Karl Rove snaps back at Sarah Palin
March 17th, 2013
02:55 PM ET
10 years ago

Karl Rove snaps back at Sarah Palin

(CNN) – Karl Rove wasted no time in hitting back at Sarah Palin after she criticized him for getting involved in Republican primaries last year.

"If she can play in primaries, other people can play in primaries," he said on "Fox News Sunday."

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During her speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Saturday, Palin chided Washington establishment attempts to shape the last election, especially in congressional races. While she didn't mention his name, the former Alaska governor seemed to be aiming at Rove, the former top political adviser to George W. Bush who was dubbed the "architect" of the former president's campaigns.

Rove now runs American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS, two independent groups that spent money for conservative candidates in last year's contests, as well as in the 2010 mid-terms. While candidates that Crossroads supported two years ago saw success, most of them failed to win their contests last year.

"If these experts who keep losing elections and keep getting rehired and raking in millions, if they feel that strongly about who gets to run in this party, then they should buck up or stay in the truck. Buck up and run," Palin said. "The architects can head on back."

Rove is now starting another organization, the Conservative Victory Project, that's designed to help find candidates who can easily win Republican primaries. Palin joined tea party activists in blasting the new move, saying it's simply a way to push out more conservative voices.

Palin herself was active in backing the more conservative candidates in several Republican primaries last year. Many of her preferred candidates went on to win, including Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Sen. Deb Fischer of Nebraska.

With 20 months until the 2014 mid-terms, Palin said Washington should not be in the game of hand-picking a candidate. She urged her CPAC audience to change the "top-down political process" and create their own search for the next best crop of contenders.

Asked to respond to her remarks, Rove said Sunday that the 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee had little room to talk.

"Well, first of all, I live in Texas, and I don't live in Washington," Rove said on Fox, where Palin once served as a paid contributor.

"Second of all, look, Sarah Palin should be agreeing with this. She didn't support Todd Akin, and when he said the reprehensible things he said, she wisely came out and said he ought to get out of the race."

He was referring to Akin's controversial statement about rape that ultimately derailed the Missouri congressman's campaign for the U.S. Senate - a seat he was favored to win. Akin made the comments soon after he became the Republican nominee in the race. Palin had backed Republican Sarah Steelman for the nomination.

Rove said he also had to set the record straight on two other points of contention.

"First of all, raking in millions - I'm a volunteer. I don't take a dime from my work with American Crossroads. I even pay my own travel expenses, out of my own pocket. I thought Sarah Palin was about encouraging volunteer, grass-roots activity. I'm a volunteer," he said.

"Second of all, look. I appreciate her encouragement that I ought to go home to Texas and run for office. I would be enthused if I ran for office to have her support. I will say this, though: I don't think I'm a particularly good candidate. Sort of a balding, fat guy. And second of all, I'd say if I did run for office and win, I would serve out my term. I wouldn't leave office midterm," he said, taking a swipe at Palin's decision to resign from her governorship in 2009.

Filed under: 2014 • American Crossroads • CPAC • Karl Rove • Sarah Palin
soundoff (468 Responses)
  1. teacher

    I always thought Palin was a dunderhead with no sense at all. I now change my mind a little bit. Anyone who slams Karl Rove is OK by me. Now, anyone except Rove who slams Palin also is OK by me.

    March 18, 2013 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  2. Sarah Palin is a complete and utter moron.

    The quitter from Wasilla is an empty vessel, capable of nothing more than a bumper sticker style hate-fueled rants. It is amazing that CPAC (more like C-CRAP) sees fit to allow her to speak at their gatherings.

    March 18, 2013 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  3. Bob

    A fight between Failin' Palin and Turdblossom.... what could be finer?

    March 18, 2013 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  4. Gloria

    This woman just won't get off the stage! She is doing the Republican party no good!

    March 18, 2013 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  5. Michael in Houston

    One can certainly appreciate the struggle between these two to determine which really reigns over the bottom of the barrel

    March 18, 2013 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  6. jnpa

    I couldn't stop laughing when I read this. Palin and Rove in a little spat. I love it. She is soooo right...and he is soooo right! They are both jerks and I am soooo right!!!!!

    March 18, 2013 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  7. askdavey

    this women has disrrespected out potus and can't except that she lost and the american people have spoken about her as a rep. of this country, but after i say that hows this.she says all these bad things but she in the same position would do the same, i jusst thank the good lord that sshe never had the chance to be 2nd in charge,she would have hadd all our allies hating this country and then gridlock in wash. all because she wants to run the country her way ? why is her way the right way ? why did;t the tea party stand up to the wasteful spending of the gop ?

    March 18, 2013 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  8. rs

    As long as the GOP has Mr. Rove and Ms. Palin hung around their necks, no one with a higher-than-room-temperature-IQ will take them seriously.

    March 18, 2013 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  9. Peter

    Wow. A dirty tricks master (Rove) in a fight with a lightweight, media star / pseudo-politician (Palin).

    I wish all these parasites would get lost and allow some real, responsible, measured, traditional conservatives in the mold of Goldwater and Ike to re-claim the conservative movement.

    March 18, 2013 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  10. HAHA

    Dance, puppets! DANCE!

    March 18, 2013 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  11. boyscout

    Neither of these two are relevent to anything in the world today but apparantly those that keep adoring them and giving them money have not figured it out yet..............

    March 18, 2013 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  12. ghostriter

    It was quite funny watching Rove go into self destruct mode during the elections. Palin, for all her shortcomings, has a following. She brings 'em out in local elections. Nationwide, she's a liability.

    However, both are great for bringing the narrative down to a pre-school level.

    March 18, 2013 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  13. AB

    They're a fitting pair.

    March 18, 2013 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  14. Duke

    How quicly Rebranders, oops I mean Republicans like to forget..Palin is EXACTLY that dumb. She proved it SEVERAL times, it is factual record. Give her thee immigration litmus test; how many of them godless ruskies made into alaska...Ther's her repub leader credential!

    March 18, 2013 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  15. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    I believe there is a distinct difference between stupid people and morons. Stupid people generally know they are stupid. Morons are so stupid that they are completely unaware of just how dumb they really are. Sarah Palin is the best example of a moron I can possibly give. The only one running a distant 2nd place would be Michelle Bachman.
    Webster should consult YOU Rossi!
    Good one!

    March 18, 2013 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  16. Lynda/Minnesota

    Karl and Sarah ... unleashed and unhinged.

    Every Republican in America ought to be holding their heads down in shame.

    March 18, 2013 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  17. ezduzit757

    II absolutely loathe Karl Rove, but I'd choose him over Sarah Palin any day of the week. At least he has a brain.

    March 18, 2013 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  18. Jackson

    Love that last dig about serving the whole term.

    Glad to see SOMEONE in the GOP willing to put Caribou Barbie in her place.

    March 18, 2013 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  19. CLEpost

    How can anyone take the Republican Party seriously as long as this airhead is still getting airtime? Her 15 minutes is over. She was a horrendous failure and an embarrassment. Can you imagine if McCain HAD managed to get elected and something had happened to him? It gives me chills.

    March 18, 2013 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  20. Thomas

    They both need there own non reality show .

    March 18, 2013 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  21. Carol

    And Palin talks about raking in millions??? She doesn't volunteer. Everything she does is for $$$.

    March 18, 2013 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  22. Go Karl...lol...

    Tell Alice in Chains – I mean Sarah – she is Hollow....the kids are listening to that making fun of her with a slurpee...classic!

    March 18, 2013 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  23. kathy

    Ahhhh....Mr. Pot...I'd like you to meet Mr. Kettle. These two numbskulls both need to just shut up and go away. SHe's a dangerous mouthpiece because she is stupid, vile and is just good at spouting hate. He's dangerous because he's smarter, more corrupt and has covered up the biggest lies in the GOP...all with the millions of $$$ he collects from everyday people (sheep).

    March 18, 2013 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  24. Dave

    Thank you mainstream media for giving us obama,palin would have been 1,000 times better

    March 18, 2013 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  25. MiBigAl

    It looks like the lemmings are starting to head for the cliff!

    March 18, 2013 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
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