Carl DeMaio and the Tea Party

In the wake of reports that an arm of Karl Rove’s American Crossroads is buying TV ads supporting Republican Carl DeMaio in a San Diego congressional race, target Rep. Scott Peters ripped Rove’s “rock throwing” approach.

George W. Bush and Karl Rove. Photo via

The incumbent Democrat on Tuesday reacted after Rove’s Crossroads GPS began spending $705,000 to air what he called attack ads over the next nine days.

Politico reported that the Rove-connected Super PAC has reserved $3.1 million of TV commercial airtime in five Democratic-held congressional districts.

Rove was labeled “Bush’s Brain” as a top political strategist for the younger Bush president.

The biggest buy is in the Sacramento-based district of Democratic Rep. Ami Bera, Politico said.

“Crossroads GPS will spend $895,000 from Aug. 19 to Sept. 1,” the website said. “The group’s next largest purchase is in the San Diego-area district of Democratic Rep. Scott Peters, where it will spend $705,000 from Aug. 19 to Aug. 28.”

According to a statement from the Peters campaign: “The Rove group’s highly hypocritical ad in one breath blames Peters for ‘out of control Washington spending,’ and in the next, attacks Peters for supporting a bipartisan plan to reduce spending. The 2013 Simpson-Bowles plan proposes to reduce the federal deficit by $2.4 trillion over 10 years.”

Peters said that while he doesn’t agree with every piece of the plan, he does support using this approach as a basis for reducing federal spending.

“People like Karl Rove and Carl DeMaio stand on the sidelines and throw rocks and lay blame and fail to do the hard work of building consensus,” Peters said. “We’ve got too much of that in Washington, too much divisiveness. We need answers and that’s not what Karl Rove or Carl DeMaio are bringing.

“The point of Simpson-Bowles was to reduce federal spending, which is what the ad says they want. The only way we’re going to do that is if Democrats and Republicans sit down around a table and solve these problems.”

The Peters campaign released a video earlier this month that it says depicts DeMaio “pandering to the local Tea Party, actually showed DeMaio sneering at the notion of consensus-building, calling it ‘baloney.’ ”

Bipartisan efforts such as Simpson-Bowles, Peters said, are “the kind of serious discussion that this ad demeans.”

“The risk of being a leader is that you’ll take the tough vote,” Peters said. “If you like people throwing rocks at each other in Congress, Carl DeMaio will fit in great. … He’ll fit in great with the Tea Party. He’ll fit in great with Karl Rove.”

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