Karl Rove may have helped deliver both terms of the presidency of conservative Republican George W. Bush, even resigning in 2007 to quell some of the furor against the increasingly besieged White House, but all of that was forgotten this week. Rove has drawn rage, rebuke, and vitriol from wide swathes of the conservative media for his criticism of Tea Party darling and GOP senatorial candidate Christine O'Donnell. Rove said O'Donnell believes "nutty things," lacks a "rectitude and truthfulness and sincerity," and that the Republican party "can’t make progress if we have candidates who got serious character problems ... [O'Donnell] attacked [Castle] by saying he had a homosexual relationship with a young aide with not a bit of evidence to prove it." Here are the conservative responses.
- Push This RINO Off the Ledge Hot Air's Allahpundit calls Rove "notably out of step with most of the rest of the righty punditocracy today. It’s too bad, although after last night’s infamous appearance on Hannity, he’s sure to be a RINO scapegoat in November if she loses no matter what he says or does now. Better to have him up there on the ledge where he can be pushed than to have him climb down, no?"
- Rush Limbaugh Slams Rove On his radio show, Rush Limbaugh accuses Rove of being tougher on O'Donnell than he ever was on Democrats. "There seems to be a schism here. Seems to be a divide," in the Republican party. Limbaugh wonders angrily why Rove is questioning O'Donnell instead of Ted Kennedy or Barack Obama, the latter of whom Limbaugh reminds us "is destroying our country." Limbaugh added, "It really is Washington versus the country."
- Rove at 'War Against Tea Party' National Review's Mark Levin tweets, "Rove, NRSC, et al. I'll be addressing their war against the Tea Party movement and conservatives on my radio show tonight."
- We're Cleaning House, Ousting Rove Conservative blogger Michelle Malkin writes, "The conservative base is in full-scale revolt. This is a good and healthy thing. Close political observers of and on the Right know that the revolt against Big Government/Open-Borders Rove/Bush-ism has been brewing a long time. ... You all know how many times I’ve said we can’t demand Dems clean their house until Repubs clean theirs. The cleaning is underway. Hallelujah."
- Sarah Palin: 'Good Old Boy' Rove Favors GOP Over America Sarah Palin told Fox News, "Well, bless his heart. We love our friends, they're in the machine, the expert politicos. But my message to those who say that the GOP nominee is not electable, or that they're not even going to try, well I say, 'buck up!'" She went on to make a dig at Rove's "fatter resume." Palin later told Bill O'Reilly, "It wouldn’t be prudent of me either to get into a tussle with Karl Rove … but what the heck, let’s go ahead and do it. ... Some of these good old boys – and I have nothing against Karl Rove personally, you know he’s the expert – but Bill, some of these folks they are saying that people like Christine O’Donnell and others, Tea Party Americans, can’t win because they don’t want them to win, because they know that … these folks are gonna shake it up. And they are going to do what’s right for America, not necessarily what is right for a political party machine."
- Mitt Romney: Time for Unity Politico reports that Mitt Romney, perhaps in a gentle nudge to Karl Rove and other Republicans doubters, said of O'Donnell, "Now is the time for Republicans to rally behind their nominee, Christine O'Donnell. ... She ran an impressive campaign. I believe it is important we support her so we can win back the U.S. Senate this fall."
- 'Investigate' Karl Rove for Being Secret Democrat Conservative blogger Dan Riehl fumes, "This is the man that brought down the republican party for 10 years and he has the audacity to 'educate' us about what he deems to be electable? ... Take a clue Rove, your days as an admired analyst are over. The tea party sees you for what you truly are." Riehl added, "Until this is resolved, it seems impossible to trust Rove as an objective analyst. In terms of the conservative movement, we should not simply ignore him, but proactively work to undermine Rove in whatever ways we can." He called on Fox News to "suspend him and investigate" whether he is a secret Democrat.
- Michael Steele: 'Stop It' Michael Steele said in comments emailed to reporters, "How can you claim defeat before you attempt victory? This makes no sense. It makes no sense. So stop it. Stop it."