GOP strategist Karl Rove has drawn fire from conservative critics recently for his creation of the “Conservative Victory Project,” an organization devoted to stopping what Rove considers to be “unelectable” candidates from running for major public offices (the archetypal example being Rep. Todd Akin’s (R-MO) disastrous run against Senator Claire McCaskill). The announcement of the group’s existence has prompted many conservatives to vocally denounce Rove for trying to keep out promising anti-establishment candidates, citing such cases as Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX).

Yet to hear Rove himself tell it, those aren’t the people he means when he talks about “unelectable” candidates. Rather, his targets are people like Akin or 2010′s disastrous Delaware Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell. In fact, Rove seems to rather like at least one of the aforementioned Tea Party candidates.

And believe it or not, it’s not Rubio, who’s frequently cited as a favorite of both the Tea Party and the establishment. Rove made the statement about his preferred Tea Party candidate in a segment on Fox News Sunday today.

“I think Rand Paul had it right. We believe in markets,” Rove said in response to an accusation from journalist Bob Woodward that he was trying to create a Republican politburo. “The more we examine the quality of these candidates from top to bottom, the more likely we end up with fewer Christine O’Donnells and more Rand Pauls.”

Watch Rove admit his interesting choice of ideal Tea Partier below: