Political strategists Karl Rove and Jim Messina breakdown Iowa caucus results.
The political strategists behind the successful campaigns that landed George W. Bush in the White House and secured Barack Obama's second term were the featured guests for the Ringling College Library Association Town Hall lecture Wednesday, Feb. 3.
Audience members waited with baited breathe to hear what Karl Rove and Jim Messina would have to say in response to the Iowa caucus results.
"Iowa is the perfect trifecta for a Democrat," Messina said.
Messina is credited with the success of President Barrack Obama's 2012 re-election campaign. He also served as the deputy chief of staff to Obama from 2009 to 2011.
Rove was dubbed the "architect" of President George W. Bush's 2000 and 2004 campaigns. As well as serving as his senior advisor from 2000 to 2007 and deputy chief of staff from 2004 to 2007.
The panel was moderated by investigative journalist, author and Sarasota native Sharyl Attkisson.
The presentation began with a show of hands from audience members to gauge how many supporters there were for presidential candidates Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Marco Rubio, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.
Once the sides were settled moderator Sharyl Attkisson ask Rove and Messina to discuss how super PAC works as well as which ones each are associated with for clarity. Messina serves as the co-chairman for the PAC Priorities USA which supports Hillary Clinton. While Rove is a senior advisor for the super PAC American Crossroads.
The negative impact of Political Action Committees was one point both could agree. But they also noted that it was the first thing they would recommend a presidential hopeful to be sure to get the support of.
"I'm the chairman of a super PAC and I think it's been a terrible thing for the country," Messina said.
The candidates maintained a friendly banter. Messina noted that he thinks the modern GOP is doing a bit of soul searching with so many candidates still in running.
"It looks like they are going to nominate someone who cannot win in a general election," Messina said. "
Rove countered by pointing out how close Clinton and Sanders polled in Iowa.
"Both parties are doing a bit of soul searching," Rove said.
Rove brought up the F.B.I. investigation into the email accounts used by former Secretary of State Clinton. When the discussion was all said and done Messina gave his prediction for the Democratic presidential nominee.
"It won't matter because Hillary is going to be the nominee," Messina said. "I guarantee it."