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. Angy

    DAH! Ya think so rove. She's doing what she does best -"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. let's just leave that "pitbull in lipstick, grizzly bear mama" in alaska. Lets all remember she doesn't want to be "in some stuffy old political office" when she decided to run for PRESIDENT. LOL what a loser.

    October 28, 2010 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  2. Lynn

    Take your own advice Palin and buck-up. Once a loser, always a loser.

    October 28, 2010 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  3. Lynda/Minnesota

    So speaketh King Karl. Give us a break, Rove. Palin never had any intentions of running for President. She was sent out to rally up the (your words not mine) unsophisticated of your party. When Palin became too toxic for even the extreme right, she was effectively silenced and sent in other directions, away the candidates she supported, and their rallies. I'd feel sorry for all the TeaPers who so adore her, Angle, Joe Miller, Rubio, and the rest, but their ignorance and bigotry are proving too hard to swallow, and too divisive to accept. Their voters deserve what they will be getting from this batch.

    October 28, 2010 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  4. Jason

    I guess he only thinks a male idiot can be President

    October 28, 2010 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  5. Kathy

    Let the in-fighting begin!!! May they both self-implode and rid this earth of such vile creatures!

    October 28, 2010 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  6. Yes or No

    Even Rove know that fool is not need to stay in Alaska.

    October 28, 2010 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  7. Steve Oehmen

    Cool!! "Let's you and him (her) fight".

    Pass the popcorn – it's going to be a long, cold winter.

    October 28, 2010 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  8. tp1776

    well, this is only thing I will ever agree with Rove. Palin has never been and never will be a presidential candidate. I hope the news media will stop salivating over her campaigning and let her disappear into the entertainment world.

    October 28, 2010 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  9. Peter

    The windbag might be right this time.

    October 28, 2010 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  10. Ferret out the B.S.

    That explains why she bailed out of the Alaska Governors office, apparently a short attention span and an inability to stick with the job if she loses interest. Sounds like something along the lines of a mental disorder possibly Attention Deficit Disorder. I wonder how many other "possibles" are suffering from mental issues? Judging from many of the fielded candidates and the way they act or perform, quite a few.

    October 28, 2010 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  11. Dt

    Never thought i would see the day i agree with Rove. but u cant tell her followers that. i say it take stupid to know stupid

    October 28, 2010 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  12. sammieb51

    Interesting - this could be the undoing of Rove or Palin or both. But interesting - Rove can join Levi in saying Palin would not be a good presidential choice! First thing I have ever seen Rove do in the true interest of the country.

    October 28, 2010 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  13. Francis Shearer

    What happen to the Obama stimilus money that was for seniors social security?
    I also think that each state should have the right to vote on their state rep or senator salary,if they are doing ok for their state than they get a raise if not then that tells them something.

    October 28, 2010 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  14. WTF?

    The fact that people even consider Palin as a viable presidential candidate doesn't speak well for those people. Palin encouraged to bring out all sorts of crazy idiots i.e. Angle, O'Donnell et. al.

    October 28, 2010 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  15. John Ellis

    As opposed to that gray eminence Rove finagled into the White House twice. The man should be under indictment for his actions in the previous administration. Palin may have more gravitas than Bush II, that is to say she has almost none.

    October 28, 2010 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  16. Bob Dog

    Its just delightful to see two people, whose very existance detracts from human beings every day all across the globe, rip into each other so everyone can enjoy it. Like godzilla vs. ghedra, this "Adloph Eichmann" look-a-alike contest winner vs. "The Circus Clown For Hire" should be very entertaining.

    October 28, 2010 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  17. CTYank

    Sarah's lacking much more than gravitas. Start with honesty, integrity, sportsmanship (respect for your opponent.)

    She and her klatsch are the most arrogantly ignorant candidates in memory. No wonder they won't grant interviews to non-sycophants. Wink, wink.

    October 28, 2010 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  18. Jack

    Very interesting Mr. Rove the word gravitas; meaning a serious and impressive attitude or way of behaving. It something; in my opinion; that you and many conservatives lack these days

    October 28, 2010 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  19. TheProgram

    "Todd, what does 'gravitas' mean?"

    "I dunno Sarah. Google it."

    October 28, 2010 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  20. Reggie from LA

    Mr Rove, her only Gravitas is in her purse...or is that everyone eles's, foolish enough to buy her doctrine. Speaking of doctrine (Better not go there. May stir up bad dreams about the "Bush Doctrine"). Anyone remember? No? I thought not. Selective memory. Try this one, remember when her mother-in-law didn't endorse her? Did anyone research why that was? No? Thought not. Info may still be out there. Do you recall how her friends didn't endorse her? No? You all have terrible memories, but a lot of gravitas to give to her. Oh, I'm sorry. Gravitas, gravitas. I thought he said gravy train. Oh shoot. Sorry.

    October 28, 2010 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  21. Mack

    1) $arah Palin probably had to look up the definition and pronunciation of "gravitas".

    2) How many times do I have to tell you that Palin is NOT going to run for President in 2012; she would be giving up too much money in appearances. From the fee she demands, just 4 appearances would equal the President's annual salary. And since she is all about the money, she will not even consider it.

    MARK MY WORDS!!!

    October 28, 2010 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  22. AmFem

    The one and only time I will ever agree with Rove, on anything. He's evil and despicable , but he is not stupid.

    October 28, 2010 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  23. Steve Oehmen

    But uh oh, I forgot… does this mean Karl is due for a butt warming from Rushboy? Stay tuned. And send more popcorn!

    October 28, 2010 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  24. Alex

    I'm not a fan of Rove, but recently he has been a straight shooter.

    October 28, 2010 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  25. Anonymous

    Rove may be evil but he knows a no substance TV reality show whore when he sees one.

    October 28, 2010 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
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