Earlier this week, what could be the first shots were fired in a potential rivalry between potential Republican presidential hopefuls Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. On Tuesday, Bachmann campaign manager Ed Rollins said Palin wasn’t a “serious” candidate for president and that upset many Palin supporters, who also tend to support Bachmann.
In an appearance on Thursday’s syndicated “Hugh Hewitt Show,” columnist Mark Steyn asked the question – what is Bachmann doing with Rollins on her team in the first place?
“Well you know, let me say it as bluntly as I can because I love Michele Bachmann,” Steyn said. “I think she’s — if we have to have congressmen and congresswomen, I’d rather more were like Michele Bachmann and less were like Anthony Weiner, the obvious candidate. So I adore Michele Bachmann and I don’t see why she needs Ed Rollins.”
Steyn described Rollins as a “backroom boy” and described him as what is wrong with American politics.
“Ed Rollins … is one of the things that disfigures American politics because he’s one of these so-called backroom boys who’s always in the front window,” Steyn said. “I don’t see the point of having backroom boys who are always in the front window.”
Steyn mocked Rollins for one of his shots of Palin – her looks compared to Bachmann’s looks.
“And in this case when he started going on about — well I forget what he said, you know that his candidate was just as hot-looking as Sarah Palin, he said that about Michele didn’t he I think at one point?” he continued. “Which I agree with and I vaguely remember from – I think it was 1988 when Bob Dole’s campaign manager announced Bob Dole was twice as hot as George Bush, Sr. Obviously you know, this is part of a well-established pattern in Republican primaries.”
Rollins played an instrumental role in former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee’s 2008 Iowa Caucus victory, but he does come with some baggage from that win. Amanda Carpenter, then of Townhall.com, reported on a Rollins outburst at an Iowa restaurant on Jan. 3, 2008, where he made personal attacks against Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani and Fred Thompson and shared his affections for NBC correspondent Andrea Mitchell and then-CNN host Lou Dobbs with the entire restaurant.
And although Rollins has a track record of criticizing Palin prior to joining the Bachmann campaign, Steyn’s advice to Bachmann was to keep Rollins in the “backroom” if he is such an essential part of the campaign process.
“But I don’t think Michele Bachmann needs Ed Rollins,” he said. “And while we’re at it – I’ll put it out there – I don’t want an Ed Rollins-fied primary season, with respect. If you have to have backroom boys, keep them in the backroom. I’m tired of backroom boys in the front window.”