[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/09/18/art.rove.gi.jpg 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.