Sarah Palin: I'll Keep Shaking Up Washington

Thursday, 13 Mar 2014 08:23 PM

By Todd Beamon

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Sarah Palin on Thursday endorsed Mississippi state Sen. Chris McDaniel in his tea party-backed bid to block Republican Sen. Thad Cochran from winning a seventh term this fall.

In an exclusive question-and-answer session with Newsmax, the former governor of Alaska says she will continue to endorse conservative candidates with "integrity and a steel spine" who are willing to stand up to the permanent political class and not just go along to get along with "the corrupt status quo."

McDaniel, 41, faces Cochran in a June 3 primary. Recent polls have shown him within striking distance of the 76-year-old incumbent, the second-most-senior Republican in the Senate.

Palin also told Newsmax that the Republicans had "better" retake the Senate this fall and that if she had said "even one-tenth of the crazy things" Vice President Joe Biden had said during the 2008 presidential campaign, "the media would call for me to be institutionalized."

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Here are Palin's responses to Newsmax:

Newsmax: How active are you going to be involved in getting Republicans elected this fall?

Palin: "I’m determined to work every election cycle to increase the number of commonsense conservative women leaders in D.C. who will shake things up in the good ol’ boy permanent political class."

What makes a strong candidate?

"Courage, integrity, common sense, discipline, fiscal restraint — and a firm grounding in the time-tested truths that have made our nation exceptional."

There are a number of GOP women running for Congress this fall, including former Michigan Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land and Rep. Shelley Moore Capito in West Virginia. Both are running for the Senate. Is that surprising?

"I don’t think of women leaders or women candidates as 'novelties.' Women have been leaders since ancient times. From Cleopatra, Joan of Arc, Elizabeth I of England, Catherine the Great — right on down to Golda Meir, Margaret Thatcher, and Angela Merkel.

"We’re half of the human race. I’ve raised my own daughters to know that they can do anything. There are no barriers they can’t overcome as women.

"Many strong women have blazed those trails before us. I honestly don’t consider gender in looking for public servants."

Are these candidates going to have tough campaigns?

"Sadly, women candidates do have to prove themselves in general. Damn men! We’re held to a different standard.

"I certainly don’t complain or whine about this, but, for example, consider the stupid stuff that comes out of Joe Biden’s mouth all the time. If I had said even one-tenth of the crazy things he said in 2008 or since then, the media would call for me to be institutionalized. Some of that is the typical media bias against conservatives, but not all of it.

"The truth is, women candidates have to work harder. Women know this. That’s what makes us tougher than men. I hung a poster in my husband’s airplane hangar that reads: 'God created men first. Then He had a better idea.' "

What's the biggest issue for the GOP this fall?

"Obamacare. Candidates can speak directly to voters about our frustrations with what the Democrats and the Obama administration have done to American households. It’s atrocious."

You said on Facebook on Wednesday that you intend to endorse more candidates this cycle. In Texas, you endorsed Attorney General Greg Abbott for governor. Who else are you supporting?

"First off, I don’t endorse anyone who hasn’t first requested an endorsement. I don’t believe in inviting myself to anyone else’s rodeo. I only want to be helpful, so I don’t jump in if I’m not asked to.

"Second, I look for people who are willing to stand up to the permanent political class in D.C. and not just go along to get along with what is all too often a corrupt status quo bankrupting our country. We need people of intelligence, ingenuity, and integrity in D.C. now more than ever.

"I look for someone who, hopefully, has a track record that shows that they were willing to be courageous in working to get things done for the people who elected them — whether that be fighting to balance a budget or pushing through fiscal reforms or fighting cronyism and corruption.

"I look for people who have integrity and a steel spine and who clearly understand the problems facing our nation today.

"Finally, I do adhere to the old wisdom to look for the strongest conservative who can win. I don’t mind backing a long-shot candidate, but they have to be a good candidate who has it together and can run a credible campaign.

"For example, I was honored to back Sen. Ted Cruz in 2012. Even though he was a long-shot candidate when I endorsed him, I knew he was a great candidate with a good campaign organization behind him. He just needed something to help his campaign soar.

"His victory is his own because all the ingredients for success were there when I endorsed him. I just got to hand him a proverbial megaphone, and the voters wisely chose him."

Any more this year?

"You betcha! Good, bad, or ugly — when they ask for my endorsement and receive it, the curiosity factor kicks in!"

You endorsed 18 candidates for state, House, and Senate races in the 2012 cycle — including six women. Even though not all of them won, how do you think your endorsements help?

"We helped shine a light on candidates who may not necessarily get enough attention because they’re outsiders, not part of the political machine.

"As for women candidates in particular, I think the 'Mama Grizzly' effect of all those conservative women running in 2010 really shook things up. I think it really scared the Democrats who suddenly realized that they couldn’t take things for granted.

"You didn’t see any of the 'war on women' stuff being thrown at the GOP in 2010, and I think that’s because the 'Mama Grizzlies' were a force to be reckoned with."

With the GOP on the cusp of re-taking the Senate, what must the Republican Party do win?

"Don’t speak down to women. Don’t speak down to working-class, blue-collar Reagan Democrats. Don’t pander either. Everyone can spot a phony.

"You reach out to voters by speaking up for the American principles that have made our country great. Speak up for liberty and opportunity and prosperity. That’s a message that every America responds to."

Turnout is generally lower in midterm elections. What's your advice to voters?

"Get involved. Don’t get discouraged. Get energized. Keep the faith. We’re going to turn things around. If you don’t vote, then you can’t complain.

"Don’t use gender as the barometer either, because there are good male candidates too — though I always say, 'Behind every good man stands a surprised woman!'"

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