Ronald Reagan Campaign Biographer Disputes Karl Rove Claim He Directed Reagan’s 1980 Texas Election Effort – Video 2/7/13 UPDATE: Rove Book Explained He did Work for Reagan in 1980

Political Analyst Karl Rove is under fire from Conservatives for declaring his intention to try to get more moderate Republicans nominated to run in general election campaigns. But he is also drawing fire for saying in this interview that he “Director of the Texas Campaign” for Ronald Reagan’s election “in the Fall of 1980.” Conservative Mark Levin has questioned Rove’s commitment to Ronald Reagan, saying he served in Reagan’s 1976 and 1980 Campaigns, as well as in his Administration, and he does not remember ever meeting Karl Rove. Rove’s claim is also now being disputed by noted Reagan Campaign biographer Craig Shirley:

WASHINGTON EXAMINER: . . . The bottom line: While Rove told The O’Reilly Factor Thursday that he worked for the Gipper, Reagan’s acclaimed biographer Craig Shirley says there’s no evidence to back Rove up.

Worse: In an email Shirley is sending to conservative leaders, he reveals that Rove backed former President Ford in 1976 and in 1980 worked for former Texas governor who didn’t back Reagan until after he was nominated. . . . .

Below is Shirley’s email to conservatives:

To: Fellow Conservatives

Last night on The O’Reilly Factor, Karl Rove stated that he was the Director of the Texas campaign for Ronald Reagan in 1980. Since then, I’ve received several inquiries on this matter.

In the course of my research for Rendezvous with Destiny about the 1980 campaign, at no time did I come across Mr. Rove’s name in association with the Reagan campaign. Indeed, according to sources, he was with the George H. W. Bush campaign until he was fired for leaking to the media.

In 1976, as Chairman of the College Republicans, Rove was for Gerald Ford over Governor Reagan, as was all of the Republican National Committee.

The 1980 Texas campaign for Ronald Reagan was run by Ernie Angelo and the Field Director was Rick Shelby. Gary Hoitsma ran the media for Reagan in Texas in 1980.

In fact, Mr. Rove’s own bio on his website says he was on Governor Clements staff in 1980 and Clements was not on board with Reagan until after Detroit convention.

See pages 39, 173-174, Chapter 17 and pg 498 of Rendezvous with Destiny for details on the Texas campaign for Reagan in 1980.

Craig Shirley

UPDATE: The Daily Caller has a page from Karl Rove’s book explaining he did, indeed, work for Reagan’s Election in the Fall of 1980, with two Reagan Operatives sent to Texas to look over their shoulders to make sure they were loyal to Reagan.

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