Karl Rove credits the tea party with bringing new energy to the right but says that when you take a look at the grass-roots movement, it is “not sophisticated.”
“I meet a lot of tea partiers as I go around the country, and they are amazing people,” said the ex-adviser to former President George W. Bush in an interview with Der Spiegel.
But structurally, Rove said the tea party has little in common with the Reagan Revolution that has powered the conservative movement for decades.
“It was also a well-organized, coherent, ideologically motivated and conservative revolution,” Rove said of the Reagan Revolution. “If you look underneath the surface of the tea party movement, on the other hand, you will find that it is not sophisticated.
“It’s not like these people have read the economist Friedrich August von Hayek,” Rove added. “Rather, these are people who are deeply concerned about what they see happening to their country, particularly when it comes to spending, deficits, debt and health care.”
The lack of experience is an issue, Rove said. “Most have never been involved in politics before. This is their first experience, and they have the enthusiasm of people who have never done it before.”