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Republican political strategist Karl Rove jokes that he is no longer suicidal after the November election - he's merely despondent. Rove was in Wichita Wednesday evening to speak at the 100th convention of the Kansas Livestock Association at the Hyatt Regency Hotel.
Rove said Mitt Romney lost the Presidential election because he was wounded in the GOP primaries - which featured 20 Presidential debates - and because President Obama's campaign launched a series of ads aimed at disqualifying Romney in the minds of ordinary Americans.
Rove pointed out that fewer people voted in November than the 2008 elections. He said Romney received more votes than John McCain did in 2008, while President Obama only had 93 percent of the vote he received four years ago. Rove also said there was an "October Surprise" that both sides did not expect, when Hurricane Sandy hit the northeastern United States and boosted support for Obama.
Rove said the Republican party is splintered because of intolerant and judgmental language and an unwillingness to acknowledge differences. He said the party needs to find the right language to talk about the issues without being judgmental or harsh, and it needs to have leaders who can create that kind of environment.
Rove helped raise $324 million for Republican candidates in 2012, but he said he got off spending money on races "where the moderates and the conservatives had gone at each other and made victory impossible."
Rove also said the nation has a spending problem and a deficit problem, and even if the government avoids the so-called "fiscal cliff" in January, there will still be the problems of slow economic growth and unemployment. He said raising taxes will not solve the problems of too much spending and too little growth.
Rove said he's still optimistic that America can solve its economic and financial problems. He said the next few years will be tough but "when we get in a tough place we tend to do the right thing."
Click on the audio player below to hear Rove's comments on the divisions in the Republican party.