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. Stan

    @ Palin Power..... Sarah Palin our next President? What have YOU been smoking?

    March 18, 2013 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  2. columbus

    I love it when they start feeding on one another

    March 18, 2013 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  3. GonzoinHouston

    Bush's brain versus Palin's rack! You can't make this stuff up. Neither has been relevant for years, but both are experts at cashing in.

    March 18, 2013 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  4. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Rumor has it that Rove likes his leather and some S & M.
    Evidently his head hasn't healed from his last whipping session.
    Morbidly grotesque just like his ego.

    March 18, 2013 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  5. Dominican mama 4 Obama


    And folks......the GOP had to pick Sarah Palin to represent them over the last Republican President.....because they aren't as embarrassed by her......
    Now that you mention it, THAT is scary.
    The Tea infested GOP is in worst shape than even WE thought.

    March 18, 2013 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  6. Tom in Millstadt

    @Palin Power

    Sarah, is that you????

    March 18, 2013 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  7. zandhcats

    Rove is an evil man, while Palin is the queen of the ignorance who desperately needs attention. Let the two slaughter each other.

    March 18, 2013 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  8. freedom

    No matter what any of you say.... this woman energizes a crowd like no one else – and has more guts than any of the wimps in the White House ! And you people think Hilary "what difference does it make" Clinton is a beacon of womanhood and virtue? Please.

    March 18, 2013 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  9. zandhcats

    IT's a joke, Karl Rove is a volunteer? What kind of volunteer makes millions from his donors? It's called corruption!

    March 18, 2013 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |

    After taking a good long look at Sarah Palin, I'd say she is not qualifed to hold a major political office,
    however, she is definietly qualified for a specific activity that I can't expand on here.

    March 18, 2013 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  11. RLeonP

    Alaskan twit speaks and Machiavelli gets angry. Two peas in a pod.

    March 18, 2013 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  12. Larry L

    @Rudy NYC

    Did anyone else notice that Palin re-opened the birther argument? Even Trump passed on it.
    She suggested that the president should have had a better background check.
    She's way out of style regarding her "swift boat" conspiracies! I'm pretty certain the Libya conspiracy is still acceptable in wacko circles but it's even getting stale. Not to worry... they'll have something new as soon as their tin-foil hats get a signal!

    March 18, 2013 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  13. justover

    Both of these people should never be ask to speak on any issue. I do agree with him about Palin quitting her job midway, she should never be able to run for any position again.

    March 18, 2013 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  14. ThinkAgain

    You know, even though Palin was and always will be a quitter, liar and mooch, I'm tempted to donate to her just to keep Unlanced Boil Rove in a tizzy !!

    March 18, 2013 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  15. ThinkAgain

    @Palin Power: "Sarah Palin is stronger and more powerful than Karl Rove. She will palinize the GOP and purify it of the Bush/Cheney/Rove neocon taint. She will have the last laugh when she becomes our next and greatest President."

    I'll take a stab at what "palinize" means:

    1. Talk and sound like a screeching harpy.
    2. Have skin that is both very thin and thick enough to write on.
    3. Raise children that are as hypocritical as you are (abstinence is for everyone but me!).
    4. Have a special-needs child that you promptly abandon (return to work within a week), but trot out for strategic photo-ops.
    5. When the going gets rough – QUIT!
    6. Go to at least 5 different colleges, then get a degree that you so obviously can't pursue as a career. (For example, have a degree in Journalism, while never reading and being unable to write your way out of a paper bag.)
    7. Claim to be Christian, while spewing hate and lies.

    Did I leave anything out?

    March 18, 2013 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  16. Poodlepuff

    It is difficult to even look at someone so discredited as Karl Rove and listen to him regardless of what he is saying.

    March 18, 2013 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  17. JerseyGirl

    Oh dea! I wonder which side Sean InSannity would take?? Lol.

    March 18, 2013 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  18. JerseyGirl

    Sorry, I mean to type "Oh, dear..."

    March 18, 2013 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  19. Zenger Folkman

    Hit the bricks, the both of ya's.

    March 18, 2013 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  20. Hugh Jass

    These obvious crooks are a good example of the gangsters who have taken over the GOP and are now looting its bones. Please, by all means, run one or both of them for President next time. We will tar and feather them publicly.

    March 18, 2013 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  21. GOP = Greed Over People

    Listen to these two, they are very, very smart and have done great things for all things conservative.

    However, this stupid, nobody, with an intelligent quotient of a radish, would like to share his observations.

    The GOP autopsy, ordered by coroner, Rice Princess, tells the whole story. The "purity pledge" message which plays well to the Red base, falls on deaf ears out here in the alternate universe, we know as reality.

    "Pure", unadulterated, bigotry and racism, does not play well outside the GOP bubble.

    Of course, you cons have no reason to believe this "libtard", because I am playing the "race card" and the Communist News Network, a.k.a. the mouthpiece for the "socialist", has published my rantings and GOP smears.

    Lest I forget, let me say, we hatched a "conspiracy" for the cons to lose in both '08 and '12 and it has been executed via a every Tuesday morning "coffee" klatsche right here in little, ol' Stone Mountain.

    And, Nate Silver is my next door neighbor.

    Confession is good for the sole.

    March 18, 2013 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  22. southernwonder

    the republican party just concluded at its meeting that it needs to be nice to women. and here is karl rove attacking a house wife sarah. the gop can't unlearn anything.

    March 18, 2013 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  23. fillmein

    You ever get, in your mind's eye, the image each of these politicians makes? Its like having 500 tv channels with nothing but reruns and "reality" shows that have STARS, don't ya know. Look at this guy. Notice I don't say listen.

    March 18, 2013 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  24. Techno Viking

    Oh, who to root for, who to root for? I just hope this continues so we can see them tear each other down

    March 18, 2013 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  25. Jamez

    He is just as clueless as her. Trying to find the heart of the GOP may prove difficult....the heart has to be beating to find it.

    March 18, 2013 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
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