Karl Rove on Trump lashing out 'RINOs' for COVID attack ad: He gave them what they wanted

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Former White House deputy chief of staff and Fox News contributor Karl Rove said on “America’s Newsroom” on Wednesday that by lashing out on Twitter to an ad that criticized his administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, President Trump gave the group of former Republicans exactly what they wanted, more publicity.

The Lincoln Project, a group led by Kellyanne Conway’s husband, released the “Mourning in America” ad, which was a riff on former President Ronald Reagan’s “Morning in America,” and accused the president of ignoring the crisis early on.

The ad cited the death toll from coronavirus in taking swipes at the president's leadership. The ad also said the country is “weaker and sicker and poorer” under Trump’s administration.

“A group of RINO [Republican in name only] Republicans who failed badly 12 years ago, then again 8 years ago, and then got BADLY beaten by me, a political first timer, 4 years ago, have copied (no imagination) the concept of an ad from Ronald Reagan, 'Morning in America’, doing everything possible to get even for all of their many failures,” Trump tweeted early Tuesday morning.

“You see, these loser types don’t care about 252 new Federal Judges, 2 great Supreme Court Justices, a rebuilt military, a protected 2nd Amendment, biggest EVER Tax & Regulation cuts, and much more,” Trump continued. “I didn’t use any of them because they don’t know how to win, and their so-called Lincoln Project is a disgrace to Honest Abe.”

The president went on to rail against Kellyanne Conway’s husband, George Conway, who is a top adviser for the organization and a frequent critic of Trump.

Rove noted on Wednesday that “the president would be well advised to ignore things like this.”

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“He has several million dollars in his campaign war chest, this group has very little and we’d be spending a lot less time talking about this if the president had not tweeted, than we’re spending now that he has tweeted,” Rove said.

He went on to say, “I understand the president gets irritated about these kind of things. Every president gets irritated by the attacks made on them.” He then pointed out, however, that “the whole purpose” of the ad was “to irritate the president on a personal level.”

“It’s not going to have an impact on the election,” Rove continued. “It’s a pip-squeak of a response and the president, by drawing attention to it, is merely giving the authors of the ad exactly what they wanted which is more attention, more coverage and more time on the tube to be talked about.”

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He also said that he doesn’t think attacking the ad is “the best use of the president’s time.”

Fox News’ Brooke Singman contributed to this report.