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5 Republicans who should be scared of Karl Rove

February 6, 2013, at 12:45 PM
Geraldo Rivera, who may run for Senate, appears on Fox on Aug. 24, 2012.

Geraldo Rivera, who may run for Senate, appears on Fox on Aug. 24, 2012. Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

After a disastrous election cycle for his super PAC, Karl Rove announced he's forming a new group — the Conservative Victory Project — with the sole purpose of ensuring that "electable candidates" emerge from the Republican primaries.

Rove pointed to candidates last year in Missouri and Indiana as justification for his new group. Rep. Todd Akin (R) and Richard Mourdock (R) both made extreme comments on rape and abortion that Rove and his allies believe caused the GOP to lose winnable races. The comments also hurt the Republican brand more broadly.

Here are five Republicans currently mulling bids that Rove might want to push out of the way:

1. Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.) is an all but certain candidate for the Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.). He believes that evolution and embryology are lies "straight from the pit of hell" and that FDR used Stalin as a model in an attempt to bring socialism to America. He's even laughed at suggestions from constituents that someone should shoot President Obama.

2. Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) is mulling a Senate bid for the open seat created by Sen. Tom Harkin's (D-Iowa) announcement that he will not run again. King is currently leading the field of GOP hopefuls, despite saying things like gay marriage was a path towards socialism and President Obama favors black people. He was even featured in a DNC video aimed at highlighting controversial statements made by Republicans.

3. Former Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) has hinted he'll challenge Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) in what would be an uphill race against a powerful senator, or possibly run for Illinois governor. Walsh has said that abortion is "no longer medically necessary" to save the life of a mother, criticized double-amputee Tammy Duckworth for talking about her military service during their campaign, and refused to pay child support to his ex-wife for nine years. He even had a bizarre and angry encounter with a constituent that was captured on video and went viral.

4. Joe Miller (R) is mulling another Senate bid in Alaska despite getting beaten two years ago by a write-in campaign waged by Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), who Miller had first beaten in a GOP primary. Miller admitted to getting federal farm subsidies despite opposing federal spending on agriculture, refused to talk about his background after news of ethical violations became public, and even had his security detain and handcuff a journalist trying to cover one of his campaign events.

5. Television personality Geraldo Rivera said he is "truly contemplating" a Senate bid in New Jersey for the seat currently held by Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.). His since-canceled talk show featured such episodes as "Men in lace panties and the women who love them." The ads against his candidacy almost write themselves.

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