October 28th, 2010
09:25 AM ET
4 years ago

Rove: Palin lacks 'gravitas'

(CNN) – If Sarah Palin is looking for a top political strategist to help navigate the waters of her political future, Karl Rove may not be the guy.

The former top Bush aide says the former Alaska governor has not proven to have the “gravitas” to sit in the Oval Office – and, says Rove, her upcoming reality television show is only going to make things worse.

“With all due candor, appearing on your own reality show on the Discovery Channel, I am not certain how that fits in the American calculus of 'that helps me see you in the Oval Office,’” Rove told London’s The Daily Telegraph in an interview published Wednesday night.

The senior GOP strategist, who, like Palin, is a contributor to Fox News, added that one of Palin’s comments in the preview of her new show is particularly harmful to future political ambitions.

“I would rather be doing this than in some stuffy old political office!" Palin is seen proclaiming in between scenes of kayaking and dog-sled excursions.

“There are high standards that the American people have for it [the presidency] and they require a certain level of gravitas," said Rove, "and they want to look at the candidate and say 'that candidate is doing things that gives me confidence that they are up to the most demanding job in the world.’”

The comments amount to a rare ding of Palin from Rove, who has usually praised the Alaska governor’s political talents in the past when asked about her role in the Republican Party going forward. Appearing on CBS’s Face the Nation last Sunday, Rove called the former Alaska governor “formidable,” though he dodged direct questions on her qualifications to be president.

But Rove himself has walked a treacherous tightrope when it comes to his relationship with Palin and other upstart Republicans with little political experience. It was just earlier this month when he found himself the object of Tea Party rage after declaring the movement “not sophisticated.”

And he also took heat from none other than Palin when he questioned surprise GOP Senate nominee Christine O’Donnell’s chances of winning in Delaware.

“Bless his heart,” Palin said of Rove. “We love our friends, they're in the machine, the expert politicos. But my message to those who say that the GOP nominee is not electable, or that they're not even going to try, well I say, 'buck up!'"


Filed under: Karl Rove • Sarah Palin
soundoff (102 Responses)
  1. lucky

    Palin give it up your a loser

    October 28, 2010 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  2. Marge

    I don't understand why this is considered an insult. I think Rove is a skank, but he does know about politics and candidates. He thinks she is not a good candidate and his opinion is given because he does not want her to waste republican's time and money because there is no way in Hades she would be the candidate much less the president. This woman has delusions of grandour and an ego, which by the way has been built up by the republican media, such as CNN, to think she is somebody. If the media had not constantly hung on her every word and action she would now be hunkered down in Alaska and forgotten.

    October 28, 2010 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  3. Not All Docs Play Golf

    So, I love to see the mainstream Republican kooks fighting with the fringe Republican kooks. Happy Halloween!

    October 28, 2010 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  4. Me

    It looks like Rove is aware that the uneducated tea partiers are usurping the established GOP and it isn't good thing, not just for the Republicans, but for America. I blame Sarah Palin for being the epitome of an ignorant yet arrogant contender and Dick Armey for using that example.

    October 28, 2010 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  5. James Burn

    I am no fan of Karl Rove. Until now I would have found it impossible to agree with him on ANY issue of sustance. However, Palin has demonstrated she lacks the "gravitas," among other things (e.g., intellect, integrity), to occupy the oval office, or any other political office for that matter!

    October 28, 2010 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  6. Kris

    Now I know it is Halloween, I agreed with something Rove said

    October 28, 2010 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  7. cara

    Hey listen up Karl, you may have a point - she's as dumb as a stump. We all get that. But let's say for the sake of grins, she had spent this entire 4 years studying and readying herself to make a sincere run at the Presidency in 2012. The fact remains– she quit her last job and from all appearances is about as reliable as the weather. She's a dilettante with the attention span and IQ of a gnat.

    October 28, 2010 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  8. Tim O.

    Wow. I can't believe this village idiot has supporters. I CAN'T BELIEVE IT! I must be in the twilight zone! You have got to be kidding me. They're kidding right (Repubs)? This woman is a fool by it's true dictionary definition. She can't even speak English. Has anybody ever noticed? Has anybody ever LISTENED to her talk? Did anybody else take grammar lessons in the English language through Kindergarten, high school, and posible even college? Have you listened to her TALK? Republicans are truly crazy, and I'm not even a liberal, which is why I believe the Democratic Party, with all that ails it, is the only party there is to join or be a member of.

    October 28, 2010 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  9. felicia

    In the words of Keith Obermann "That woman is an idiot".

    October 28, 2010 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  10. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Putting Sarah Palin and the word 'gravitas' together would constitute an oxymoron.
    She's a joke, and so are you Rove.

    October 28, 2010 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  11. usualone

    Mr. Rove makes commonsense statements about Ms Palin and the Tea Party. Many may not like him and his tactics but he has had success in this department. I hope he doesn't cause Palin and the others to receive sympathy votes. Her "buck up" comment is typical Palin. I frankly don't understand why people may not like her but say she is a nice lady. She is a woman, not a lady, and her tough talk doesn't have substance, that quitter.

    October 28, 2010 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  12. Jeff in Virginia

    who, exactly, does this surprise? i don't know a single conservative who would vote for Palin.

    October 28, 2010 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  13. Randolph Carter, I'm no expert, but....

    It's likely that neither Sarah nor her idiot supporters know what "gravitas" means. They probably think it's some sort of Greek dog food. Let's elect the uneducated and religious to run our country instead of those egghead, elitist college types. What could go wrong? Have a nice day!

    October 28, 2010 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  14. J Thomas

    All I can say is that I hope Palin runs in 2012, so she can be trounced and we can finally stop hearing about her. Enough is enough already.

    October 28, 2010 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  15. sassafras

    It is a rare day that I ever agree with anything that comes out of Karl Rove but this one is dead on. She's an inciteful person (as opposed to insightful) who has made a lot of money riling up the masses with her gibberish. Put her to the test intellectually and she fails. She couldn't even make it through her first term as governor and she thinks she can fill the big shoes in the White House? Good Lord. McCain will rue the day he ever brought her out of the woods of Alaska.

    October 28, 2010 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  16. Drew Williams

    With the intellect of today's electorate, Palin could star in her own reality show WHILE running for President and I doubt it would cause her any problems.

    October 28, 2010 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  17. Mr. Wilson

    He's only speaking the truth. He was right about O'Donnell (down by double-digits) and he is right about Palin.

    Bless her heart, she just doesn't get what will happen to her if/when she runs. She will get destroyed.

    October 28, 2010 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  18. CathyinAZ

    I usually NEVER agree with anything Karl Rove says or does, but this time he has got it right. She lacks more than gravitas and I for one WANT HER NO WHERE NEAR THE OVAL OFFICE.
    She has proven to be in it for the money and I can't see her giving up her reality show or speaking fees to be President.
    This would require not only a cut in pay BUT she would actually have to talk with the "mainstream" media she so loves to bash, read a newspaper and or a book and SUDDENLY POSSESS A MODICUM OF INTELLIGENCE.

    October 28, 2010 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  19. Carol

    Rove is absolutely right. Palin has not said or done anything to show that she is qualified. She only incites fear and anger and does not deal in facts.

    October 28, 2010 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  20. Terry - Indiana

    Thank you for providing photos of large mouth bass. Can you recommend fishing lures for catching this specie?

    October 28, 2010 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  21. Mark

    Uhhhh, it's called BRAINS. She has none.

    October 28, 2010 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  22. thike

    Bless his heart,” Palin said of Rove. “We love our friends, they're in the machine, the expert politicos. But my message to those who say that the GOP nominee is not electable, or that they're not even going to try, well I say, 'buck up!'"

    How about "shut the buck up" Ms Palin. Karl, she doesn't care about anything except money! Sad that our representatives in both parties refuse to critize idiots in their party.

    October 28, 2010 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  23. Robin Bray

    What?? She's not qualified? I'm Shocked!

    October 28, 2010 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  24. Meg from Iowa

    For once...Rove and I agree on something!

    October 28, 2010 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  25. Dave

    Palin outdebated a 35 year sitting senator for 90 minutes when she was just a 2 year governor, but remember she's dumb! She delivered one of the most electrifying speeches in the RNC's history, despite her teleprompter stalling, but remember she IS dumb!
    Palin was a mayor, oil and gas regulator, chairman of the energy conservation commission (2 VERY POWERFUL positions in AK), governor, chairman of the governor's association, VP canidate, small business owner, commercial fisherman, but remember she's unqualified!
    The media has attacked this woman from the moment she stepped foot on the national stage. 200 "reporters" were sent to AK to find dirt on Palin- and they found nothing.
    Meanwhile, barry obama crawled out of the most politcally corrupt city in America, the chicago "pay to play" machine, aligning himself with friends so shady that even al capone would be impressed.

    October 28, 2010 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
1 2 3 4 5