May 24th, 2009
01:32 PM ET
13 years ago

Rove sides with Limbaugh

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Rove said he's siding with Limbaugh. "](CNN) - In the ongoing war of words between Rush Limbaugh and Colin Powell, top Bush strategist Karl Rove is siding with the popular talk radio host.

Appearing on Fox News Sunday, Rove said Limbaugh would edge out the former secretary of state if he "had to pick between the two."

Rove's comments come after a back-and-forth between Limbaugh and Powell, during which both have charged the other is hurting the GOP's chances of success in the future.

Discussing divisions over the direction of the party in the wake of its losses in the 2006 midterm elections and 2008 presidential election, Powell said the party should expand its base.

"I have always felt that the Republican Party should be more inclusive than it generally has been over the years and I believe that we need a strong Republican Party that is not just anchored in the base but has built on the base to include more individuals," he told "Face the Nation."

Ultimately, Rove said, the debate between Limbaugh and Powell is a "false" one because neither is a candidate for public office.

"The real debate takes place out there in the real world by people getting out there and encouraging the kind of candidates who represent their vision for the party," Rove said.

Filed under: Karl Rove
soundoff (247 Responses)
  1. Seth

    I think the Obama administration would do anything to help keep Karl Rove, Rush Limbaugh and Dick Cheney as leaders of the Republican Party.
    These guys are leading the Republican Party in the right direction according to the Obama administration idea of where the Republican Party should go, becoming a more pure, more exclusive and a more discriminating Party. Now if Powell and those other moderates would only shut up and stop trying to spoil the Obama plan.

    May 24, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  2. Mark in Omaha

    Karl Rove huh?!?, not much of a character reference. The bad apples are all rallying together.

    May 24, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  3. Ben

    why on earth is this, "man's" (I use the term loosely) opinion news, he is an evil despicable "person" (again use the term lightly)

    May 24, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  4. pho

    It is okay to start defending yourself and your ideas now Mr. Powell.

    May 24, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  5. chaz

    No suprise here! Self serving blowhards tend to sink to the same level.

    May 24, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  6. Preston


    May 24, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  7. don

    The little Pigmy shoild be in jail with the Bushwacker and I can't shoot straight Cheney. You talk about three hasbeens, there they are.

    May 24, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  8. mik (long Beach)

    Who cares? Karl Rove is so irrelevant at this point. These guys need to keep up the good work of dividing an already crumbling political party.

    May 24, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  9. Sean from Marin

    Finally, the plain truth from Texas.

    They are now, and have always been, extremists for the right. W and team beleive Limbaugh is more Republican than Powell??? Please, define more clearly what kind of Republican that is exactly? The fact that Powell won a war for the first Bush and tried to talk the second Bush out of one is apparently beside the point.

    The real point, we discover, is clear: support our extreme POV (a la Rush) or be cut off (a la Powell). Most in the public sector would not cut off their noses to spite their face so publicly, but we salute Mr. Rove for his candor. Keep it up.

    May 24, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  10. Eric

    "A house divided against itself cannot stand." Now it seems many Republicans choose Limbaugh over Lincoln. So be it. The fissure is even deeper: the Cheney-Rove camp embraces Bush's 1st term over his 2nd, esp. regarding the policies of the so-called "war on terror". One must assume that George W. himself would not repudiate his 2nd term (as Cheney recently did). So let's call it the NeoCon camp (i.e. pro-war, pro-torture & ironically pro-life) including Cheney, Rove, Rumsfeld, Palin, Limbaugh. Then there's the Realist (or Pragmatic) camp including Powell, Ridge, now both Bushes (!), and notably McCain. Oh yes, let's add both Lincoln & Reagan to make the point more explicitly (esp. Reagan's 2nd term). Now the question Republicans must ask, given that they still believe in a democratic form of government (as I sincerely hope), is simply put: When and how will members of the NeoCon camp be elected to office - and to what office?

    May 24, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  11. Ram Narayanan

    Cowards who never fought in a war (Rove, Cheney, Limbaugh, Hannity, O'Reilly) always stick together and belittle those who did (Powell).

    Cowards need to get back into their shells and shut up.

    May 24, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  12. Maryellen

    Who cares what Rove thinks, if I never have to look at his ugly face again, I would be grateful! Please shut up and go far, far away.

    May 24, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  13. Robin in Tampa, FL

    Karl Rove is a demon sent from hell to destroy us .... I have no doubt about that.

    May 24, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  14. Scott

    He really is such a vile creature.

    May 24, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  15. S.B.

    Rove is wrong. The bigotry and hatred spewed by Limbaugh appeals to a small group of narrow minded Americans, but does not represents the thoughts and feelings of most people. It saddens me to see the number of Republicans willing to cow-tow to him. I'd take Colin Powell over Limbaugh any day. Powell has served his country in exemplary ways, and what has Limbaugh done other than run off his mouth to rake in money?

    May 24, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  16. Sue

    Who cares what Rove or Limpnoodle have to say? Oh yeah,,, the ditto heads that can't think for themselves. However they CAN memorize talking points as long as the words aren't too big.

    Colin Powell has served this country proudly. It's amazing to me that when he disagrees with where the Republican party is going, he is immediately torn apart!

    Karl Rove and Rush Limbaugh are BOTH losers! If you want to help the Republican party you should get both of them to resign. While they're at it, they can take Dick Cheney with them!

    May 24, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  17. andrea

    that figures, the 2 piglets, no 2 pigs, have to stick together.

    May 24, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  18. steve Pagnozzi

    I'm just lovin' it! One ignoramus( Rove) speaking highly of another( Limbaugh). So, So sad the Republican Party thinks the world of these imbeciles over that of, say, a Tom Ridge, Powell. Someone who has a bit of class versus contentiousness. I'm enjoying the show.

    May 24, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  19. marlene

    Mr. Rove knows which side of the bread to butter. The one with 40 million attached to it. Why else would one side with an entertainer vs an American hero. Marlene in Mich

    May 24, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  20. Anthony

    Rove is a criminal. So Limbaugh is getting criminals to agree and support him? I wouldn't be saying that to loud, I rest my case.

    May 24, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  21. The Party of NO is only “pro-life” so they will be able to kill the “babies” 18 years later as soldiers in an elective religious war.

    Limbaugh's popularity rating is just 19% in the American public and 21% of the American public identifies as a republiKLAN.

    It would appear the limbaugh lemmings are achieving "party purity" but with numbers like that, you will NEVER again achieve any political power!

    May 24, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  22. John

    The likes of Powell and Ridge and Megan McCain, should lead the party forward and away from these ‘black-and-white moralists.’ A new, more progressive version of the Republican party would gain a huge chunk of independents. It seems inevitable. For awhile there would be three parties—but things are so out of balance now… we might as well get started!

    May 24, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  23. therealmarie

    Corporate News Media side with Limbaugh. What's new and who outside of CNN/FoxNews cares?

    May 24, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  24. Larry - Hazleton, pa

    This is really telling of how Rove looks at things – either one wants to follow a drug using loud mouth no nothing or follow a proven leader who has dedicated his life in service to this country – Its your choice folks – I for one do not think it is a close choice – Colin Powell is so far a head of Limbauagh that if is laughable that Rove would even want people to consider the idea – Rove is just as sick minded as Cheney and Limbaugh.

    May 24, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  25. Sarge

    Doesn't drug user Rush. Lying mouth Cheney, Should come out of the closet Rove, that Powell left the position of SOS because of their actions? Powell is a man in integrity more than the Three Stooges are or ever will be. Rush I hope that you choke on that Pork Chop you fat arse baboon...And Rove you need to apply more lube to your fat Arse next time.....LOL

    May 24, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
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