Foolishly, professional political observers such as Wayne Slater and others in the media have taken former Alaska Governor’s Sarah Palin’s comments in recent interviews as verification that she would endorse Texas Govenor Rick Perry.
On Monday, on FOX News’ “On The Record,” Palin refudiated this notion by directly tying Perry to the culture of crony capitalism that she has repeatedly said has plagued the permanent political class, which has to be fought or, according to Palin, “we are not going to get to the root of our economic problems.”
Palin then praised Michele Bachmann for pointing out the crony capitalism behind Perry’s executive order mandating the HPV vaccine. She said that Bachmann rightfully pointed out that Perry’s chief of staff went to work for the drug company that made the drug, and Perry then mandated that “young daughters would be inoculated against [HPV] by a drug made by his former chief of staff.”
Palin said, “that’s crony capitalism.”
“Alaska was not going to mandate immunizations for our teenage daughters,” Palin said. She then said that the executive order was fishy because it was it was something that was uncharacteristic of Perry, on its face, and that there had to be “something to it.”
“Something was up [with Perry’s executive order],” Palin said, and that “something” was an “illustration of some crony capitalism.”
Palin then cited over 25,000 e-mails from her tenure as governor of Alaska that reporters dug through recently, and said that those e-mails reflected her mentality that government should “stay out of lives of family decisions” such as vaccinations.
Palin said that true reform, “fighting against crony capitalism within your own party,” is difficult because “you have to go up against the big guns and they will try to destroy you.”
“I have the bumps and the bruises to prove that,” Palin said, referring to her record of reform as governor of Alaska and taking on entrenched political interests on both sides of the aisle. “[Fighting crony capitalism] is what I have been doing for the last twenty years.
Palin said at the local and state level and on the vice presidential trail, she has called out corruption in government.
According to Palin, because of the “favors and back door dealings” that lead to crony capitalism, “we the people have a great distrust of our federal government,” and that the system cannot be reformed if people are too afraid to call one another out on their records.
When asked who won the Tea Party debate, Paiin said that the Tea Party movement was the winner.
Palin also said she got a “kick” out of candidates taking up issues that she first brought up, such as the nexus between crony capitalism and big government that has ruined the nation’s body politic.
Palin said that perhaps her role “right now” (though she left out what her role may be in the future) was to “get people talking about the issues that the American people deserve to hear discussed.”
As Stacy Drake, at Conservatives4Palin, wrote, candidates such as Bachmann have seized on the many of the issues and themes Palin has spoken about and adopted them as part of their campaigns and messages.
Palin also praised former House Speaker Newt Gingrich for talking about government waste and accused other candidates for not talking about waste beause “they have been participants” in the “going along to get along” permanent political class culture that does not tacke “debt and deficit and waste and fraud,” and that is why voters must look “beyond words” and focus on “deeds and records.
Palin’s comments about candidates not taking on government waste and tackling the debt as aggresively as they should have could also have been another instance, as she has done repeatedly in the past weeks, in which she is contrasting her record of reform in Alaska with that of Perry’s in Texas.
It should not have taken Palin’s blunt words on Monday to convince people that a Perry endorsement was nowhere near imminent.
On Friday, on an appearance with Megyn Kelly of FOX News, Palin was played comments of Perry on the stump where Perry spoke about how a candidate’s record mattered more than one’s rhetoric. Of note: Palin praised Perry’s comments and not Perry for Palin would most likely argue her record of reform is better than Perry’s in Texas.
Those comments, according to Palin, were “right on.”
Second, during the same interview, in reference to the NBC/POLITICO debate at the Reagan library, Palin said that “political street smarts” were not on display by candidates, and that she “appreciated” people “getting into the arena and bloodying themselves.”
She said that the lineup of candidates would change in the near future and attacked President Obama for throwing seniors under the bus and threatening seniors by saying their checks may not be mailed out. Implicit in this was Palin’s strategy of linking what she may have viewed as Perry’s threatening rhetoric on social security with Obama’s, much in the same way, should she enter the race, she would frame both as being associated with the permanent political and crony capitalistic class that prevents real reform and change from being realized.
Here is Palin’s interview with Megan Kelly last Friday.