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Karl Rove Admits Donald Trump Is Likely to Be the Republican Nominee

Karl Rove, former deputy chief of staffKarl Rove, former deputy chief of staff
Karl Rove, former deputy chief of staff and senior advisor to US President George W. Bush, speaks during the Republican National Committee meeting at the Capitol Hilton in Washington, DC, 16 January 2008. Photograph by Saul Loeb—AFP/Getty Images

Behold, Karl Rove says: your flawed but likely nominees.

In an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, the Republican strategist wrote that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump “appear likely to be their respective parties’ nominees” unless “something dramatic and unexpected happens.” Rove has taken to the Journal’s opinion pages since the summer to urge Republicans to rally around an alternative candidate.

In the op-ed published Wednesday evening, Rove criticized Trump’s self-description as a “unifier,” writing that his ability to win only with a minority of votes indicates he hasn’t unified the party. Even at Trump’s most polished, in his press conference Tuesday evening, the candidate couldn’t resist throwing jabs at opponent Marco Rubio and denigrating those who criticize him for supporting Planned Parenthood.

 

But Rove’s admission that Trump is likely to be the Republican nominee comes after months of arguing that other candidates still had a chance. Last week, Rove wrote in the Journal that Republicans had until the primaries of March 15 to mount a legitimate challenge to the frontrunner.

On Tuesday evening, as primary results poured in, Fox News cut the strategist off mid-sentence as he was arguing that the Virginia race between Rubio and Trump was tightening. Trump had already won the state.