Karl Rove Calls Sarah Palin's Bluff

Says if Palin wants people to stop speculating, she should say she's not running

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The years-long feud between Karl Rove and Sarah Palin just morphed from typical public passive-agression to naked hostility as Rove called his fellow Fox Newser's bluff on her presidential aspirations Wednesday night. On Sunday, Rove said Palin was probably going to get into the 2012 race, because she "has a schedule next week that looks like that of a candidate, not a celebrity"--speculating about her ambitions while implying she's lacked seriousness this year. Palin shot back Tuesday with a post on her political action committee's website saying, "Any professional pundit claiming to have 'inside information' regarding Governor Palin's personal decision is not only wrong but their comments are specifically intended to mislead the American public." Wednesday night, Rove took the feud further, portraying Palin as a "thin-skinned" diva reveling in all the attention.

Rove told Greta van Susteren at Fox News that if Palin wants people to quit talking about her, all she has to do is get out of the race:
"I'm mystified. She is all upset about this saying I'm somehow trying to sabotage her in some way... Look, If she doesn't want to be speculated about as a prospective presidential candidate there's an easy way to end speculation -- simply say 'I'm not running.' But instead every time she pops into the public eye like she did on CNN, at the Iowa State Fair a number of days ago she said 'I haven't made a decision.' ...
It is a sign of enormous thin skin that if we speculate about her she gets upset and I suspect if we didn't speculate about her she'd be upset and try and find a way for us to speculate about her. ...
If she doesn't want to be speculated about, then end the speculation by saying, 'I'm not going to be a candidate.' Until then, I would just recommend she might get a slightly thicker skin because if she's got this thin a skin now, when people are saying she might be a candidate, what kind of -- how is she going to react if she does get into the campaign and gets the scrutiny that every presidential candidate does get?
I mean, that's not going to be a pretty sight if she's as thin-skinned in the fray and she is on the edges of it.
Earlier this month, Fox News hosts said they were nervous about the possible ramifications if they criticized Palin--and News Hounds notes that Rove's critique of her was interrupted with a news alert on Steve Jobs' resignation. Still, it looks like Rove survived just fine.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.