Palin aide: Romney squad “immature,” out of control; Update: Romney offers olive branch: “She’s proven her smarts”

posted at 8:48 am on July 16, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

It didn’t take long for Sarah Palin’s team to respond in kind to insults reported by Time’s Mark Halperin from an unnamed aide to Mitt Romney.  After the anonymous adviser sniffed that Palin is “not a serious person,” an anonymous “longtime” adviser to Palin told Politico’s Andy Barr that Romney and his team seem a lot more interested in self-promotion for 2012 than in getting Republicans elected in 2010.  Furthermore, the source said, Romney’s “finger in the wind” leadership seems to have led his own team out of control:

“It shocks me that anyone would try to do that,” the aide said. “You’d think we’d all be working together toward a common goal – that being 2010 – and that should be the focus right now. Those who try to claim the mantle of Reagan would be good to follow one of his most sacred tenets.”

“For Washington consultants to sit around and personally disparage the Governor anonymously to reporters is unfortunate and counterproductive and frankly immature,” the aide, who spoke on condition of anonymity, continued. …

Further, the Palin aide criticized Romney’s staff for launching into attacks focused on the 2012 Republican presidential primary rather than focusing on November’s midterm election.

“She’s not focused on promoting herself or disparaging other Republicans,” the aide said. The Republican Party is “not worried about 2012. We should be focused on 2010.”

Perhaps not, but this sounds like an argument for 2012:

“She’s not a finger-in-the-wind kind of leader. She supporting candidates who share her common sense values,” the aide said. “When you have a team of consultants and strategists that big it’s hard to control.”

Sounds as though Palin and her team are not afraid of playing a little hardball within the party, or at least not afraid of fighting fire with fire.  The shot from the Romney camp does seem to indicate some control issues. After all, while candidates will certainly jockey for position in 2010, it’s far too early to be taking public shots at each other.  The question of being a “team player” is rather important in the midterms.  Both Romney and Palin have done a good job in raising money and supporting candidates for Congress — and that’s exactly where the focus should remain.

If it doesn’t, Palin and her team just showed that they can respond in kind — and that pols with glass houses shouldn’t busy themselves with throwing stones.  As Tammy Bruce’s response demonstrates, getting into debates a year early may not help Romney out much:

So, let’s interpret this–the Decent Man-of-Faith Mitt Romney is so decent, so trustworthy, that his first plan of action, his first choice of attack is to call into question not Palin’s ideas, or strategy, or approach, but her very humanity; an attack which blatantly attempts to dismiss her as a silly girl, someone not with whom he disagrees, but beneath complete human status. Normally, your first plan of attack is your best, most thoughtful plan. This says volumes about Romney’s nature and character and it will not be forgotten. …

And the Republican operative? Attempts to reduce her to an animal, literally, and a cat, no less. Sleek (attractive) and fast (dangerous), but also, essentially, not serious. An interesting conjunction and indicative of established Romney and frightened Republican party line.

Here’s a word of warning to all the establishment politicians who think dismissing or denigrating Sarah Palin will pay off. The tact has been tried and has already failed. The same smear was tried by Nikki Haley’s opponents, and it helped propel her to victory. Why? Because the American people are sick and tired of gutter-tripe tossed at women who dare to pursue their American dream.

I don’t think Romney really wants the debate to go there at this moment.  Right now, he should get his team focused on the midterms and let 2012 wait until at least 2011.

Update: Right on time, Gallup polls Republicans and Americans in general on favorability among the perceived 2012 contenders.  Among Republicans, Palin gets a 76/20, while Romney gets a 54/19.  In general, Palin’s slightly underwater at 44/47 (and has the highest levels of both favorability and unfavorability), while Romney gets a 36/28.  At least as a candidate and an activist, Palin should be taken seriously by Romney.

Update II: Mitt Romney tried to call a truce in the sniping war with this message on Twitter at around 11:30 am ET: “TIME says unnamed advisors disparaged @SarahPalinUSA. Anonymous numbskulls. She’s proven her smarts; they’ve disproven theirs.”  Hopefully, that will settle things down.

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LOL. Samizdat never provides links.

alwaysfiredup on July 16, 2010 at 4:16 PM

That’s not true. If I ever quote or cite something, I ALWAYS, provide a link.

Conservative Samizdat on July 16, 2010 at 7:53 PM

Sheesh, Mitt, you sound like Tojo claiming Pearl Harbor was a rogue operation and asking for a do over.

You must have been a laugh riot during recess.

Seth Halpern on July 16, 2010 at 8:06 PM

Conservative Samizdat on July 16, 2010 at 7:53 PM

I seem to recall you wussing out on an argument you and I were having here when I asked for proof.

However, I don’t remember what we were fighting about nd can’t find the thread. The pledge is therefore noted.

alwaysfiredup on July 16, 2010 at 8:15 PM

Former Romney aides who were not working for him when they made the comments? Are they working for him now?

Buy Danish on July 16, 2010 at 7:40 PM

As soon as they identify themselves, I’ll get back to you.

alwaysfiredup on July 16, 2010 at 8:18 PM

Re the update: Too late Mitt. We see how you roll. Get lost.

JimP on July 16, 2010 at 9:50 PM

As soon as they identify themselves, I’ll get back to you.
alwaysfiredup on July 16, 2010 at 8:18 PM

Gee thanks! Be sure to let Mitt know who they are too, so he doesn’t hire them back. Okey dokey?/

Buy Danish on July 16, 2010 at 10:30 PM

Mark Halperin of Time Magazine tees this up like Lucy’s football and this time we’re going to kick it downfield for sure. Hahaha pass the popcorn.

rhombus on July 16, 2010 at 9:00 AM

Love it!
Guess who was Charlie Brown? Could it be Mittens?!
And Halperin’s Lucy ends up being a proxy for Mama Grizzly.
Too funny!
Summer Entertainment value: Priceless.

Jenfidel on July 17, 2010 at 12:04 AM

Ok, I’ve decided I hate the term ‘mama grizzlie’ almost as much as ‘Maverick’ and ‘cougar’. So, how about my suggestion for Palin’s theme song for the cretins that keep using stupid nicknames..and some alternatives they can used instead.

Mama grizzlie-person who votes for bad candidate based on catchy nickname.

Maverick- backstabbing a**hole

cougar – bicycle, nympho, brazen strumpet

austinnelly on July 17, 2010 at 2:26 AM

The shot from the Romney camp does seem to indicate some control issues. After all, while candidates will certainly jockey for position in 2010, it’s far too early to be taking public shots at each other.

…and yet so many Republicans feel obligated to join in on the left’s bash-a-thon.

Left on her own in faraway Alaska she climbed the ladder from City Council to Mayor to Conservation Commission to highly popular Governor (80+%) fighting corruption and cronyism along the way (Alaskan politics have been notoriously corrupt – not Chicago corrupt but bad).

Villified and targeted by the deranged leftists and their LSM smear machine they gave her no peace when she returned to Alaska and eventually forced her to step down as Governor. Not for any ethical violations – to save the state the cost of fighting endless frivolous lawsuits by hysterical socialists.

…which she promptly parlayed into becoming their worst nightmare.

A best selling book, a wildly publicized book tour, a FOX Commentator gig, a Tea Party movement tailor made for her who largely flock to candidates she supports (some of it a bit begrudgingly at times) all have elevated her stature, exposure, and relevance looking to 2012.

She is absolutely rolling. She has been extremely involved in the 2010 election cycle, being much more involved than just fund raising for others. She’s built a bit of a coalition of candidates and laid a possible path to 2012.

She’s covered the country giving speeches and gained an army of loyal supporters in smaller communities from coast to coast in places other candidates never visit. She gave the keynote speech at the Tea Party convention and is highly popular with Tea Party people. Those Tea Party people are all over the country, too.

It’s gonna take a lot more than some gutless anonymous Mittens adviser repeating the same tired sexist insults to stop her now.

It is getting a little beyond ridiculous. It will get worse – I’m sure the MSM will make her a prime target in their Fudd-like hunt for ‘wacists’.

Mr Purple on July 17, 2010 at 5:26 AM

Mama grizzlie-person who votes for bad candidate based on catchy nickname.

Maverick- backstabbing a**hole

cougar – bicycle, nympho, brazen strumpet

austinnelly on July 17, 2010 at 2:26 AM

Well, let’s continue…

Republican Palinophobes = snarky ankle-biters who couldn’t sell ice cubes in hell.

ddrintn on July 17, 2010 at 12:23 PM

The fact is that Romney’s handling of this would be precisely his governing style. LOL*

He’d offer meek and ineffectual words while taking atrocious actions.

No way, now how, not going to be president.

AnninCA on July 17, 2010 at 2:24 PM


Romney’s a guy who has a history of employing people who like to take shots at Palin. Frankly someone who is responsible for ObamaCare’s mini-me, mAssCare, shouldn’t stick his neck out quite so far or so early.

Palin doesn’t think twice of slaughtering turkeys.

memomachine on July 17, 2010 at 10:57 PM

Romney needs to find out who said it, and fire him immediately. First of all, this is not a Presidential year and the total emphasis must be on taking as many seats as possible in the mid-term, personal ambitions be damned.
Secondly, while we should expect our Presidential contenders to candidly question each other’s records and positions, this sort of petty personal sniping has no place in the campaign, when it is appropriate to begin considering it (after November 2). Romney’s case for the nomination is based on his efficiency as an executive at turning around companies. He needs to show he can control his own inner circle if he wants us to believe he can really run the country.

Adjoran on July 18, 2010 at 2:53 AM

Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney: The Truth

The media loves to create controversies like this, but you’ll have to read the truth to know what’s really going on. Don’t let the media sway you one way or the other. You must always do your own research before making assumptions and definitely before making any conclusions.

dnlchisholm on July 18, 2010 at 6:59 PM