UNSOPHISTICATED — BUT IN A GOOD WAY…. Karl Rove’s remarks to Germany’s Der Spiegel last week generated a fair amount of attention, mainly because he described Tea Partiers as “not sophisticated” — a remark that isn’t going over well in some far-right circles, most notably with Rush Limbaugh.

Yesterday, Mike Huckabee piled on, lamenting the “elitism within the Republican establishment.” He complained about “the kind of country club attitude that we’re not sure there are certain people we really want as members of the club and we’re not going to vote them in.”

Yesterday, Rove tried to backpedal a bit, suggesting he was taken “out of context.” Sure, he said, he described the far-right activists as “unsophisticated,” but he meant that in a good way.

Rove said his definition of sophisticated is “pretentiously or superficially wise.” Limbaugh, remarking on Rove’s comment, had said establishment Republicans see the Tea Party movement as a threat.

Rove went on to explain that he sees Tea Party activists as unaccustomed to politics.

“These are not people who are skilled in the ways of Washington. They don’t want to be,” he said.

Recent history has shown Tea Partiers are easily manipulated and duped into believing all kinds of things. But even in this crowd, it’s going to be a tough sell convincing them that “unsophisticated” is some kind of compliment.

Steve Benen

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.