Some GOP voters who like both former President Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis might be wary of them attacking each other, but former George W. Bush aide Karl Rove says "trading blows" is "entertaining," informative, and helpful for voters.
"We learn a lot about the candidates by how we see how they trade blows," Rove, who is openly supportive of DeSantis and a harsh Trump critic, told Fox News on Saturday. "We get a sense of their character, we get a sense of their thought process, we get a sense of their inner strength. We decide whether they like them or not. And it's a helpful process."
Those hoping for harmony between the leading GOP primary candidate can just forget it, Rove added.
"Anybody who thinks you're going to go into the general election and not be trading blows with the opposition is just kidding themselves," he said, noting "it can go overboard, don't get me wrong" but there are benefits, too.
"This is what we expect from our politicians and by and large it helps us better understand who they are and come to a decision as to who we're for," Rove added.
The primary battleground helps fully vet the candidates and prepare for the far more volatile general election.
"Primaries can hurt parties if they become bitter and divisive, but people expect to, you know, they want to see how you're going handle the controversy that you're going see in a general election," Rove said.
This week's back and forth, with DeSantis pitching his potential for eight years versus Trump saying he only needs "six months" and handling of the COVID pandemic, had Rove intrigued at least.
"It's highly entertaining," he said. "I'm not sure how illuminating it is, but it's highly entertaining."
Rove admitted Trump remains the leader and it is his primary to lose, but early polling should be taken with a grain of salt.
"It doesn't matter what they look like now," he said.
"It's interesting to see if we see movement. Let's see if these numbers tighten. But a key thing is how strong of an organization do you have in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina."
Even Rove, notoriously a Trump critic, admitted Trump's campaign has a strong team set up.
Eric Mack ✉
Eric Mack has been a writer and editor at Newsmax since 2016. He is a 1998 Syracuse University journalism graduate and a New York Press Association award-winning writer.
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