WASHINGTON -- GOP uberconsultant Karl Rove lashed out at former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) on Sunday, mocking her decision to leave office early. Rove's criticism was a response to comments Palin made at the Conservative Political Action Conference in which she suggested the poor performance of Rove-backed candidates in the 2012 elections indicates that Rove should get out of the political consulting business.
"If these experts who keep losing elections and keep getting rehired and getting millions -- if they feel that strong about who gets to run in this party, then they should buck-up or stay in the truck," Palin told CPAC Saturday, referring to Rove. "Buck up or run. The Architect can head on back to the great Lone Star State and put their name on some ballot –- though for their sakes, I hope they give themselves a discount on their consulting services."
Rove pushed back in an interview with Fox on Sunday.
"I'm a volunteer and I don't take a dime with my work from American Crossroads and pay my own travel expenses out of my own pocket and I thought she was encouraging volunteer grassroots activity and I'm a volunteer," Rove said. "Second of all, look, I appreciate encouragement I ought to go home to Texas and run for office and, it would be news if I did to have her support. But I don't think I'm a good candidate -- a kind of balding, fat guy. And second, if I did run for office and win, I would serve out my term and I wouldn't leave office midterm."
Palin famously resigned her governorship midway through her first term in office in early 2009, shortly after her 2008 bid for vice president came up short. Rove's Crossroads operation spent hundreds of millions of dollars on the 2012 elections, only to see nearly all of his marquee candidates fail to be elected.
Rove has since become a magnet for criticism from much of the Republican Party base for his more recent efforts to recruit candidates that are more palatable to voters than Tea Party favorites like failed Senate candidate Todd Akin, whose electoral bid collapsed after he stated that women are biologically incapable of becoming pregnant from a "legitimate rape." Rove's latest strategy has been interpreted by some Republicans as an effort to undermine hardline conservatives and move the party toward more moderate candidates.
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If It's Sunday, It's Meet The Press
Feb. 27, 2000: George W. Bush strategist Karl Rove discusses the 2000 Election on NBC's "Meet the Press" (Photo by Michael Smith)
The Butterfly Ballot
Nov. 9, 2000: Karl Rove (L), Chief strategist for Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush, holds up a copy of a Cook County, Illinois, election butterfly ballot. Rove questioned statements from the campaign of Democratic candidate Al Gore that criticized the use of the same-style ballot in Palm Beach county, Florida. (PAUL RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
Jan. 22, 2001: Senior George W. Bush staff members, Counselor to the President Karen Hughes (L), Senior Political Advisor to the President Karl Rove (2nd L), National Security Advisor to the President Condoleezza Rice (2nd R), and Presidential Spokesman Ari Fleischer (R) hold their right hands up during a swearing-in ceremony of dozens of staff members in the East Room of the White House. (PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
Side By Side
Sept. 27, 2001: U.S. President George W. Bush (L) walks with his chief political adviser Karl Rove after returning to the White House in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Oct. 5, 2001: U.S. President George W. Bush's senior adviser Karl Rove makes a signal to a White House media member as he stands in the wings of the Rose Garden in Washington, D.C. (PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
Feb. 20, 2003: White House Senior Advisor Karl Rove (R) and National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice walk toward the Marine One at the White House in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Making A Point
May 7, 2003: Bush political advisor Karl Rove speaks at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics on the campus of Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire. (Photo by Michael Springer/Getty Images)
Can I Have Your Egg Autograph?
May 7, 2003: Bush political advisor Karl Rove is asked to autograph eggs at a 'Politics & Eggs' luncheon at the Bedford Inn in Bedford, New Hampshire. (Photo by Michael Springer/Getty Images)
May 8, 2004: Karl Rove, chief political advisor to President Bush, speaks to graduates of the Rev. Jerry Falwell's Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. (Photo by Eric Brady/Getty Images)
Shield The Security Advisor
Dec. 3, 2004: Presidential advisor Karl Rove(L) jokingly shields National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice from the press in Washington, D.C. (BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Do You See What I See?
July 14, 2005: U.S. President George W. Bush and Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove walk from the Oval Office across the South Lawn of the White House toward Marine One in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Oct. 25, 2005: President Bush's senior advisor Karl Rove drives his car out of his driveway in Washington D.C. Rove is a key figure in the CIA leak investigation headed by Federal prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Mirror, Mirror On The Car
Oct. 27, 2005: President Bush's senior advisor and Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove looks through his sideview mirror as he arrives at the West Wing of the White House in Washington, DC. Rove was a key figure in the CIA leak investigation headed by Federal prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Feb. 27, 2006: White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card (L) whispers in the ear of Senior White House Advisor Karl Rove as US President George W. Bush (not pictured) addresses a meeting of the National Governors Association in the State Dining Room at the White House in Washington, D.C. (JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
May 15, 2006: White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove holds up a copy of 'Kings of the Hill,' by Vice President Dick Cheney and his wife, Lynne Cheney, while delivering remarks on economic policy at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Jan. 25, 2007: White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove (L), Communications Director Kevin Sullivan (C) and Spokesperson Tony Snow jokingly drink water at the same time before U.S. President George W. Bush participated a round table event at Saint Luke's East Hospital in Lee's Summit, Missouri. (BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Look, Obama's In The Paper
Jan. 17, 2007: White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove points to today's edition of USA Today with U.S. Senator Barack Obama, D-IL, on the front page as he awaits U.S. President George W. Bush's arrival at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland. (JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
Wiping His Forehead
March 28, 2007: Karl Rove, White House Deputy Chief of Staff, wipes his forehead before rapping with 'Who's Line is it Anyway?' stars Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood during the Radio and Television Correspondents' Association Dinner in Washington, D.C. (BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Hug It Out
Aug. 13, 2007: U.S. President George W. Bush embraces Karl Rove, Deputy Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor, after a statement by Rove at the White House in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Oct. 21, 2008: Karl Rove, former Deputy Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor to U.S. President George W. Bush, speaks during a panel discussion at the 2008 Mortgage Bankers Association Conference and Expo in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Hold The Phone
Aug. 28, 2012: Karl Rove, former Deputy Chief of Staff and Senior Policy Advisor to U.S. President George W. Bush, walks on the floor before the start of the second day of the Republican National Convention at the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)