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WASHINGTON – Donald Trump's rapidly expanding Republican enemies list now includes The Wall Street Journal editorial page and veteran GOP political guru Karl Rove, after both said his attacks on GOP members are hurting the party.
In a written statement issued Thursday night, Trump called on Fox News to fire Rove as a political commentator, calling him a RINO – Republican In Name Only – "of the highest order."
"Karl Rove has been losing for years, except for himself," Trump said in the statement put out by a political action committee called the "Save America PAC."
The statement, on the heels of a similar blast by Trump at the Journal, reflected rising tensions between Trump and establishment Republicans, who fear the ex-president will undercut plans to regain control of Congress in 2022 and the White House in 2024.
Fox News did not respond to Trump, while Rove said he has no plans to stop questioning Trump's actions.
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Rove referred reporters to a statement he gave to Reuters: “I’ve been called a lot of things in my career, but never a RINO. I’ve voted for every Republican presidential candidate since I turned 18 and have labored only for GOP (Republican) candidates since then."
Trump, who has not spoken publicly since CPAC, is still banned from Twitter and Facebook. Lacking the ability he once had to tweet out his thoughts, Trump has instead resorted to written statements, including one Friday hitting a prominent Democrat: President Joe Biden. "Our border is now totally out of control," Trump said in a blast on immigration policy.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Biden doesn't take advice from an ex-president whose own immigration policy "was not only inhumane but ineffective over the last four years."
Trump's attack on Rove came just hours after he issued a written statement slamming The Wall Street Journal editorial page for backing "globalist policies" — and blaming Trump for the loss of the White House and Republican control of the U.S. Senate.
Even as he slapped the long-standing Republican-leaning editorial board, Trump added that "nobody cares much about The Wall Street Journal editorial anymore. They have lost great credibility."
Karl Rove, Wall Street Journal critical of Trump at CPAC
Both the Journal and Rove criticized Trump over his Sunday speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference. The former president, seeking to keep leadership of the Republican Party, vowed to support primary challengers to Republicans who backed impeachment or otherwise opposed him.
In an editorial entitled "The Grievances of Trump Past," The Wall Street Journal said "these intra-party fights will sap GOP energy and resources when their priority now should be retaking Congress in 2022."
The Journal editorial page also suggested that, given the recent defeats of Trump and other Republicans, "perhaps the party’s grassroots will begin to look past the Trump era to a new generation of potential standard-bearers. As long as Republicans focus on the grievances of the Trump past, they won’t be a governing majority."
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Rove, meanwhile, wrote a critical op-ed for the Journal in which he noted that, in a straw poll conducted by CPAC, only 68% of the conference delegates said they want to see Trump run again in 2024.
As for Trump's speech, Rove said "there was no forward-looking agenda, simply a recitation of his greatest hits. People like fresh material. Repetition is useful to a point, but it grows stale."
Trump has had a contentious relationship with Rove, a major architect of President George W. Bush's election victories. Trump frequently attacked Bush and his administration, and Rove has responded in kind.
In his new written statements on The Wall Street Journal and Rove, Trump blamed others for the election of Biden, as well as two Senate defeats in Georgia in January. The victories of Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff over Republican senators gave the Democrats political control of the chamber.
Trump's blame game again included Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., whose has questioned whether the GOP's future should include Trump. So has Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., a member of the House Republican leadership team who voted for impeachment.
Ten House Republicans voted to impeach Trump of charges that he cited the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol designed to overturn Biden's election. Seven Senate Republicans voted to convict Trump.
Trump critics said attacking people is all he knows how to do.
"He never thinks about doing right by others or wishing anyone do well – certainly not better than himself," said conservative political commentator Rick Tyler. "While most Republicans have put party over country, Trump puts himself over everything including his party."
In his statement attacking the Republican political strategist, Trump said: "Fox should get rid of Karl Rove and his ridiculous “whiteboard” as soon as possible!"
In his statement to Reuters, Rove said: "I’ll continue to use my whiteboard and voice to call balls and strikes.”
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Donald Trump adds Karl Rove to growing list of Republican enemies