In yet another sign that the Republican establishment is in a meltdown over Donald Trump’s campaign success in pursuit of the 2016 GOP presidential nomination, Karl Rove is implementing a collateral attack on the frontrunner.
Rove's weapon of choice in the apparent effort is a somewhat unexpected one, Dr. Ben Carson, a fellow outsider candidate.
According to numerous media outlets, Rove arranged for a meeting between the Carson campaign and Las Vegas billionaire Steve Wynn.
The campaign strategist confirmed to Bloomberg Politics that he is the individual who was the intermediary between the Carson campaign and Wynn. In the past, Wynn and Trump crossed paths as business competitors in the casino real estate market.
Insiders indicate that Wynn gave large contributions in 2012 to Rove’s American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS. (These organizations are not legally obligated to disclose the identities of donors.)
Now, according to the Federal Election Commission, Wynn has contributed $25,000 to America Leads, a super PAC that supports New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie for the GOP nomination. Wynn and his wife, gave an additional $5,000 each to Christie’s own political action committee.
It is a pretty safe bet that Rove is not helping Carson out of the kindness of his heart. It is unlikely, too, that the Bush family friend is switching his loyalties.
Rather, it looks as if Rove is attempting to provide resources to the Carson campaign so that attack ads can be purchased with the intention of eroding to whatever degree possible Trump's leading position in the polls.
It is a classic “divide and conquer” strategy. The Republican donor class is generally of the viewpoint that because Carson is perceived as an outsider candidate, as his standing improves he will be able to draw away a portion of Trump’s support.
Since Carson is also popular with evangelicals, improving his standing may result in some deterioration of Sen. Ted Cruz’s support as well, a result that would be applauded by establishment types who are not particularly happy about Cruz’s success.
Rove’s ties to the Bush family are well known, having guided the electoral victories of former Pres. George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004.
Corey Lewandowski, Trump’s campaign manager, released a statement describing Rove as someone who “is at the center of the GOP establishment — fearful of what real leadership in Washington D.C. will accomplish.”
“Mr. Trump continues to expose the all-talk, no action politicians propped up by their dark money super PACs that have failed the American people for far too long,” Lewandowski stated, most likely in reference to the Crossroads conduits.
Back in 2012, Rove’s finance organizations spent more than in excess of $400 million. Rove was displeased with Trump, who had posted the following on his Twitter account immediately after the election: “Congrats to Karl Rove on blowing $400 million this cycle. Every race Crossroads GPS ran ads in, the Republicans lost. What a waste of money.”
The establishment and its media allies have been predicting the demise of Trump’s campaign since the day he announced. Nevertheless, Trump has remained on top of the polls for more than four months.
However, things are about to get very interesting with the launch of the attack ad war. A super-PAC that supports Ohio Gov. John Kasich recently released an ad that targets the GOP frontrunner.
In addition, Republican strategist Liz Mair has set up an entity for anonymous anti-Trump donors, Trump Card LLC, to conduct a “guerrilla campaign” against the leader of the GOP pack; this according to the Wall Street Journal.
Former New Hampshire Republican Party Chairman Fergus Cullen has attempted to remove Trump from the New Hampshire primary ballot as well.
So far, many of the moves against Trump have had unconventional results. The Rove strategy holds the possibility that upcoming attacks on Trump may actually wind up benefiting him.
The anti-Trump contingent runs a sizable risk that as word gets out about the establishment’s attempts to politically harm Trump, his numbers will rise rather than fall.
Despite the elite’s ill-advised thinking that the Trump campaign will somehow implode prior to Iowa caucuses, Trump already has in place some first-class ground operations in both Iowa and New Hampshire, and the candidate himself will no doubt be the recipient of a significant number of major media interview requests as a result of the advertising onslaught.
James Hirsen, J.D., M.A., in media psychology, is a New York Times best-selling author, media analyst, and law professor. Visit Newsmax TV Hollywood. Read more reports from James Hirsen — Click Here Now.
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