During a panel discussion Sunday on ABC's "This Week," a former top aid for President George W. Bush said that Sarah Palin should not have been invited to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), since she wasn't even competent enough to hold down her job at Fox News.
Matthew Dowd, a chief strategist for George W. Bush's reelection, slammed CPAC (scheduled to kick off in mid-March) for inviting the one-time vice presidential candidate to the popular conference, while passing over New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R).
"CPAC, to me, has totally diminished its credibility as an organization,” Dowd said. “And you invite Sarah Palin, who wasn’t competent enough to keep a Fox News contract? But she’s invited to a CPAC meeting?”
It was announced in January that Palin and Fox News would be parting ways, following her sometimes contentious final year as a network contributor.
CPAC's move shows they think "voters out there" don't know what they're doing, Dowd said on Sunday.
Wall Street Journal Editor Paul Gigot, also a panelist, agreed with Dowd and said the Republican Party needs to have a "pretty raucous debate," one that includes different voices and different perspectives.
But colorful Democratic strategist James Carville joked that inviting Sarah Palin would be good for the Democrats, at least. "I'm all for it!" Carville said.
Palin, who appeared at CPAC last year, was welcomed back to CPAC by American Conservative Union Chairman Al Cardenas in mid-February. The former governor of Alaska joins a list of fellow speakers that includes Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre.
Last week, panelists on MSNBC’s "Daily Rundown with Chuck Todd" mocked CPAC's speakers as losers from "the D-List."
Matthew Dowd has been a vocal opponent of Palin for years. In 2008, Dowd said John McCain knew he had made the wrong choice in picking Palin as his running mate, and that McCain would have to live with that fact forever.
"[McCain] knows, in his gut, that he put somebody unqualified on the ballot," Dowd said. "He knows that in his gut, and when this race is over that is something he will have to live with... He put somebody unqualified on that ballot and he put the country at risk, he knows that."