Rove, Palin still Diverge on Christine O'Donnell

Karl Rove and Sarah Palin butted heads again Tuesday over Republican Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell - even as O'Donnell conceded the race for the Delaware Senate seat to Democrat Chris Coons.

Rove drew fire from Palin and other conservatives earlier this year after O'Donnell won the Republican primary in a surprising upset, saying that O'Donnell was unelectable, had made too many mistakes and carried too many skeletons in her background, and would prove detrimental to the party. Palin and others immediately critized Rove's comments.

Tuesday night, in the wake of O'Donnell's defeat, the two FNC contributors showed they still haven't come to an agreement.

"Look, it gave me no pleasure to say she was unlikely to win," Rove said Tuesday. "This again proves a lesson. This is a candidate right on the issues, but had mishandled a series of questions raised by the press early on in the race about her background and previous statements."

O'Donnell proved to be a lighting rod during her short campaign as the Republican candidate, drawing criticism for everything from her past financial difficulties to comments about dabbling in witchcraft as a teenager.

"She said things to the newspapers at local stations that were not credible," Rove said. "She started to clean it up late in the campaign, but too late, apparently."

Palin endorsed O'Donnell during the Delaware primaries, and many pundits credit that endorsement with O'Donnell's surprising surge in popularity and win over longtime GOP congressman Mike Castle.

"Christine's defeat in a deep blue state - not a surprise," Palin said Tuesday, "but disappointing for those who wanted to shake things up."

When asked about Rove's prediction that O'Donnell would lose the senate campaign, Palin didn't back down.

"I look forward to Karl Rove and others looking at...reporting that exit polls are showing that Mike Castle would have even lost to Chris Coons," she said. "There was never any guarantee that a hard-core conservative would win in a deep blue state like Delaware."