Sarah Palin says she is pleased with the field of candidates facing Iowa caucus-goers tonight and although she feels there is still time for another hopeful to step in she does not see herself as that contender despite the groundswell of support. The former Alaska governor also told Fox News Monday it was too soon to discuss her taking the second spot on a ticket or a post in a GOP president’s Cabinet.
Fox News’ Eric Bolling asked Palin about Newt Gingrich mentioning her name as a possible vice presidential candidate a likelihood she jokingly dismissed, adding it was a surprise.
“Well, doggonit, everyone is always giving these shout-outs and kudos to Gingrich being the smartest guy in the room, and then he has to throw something out like that,” the 2008 vice-presidential candidate said. “But, you know, Gingrich is a smart man, and he is going to be running circles around the incumbent if he is the one to progress and participate in the debates against Obama. So I look forward to hearing that if he is the one.
“But what Newt Gingrich is — I believe — looking at, is a broad range of experience and expertise in a lot of areas,” Palin said. “And, obviously, [it is] way too early to start picking Cabinet members for any of these participants, but it was a bit of a surprise on my end anyway,” adding it was also premature to discuss Gingrich’s suggestion she would make a good Energy Secretary.
“He knows that I have a base of support of quite independent, patriotic Americans who understand the need for energy security — we understand the need to rein in government growth and spending, or we will be bankrupt, those things that I have talked about for the last few years, Eric,” she said. “I think that a lot of my views are reflective of what most Americans today are believing — and I am sure he kept that if mind as he threw out my name. And he will be throwing out other names, as the other candidates will be throwing out also — we have already heard some of that.”
Palin, who has not endorsed any of the hopeful GOP contenders, also had words of praise for former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, who has been surging in the polls.
“I did praise Rick Santorum — and I will praise him again,” she said. “Here, he talked about America`s Judeo-Christian foundation, how important it is that we stand strong on it, and that we build upon it — not in a judgmental and condemning way — when it comes to anybody`s lifestyle or any individuals.
“He was able to answer . . . questions about social conservatism, which is very important to Rick,” Palin said. “And it is no surprise that he has the support that he has. And his patient way of campaigning over all these months is now really, I think, paying off in the support that is being shown now in the polls — he’s moved up in the last couple of weeks — And as I said a few weeks ago, yes, he would do very, very well in Iowa. And I look forward to seeing the results of what he is able to produce tomorrow.”
Palin was asked whether there was still a chance she might enter the race.
“You know, I think that there is a groundswell, still, of support for someone who is so committed to the sudden — the relentless reform — that is needed in Congress and in the White House in order to get the country back on the right track, in order to get us working again — not just for me — but for others,” Palin said. “And I wouldn’t be surprised if there are names written in tomorrow evening in Iowa. But, at this point, the field is what it is. They all have strengths. All of these candidates have strength. All of these candidates have been strengthened through this process that has been arduous. It’s been a tough process.
“All of these candidates have been strengthened — and I am happy with this field. I do wish that there were more of them who understood the gravity of the situation when it comes to America’s finances today and would start, really, talking about the budget cuts that are needed,” she continued. “But the field is what it is. And I look forward to supporting the winner of this primary process because the general will be tough.”
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