Three years ago DC pundits predicted with glee the demise of Sarah Palin’s political career. This past weekend their tune changed, citing false information that she has made a decision and set a date regarding a future campaign. 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. These are the same tired establishment political games that fuel the 24 hour news cycle and that all Americans will hopefully reject in 2012, and this is more of the “politics-as-usual” that Sarah Palin has fought against throughout her career.
This harsh statement at the SarahPAC website is assumed to be directed at Karl Rove, who recently said on Fox News Sunday, according to CBS News:
“I’m not much of a gambler, but I’d put a little bit more money that she gets in than she doesn’t,” the former strategist for George W. Bush said. Of her upcoming schedule in Iowa, which includes a Tea Party speaking event on September 3, Rove said it “looks like that of a candidate, not a celebrity.”
Yesterday Karl Rove fired back at Palin on Greta Van Susteren’s show, and although it was Greta herself who brought the issue up, it seemed to be a bit like an ambush, as Greta was clearly surprised by Karl Rove’s very harsh and extensive remarks. Karl Rove accused Sarah Palin of having an “enormous thin skin” and in general slammed Palin’s strategy, when he for example said:
“So, if she doesn’t want people, if she doesn’t want people to speculate that she might be a Presidential candidate she’s sure got a funny way about going about killing the speculation. (…) By showing up in a surprise appearance at the Iowa State Fair and running a television ad saying “I’m looking forward to being back in Iowa” and then going and speaking at a big rally in Iowa. I thought that part of that was that she wanted to get more attention to herself but I guess, I guess that’s wrong. I guess that she wanted less attention so she did those things. I don’t know. It’s weird. Very odd.”
In the above clip, Karl Rove says this sentence at the 3:15 mark. The rest of the interview apparently doesn’t “officially exist”, although strangely, the full interview is available on the website – and you could find the missing remarks if you actually bothered to watch the whole clip.
VAN SUSTEREN: In anticipation of talking to you today, I did some research. And in the last five days, every time practically the name Rove comes up, it comes up with — about a comment you made about Governor Sarah Palin. What is it about Sarah Palin, Governor Sarah Palin, that if anyone says her name, you know, or someone like you, that it just explodes? Is that the media or is that Governor Palin or what is — or is that Karl Rove?
ROVE: No, no. That’s Governor Palin. Look, the head of grass roots organization on her behalf in Iowa said roughly the same thing I did, which is not knowing any inside information, it looks to us like — both this fellow in Iowa and to me — that she’s more likely to be a candidate. The things that she’s doing in Iowa, showing up at the Iowa state fair, running this ad, saying, I’m looking forward to being back there on September 3rd, attending a big rally on September 3rd, all signal to me that she’s likely to be more — more likely to be a candidate at some point.
I’ve never said she’s going to declare on the 3rd, but I’ve said this schedule looks more like the schedule of somebody who wants to be a candidate…
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, why is — why is…
ROVE: … than somebody who’s just a celebrity.
VAN SUSTEREN: Why is everyone so — but why is everyone…
ROVE: You know what? Here’s…
ROVE: I’m mystified. Look, she is all upset about this, saying I’m somehow trying to sabotage her — sabotage her in some way and that how dare I speculate on her future. Look, if she doesn’t want to be speculated about as a potential presidential candidate, there’s an easy way to end the speculation. Simply say, “I’m not running.”
But instead, every time she pops up into the public eye, like she did on CNN on — at the Iowa state fair a short number of days ago — she said, I haven’t made a decision. I’m just speculating that the kind of schedule she’s keeping leads me to believe that it’s more likely than not that she’s going to be a candidate.
Now, I said I wouldn’t bet a lot of money on it because I — it’s a close thing and I’m not privy to her thought-making process. But 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 to get us to speculate about her. So…
VAN SUSTEREN: I actually — I actually — I actually don’t know if it’s Governor Palin or not. I don’t know anything about that. I was merely reflecting on the fact that the media, is you mention the name Governor Palin, I mean, no matter what you say or Governor Palin — I mean, I don’t — I have no idea whether — whether she has — even knows — I assume she knows that you said something about her. But why — what is it about Governor Palin that even the media can’t let go of it?
ROVE: Yes. Well, first of all, I do assume she — she — when her — when SARAHPAC issues a statement, I assume that Governor Palin authorized the statement. So she knew exactly what SARAHPAC was going to say. But look, here’s the deal…
VAN SUSTEREN: I didn’t even know about, but OK.
ROVE: Oh, yes. Yes, that’s where — that’s where — that’s where her comment came from was a statement put out by SARAHPAC. But look, she’s a big — she’s a potentially big factor in the presidential election. If she were to get in, she’d be a “contenda,” as they would say. She was the vice presidential nominee in 2008. She maintains a following.
There are people who want her in and there are some people who would be deeply concerned if she did because she’d be eating into their — into their ranks. But she’s a player. And so 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, Well, I think she might be a candidate, what kind of — how’s 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 as she is on the edges of it.
END OF OFFICIAL FOX NEWS TRANSCRIPT – REST OF INTERVIEW WITH KARL ROVE, AS PUBLISHED IN A VIDEO CLIP ON THE FOX NEWS WEBSITE:
VAN SUSTEREN: I, I, I, the SarahPAC thing I don’t know anything about. I don’t know whether she wrote it or the PAC wrote it or not. but it is just so extraordinary that I don’t get it how…
ROVE: (tries to interject)
VAN SUSTEREN: (continues) …how her name gets mentioned…
VAN SUSTEREN: …her name gets mentioned and everyone says that she’s still a contender it’s the most unusual political story.
ROVE: Yeah. Well look, it came from her PAC and I assume that since it’s a small group of people who run the PAC and run her operation and I assume that she was aware that they were going to go out there and say things in her name, SarahPAC, that basically said “Don’t speculate about me and if you are then you are an establishment elitist with no inside information.”
And I mean I just thought that it was a very odd way to react and and frankly you know – OK fine: If you don’t want us to speculate about you don’t be doing the things you are doing. By showing up in a surprise appearance at the Iowa State Fair and running a television ad saying “I’m looking forward to being back in Iowa” and then going and speaking at a big rally in Iowa. I thought that part of that was that she wanted to get more attention to herself but I guess, I guess that’s wrong. I guess that she wanted less attention so she did those things. I don’t know. It’s weird. Very odd.
VAN SUSTEREN: Could she, could she get the nomination?
ROVE: You know, she’s very……Yes. Sure, sure she could. You could, you could find a path to get there. Could she be a player? Absolutely. Will she be a big influence in Iowa? Look, think about it. If she were not interested in being a candidate why does she keep going back to Iowa?
She premiered her film in Iowa. She took and did a couple of stops on her book tour in Iowa, at the very beginning of her book tour. She went there and talked about…she showed up at the Iowa State Fair. She was the premier speaker last year at their fundraising dinner in September of last year and she’s going back there to speak at a Tea Party rally on the 3rd September. I’m sure that there are a lot of other states in the union where she could have previewed her film, conducted her, launched her book tour, and spoken to a tea party event during labor day 2011 but it’s Iowa which ironically enough is…. the first contest in the Republican Presidential sweepstakes. The Caucuses is the first week of February.
So, if she doesn’t want people, if she doesn’t want people to speculate that she might be a Presidential candidate she’s sure got a funny way about going about killing the speculation.
VAN SUSTEREN: Should or do you think that Governer Romney and Governor Perry are courting her right now for her influence?
ROVE: Oh, anybody who is smart would be courting her and courting her people. Absolutely. In the event she doesn’t run she can, she can be a big influence if she decides to endorse somebody.
VAN SUSTEREN: Karl, thank you.
ROVE: You bet. Thank you.