, attacked police officers and threatened violence against GOP leaders to stop legally certified Electoral College votes for Trump.
Rove said Republicans would not have accepted such an action as merely a “protest,” called the rioters “patriots” or justified the attempt to change the outcome of a presidential election as Trump -- who has called the Nov. 3 election the “real insurrection” -- continues to do almost a year after leaving office.
“I’ve been a Republican my entire life, and believe in what the Republican Party, at its best, has represented for decades,” Rove wrote. “There can be no soft-pedaling what happened and no absolution for those who planned, encouraged and aided the attempt to overthrow our democracy. Love of country demands nothing less. That’s true patriotism.”
Rove ascended the ranks of national Republican politics alongside former President George W. Bush. And he’s credited with turning Texas into a GOP stronghold.
His comments came as President Joe Biden delivered a blistering rebuke of Trump in a speech at the U.S. Capitol Thursday, saying the former president turned to violence to try to overturn the election he lost. Biden criticized Republicans for supporting Trump’s false claims about fraud in an election in which some of them were also elected.
Trump, who canceled a news conference he had scheduled Thursday at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida to coincide with the Jan. 6 observances, called Biden’s speech “political theater” and an attempt by Democrats to divide the country and distract from the problems it faces.
“Biden, who is destroying our Nation with insane policies of open Borders, corrupt Elections, disastrous energy policies, unconstitutional mandates, and devastating school closures, used my name today to try to further divide America,” Trump said in a statement released by his leadership PAC.
But Rove told Republicans in his opinion piece that “to move beyond Jan. 6, 2021, we must put country ahead of party.”
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