Skip to comments.Texas Reaganauts: Rove Did Not Run 1980 Reagan Campaign in Texas, But He Was Involved (Anti-Reagan)
Posted on 02/09/2013 10:42:19 AM PST by nickcarraway
Republican political consultant Karl Rove went on The OReilly Factor on Thursday and said -- in response to conservative criticism of his new political action committee that he had been the director of the 1980 Ronald Reagan campaign in Texas, a point questioned by veteran Texas GOP campaign leaders and which seems to be only partly true for the period after Reagan secured the Republican presidential nomination that year. Reagan won the nomination at the GOP convention in Detroit in July 1980, beating out George H. W. Bush, the candidate Rove had supported. In late August/early September of that year, Rove was hired as executive director of the Texas Victory Committee, a large phone bank, get-out-the-vote effort, which was overseen by Ernest Angelo, the campaign manager for Ronald Reagan in Texas.
I was the director of the Texas campaign for Ronald Reagan in the fall of 1980, and was appointed by President Reagan to sit on the White House Fellows Selection Panel, said Rove on the Feb. 7 edition of The OReilly Factor.
However, in a telephone interview, CNSNews.com asked Gary Hoitsma, the communications/media director for the 1980 Reagan campaign in Texas, which was headquartered in a renovated funeral home in Austin, whether Roves statement that he was the director of the Texas campaign for Ronald Reagan was true or not.
Hoitsma said, That was not my recollection. I was there at the campaign headquarters in 1980 and the campaign was directed by Ernie Angelo and Rick Shelby was the basic national field director who came down and ran the day to day campaign.
I wouldnt doubt that Karl had some, maybe, more of a figure-head role or something like that, said Hoitsma. But I dont remember him being involved at the campaign headquarters in any day to day efforts that we were involved in.
Tom Pauken, who was the Texas Republican State Chairman and who later served on Reagans White House Staff, said in a statement, "Karl Rove campaigned in 1980 against Ronald Reagan and for George Herbert Walker Bush in the Republican presidential primary in Texas. In the general election, I never heard at the time that Karl was running the Reagan campaign in our state. Karl was working for Gov. Clements, but the Reagan leaders in Texas were Ray Barnhart and Ernie Angelo.
I knew most of the Reagan leaders around the state, and Karl was not part of that group and was viewed by the Reaganites as being part of the anti-Reagan faction in our state, said Pauken.
During the Reagan administration, I served on various White House Fellows Selection Panels during that period, said Pauken. Arlen Specter's wife served on one of the panels with me. Being on a selection panel for that program is no evidence whatsoever that one was a Reagan Republican at the time."
Ernest Angelo, the campaign manager of the Ronald Reagan campaign in Texas in 1980.
Ray Barnhart, who headed the 1976 Texas Reagan campaign and was involved in the 1980 Texas campaign, told CNSNews.com, I dont recall that Karl was there in a leadership role quite frankly. I didnt really remember that, he said. Barnhart was director of the Federal Highway Commission under Reagan from 1981 to 1987.
Ernest Angelo, who was the 1980 campaign manager for Reagan in Texas, told CNSNews.com that the way things worked was that then-Texas Governor Bill Clements was the chairman of the campaign and that after the nomination, numerous people were hired and Karl Rove was one of those brought in.
This happened in late August, early September 1980, said Angelo.
He worked for me and was involved in the campaign, said Angelo.
Angelo told CNSNews.com that fellow Reagan campaign leader Richard D. Shelby recalled that Rove had been hired as director of the Texas Victory Committee. This was a phone-bank operation spread across Texas that reportedly was highly successful in raising money and getting out the vote for Reagan in the fall of 1980.
President Ronald Reagan. (AP)
In his 2010 book, Courage and Consequence, Karl Rove writes, By the summer of 1980, politics had swept me up again. That meant for me a role in the campaign to carry Texas for Ronald Reagan and his running mate, my former boss, George H. W. Bush. Clements was determined to put Texas in Reagans column in 1980. State parties could organize committees to spend money on volunteer-intensive activities in support of federal candidates, as long as the money was raised under federal campaign limits. A victory committee could run phone banks, conduct registration drives, send mailings, hold rallies, send out surrogates, and do everything a presidential campaign could do, short of running television ads. The governor called me into his office and brusquely told me to move my posterior over to the Victory Committee. He was to be its chairman and I was to be its executive director. The outcome of the presidential election could turn on the results in Texas and so, he made clear, could my future.
The Reagan high command didnt fully trust Clements, because the governor was close to Ford, his 1976 primary opponent, and had played an important role at the 1980 detroit convention in reassuring Reagan to tap Ford as his running mate. So they sent two people to look over our shoulders. One was Texas Republican national committeeman Ernie Angelo, former mayor of Midland. The other was the campaigns southwestern political director, Rick Shelby. Both were parked in Austin for the rest of the campaign, and we hit it off.
In addition, The Complete Marquis Whos Who Biographies states that Rove was director of the Texas Victory Committee in Austin, Texas, in 1980. It does not state that he was director of the Reagan campaign in Texas.
Roves statement on The OReilly Factor is not completely accurate. He was not the director of the Texas campaign for Ronald Reagan in the fall of 1980. Angelo was the campaign manager, Shelby was the field director, and Hoitsma was the media/press official. Rove, according to the available data, was the director of an integral entity to the campaign, the Texas Victory Committee.
Angelo said that, back then, these different operations were generally viewed as all working for the Reagan campaign.
CNSNews.com contacted Karl Roves office for comment on this story. His office provided excerpts from Roves book, Courage and Consquence, in response. Rove explains some of his actions with the Texas Victory Committee on pages 54 and 55 of that book.
A lot of Reagan’s “supporters” did all they could to destroy him till it became apparent that he was beating them. Then they latched on like leeches in a mudhole and have claimed him to be a middle of the road moderate ever since.
He wasn’t perfect but his biggest fault is that he was too trusting.
Next thing you’ll know, Rove will claim he drew Patton’s battle plans for Messina.
So Karl Rove initially supported GHWB and then fell in line to support Reagan. That’s not surprising seeing as the Bush Family paid all his family’s bills for most of Rove’s life.
I don’t trust Rove from a policy perspective nor from campaigning perspective. His judgment in both areas has been shown to be lacking. Now, he wants to be King of the Moderates and push aside the Tea Party. The Tea Party movement could use some political mentoring, but not from the likes of him. The Tea Party needs someone with the skills the departed Breitbart to navigate the new media, not a conventional, old tech Repub establishment guy.
One thing is for sure. If Reagan was around today then he would have Rove tossed out on his Butt.
Besides S/H-in around tejas pols. Did this guy ever manage a successful campaign even dog catcher and all that goes with it ?-
If the information in this article is correct, Rove is guilty of misrepresentation. This ought, in a just world, to cost him his position with Fox News.
Mark Levin explained last night. Rove worked for the Texas Gov. The Gov supported GHWB in the primary and so Rove worked in opposition to Reagan.
When Reagan won the nomination the Gov created the Reagan/BUSH victory committee. The guy who ran Reagan’s primary campaign was booted out and Rove given his Job.
Rove was definitely spinning and inflating his Reagan portfolio. Apparently OReilly’s show is no longer a “No Spin Zone”.
There is a reason most freepers call him “Tokyo Rove”....
Lot of Democrats came with him, they are affectionately known as RINO's here.
Call me paranoid, but I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that there have been “sleeper cells” of leftists in the GOP, waiting their time to turn it to the left/destroy it from within. Why not, they’ve done it with every other institution in the US, saving the hardest nuts to crack (the Christian church, the military, the opposition on the right) for last.
There’s a name for that. It’s called Bush.
I actually think it’s the opposite. There are sleeper cells of Conservatives hidden in the Republican Party.
If that’s so, now’s the time for them to awaken. The Second Amendment is the guarantee of all our other rights, and it’s being attacked on multiple fronts.
Rove should have been the director of trash... aka a janitor...
He is a FRAUD!!
Levin is doing quite a service to conservatives, it appears. Even more than usual, I mean.
Wish I had heard Levin. Thank you for the update.
And yet, we're told by some here on FR to support and help elect them - Why? Because they have an "R" after their name. That's the be-all and end-all qualification. [rolls eyes]