In an interview with radio host Scott Hennen
on Friday, Karl Rove sung the praises of the tea party and insisted on its importance in the 2012 presidential election.
Rove stated that since the Republican party emerged, tea party-like movements have existed that have “by and large been very healthy for the system.”
Distinguishing between members of the tea party movement and individuals who promote the tea party sentiment, Rove said that “both are viable and important” and “have energized a group of people that heretofore have largely been sitting on the sidelines and brought about big, important change.”
The surge of tea party action and ideology are, according to Rove, “probably enough to turn the 2012 election if properly dealt with,” referring to the movement’s influence on independent voters in the 2010 election.
The former Bush advisor insisted that the Republican party should be open and welcoming toward the tea party movement and tea party sentiment. However, “they also ought to respect that a lot of the people in the Tea Party do not want their groups to become merely an adjunct to the Republican party like the local chapter of the federated women’s clubs of the young republican clubs,” said Rove.