October 28th, 2010
09:25 AM ET
11 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. Dave

    Don't you just love it when the fangs come out? Can't wait to see how this one will play out. Mama bear Palin against Turd blossom Rove. Bring down the cage and let the WWF match begin.

    October 28, 2010 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  2. leapfrog

    Ye Gads...what's this world coming to? Karl Rove sounding sage and restrained? Palin in a tiff with the GOP? The repubs are on the verge of retaking the house, but just what are they taking it back with...O'Donnell and her incompetent TP allies? More evidence that our nation's education system has failed...and ignorance will rule the day.

    October 28, 2010 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  3. vic nashville tn

    Thanks Mr.Rove we said two years back but you all blame the main stream media

    October 28, 2010 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  4. Seattle Sue

    Not only is Palin lacking in gravitas, she is totally lacking in other subjects.

    October 28, 2010 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  5. Anonymous

    Karl is being nice- what she lacks is ability and intelligence.
    Can you imagine a cabinet with poeple she has backed for election to run this country?
    O'Donnell? Angle? Rand Paul? Miller? and the list goes on.
    Sarah Palin is not just the joke we all think she is- she is a dangerous and scary figure, breeding others like her withthe help of the media's entertainment -driven mentality.

    October 28, 2010 09:37 am at 9:37 am |

    For once, Karl has gotten it right! Sarah is no more qualified to "lead" than is O'Donnel from Delaware. Where are the Republicans finding these people?

    October 28, 2010 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  7. vic nashville tn

    CNN politico reporting Joe Miller in third place

    Even Alaskans ignore Palin

    October 28, 2010 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  8. Tam

    You want the truth? You can't take the truth! In this case, for a change, Roves says the truth.

    October 28, 2010 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  9. cm

    This women is a good for nothing. She should try harder to be a mom to those kids.

    October 28, 2010 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  10. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    If she didn't wear a bucket of makeup, Palin's head wouldn't weigh anything at all....

    October 28, 2010 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  11. Rosslaw

    What really concerns me is that Palin has yet to deny that she's a witch.

    October 28, 2010 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  12. Purnell

    Yeah, Buck UP!!!

    October 28, 2010 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  13. Former Republican - Now Independent

    Yes, that may be true Karl, but you of all people should know that the Tea-Republican Party only cares if a candidate is electable.

    How that person might perform in office, or how that person might screw up the country is of little relevance.

    If the past is any indication, your people will try and blame the Dems for it anyway.

    October 28, 2010 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  14. Dave

    Yeah. She also lacks a measureable IQ, integrity, character, knowledge of government, sincerity, and courage. In other words, she's a typical Republican.

    October 28, 2010 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  15. ThinkAgain

    Rove chose Palin to be McCain's running mate for many cynical reasons, including the naive belief that simply because she has ovaries, women who wanted Hilary Clinton to be the Democratic nominee would vote for Palin.

    Rove also thought that if McCain were elected, he'd be able to groom Palin for the presidency (after bumping off McCain first, of course) and control her like he did GW Bush.

    What Rove didn't expect was just how egocentric, greedy and opportunistic Palin has revealed herself to be.

    The monster has turned on its creator ... boo hoo ...

    October 28, 2010 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  16. curtther

    Wake people all she and her tea party friends wants is money and control through money. She is a fool.

    October 28, 2010 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  17. Tired of the nonsense

    So one pickled brained moron is calling another pickled brain moron a pickled brained moron.

    But we already know they're both as dumb as dirt (one's a criminal) and neither one are capable of doing any job beyond tying their own shoes.

    October 28, 2010 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  18. bdm

    she doesn't have gravitas? she also doesn't have a graduate degree (she has a bachelor's degree in journalism) which one would think might be a good start for running the most powerful country in the world. I don't know, it's just a thought.

    October 28, 2010 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  19. Nice Try

    CNN please tell me you're not following for the Rove/Palin song and dance. These two should be on DWTS they're so good! Pretty sneaky guys, but your faux attacks and orchestrated political beef is a little pathetic even by Hollywood standards. I get it, the more we make her look like a martyr and outside of the Washington "machine" the better she looks come 2012. Even better get the most hated man in politics to call her out, if Karl Rove doesn't like her then she must be ok right America! It's an old trick but you're pretty crafty Mrs. Palin.

    October 28, 2010 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  20. WB

    Did Bush W have this "Gravitas" .... give me a break!

    October 28, 2010 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  21. Mike in NC

    I fear Karls' recent comments about Palin and ODonnell may be signs he is having a stroke and may be part of the Republican party's problem. I'm sure he'd say about Ronald Reagan: “With all due candor, appearing on Death Valley Days and Hollywood "B" movies, I am not certain how that fits in the American calculus of 'that helps me see you in the Oval Office,’” Karl, schedule time for a CAT scan. I am worried you don't grasp the power of a true communicator.

    October 28, 2010 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  22. SAY WHAT!!!

    Love to see the beginning of the end of the GOP...I am glad I am living to see this process of destruction of the right...I will have one hell of a story to tell my grand kids...the first question I will ask them is – what is common between the GOP and dodo?? Answer – well dear both are extinct...can't wait to share this with my grand kids...

    October 28, 2010 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  23. ConsiderThis

    We all know that Sarah Palin has absolutely NO INTENTION of seeking the presidency. She is making way too much money and creating way too much hatred and divisiveness in her current position of being a political madam. If no one else knows, Sarah Palin knows that she can barely spell 'president.' She's just amused and amazed at how many people think that she is presidential material. I bet she laughs all the time at how friggin stupid Americans are. Sarah Palin appeals to the WORST in people; not the best. And the WORST in people is HATE, LYING, CHEATING, STEALING, DESTROYING – sounds like Satan to me.

    October 28, 2010 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  24. Bob from Pittsburgh

    Karl Rove.. Knows that a Palin candidacy would ensure a democrat victory.. no doubt on that.. Is silly that republicans woul put her on a presidential ticket bypassing very qualify people, such a Jindal Pawlenty etc.. Even the janitor at the republican headquarters may be more qualify than Palin. And he has not quit his job either.

    Rove knows that...

    October 28, 2010 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  25. Realistic

    Palin is an idiot, we all know that and karl knows that. The republican party knows that and the Democrats know that but the only one whio refuses to accept it, is of course, Palin. Palin knows she is not able to perform the duties required to be president but she wants the job anyway for atleast 5 months, than she can quit and walk away and claim" I was the 1st shemale president of the USA".

    October 28, 2010 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
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