Palin calls on Romney to work harder for the conservative vote
February 11th, 2012
03:06 PM ET
3 years ago

Palin calls on Romney to work harder for the conservative vote

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.”


Filed under: 2012 • CPAC 2012 • Mitt Romney • Sarah Palin
soundoff (603 Responses)
  1. Joe

    So if the tea partiers are unhappy with Romney and decide not to vote, don't sit here and complain for the next four years during Obama's second term. If you have an opportunity to change it and don't, I don't want to hear about it.

    February 11, 2012 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  2. Cal BOB

    Half term gov,who lost election in'08 knows what to tell a full term gov on how to win in 2012 ? Are these people getting drug tested ?

    February 11, 2012 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  3. Gary

    Romney's record should speak for itself. A growing number of comments out there are correctly identifying the elephant in the room. He is Mormon. That seems to count against a candidate more than being a narcissist (Gingrich, Cain, Palin, Trump), incompetent (Perry, Cain, Palin), or extremist (Santorum, McVey). Just remember, the candidates at the top of the bell curve (i.e. the centrists) get the largest vote shares. Once in office, they have an opportunity to gradually shift the entire country left or right. Those who start out representing the far left or right cannot build the support they need to get into office.

    February 11, 2012 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  4. Joseph

    Interesting. Why do so many self-professed progressives care what Mrs. Palin has to say? Or who the Republican nominee will be? You guys are voting for 4 more years of BHO.

    February 11, 2012 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  5. Tony

    Has Palin worked for her fame? She was a half-term governor. Had McCain not picked her, we might have a Republican president right now, and our troops might still be in Iraq. Unless, as so many of the Republican candidates have made clear of their intention, we need those troops to be in Iran.

    February 11, 2012 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  6. VoiceFrmLeft

    Sarah Palin is to the GOP, as Roswell UFO conspirators are to NASA. They both love to be in the spotlight claiming they know better. That might be giving the GOP too much credit, but Sarah is the black sheep of the party and dangerously ignorant.

    February 11, 2012 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  7. Tim/Sacramento

    “I wasn’t quite sure what the word 'severely' meant,” Palin said.

    That's because she never reads books or newspapers....as in she's "severely limited in her world view."

    Does she have a clue how irrelevant she was before, during, and now after her Phailed VP run?

    February 11, 2012 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  8. Mary

    WHY??? And I mean 'WHY' does this woman keep popping up to have anything to say ?
    She was handed an opportunity she was not qualified for.. She made a total joke of the honor..
    Then she quit her job as governor to go out and make a lot of money.. Then she traveled around with her family on her PAC money letting others assume she might run for office..
    Now she is making money, making more speaches..full of the same lies all her other GOP cronies are spewing..
    She is out for corporate America.. The rich .. The privileged.
    And it still just sickens me how snarky and nasty she is , under all that outside "pretty".. if she looked like what she is, she would make a troll look like a beauty queen..

    February 11, 2012 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  9. Joseph

    What if Obama wins the White House but the Democrats fails to regain the H of R - which I see as the most likely result of the fall. Would not both results represent the "will of the people?"

    February 11, 2012 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  10. John

    Mitt,

    Who cares what Sarah thinks... Palin failed her VP bid, quit her job in AK and she only cares about $$$$$.

    Sarah – Do America a favor and simply go away!!!

    February 11, 2012 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  11. Scott

    Who in the USA gave her the Republican Head of State job??? A threat from Sarah?? She really thinks she's someone important...I used to respect her...but she lost that when she was adding to the problem by encouraging people to vote for Newt who we all know couldn't beat Obama ever!

    Sarah...get out of the game...you chose not to run....so please shut up!!!

    February 11, 2012 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  12. Pat

    How come Ron Paul part of this GOP circus?

    February 11, 2012 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  13. Joseph

    Anyhow, I wish the President well in all his future endeavors. I do not hate the man, just disagree with man of his policies. As such, I will not vote for him but others probably will. Either way, I will pray for his health and happiness.

    February 11, 2012 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  14. maine liberal

    The only thing palkin should be warning against is a candidate accepting her endorsement .. sarah who

    February 11, 2012 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  15. ric

    She doesn't know what the word severly means?...lol...that ain't all she doean't know...lol

    February 11, 2012 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  16. Peter

    The fact that there are a number of people in the Tea Party who consider Romney "a liberal" illustrates how far right and totally outside of mainstream America many Tea Party members are.

    February 11, 2012 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  17. Joe citizen abroad

    Sarah, look it up on dictionary dot com. It's the adverb form of the adjective "severe." It means harsh; unnecessarily extreme. I don't know about you, but I'm sold!

    February 11, 2012 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  18. logicnLA

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Like she knows what's going to win the election!

    February 11, 2012 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  19. Janet

    You are not confused Sarah. You are misguided. You know that Mitt is a conservative. You have underlying issues.
    For you to back Newt, I guess confusion may be the right word. Newt is no more a hardline conservative than the man in the moon. Give it up.

    February 11, 2012 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  20. Sam Barber

    "Palin said she was confused by Romney’s declaration here on Friday that he was a 'severely conservative Republican.' "
    That's not surprising: Palin confuses easily, especially confusing fantasy with reality, and confusing ambition with ability.

    February 11, 2012 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  21. tykl

    Should she be called Governor when she didn't even finish one term as governor of the 4th least populated state? And why is she pretending not to endorse Gingrich when she acts as his attack dog?

    February 11, 2012 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  22. Valentina

    Gov. Palin, PLEASE STOP DIVIDING OUR PARTY. If you want victory in November, stop sowing the seeds of division and get over it, Newt is not going to be our nominee.

    February 11, 2012 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  23. Dave in Indy

    Romney / Palin '12 ! !

    February 11, 2012 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  24. mc

    No, Sarah, you are not AN idiot. You are THE idiot.

    February 11, 2012 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  25. witchiepoo

    Moderation is the key!

    February 11, 2012 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
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