Conservatives Demand Rove Group Fire Aide Over ‘Hater’ Remark

A group of conservatives on Wednesday called on American Crossroads to fire its spokesman, Jonathan Collegio, for calling conservative commentator Brent Bozell a “hater.”

Collegio went on WMAL in Washington, D.C. Wednesday morning and said Bozell is a “hater” for opposing American Crossroads’ new offshoot, the Conservative Victory Project, a super PAC aiming to back disciplined Republican candidates to win back a majority in the Senate. 

“Bozell is a hater, and he also, like, has a long, sordid history, like, hating Karl Rove, too. So he has, like, a weird personal axe to grind,” Collegio said.

In a letter, a number of conservative activists — including Mark Levin and Tony Perkins — called on American Crossroads president and CEO Steven Law to fire Collegio. 

“We, the free men and women of this great nation, affirm everyone’s natural right to speak their mind, but we cannot and will not abide the unjust, personal broadside your aide Jonathan Collegio leveled against a man whose family has dedicated itself to advancing the cause of liberty for over half a century,” they wrote in a letter.

The letter added that Bozell is a “legacy” in the conservative movement. “He has devoted his life to the cause of American conservatism as did his father, Brent Bozell II, who wrote ‘Conscience of a Conservative’ for Barry Goldwater. Maybe you’ve heard of Brent’s uncle, Bill Buckley, whose words you misquote and twist as the basis for your organization enough to falsely suggest you know something about him. You may have heard of his other uncle, Jim Buckley, a former U.S. Senator, or Brent’s mother, Patricia Buckley Bozell—both important figures and writers in our conservative movement.”

The letter also said that Collegio’s “attack was not grounded in reason or principle; its justification was nothing more than disagreement with your newly formed organization.”

Reached for comment, Collegio told TPM in an email that he has “commented enough” on the matter.

Read the full letter below:

Mr. Steven Law

President & Chief Executive Officer

American Crossroads
P.O. Box 34413
Washington, DC 20043

 

Dear Mr. Law,

 

We, the free men and women of this great nation, affirm everyone’s natural right to speak their mind, but we cannot and will not abide the unjust, personal broadside your aide Jonathan Collegio leveled against a man whose family has dedicated itself to advancing the cause of liberty for over half a century.

 

This morning Mr. Collegio attacked L. Brent Bozell, III and labeled him as a “hater” twice in an interview.  His attack was not grounded in reason or principle; its justification was nothing more than disagreement with your newly formed organization. 

 

Mr. Bozell is what we call in our movement a “legacy.” He has devoted his life to the cause of American conservatism as did his father, Brent Bozell II, who wrote “Conscience of a Conservative” for Barry Goldwater.

 

Maybe you’ve heard of Brent’s uncle, Bill Buckley, whose words you misquote and twist as the basis for your organization enough to falsely suggest you know something about him.   

 

You may have heard of his other uncle, Jim Buckley, a former U.S. Senator, or Brent’s mother, Patricia Buckley Bozell—both important figures and writers in our conservative movement.

 

Ronald Reagan often saluted the contributions of the Bozell and Buckley families to the cause of American conservatism.

 

Mr. Collegio calling Mr. Bozell a “hater” publicly on WMAL radio this morning reflects the language of the establishment Republicans. It is the divisive language of the Left.

 

Rather than engaging in an intellectual debate, you, Mr. Collegio, Mr. Rove, and others in the consultant class attack good conservatives and Tea Party leaders and members.

 

On behalf of the conservative movement, we are demanding you terminate Mr. Collegio.  An apology is not acceptable.

 

American Crossroads and the so-called Conservative Victory Project have already been severely marginalized.  The sheer audacity of political consultants maligning a beloved and critically important player in American history is simply a bridge too far.

 

You obviously mean to have a war with conservatives and the Tea Party.

 

Let it start here.

 

Sincerely,

 

 

Craig Shirley                                                                       Diana Banister

Reagan Biographer                                                          Director

                                                                                                Citizens for the Republic

 

 

Mark Levin                                                                          Jenny Beth Martin

Author                                                                                  Co-Founder and National Coordinator

                                                                                                Tea Party Patriots

 

Morton Blackwell                                                             Mathew D. Staver

Chairman                                                                             Founder and Chairman

The Weyrich Lunch                                                          Liberty Counsel

 

 

Tony Perkins                                                                      Austin Ruse

President                                                                            President

Family Research Council                                                Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute

 

Richard Viguerie                                                               Manuel Miranda

Chairman                                                                             Third Branch Conference

ConservativeHQ.com                                                    

 

Phyllis Schlafly

President

Eagle Forum

 

 

Robert Fischer                                                                   Mark Fitzgibbons

President                                                                            President of Corporate Affairs

Fischer Furniture, Inc.                                                    American Target Advertising

 

David N. Bossie                                                                 Troy Newman

President                                                                            Pro-Life Nation

Citizens United

 

 

Richard F. Norman                                                           Tricia Erickson

Founder and President                                                 President

The Richard Norman Company                                  Crisis Management, Inc.

 

 

Ginni Thomas                                                                    Angelo M. Codevilla                                       

Liberty Consulting                                                            Professor emeritus

                                                                                                Claremont Institute

 

 

William Wilson                                                                   Rick Scarborough

Americans for Limited Government                        Vision America

 

 

Peter J. Thomas                                                                                Colin Hanna

Chairman                                                                             Let Freedom Ring

The Conservative Caucus Inc.

 

Andrea Lafferty                                                                                Frank Gaffney

President                                                                            President

Traditional Values Coalition                                         Center for Security Policy

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Taintor is a news editor at Talking Points Memo. Previously, he worked at NBC News and Adweek. He’s a native of Minnesota. Reach him at taintor@talkingpointsmemo.com.

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