Despite network policy, Fox’s Karl Rove is advising and campaigning for numerous GOP organizations and candidates

Karl Rove Republican campaigning image

Citation Molly Butler / Media Matters

Karl Rove has been advising President Donald Trump ahead of the November election, which is the latest in a string of campaign activities for the Fox News contributor. Rove has also been helping raise money for numerous Republican organizations and campaigns; advising the Texas GOP; filming campaign ads; and headlining Republican fundraisers. 

Rove has undertaken those activities despite Fox News stating in November 2018 that it “does not condone any talent participating in campaign events.” (In reality, network personalities routinely participate in campaign events without any apparent repercussions.) 

Rove most famously worked as a senior aide to President George W. Bush before joining Fox News as a political contributor in 2008. He also writes a column for The Wall Street Journal. 

He helped start the super PAC American Crossroads. OpenSecrets’ Anna Massoglia and Karl Evers-Hillstrom reported last month that the group “is jumping into the 2020 presidential election to back President Donald Trump. American Crossroads recently reported spending nearly $367,000 to support Trump in a 13-state text messaging campaign. … American Crossroads shares its staff and offices with One Nation, a ‘dark money’ nonprofit that supports Senate Republicans.” 

NBC News, The New York Times, and Business Insider have recently reported that Rove has been advising Trump and his campaign. He has also reportedly been visiting the White House. Despite that, Rove has appeared on Fox News and written his Journal column -- including criticism of Democratic candidate Joe Biden -- without any disclosure about his reported work for Trump. 

Rove has also been penning fundraising emails for various Republican organizations and campaigns. In the past year, they have included:

Those Rove emails feature pro-Trump rhetoric, with Rove warning that “Trump’s Senate Majority could fall if we don’t keep Arizona red”; “President Trump is relying on us to keep his allies in office”; “Our ability to take back the House and secure the President's Legacy are hanging in the balance”; and “President Trump and House Conservatives have made unbelievable progress and have followed through on their promises to the American people. … Stand with President Trump and House Conservatives today.” 

Rove has also filmed ads that have appeared on Facebook and Instagram for Cornyn’s campaign. Additionally, Rove has his own fundraising pages for the NRSC. 

Like he does regarding the presidential race, Rove regularly appears on Fox News to discuss issues related to the House and Senate

He has also been participating in Republican fundraisers. His 2019 schedule included events for Martha McSally in Arizona and Republican Party groups in Navarro County and Tom Green County in Texas. He is scheduled to speak at a fundraiser in September for the Republican Central Committee of St. Louis County in Missouri. 

Even further, Rove has been working pro bono for the Republican Party of Texas’ Volunteer Engagement Project, “which focuses on volunteer recruitment, revitalizing Republican Party auxiliaries, and engaging in nuts-and-bolts party building such as voter registration and get-out-the-vote efforts for the 2020 election cycle.”