ROVE SEES THE ERROR OF HIS WAYS…. On Tuesday night, Karl Rove appeared on Fox News and said what he believed about Delaware’s U.S. Senate race. In light of Christine O’Donnell’s primary win, Rove called some of the nominee’s remarks “nutty” and said “this is not a race we’re going to be able to win.” (In Fox News context, “we” means “Republicans.”)

He went on to describe the extremist candidate in less-than-flattering terms: “It does conservatives little good to support candidates who, at the end of the day, while they may be conservative in their public statements, do not evince the characteristics of rectitude and truthfulness and sincerity and character that the voters are looking for.”

Right-wing personalities — Palin, Limbaugh, Malkin, Erickson, Pat Buchanan — were deeply unhappy with Rove’s criticism of a Republican. Would he apologize?

Well, not explicitly, but this morning’s walk-back on Fox News was rather humiliating. Shortly after explaining that it’s not his job “to be a cheerleader for every Republican,” Rove quickly reversed course.

“Look, I endorsed [O’Donnell] the other night…. I was one of the first to do it,” Rove argued.

Remind us, Karl, did the endorsement come before or after you questioned her “rectitude and truthfulness and sincerity and character”?

Rove went on to insist this morning that he personally intervened to help O’Donnell’s campaign, not only with an endorsement, but with financial support from the party.

The Fox News screen only showed Rove from the chest up, but if the camera panned down, we might have seen his tail between his legs.

I suppose this should serve as a reminder to Republicans everywhere — no matter how powerful you are, there’s an unshakable expectation that GOP voices will support GOP candidates, without exception, and without regard for merit or national interest.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.