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. charlie

    Sarah Palin..just when you thought maybe the GOP would be FORCED to grow up..noooo..this dingbat takes center stage..we can see the GOP is committed to being left out of high office for the foreseeable future. The truth is what we are seeing IS the core of the GOP..LOL..birthers, gun freaks..LOL..bye bye GOP..and good riddance.

    March 18, 2013 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  2. GOP = Greed Over People

    Confession is good for the sole and the "soul", I hate these smart aleck iPads that think they know everything.

    March 18, 2013 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  3. notogop

    Aren't they cute when they squabble? Now kiss and make up like good little children.

    March 18, 2013 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  4. roger

    Karl Rove, John McCain etc., all old farts of the Republican party. This is why the party lost. They had their 15 minutes of fame. About time they shut up and retire. No one cares what they have to say anymore.

    March 18, 2013 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  5. charlie

    anyone that listens to rove needs a checkup from the neck up..palin too

    March 18, 2013 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  6. freedom

    @Palin Power

    And all those responding to you here supposedly voted for Obama thinking there was a ficticious war on women? What do you call this?? Not one female democrat speaking out about the slander to a fellow woman – but they want the country to provide contraceptives to the likes of Sandra Fluke ! Yuk!

    March 18, 2013 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  7. Singlemalt

    It's not hard to lose all faith in the human race. All one has to do is listen to the republicans, any republican, to witness the non evolution of man at work. The amount of convoluted reasoning is staggering.

    March 18, 2013 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  8. Pinky

    I'd hate to have to look across the table and see either one setting opposite me. Imagine, having something like these two in your family. That in itself would be too much to take.

    March 18, 2013 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  9. vidal808

    What a pair to squabble....Let them, let's be happy, as long those 2 get at each other they can not do any damage to this country.

    March 18, 2013 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  10. don in albuquerque

    Ya know....every time Sarah speaks I am reminded of another woman in history who had guts, could energize crowds, and basically spoke to low level thinkers. She came from a poor background, and rose to point of being able to almost destroy her country and all this through manipulating her very weak husband who was the president of that country. He and she were of fascist ilk, and brought their country to new heights in low. Webber and Rice even wrote a musical about her. Her name was Eva Peron, and the musical was Evita. There is one line from the show which perfectly described Eva and Palin. "She didn't say much, but she said it loud."

    March 18, 2013 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  11. chana

    Oh dear too funny..

    March 18, 2013 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  12. Leroy

    Fat and bald white man pushing around a woman? Has Karl Rove no shame whatsoever?

    March 18, 2013 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  13. DJR

    As the posts indicate the old crows of the party need to get gone. Like all of the folks they put out of jobs they need to be put out of work, especially government work. Rove is a reminder of Bush and the fiasco of Chenny, AIG and crooks in way to high of places. Sarah is a voice equivalent to E.Warren, truth hurts, facts are facts and the sitting government needs to get gone! Rove, Buffet banks and corporations need to be called out of government involvement their schemes are simply about bonuses and urinating in public!

    March 18, 2013 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  14. Lisa

    lol Don, I think I love you.

    March 18, 2013 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  15. Drew

    I'm sure neither one gives a crap about what the other one thinks.

    March 18, 2013 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  16. Romney is Still NOT My Hero

    @ don in albuquerque

    Your post is so true it's scary.

    March 18, 2013 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  17. It's simple, really

    Palin and Rove sniping at each other. Isn't that like the tuurd calling the feces brown?

    March 18, 2013 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  18. No Party Patriot

    Palin sounded like a 12 year old at the CPAC. I used to think she was like an 18 year old, but she seems to be regressing in age. Not looks, she is surely aging in that department, i mean mentally. Sad really.

    March 18, 2013 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  19. Marie MD

    Thank you for NOTHING McCain!!! Your legacy is now and will always be this shrill hateful creature from AK!
    @its simple, really, I couldn't have said it better. Thank you for telling it like it is about these two losers.

    March 18, 2013 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  20. LF

    No one in their right mind would defend or support either of these two. Rove is old school, political mean. Palin is just irrelevant. And women do NOT need to come to her rescue – she is a moron; maybe she should take her comedy act to the local bar in Wasilly, AK.

    March 18, 2013 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  21. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Don, is it just me or do you also think that if Sarah ever got wind that we were comparing her to Eva Peron she'd take that as a compliment?

    March 18, 2013 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  22. emdub

    St Palin the con artist has the audacity to speak about The President that took a bankrupted country from failure to recovery and the best dow numbers in history in just one term with her party fighting him at every step. The arrogance is stunning

    March 18, 2013 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  23. RettasVegas

    They both are all about collecting money from the extreme right of the GOP, nothing more, nothing less.

    They are a plauge brought on by the GOP, and the GOP is playing the fiddle while CPAC burns to the ground any credibility they may have had left, as far as the MAJORITY of American voters are concerned, it's too little too late to claim they want to get immigration on the table now, 4 years too late... and where the Hell was Chris Christe? He needs to wake those old, rich, white men up a little, show them the door!

    It's not your proud parents GOP anymore folks, that's for damn sure, it's been taken over by those who refuse to live in todays world of changing family veiws, religions and politics in America, so let the RIP, we need to move on.

    March 18, 2013 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  24. jegan

    I love to watch them eat their young.

    March 18, 2013 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  25. Thinkergal

    Keep it up,GOP. We love to see you rip each other apart–dontchaknow?

    March 18, 2013 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
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