The Edmond Sun

July 20, 2013

Rove calculates how GOP can win in 2016

James Coburn
The Edmond Sun

EDMOND — Republicans will need to do well in the 2014 congressional and gubernatorial races in order to win the White House in 2016, former presidential adviser Karl Rove told The Edmond Sun Friday night.

Rove served as senior adviser to President George W. Bush from 2000-07, and was deputy chief of staff for Bush from 2004-07.

Rove took part in a question and answer session at Oklahoma Christian University Friday evening as part of the Four Star Leadership Dinner presented by retired U.S. Army Gen. Tommy Franks and co-sponsored by the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs.

“We need to get good candidates with not only a reasoned critique of Obama’s failures, particularly health care, the budget and spending, and lay out a positive alternative of what Republicans will do if they were given control of the Congress and the White House,” Rove said.

It’s too early to predict the best candidate to win the Republican presidential nomination and go on to win the White  House in three years, he said.

“I see a lot of candidates with a lot of potential,” Rove said.

Possible Republican presidential candidates mentioned by Rove were New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, U.S. Sen. Rafael Edward “Ted” Cruz of Texas, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder.

“We’ve got a lot of candidates who are thinking about it and it will be interesting to see how they apply themselves in the next couple of years,” Rove said.

No Democrats or Republicans have formally announced they will be on the presidential ballot in 2016. But Rove said former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, at this time, would be a more formidable candidacy than Vice President Joe Biden.

“We have several geological ages that are going to come and go before the time we get to 2015,” said Rove before being asked to define Clinton’s most glaring vulnerability.

“She’s part of the Obama administration,” Rove said. “It will be hard to put a lot of distance between she and the administration she served in for four years.”

State Rep. Lewis Moore, R-Edmond, said for Republicans to win back the White House in 2016, they need to focus on the basics.

“Push as much as you can down to the states,” Moore said. “Push for states’ rights, and allow the states to do what they should do constitutionally. Allow what the federal government does in its limited role to do what it does best.”

Gov. Mary Fallin said at a recent gathering of the Edmond Area Chamber of Commerce that for Republicans to win in 2014 and 2016, they need to let the records of Republican governors shine. Republican governors preside over the most stable economies in the U.S. when compared to Democrats, Fallin said.

“With immigration, don’t give away the ship and secure the borders,” said Moore, who chairs the State’s Rights committee in the Oklahoma House of Representatives. “Treat people fairly. Hold true to traditional values, family values and faith.”