Surprising words of praise by Palin
August 19th, 2011
08:41 AM ET
11 years ago

Surprising words of praise by Palin

(CNN) – As longtime Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch fights off some tea party opposition to his re-election bid next year, he's getting some unexpected praise.

Friday morning Hatch's re-election campaign was touting comments made Thursday night by former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, a favorite of many in the tea party movement.

"To your particular point about Senator Orrin Hatch, he is doing good in terms of trying to get a balanced budget and he has been for the last couple of decades. He has pushed hard for some fiscal reforms that we have got to see implemented," said an e-mail release by the Hatch campaign, highlighting comments the former Alaska governor and 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee made on the Fox News Channel.

"We need to be agreeing and embracing his idea and working with him to make sure that that happens instead of shooing him away and shooing him out of a tea party movement," added Palin, who is considering a bid for the Republican presidential nomination.

Hatch, who is running for a seventh term in the Senate, is facing opposition from some in the tea party movement, including FreedomWorks, a major DC-based conservative grassroots organization that is actively working to find a candidate to take on Hatch in next year's primaries.

In a statement, Hatch thanked Palin for her kind words, saying "I am grateful for the support of Sarah Palin as I continue to lead this fight. Mrs. Palin is highly respected by Utahns and the national conservative movement and I appreciate her influence to create a united front in confronting the issue of our national debt. It is an honor to have Sarah Palin's backing for the balanced budget amendment and I will continue to use my time in the Senate to see it passed."

Hatch faces a possible primary challenge from two-term Rep. Jason Chaffetz, a favorite of many conservatives and tea party activists.

Last year FreedomWorks was one of the groups that targeted three-term Republican Sen. Bob Bennett of Utah in the months leading up that state's GOP convention. Bennett was defeated at the convention in his bid for his party's re-nomination. Conservatives Mike Lee and Tim Bridgewater advanced to the party primary, with Lee winning the GOP nod and then the general election.

Hatch, who wants to avoid Bennett's fate, has a history of reaching across the aisle to work with Democrats - a fact that obviously does not sit well with many tea party activists and other conservatives. But Hatch has taken steps since last year to buffer himself from criticism from those on the right by highlighting his conservative chops. He led the Senate GOP push for a balanced budget amendment and was a co-sponsor of a Republican amendment to repeal the new health care law. Earlier this year he landed a perfect score in the American Conservative Union's 2010 ratings.

- Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @PSteinhauserCNN.

Filed under: 2012 • Orrin Hatch • Sarah Palin • Utah
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. bb

    There she goes again...Sarah Palin preserving here pathway to DC....and that would be Dollars & Cents.

    August 19, 2011 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  2. Sandy

    Who cares what she thinks?

    August 19, 2011 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  3. truthman

    I'm confused.

    August 19, 2011 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  4. crooked bridge

    Please explain to me why someone who was on a losing presidential ticket, resigned their governorship mid-term and has yet to provide any specific solutions to any problems has any credibility? Would the media be so attentive if she was a frumpy, senior aged, female politician? Doubt it.

    If those factors are not relevant, than why do we not see constant reporting of comments made by all former losing VP candidates? The reason is they all know that their time has passed and have the dignity and wisdom to know if you do not have a positive contribution, then remain silent. Palin's fascination with herself prohibits that level of maturity and judgement, hence the endless stream of non-productive commentary. A real "patriot" would recognize we all got in this together and we are going to have to get out of this together and produce plans that would help America. Her whole strategy seems to be, if you cannot be a leader, be an instigator. (No skill required.)

    Plain is a confection. Nothing more, and the media knows it. Would be nice to hear an CNN editor explain their journalism policies so we have an idea of what is supposed to constitute news.

    August 19, 2011 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  5. Rudy NYC

    "Earlier this year he landed a perfect score in the American Conservative Union's 2010 ratings."
    Sometimes I think that being a Republican is a fate worse than Hell. I mean, at times they can be say do the strangest things and have the strangest habits. It is like politics is a religion for them, complete with rituals, high priests (and now priestesses), herculean labors of purification and demonstrating one's worth. And the most disturbing part of it is the name of their God, Dollar Green.

    August 19, 2011 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  6. ConservaFASCISTS/TEAliban/TEAhadists

    When did Silly Sarah become kingmaker? Hatch is still going to lose his seat.

    August 19, 2011 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  7. Alec H

    The Kiss of Death!

    August 19, 2011 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  8. AEK

    Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin? Was she actually in office long enough to be classified as the former governor?

    August 19, 2011 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  9. Al-NY,NY

    "I know it was you Fredo. You broke my heart...." Say goodbye Orrin. You've just been touched by the Grim Reaper

    August 19, 2011 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  10. vic , nashville ,tn

    Hatch, who is running for a seventh term in the Senate, that mean 6 x 6 36 years time to go home
    Palin gave statement mean she made some money out of that statement

    August 19, 2011 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  11. Republicans - The Not Intended To Be Factually Accurate" Party

    The man has been in the Senate for 36 YEARS. How stupid does he think Americans are?

    If he and his fellow rightwing, Republican politician buddies had EVER cared about being fiscally conservative they wouldn`t have allowed George W. Bush to fritter away the clearly established trend of record setting, budget surpluses – – in CONSECUTIVE YEARS – – delivered by Clinton, the DEMOCRAT.

    The country was fixed, on the proper track, and the GOP ruined it. Clinton delivered surpluses of $88B, $122B, and $230B in `98, `99 & `00. Had the Republicans just left things ALONE, by now, we`d have NO NATIONAL DEBT.

    August 19, 2011 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  12. Lynda/Minnesota

    "and Chip Cravaack of Minnesota."

    Sorry to switch threads (and especially on a $arah story!) but it is noteworthy to mention that Cravaack is now jet setting back and forth between New Hampshire and his 8th District in Minnesota. Sound familiar? FIrst Pawlenty, then Bachmann, and now Cravaack. Vote 'em in to represent you, and off they go to bigger (and for them better) fields of grandeur. Cravaack is no longer holding Town Meetings, instead choosing with whom, and where, he'll speak ... for a fee. Ought not be too difficult to vote this TeaPer wannabee back out in 2012. Two year term is all he was good for anyway.

    August 19, 2011 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  13. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    I relish praise from people that I admire, not from someone who is irrelevant and besides the point.
    Consider the source....
    Obama 2012

    August 19, 2011 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  14. In order for 15 MILLION to find a job, only ONE must LOSE his.... Fire Obama in 2012

    Orrin Hatch for the most part has been a very good Senator. While he has been there quite a while, it would be nice to keep some of the older GOOD people. Now if the Democrats could just clean up their swamp and get rid of the Charlie Rangels, Maxine Waters and Barney Frank from their party, the place might start regaining some semblance of integrity.

    August 19, 2011 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  15. MTATL67

    The Grand Old Tea Party/GOTP extremist can praise each other all day long as long as they do it outside the halls of government. I agree with many other poster on here. "How the hell does half term governor of remote sparsely unpopulated stat – I do not mean any office or disrespect to Alaskans) get any credibility. She did not hold office long enough to give any elected official advise of any kind except "I recommend the soup of the day" nah I would even believe her anyway.

    August 19, 2011 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  16. thomas

    It's all about the money !

    August 19, 2011 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  17. Indy

    What do all the other Governors that quit their elected positions after 1.5 years have to say about this situation / What do all the former Mayors of small town Alaska feel about this Senator ? What is Levi Johnstons take ? What will Homer Simpson think of this situation ? These are much more important then what Sarah Palin thinks

    August 19, 2011 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  18. 8 Years of "Trickle Down" economics has only left a dribbling wet spot on working Americans's shoes!

    A grown woman that wears a little girl's t-shirt wants us to take her seriously?

    August 19, 2011 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  19. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    They say you can't be too rich or too thin.
    Somebody should tell Palin that 'they' lied.
    She looks unhealthy, truly.

    August 19, 2011 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  20. democrat for life

    well i can only hope that is the kiss of death for hatch. get rid of this old white man from utah who may call himself a christian but do doesn't know the meaning of the word. feed the poor clothe the naked, hell no...take ss take medicare, take medicaid and give it all to my rich friends is not the christian way orin. look at what the republican party is doing to our earth, drill baby drill. burn more coal. blast more mountain tops. all for the almighty dollar. screw the planet, cut down the old growth trees, poison the water, make the air a toxic mix of gasses. i don't think jesus would be very happy with you orin, or any of your friends. get rid of this man. can we get a reasonable educated person from utah who really cares about these things?i don't know with that religion they have running that state it seems very far fetched.

    August 19, 2011 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  21. Clwyd

    But what is the "Wicked Witch of the West" saying behind his back? This woman quit her job as governor while on vacation and now has the nerve to criticize Obama for going on vacation when all of Congress is out. Bush had gone on vacation 3X as much to Crawford!

    August 19, 2011 10:45 am at 10:45 am |