Karl Rove at Penn State: GOP Sees 'No Presumptive Front-Runner' Yet for Presidential Race
February 26, 2011 9:06 AM
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For the first time in modern history, the U.S. Republican Party does not yet have a front-runner for the next GOP presidential nomination, former presidential adviser Karl Rove said Friday night.

Normally, by this point in the election cycle, someone would be leading the Republican pack, he said.

But "I think we've got a wide-open contest because we have no presumptive front-runner who has been around long enough to earn it," Rove said, speaking with local reporters at the Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel. "We have a bunch of governors who have a localized base of support, but not a national base."

Rove, who served as senior adviser and deputy chief of staff in President George W. Bush's White House, was in State College Friday for the Centre County Republican Committee's annual Lincoln Day Gala.

Before delivering the keynote talk there, he fielded questions for nearly 30 minutes from local reporters. The questions ranged from the 2012 presidential race to Middle East upheaval and Pennsylvania politics. Among Rove's remarks to reporters:

The Lincoln Day Gala was not open to reporters, but Rove said that he would be addressing that crowd about the next presidential race, the Obama administration's policies and what the Republicans will need to do in order to reclaim the White House. He also planned to take the audience's questions, he said.

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