On Fox News tonight, Sean Hannity asked Karl Rove, "Is there any truth to this battle that is going on between you and Governor Palin?" In response, Rove said he was "sorry if she took offense" to his criticism of her reality show, adding: "But a confident candidate doesn't get thrown off by that":
ROVE: Now, look. I did raise the question about whether or not doing the show on TLC was the best choice for her time. Whether it made her look presidential or gave her a chance to go out and campaign in front of as many people as she could this year. Guess what? I am a commentator and I'm sorry if she took offense at it. I hope every candidate has a tougher skin than to be upset by something that I may say about them. I've said nice things about her and I've raised a question. But a confident candidate doesn't get thrown off by that. A confident candidate says that people are entitled to their own opinion and I'm going to do what I think is right for my own candidacy.
HANNITY: You do recognize that she is going to be a force if she runs right?
ROVE: Oh, absolutely. And look I've been saying that for a year and a half that when these smart commentators -- you know columnists for the New York Times say that she shouldn't run. I say well, that is not up to you. That is up to her and I've said that she would be a formidable candidate both in the primary and in the general election if she were to receive the nomination. But you know, I am a little bit frankly surprised that one comment about whether or not it was a good thing to do drew such a response from some of her supporters. I hope she's got a thicker skin than that because there is going to be a lot of commenting done by a lot of people in the next 13-14 months.
For those keeping track of the Fox News family feud between Palin and Rove:
- Rove criticized Palin-backed Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell, saying "It does conservatives little good to support candidates who, at the end of the day, while they may be conservative in their public statements, do not evince the characteristics of rectitude and truthfulness and sincerity and character that the voters are looking for."
- In return, Palin told Rove to "buck up" over O'Donnell's primary win.
- The U.K. Telegraph quoted Rove criticizing Palin's decision to star in a reality show and suggesting that Palin lacks "a certain level of gravitas" required to be president.
- Politico reported that the GOP establishment, including Karl Rove, was "concerned" that Palin might run for and win the 2012 Republican nomination.
- Palin said in response to the Politico article, "I haven't read the article yet but it sounds like content is coming from the GOP the establishment the self-proclaimed elite as named as sources." She said that she had made it her mission to voice "a common sense conservative Republican message ... so to get torn apart limb by limb you know it's like gosh guys come on."
- Palin stated that Rove "has planted a few other political seeds out there that are quite negative and unnecessary" and added: "You know what? I kind of feel like, why do they feel so threatened and so paranoid?"
- Palin responded to Rove's "gravitas" comment: "Umm, wasn't Ronald Reagan an actor?"
- Rove said there is "a lesson" to be learned from O'Donnell's loss.
- Commenting on the Politico article, Palin attacked "these neanderthals, these goofballs, these nitwits" who were attacking her in the press.
- Rove said he was sorry if Palin took offense to his remarks about her reality show.
- When asked if Palin is a strong potential candidate, Rove said Palin gave "a very impressive speech" on Federal Reserve policy and he doesn't "have any idea" how the presidential primary will play out.
- Fox host Bret Baier asked Palin about Rove's criticism of her reality show and she said again raised Ronald Reagan.
- And tonight on Hannity, Karl Rove did not miss the opportunity to criticize Palin, saying that "a confident candidate" wouldn't be "thrown off by" criticism from a commentator.
At the end of his conversation with Rove tonight, Hannity said "maybe this will put it to rest." That doesn't seem likely.