April 10th, 2010
05:30 PM ET
12 years ago

Gingrich says Palin 'tremendously important'

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/04/09/art.gingrich.srlc2.cnn.jpg caption="Gingrich is touting Sarah Palin's role in the Republican Party."](CNN) - Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, still considered among the most influential members of the Republican Party, is touting Sarah Palin's impact on the GOP and her future in the party.

"Sarah Palin is tremendously important right now, I mean for maybe 40 percent of the country, she personifies courage, clarity," Gingrich told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Both Gingrich and Palin were among the event's featured speakers.

"She's attractive, she's articulate, she has energy," Gingrich continued in the interview set to air Sunday on CNN's State of The Union. "Watch the size of her crowds…And I think whether that translates into something bigger later or whether she's just a very significant person for the rest of her life, she is a real player, nobody should underestimate her."

Gingrich also said Palin's prominence in the Republican Party will continue, regardless of whether she decides to mount a presidential bid in 2012.

"I think she has the potential to fill a niche for a very long time, particularly in an age of cable television and talk radio when you can build your particular market and your audience, and they can love you and come to your meetings and do things with you, and she's done, I think the last couple months she's been very impressive," he said.

But, should Palin decide to launch a presidential campaign, would she be a formidable opponent against President Obama?

"Well, if my choice was Sarah Palin or Barack Obama, I'd rather have Sarah Palin," said Gingrich.

soundoff (306 Responses)
  1. Kathy a Nurse

    Palin should go for it and there goes the republican party. Maybe she could attend some of the conferences too! She is so polarizing in her party of racist bigots.

    April 10, 2010 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  2. Georgia

    This just proves that Gingrich is as big of a MORON as Sarah Palin!!! Why doesn't a Republican with just a MINUTE amount of brains step forward and take the reins of this sick horse?

    Remember: Republicans = Incompetence!

    April 10, 2010 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  3. Greg in Denver

    Anyone who thinks Sarah Palin personifies clarity is delusional.

    April 10, 2010 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  4. silk

    Wow, just because she's so popular with the tea baggers, now every man in the Republican party is kissing her you know what! They all hope maybe praising her will get them elected. How pathetic!

    April 10, 2010 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  5. gypsydaveywithablowtorch

    Yes, a tremendously important reminder of what its like when we dumb down our elected leaders

    April 10, 2010 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  6. Kathy a Nurse

    Oh right ,my husband and some of his family used to be republicans also now they are independents leaning Democtatic. The republicans out there look like unintellegent weird-os like Glenn Beck. It is amazing how weirdness sells! What is wrong with the people in america. The world must think we are stupid when all you see is this Tea Party nutcases and Palin and her Lies.

    April 10, 2010 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  7. Anonymous

    "She's attractive, she's articulate, she has energy," and what else Newt?
    hmm, intelligent , capable? Well, not really. If Limbaugh is the Father Coughlin of our time, Palin is the Amee Semple Mc Phearson.

    April 10, 2010 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  8. JohnA Realist

    I'm waiting to hear her plans and policies that would help fix the problems the country. I hear nothing of substance from her, just fluff, good words that mean nothing,kind of like a snake-oil salesman. I've listened to her speaches and she just says things to make a crowd react, but still doesn't really say anything. Can she do any articulating on what she would do about wall street abuse? Or how about giving us the lowdown on how she would handle Iran or N. Korea? How about term limits for congress? ANYTHING. And she can even read it off the tele-prompter.

    April 10, 2010 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  9. proud dem in nc

    Newt, Newt Newt....Please go away. You are SOOOOOO IRRELEVANT. You time has come and gone. You made of muck of everything, you womanizer.!! Here's an idea for you... you could pick Sarah the quitter" as your running mate, then Obama will be SURE to win.!!!! We Democrats are not afraid of her. We are afraid she WON't get the nomination, and that someone who is ACTUALLY qualified will get it. What a ticket the Repubs will have: The bitter, washed up ole fat man and an airhead. Go Obama, keep up the GREAT work.!!!!

    April 10, 2010 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  10. Greg

    She is so articulate that even Fox pulled her frompolitical commentary due to her ineptness and lack of knowledge. Even the evil Beckster and O'Reilly recognized that she was an empty headed idiot

    April 10, 2010 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  11. normajean

    I've' noticed that the Repubs delight in saying we are afraid of Sarah Palin. and they aren't even on SNL. What they don't realize is that the foot she has in her mouth is making her sound like she doesn't know what she's talking about. Now how can we be afraid of someone who talks and talks,says nothing, laughs a lot, throws in a couple of "folksy: jokes.Y'all"s and Ya betchas,and "how does that work for you"{ she stole that one}.Let me ask "Y'all" just one question. BESIDES TALK AND LOOK CUTE, AND STIR UP SOME OUR MORE CONFUSED CITIZENS WHAT HAS SHE DONE OF ANY SUBSTANCE FOR YOUR PARTY?"BETCHA HADDENT THOT O THATT."

    April 10, 2010 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  12. Alert Citizen

    She's attractive, she's articulate, she has energy. The chick net door to me! LOL

    April 10, 2010 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  13. Dave

    What else did you expect him to say? She went and criticized him for the "party of yes" statement and was cheered for it. He knows if he barks back at her he will be toast. Palin and Bachmann have the nutjobs sewn up right now and they are the ones controlling the republican party. There is no room for moderate republicans (heck, towards palin and bachmann, Reagan was a moderate).

    I was a die hard Reagan republican. Voted for him twice. Couldn't wait to hear him speak. Not a hateful word out of his mouth; he only spoke of hope for the american people. Reagan wouldn't survive in the climate today. He wouldn't be elected dogcatcher if he ran republican.

    April 10, 2010 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  14. Doug

    WOW! What is this clown smoking. Chill-billy Palin is a joke.

    April 10, 2010 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  15. P. D.

    LOL! Sarah articulate? Surely Newt jests!

    April 10, 2010 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  16. Desmond in Canada

    Nobody underestimates to huge harm that the likes of Palin and Gingrich can do to the credibility of the USA, if its citizens are foolish enough to allow them

    April 10, 2010 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  17. GuyInVA

    "Articulate"? Shouldn't I be offended? When that was said about our current president, it was offensive, right?

    Wow. Marie in MD doesn't like Palin very much, does she? Maybe someone will spill her grades... about the same time someone "spills" the source of the president's tuition payments at Haaahvaaahd.

    And Ron. Man, you are hilarious. "NOT!" That's great. Did you come up with "NOT" all by yourself, or did you pick it up in 1992 like the rest of us?

    April 10, 2010 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  18. Annie, Atlanta

    She dumbs down the rhetoric, making intelligence the enemy, and goes for the jugular with her catch phrases, making hate of anyone who isn't like-minded acceptable. If Newt thinks this is ok, how far will he and his ilk go to see the GOP regain power?

    This kind of rabble rousing, especially during a serious economic downturn, has been done before, and it didn't turn out well. How can it, when hate and ignorance prevail?

    I think it is dangerous when the media gives hate, ignorance, and division a 24/7 platform. They're in it for the money. So is Palin (Beck, Hannity, Limbaugh, etc). And the rest of us will pay the price.

    April 10, 2010 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  19. Susan L.

    Do they really think they can win by going THAT far to the right? Are Independents in this country THAT blind? Or are they convincing themselves that the only thing that matters is deficits (only if a Democrat is in power - if it's a Republican somehow HUGE deficits are fine. They only turn toxic when a Democrat inherits them.)?

    April 10, 2010 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  20. Susan in NC

    ".....personifies courage, clarity....." LMAO! No one personifies courage and clarity LESS than Sarah Palin does! What a joke!

    April 10, 2010 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  21. Chris

    Honestly, my opinion of Sarah Palin is changing. At first I thought she was dumb and wasn't qualified to be dog catcher, let alone VP. Her speech at the SRLC changed my opinion. I could gurantee if she continues to give speeches such as the one at the SRLC she WILL be President in 2012. I came away feeling positive and happy, not only to be a Republican, but an American. And it really gave me a different look on Sarah Palin. She spoke about freedom and how it relates to energy. How the Republican party has been a mess. How her husband is an indepedent, which I just recently learned from her speech.

    April 10, 2010 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  22. guest

    the only one that underestimates her is an IQ test. everyone else is terrified of her stupidity.

    April 10, 2010 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  23. Chris

    And she isn't the typical Pawlenty, Santorum, Gingrich, Bush, Romney, type. I say Linda Lingle/ Sarah Palin 2012

    April 10, 2010 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  24. Larry

    Well there goes my faith that Newt has a brain. Palin is a air head with a cute figure. She says want the Republicans want to hear. She has no real intelligence and cannot run this country. Teh party of no needs to do better than Palin or Bachman. Problem with Republican party is that they pay too much attention to Fox news and its narrow minded people such as Hannity, Beck the drunk and druggie Rush Limbaugh.
    Of course Palin is now an analyst for Fox news.
    What can she analyze ? Quitting as governor when things get tough ?
    She doesn't evn know that Africa is a continent not a country. Couldn't even tell a reporter what magazines she read for information until a year later. It is very sad that Palin is considered a leader of the Republican party.

    April 10, 2010 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  25. Diana

    Step 1: Seek the spotlight as much as possible.
    Step 2: Make a fool of yourself whenever you get it.
    Step 3: Whine that the media is being mean to you when they air footage of you making a fool of yourself.
    Step 4: Profit!

    April 10, 2010 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
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