October 28th, 2010
09:25 AM ET
12 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. Lynne

    Well, bless her heart. Unelectable as she is, she'll keep trying. Although trying to explain away the fact that she quit her job as Governor half way through the term because of her greed for money is going to be the biggest black mark against her.

    October 28, 2010 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  2. Tony Z

    He is trying to distance himself from the woman. She does not know anything about America or the world.

    October 28, 2010 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  3. John

    There is NO WAY SARAN PALIN IS QUALIFIED TO BE PRESIDENT,or even dog catcher. Want she need to do is listen to the 80% of AMERICA instead of the 20%. The AMERICA PEOPLE DON'T WANT YOU TO RUN FOR ANY PUBLIC OFFICE. WE JUST WANT YOU TO GO AWAY FOR GOOD AND SHUT-UP. Karl Rowe know you can't win,like you all way tell everyone else MAN-UP and see the fact you can't win.

    October 28, 2010 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  4. Phil Muse

    Palin would do well to listen to someone with the political savvy of Karl Rove before she does herself in through exposure on the boob tube. And though I personally find Rove despicable, I concur with his doubts about Christine O'Donnell's electability as a political novice. Really, I thought you had to be a grown-up in order to run for the Senate. O'Donnell looks, and alks, as if she might be getting ready to graduate from junior high.

    October 28, 2010 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  5. Alistair

    This woman has no credibility! She's a joke and she knows it.

    October 28, 2010 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  6. Alex

    Oh oh, better watch out Karl. Rush is going to snap you back into line and I'm sure we'll here a "What I meant to say was..."

    Besides, haven't you figured out by now that Palin's moves have absolutely nothing to do with a potential run as Prez. She only does things to make money – her real god. Having your own TV show is pretty lucrative, so obviously that's the shiny thing that has her attention right now.

    October 28, 2010 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  7. Sam Sixpack

    I'm on to your tricks. I'm not going to overflow with last-minute spite and vote for your crooks to steal the rest of my grandma's Medicare. Not going to happen – not even if you put Dick Nixon's picture up there.

    October 28, 2010 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  8. Dave

    Rove is a jerk, but he values credibility, and he knows that he can't even pretend to have any if he doesn't point out the unavoidably obvious: Palin is a scam artist. Ever since they adopted that idiot as their flagship, I can't take Republicans seriously at all anymore. It's obvious that they're theocrats whose judgement cannot be trusted. The only credentials Palin (and O'Donnell and many of their other big stars) has is that she talks up her religious faith, and it's clear that that's all her supporters are interested in – professions of Christianity. She has NO policy ideas, has demonstrated NO knowledge, has a track record of failure in office and quitting public service in order to make more money as a celebrity, and is startlingly ignorant. And it's clear to anyone who isn't star-struck by her that she's a grifter, out for herself and for money. She doesn't care about this country – she cares about herself, and she says things that she knows people want to hear just so she can keep scamming them. it's easy to tweet things you don't back up. And since they've adopted her so fully, Republicans look easily-tricked and uninterested in actual skill. Rove, as evil and corrupt as he is, is trying to save what little credibilty the GOP brand has left by speaking out against her.

    This country is in trouble if it gives these theocratic lunatics control again, right when we're starting to recover.

    October 28, 2010 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  9. Denise

    Mr. Rove is not one of my favorite political people but he's right on his assessment of her. She's not qualified to be anything other than a reality show hostess and even that's debatable. She advanced politically by virtue of her looks and presentation because when she begins speaking it is apparent she lacks knowledge, intelligence, and substance. The fact that she resigned her position as governor because of multiple ethics violations is a red flag to all. She's neither credible nor reliable.

    October 28, 2010 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  10. Annie, Atlanta

    Uh Oh, all that mysterious and secret money is making Rove a little full of himself, no? Wonder how much of it he gets to keep for himself. Republicans, just like Wall Street Bankers, are able to make money out of thin air, just because. Where do I sign up?

    October 28, 2010 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  11. Thank God I am a Democrat

    Rove is a goofball but his assessment of the candidtates invading the republican party is dead on. Honestly I still do not understand why they are running as republican and not independant. The TEA party made all that hoopla before about being for neither party yet all their candidtates ran as republicans. Sounds like tipical right wing hypocrites to me so aside from their more extreme views I don't see the difference. The scary part is that they have been able to fool many othher people.

    October 28, 2010 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  12. diridi

    Both are "Idiots". These two should be in jail...IRS needs to investigate their taxes...and put them in jail....that's it....this Fluffy fat idiot looks like Barny Madoff, and Rush Limbugh....o.k....just investigate these two thugs....America, if you have brain, just vote for Dems...o.k....

    October 28, 2010 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  13. Rick - Former Marine, Liberal

    She may not have gravitas, (is that a latin word from the root gravity and the other latin word ass?) but she's sure full of crap. I'd rather she was kayaking and shooting wildlife out of helicopters than sitting in ANY political office, of any kind. Kick her off the bus, Karl! Does her comment on his truthful (a rare occasion for Faux News personnel) questioning of O'Donnell's candidacy even make sense?

    October 28, 2010 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  14. Rob

    Haha, this lady is a joke.

    October 28, 2010 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  15. MillieBea

    First time I have agreed with the man.

    October 28, 2010 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  16. L. Adams

    The truth be spoken. Sarah Palin is great at giving a stump speech. She's great at repeating: "We want people that understand the constitution and individual liberties." That's all great.

    However, if you desire someone that can answer a question about the last book they've read... or someone that intellectually understands constitutional theory... or someone that can speak to international agreements and frameworks between the US and other countries... or someone that can intellectually speak about Supreme Court decisions... then Palin isn't it. She's cute... she's that everyday girl that you can take on a wild hunting or boating expedition...

    But, is she Presidential? Wow, that's a stretch.

    October 28, 2010 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  17. zip

    Hard to have gravitas when you can't even spell the word.

    October 28, 2010 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  18. sara

    I don't think Palin cares where she sits, as long as she is in the spot light. She loves top billing, good or bad. That is how I feel.

    October 28, 2010 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  19. once upon a horse

    I am guessing that Sarah would say Mr. Rove REALLY has a lot of cajones to make such a statement.

    October 28, 2010 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  20. Damien

    Palin tweets, "Of course I don't have gravitas. I don't like foreign food."

    October 28, 2010 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  21. Cosmo

    Lacking things is a subject that Herr Rove is an expert at -he lacks education, integrity, morals, the meaing of the word "truth", etc.,. This has not stopped him however, from becoming the head of GOP's black operations and dirty tricks squad.

    October 28, 2010 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  22. Jorge Washinson

    He knows how much damage she did during the last election.She is a smart woman but not electable again. The women vote(or lack of it) is what killed the last election for McCain.They did not and will not vote for her.

    October 28, 2010 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  23. PReilly

    In 1976 and 1980 the RNC insiders and inside the beltway political operatives of the time said the same thing about Governor Ronald Reagan. On this one I'll disagress with Karl.

    October 28, 2010 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  24. katiec

    For once Rove is being truthful. Some of the candidates, including Palin, are an insult to candidates of our political system.
    Unqualified, irrresponsible and radical in their beliefs, they have no business making decisions for us and our
    We, as voters who have concern for the future of our country, must make sure these misfits do not make it into a position of power.

    October 28, 2010 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  25. Tim in Ohio

    No one thinks that Sarah Palin is a serious candidate for President except the media.

    October 28, 2010 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
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