Former – and perhaps future – Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney wants to make one thing clear, he’s not sniping at Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, another likely presidential candidate.
Earlier this month when Romney and Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., were interviewed on CNN, they were asked about radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh and Palin’s inclusion in Time magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people.
Romney quipped, “Was that the issue on the most beautiful people or the most influential people? I'm not sure. If it's the most beautiful, I understand. We're not real cute.”
Some pundits took that as a swipe against Palin.
Shortly afterward, Limbaugh said that Jeb Bush and other Republicans on a listening tour, a group which included Romney, “despise Sarah Palin. They fear Sarah Palin. According to them, she’s embarrassing.”
In an interview Thursday with radio talk show host Laura Ingraham, Romney disputed that notion. He said his remark on CNN was a joke aimed at himself and Cantor. “It’s real hard in the world these days to be humorous,” Romney explained
And what does he really think about Palin? “Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh are two of the most influential voices in our party and thank heavens for that,” Romney told Ingraham.
“Sarah Palin brought a lot of excitement and interest and energy and I’m sure a lot of people to our party. She plays an important role in our party.”
His basic point was that Time should have included more Republicans, Romney says.
Indeed, just before his joke, Romney told CNN, “I think there are a lot more influential Republicans than that would suggest.”
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