Sarah Palin admitted that she, like many Americans, isn’t quite convinced by Mitt Romney’s campaign for president yet—but she thinks that a protracted primary fight will help create the best possible GOP nominee for president.
“I believe [the candidates are] getting stronger. They’re getting better. That’s what competition provides, and that’s why I want to see the competition continue,” she said on Fox News Sunday.
The call for continued competition echoed her speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Saturday, which was met with overwhelming crowd approval and caused some pundits to speculate that Palin would’ve been the likely winner of the CPAC presidential straw poll if she were eligible. But with Palin off the ballot, Romney won that straw poll, with 38 percent of the vote.
Palin said that Romney’s inability to get over that 30-percentile “hump” is due to his inability to articulate a truly conservative vision for America. “I am not convinced, and I don’t think that the majority of GOP and Independent voters are convinced,” she said.
But she didn’t dismiss the former Massachusetts governor outright. Palin said that his “idea of conservatism is evolving,” but that he had had a moderate and even liberal past. This could be problematic, Palin said, because the GOP wants an “instinctive” conservative.
“I believe that most voters in the GOP, and Independents, we will want to see that candidate who we can trust will inherently, instinctively, turn right—always err on the side of conservatism,” she said.
That inherent conservatism, however, was not mentioned when Palin addressed the candidates’ strengths: Rick Santorum is “quite bold about social issues” and hasn’t “backed off” from those beliefs; Newt Gingrich has an “historical perspective of how America was built.” No word on Ron Paul.
She refrained from mentioning drawbacks because, she said, the in-fighting in the GOP field was harmful to the Party.
“We already know that the Left, and the media allies to the Left, are gonna beat up our candidates,” she said. “We don’t need to do that job for them.”
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