Donald Trump on Thursday fired back at the Wall Street Journal after the editorial board penned a scathing op-ed calling on Republicans to abandon the former president. And now, Trump lashed out at Karl Rove, a longtime Republican strategist, who penned an opinion piece for the same conservative-leaning outlet to criticize the former president’s speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).
Rove noted the “muted enthusiasm” for the former president in the Wall Street Journal after only 68 percent of his “fervent supporters” at CPAC in a straw poll said they wanted him to run again in 2024.
“Why the muted enthusiasm from a crowd of Mr. Trump’s most fervent fans?” Rove wrote. “The explanation may be in what the ex-president said and didn’t say in his 15-minute definition of Trumpism. There was no forward-looking agenda, simply a recitation of his greatest hits. People like fresh material. Repetition is useful to a point, but it grows stale.”
Trump does not take criticism very well. That’s just who he is, so he released a statement to attack Rove, calling him a “RINO” (Republican in name only).
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“Karl Rove has been losing for years, except for himself. He’s a RINO of the highest order, who came to the Oval Office lobbying for 5G for him and a group,” Trump wrote.
Trump went on to call Rove a “pompous fool” who has “been losing for years, except for himself,” in his 700-word statement.
“Karl Rove’s voice on Fox is always negative for those who know how to win,” Trump continued. “He certainly hasn’t helped Fox in the ratings department, has he?”
Trump appears to be so triggered by the opinion piece that he’s calling on Fox News to cancel Rove.
“Karl Rove is all talk and no action!” Trump wrote. “Fox News should get rid of Karl Rove and his ridiculous ‘whiteboard’ as soon as possible!”
The full statement in which Trump also mentions Jeff “Flakey” Flake and “Liddle’ Bob Corker,” and he’s proving Rove’s point that the former president is redundant:
INBOX: A statement from the former president of the United States about Karl Rove: pic.twitter.com/9D7pG0JLj7
— Darren Samuelsohn (@dsamuelsohn) March 5, 2021
For his part, Rove didn’t seem too concerned about Trump’s attack.
“I’ve been called a lot of things in my career, but never a RINO,” Rove said in a statement to Reuters. “I’ve voted for every Republican presidential candidate since I turned 18 and have labored only for GOP (Republican) candidates since then. I have a different recollection of Mr. Trump’s views on 5G and our conversation election night. I’ll continue to use my whiteboard and voice to call balls and strikes.”
I can’t get past Trump calling Karl Rove a RINO. That’s like calling Newt Gingrich a RINO. On the other hand, Trump did call the Wall Street Journal a paper that “fights for RINOs,” so that’s probably the former president’s go-to phrase when he is criticized within his party.