Rollins wants Palin allies for Bachmann
June 8th, 2011
10:42 AM ET
12 years ago

Rollins wants Palin allies for Bachmann

Washington (CNN) - Veteran Republican campaign strategist Ed Rollins, who signed on to steer Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann's looming presidential bid, said his recent criticism of Sarah Palin is not part of an electoral strategy.

Rollins told Fox News' Brian Kilmeade that Palin, who is considering a run for president, has "not been serious over the last couple of years."

"She got the vice presidential thing handed to her," Rollins said Tuesday. "She didn't go to work in the sense of trying to gain more substance. She gave up her governorship."

On the other hand, Rollins touted Bachmann's communication skills, labeling her a "leader of the Tea Party."

But the former CNN contributor said he needs to adjust from "being a political analyst back to being a strategist."

"I don't think Palin runs and if she does we will deal with it. There obviously is a trend in the media to link them," Rollins told CNN. "In the long run we want Palin and her people as our allies."

In an interview with POLITICO, Rollins said the Bachmann campaign will be "so much more substantive."

"People are going to say, 'I gotta make a choice and go with the intelligent woman who's every bit as attractive,'" Rollins said.

The former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee launched a bus tour last week and said she is "contemplating" a run for the White House. If Palin ultimately decides to run and Bachmann jumps into the race as expected, they may overlap and compete for support. Both are popular among social conservatives and Tea Party activists, making them naturals to compete in the Iowa caucuses, where social conservatives and Tea Party activists dominate the GOP electorate. Iowa's caucuses kick off the presidential primary and caucus calendar.

Rollins was the campaign manager for President Ronald Reagan's 1984 reelection bid and ran former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee's bid for the 2008 GOP presidential nomination. He announced his intentions Monday to join team Bachmann's all-but-declared candidacy for president.

The three-term congresswoman has said she will make a presidential announcement in her hometown of Waterloo, Iowa before the end of the month. She is also taking part in Monday's CNN/WMUR/New Hampshire Union Leader GOP presidential debate in New Hampshire.

- On Monday, June 13, CNN will host the first New Hampshire Republican Presidential Debate, live from Manchester, NH at 8 p.m. ET. Follow all the issues and campaign news leading up to the debate on and @cnnpolitics on Twitter.

Filed under: 2012 • Michele Bachmann • Sarah Palin
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. Rudy NYC

    But the former CNN contributor said he needs to adjust from "being a political analyst back to being a strategist."
    Please put Mr. Rollins' remarks in their proper self-serving perspective. He is unemployed.

    June 8, 2011 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  2. Rick McDaniel

    Rollins is backing Bachmann? Lord, has he lost his mind?

    June 8, 2011 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  3. Lost in Texas FOREVER

    too bad Mr Rollins has nothing better it seems to do with his time because Palin and Bachmann have about as much of a chance to become POTUS as I do and I'm not even running. Not even get the GOP nomination either.

    June 8, 2011 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  4. Sorensen

    Mr. Rollins never did anything remarkable in his life. (Like winning an election for someone.)
    And there is nothing wrong with that.
    Obviously, he will continue with that!

    June 8, 2011 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  5. Jennifer

    I certainly hope Rollins means that Bachmann is attractive to voters because of her position on the issues and not her looks. I'm completely disgusted by that comment and think he should be asked what he meant by it.

    June 8, 2011 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  6. Steve, New York City

    Rollins is a smart guy – and he is dead-right on Palin (one of the biggest buffoons I've seen in a long time – Palin is maybe a "hair" smarter than the cast members of Jersey Shore).

    Rollins also makes "some" accurate comments about Bachmann (yes, she is a leader of the Tea Party). While I admire the Tea Party's stances on taxation and spending, many Americans also see them as "too much on the fringe" that it's hard to see any Tea Party-backed candidate taking the White House. Beyond the support of the Koch brothers, or from two-faced loud mouths like Donald Trump, many also associate the Tea Party with the (racist) birther movement (so I don't think that Bachmann is going anywhere).

    June 8, 2011 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  7. ThinkAgain

    Rollins: "There obviously is a trend in the media to link them ..."

    That's because they're both nutty, narcissistic, supposed "Christians" who lie to promote their agendas. Given the nonsense these two spout, if they didn't have photogenic faces, they would either be ignored or sent to the funny farm.

    June 8, 2011 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  8. Jacob

    Palin has a lack of substance? He said essentially the same thing about Bachman before she hired him.

    "She's part of the - of the sidebar. Michele Bachmann obviously is a member of Congress and a - and a representative of the Tea Party. But, at the end of the day, we have to get our serious players out front and talking about the things that matter to be the alternative to the president and Democrats."

    Bachman is a bigger joke than Palin.

    June 8, 2011 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  9. Ohio man

    Hmmmm So is he saying Palin has no light on upstairs and Bachmann has just a night light upsatirs= 1 is stupid and the other is just not that stupid ??? i mean thats what i got from it.. no matter how you cut the cake its still a small piece/ voters they will get anyway, but hey if they want to spend there money just to say they ran for POTUS then go for it, heck i might run since by there example/ theory it doesnt take much to be POTUS

    June 8, 2011 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  10. Marley

    I heard that Bachmann was actually born in Canada – so she can't run for POTUS. Maybe the Donald can investigate this one.

    Bachmann and Palin are as physically attractive as Laura Bush.

    June 8, 2011 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  11. Rickster

    lol....democrats constantly blast Palin & Bachmann as being stupid(as they do all women), yet, Obama and his entire administration have proven themselves to be the most incompetent bunch of clueless fools ever gathered in one spot. Seriously, wherever you look at the results of this administration all you see is total can try to spin it any way you like(and the dems/media will), it is total failure. A broken clock is right twice a day but not this administration.

    June 8, 2011 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  12. Trevor Bauknight

    Really? "...every bit as attractive?" Is that finally what this is about?

    Bachmann is attractive in a made-up physical sense. Then, she opens her mouth and ruins it all...

    June 8, 2011 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  13. Russ

    Come on Rollins, this isn't a fashion/beauty contest. This is to elect the person most capable of running this great country. If either of these media freaks were elected, this country would be the laughing stock of the world. Even more so than when Bush was president.

    June 8, 2011 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  14. Randy, San Francisco

    Palin wil continue to grab media attention to the detriment of candidates like Bachmann, Pawlenty, and Santorum. This will benefit Romney because Palin's attention grabbing antics take the heat off the front runners.

    June 8, 2011 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  15. rs

    Dumb and dumber (they're even interchangable!)- certainly an unbeatable combination for Republicans (Snort!)

    June 8, 2011 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  16. ja

    he is right, but neither is bachman, but are just hot air, self gratifying, palin would make a good car show girl despite her age

    June 8, 2011 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  17. Em in Minnesota

    Michele Bachmann is a scary woman! She apparently resides in some alternative universe given some of her remarks! And the scariest thing is that some people think she's qualified to be president! The woman is a joke and an embarrassment to Minnesota! God help us if she were elected president...I'd have to give serious thought to emigrating.

    June 8, 2011 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  18. lforlegend

    They both are extremists, borderline terrorists, without a plan for America to succeed. I'm tired of them grabbing the headlines already. Maybe I'll just log off here.

    June 8, 2011 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  19. Me

    The intelligence level of the sixth district in MN is laughable. There are so many jokes in MN that start with "Stearns County..." . The rest of the state is embarrassed by Michele Bachmann.

    June 8, 2011 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  20. AAA

    Both do not have political savvy and intelligence. If I was you I will tell both of them to stay away for the good of your Republican party. If you think Bachmann will make a good president it sounds like your comments on politics that has no substance. Save your energy.

    June 8, 2011 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  21. Irma in North Carolina

    You would think he would support some one who isnt from the tea party, that are a bunch or racist and go about spreading lies and hate and putting the fear of God in the people.

    June 8, 2011 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  22. michaelam

    This isn't a beauty contest nor a nomination for Prom Queen; this is serious business, folks. Neither of these women are serious candidates nor are they qualified to hold the Office of the Presidency.

    As a woman, I want to see more women seek higher office, but not these two! Their brain dead demeanor has set women back fifty years and makes us look like fools. The only positive attribute these two women share equally is that they will guarantee another four year term for President Obama!

    June 8, 2011 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  23. Ken in MD

    So shift your support from one mental midget to another? Sure. Why not. As a Democrat I'd love to see either one of them the Republican nominee. I wonder how Bachman would describe the Paul Revere ride. Or would that be a "gotcha" question?

    June 8, 2011 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  24. Diana

    "People are going to say, 'I gotta make a choice and go with the intelligent woman who's every bit as attractive,'" Rollins said.-As a woman, I find this line insulting. So, in order to be elected you have to be attractive as well? I guess that leaves out all of those fat male politicians.

    June 8, 2011 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  25. w l jones

    You all wasting your time Ms. can stand on her own aganist every thing they throw at he.. GO MS. PALIN.

    June 8, 2011 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
1 2