Washington (CNN) - Sarah Palin issued a warning to Mitt Romney Saturday, calling on the former Massachusetts governor to do a better job explaining his record to conservatives or risk dampening voter turnout in November if he wins the Republican presidential nomination.
In an interview with CNN and The New York Times before her speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, Palin said she was confused by Romney’s declaration here on Friday that he was a “severely conservative Republican.”
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“I wasn’t quite sure what the word 'severely' meant,” Palin said.
She said Romney and his two main rivals - Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich - should be given time to explain the flaws in their record until the Republican National Convention in August, when she said the nomination fight could ultimately be decided.
But Romney may have the hardest sale to make, she said, asking him to explain his “shifts in ideology” since he left the Massachusetts governorship.
“You have to have the tea party patriots enthused and energized in order to win this nomination, and more importantly in order to defeat Barack Obama,” Palin argued.
If conservatives are “dismissed and they are marginalized” by the Republican establishment, “they are going to be much less enthused and much less willing to put it all on the line for the GOP candidate in the general election.”
“We can’t afford to have low voter turnout in the general election, and that is all the more reason for Romney to really start connecting more with conservatives,” she said.
Though she has spoken warmly about both Gingrich and Santorum, she said she was still making up her mind about which candidate to support.
Her Fox News contract does not prohibit her from weighing in on the presidential race, she said.
Palin said she would not encourage any of the candidates to drop out of the race, saying it’s “not yet” time for Gingrich to step aside and allow Santorum to rally the conservative vote.
She also welcomed the possibility of a brokered convention in Tampa.
“I don’t think that it would be a negative for the party, a brokered convention,” she said. “And people who start screaming that a brokered convention is the worst thing for the GOP, they have an agenda. They have their own personal or political reasons for their own candidate, who they would like to see protected away from a brokered convention. That’s part of the competition, that’s part of the process. And it may happen.”
Even George Soros said Romney and Obama are alike - doesn't know which to contribute to.
How's them apples?
Don't ya just love it? An imbecile trying to stay relevant. An imbecile who didn't even finish her term, trying to give advice to a politician. And all the tea baggers hanging on her every word as though she actually understands what her speech writers write for her to say. Of course, the tea baggers made her rich because they con't tell the difference between actual intelligence and an old cheerleader parroting words they are dying to hear. Amazing!
The real "Dolly" lama speaks! Now go away.
"Defeat Barack Obama"?
You mean the millions of Americans that voted for him or the man himself? Please clarify. Clarify means elaborate. Elaborate in this case meas "explain". Enough definition for you, Palin?
Sarah makes more money talking her nonsense that she does running for office. Genius really. The TEA party has ripped the Republicans into threads. I could agree with some things they used to stand for but now, it's just an abomination of what it used to be. These candidates make George W. Bush (even with two wars) sounds like a normal reasonable President.
HHHMMM this coming from a quitter.......a person trying to get back into the spot light.....her words hold no weight.....Palin shout up.....no one cares what you have to say you quitter.
If Romney has any sense, he will do everything Palin tells him to because Vice President Palin is a maverick and a real proven winner!
You betcha, don't cha know.
I used to think Republicans were horrible people, now I see them as total clowns and they make me laugh.
Of course everyone knows what Palin has to say is so important! Duh
Palin no one wants your advice, please go away.
Good idea Sarah, keep moving Mitt more to the right. Jeeze republicans are numb. Do they really think the country is that conservative? They already sound like the Republicans of 50 years ago. Welcoming the likes of Peter Brimelow to their CPAC.
She speaks........but seriously, is anyone listening? And, by the way, how can she not know who she is going to support? Such drama for someone who is so irrelevant.
Also......“I wasn’t quite sure what the word 'severely' meant,” Palin said.".........That comment could be a whole joke book.
Now Sarah views herself as the expert on how to get elected. Some of us think her forte is about how to not get elected.
I think Romney tries to pander, but in the end he says what he means by his choice of words.
Severely: 1. harsh; unnecessarily extreme
Basically he means: "Don't worry, I'm a nut just like you!"
Don't know where old Sarah gets off providing advice as she couldn't win an election for dog catcher.
Note to the uber right wing nut jobs: Romney is your best and only chance of defeating Obama in November. Get behind him or deal with another 4 years of Obama. Your choice.
Hey conservatives. It is not too late to change this election. Palin as a write in candidate. Spread the word.
To DJ – who thought palin would beat Obama.
No way in h-e-double hockey sticks.
We want someone who can finish something they start and has half a brain.
Huntsman was the only candidate that some Dems voted for, but no, you repubs chased him off because he was moderate. We will take a moderate over a religious zealot any day of the week.
Who is this "Palin" person? Is that the one who spent less time in office than Romney has spent campaigning for the GOP nomination?
Yes, listen to Sarah – she knows it all with all that experience as a 1/2 term governor and a college degree that she got through attending SIX different colleges!
The term “severely conservative” sounds more like a criticism.
Listening to advice from a loser is ... well, one step removed from losing itself.
she lost the last election for McCain – including my vote.
Romney is the only Republican that can beat Obama!!! He will take MI, a democratic state, and maybe Wisconsin. The Romney name is remembered by the older generation and highly thought of. A moderate republican will capture the middle of America, let's get this country working again, free the people from the bondage of unemployment!!!
Republicans will go down in flames unless they can keep idiots like Palin and Bachmann as well as maniacs like Newt and Cain quiet and under wraps until after November
When Washington is afraid of one of their own, you know it's good for "We the People"! Newt 2012
This is the worst thing that can happen to GOP.. when Sarah Palin is the voice of reason. She sounds like a surrogate. What's so amazing, one of the biggest reasons that McCain lost his presidency because he picked Sarah as her running mate; a governor who quit in the middle of her term. Go figure!