"I actually wasn't trying to create a fight here," Democratic strategist Stanley Greenberg told Republican strategist Karl Rove at the Washington Ideas Forum on Thursday.

"Yeah, yeah, you weren't trying to create a fight," Rove retorted.

The subject at hand was the rightward shift of the GOP. Greenberg traced the party's transformation back to the 2004 presidential race.

"The role of evangelicals in the church, and the role of the Tea Party, are very much part of a strategy that Karl helped drive," Greenberg said. "That dynamic has carried through, and I think he's now living with the dynamic that he created."