[Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.]
Sarah Palin thinks it's all the media's fault that there has been so much intraparty squabbling among Republican candidates so far -- because they just want to make the GOP look bad.
So of course, this then gave her leeway last night on Greta Van Susteren's Fox show to launch into a nasty bit of payback directed at Newt Gingrich, who back in January warned Palin to "be more careful" with her words. From Lexis/Nexis:
PALIN: I think the principles in the Republican Party are sound. The planks in our platform are great. The idiosyncrasies of some of the characters within the party are -- you know, they are what they are. And the mainstream media really likes to capitalize on some infighting and some mistakes made within the party so they exacerbate it and make it sound worse than it is. But the planks and the platform are right for America.Of course, if the media report this little kick in the nuts to Gingrich, it'll be their fault that voters might think there's some infighting going on over there in Republicanville.
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, isn't it our job, though, in the media to challenge the candidates, maybe put them in -- I'm not talking about being personal, but I mean, really grill them on some of the things they say about policies, even perhaps even the missteps or at least what is later called a misstep because sometimes those are the true intentions or the true views and someone after 24 hours has sort of rethought it after getting some heat.
PALIN: Absolutely. That is the media's appropriate role in holding an official or a potential candidate -- holding their feet to the fire, not playing the personal gotchas, but making sure that the record is clear regarding what it is that they say or the content, the context of what it is that they're saying. Yes, that's the media's role. If the media doesn't play that role, then they're not a cornerstone of the democracy that we would like to believe that they are.
VAN SUSTEREN: Do you think that the challenge that -- in the last 24, 36 hours, or 48 hours, there's been a challenge -- Speaker Gingrich for what he said about Congressman Paul Ryan's bill in terms of dealing with entitlements -- do you think the challenge of him by the media and everyone going after him was right or wrong or someplace in between?
PALIN: Well, I think that the media -- that we all have a right to ask Speaker Gingrich, what in the heck did you mean that Paul Ryan's budget plan is radical or social engineering? No, what is radical is not proposing a plan to counter Obama's budget plan that has us on the road to bankruptcy.
What Paul Ryan's plan does -- not only does it tackle the Medicare problems that are -- we're going to face just smack-dab in our face very shortly and allow for a safety net to be provided our seniors with health care coverage down the road, but Paul Ryan's plan saves us $1.2 billion a day, as compared to Obama's big government overspending, debt-induced budget plan that he's rammed down our throats.
VAN SUSTEREN: Yes, I thought it was sort of interesting, though, in this sort of whole exchange, I thought to myself, If I were Senator Rick Santorum, I would send flowers to Speaker Gingrich because Senator Santorum making the remark about your former running mate, John McCain, something about him not understanding or knowing torture and what -- something -- some reference to that because that's a question -- you never get near Senator McCain (INAUDIBLE) because he does know torture more than anybody else. I thought that he sort of -- he was sort of unscathed as much as he could be, that the fuss over Speaker Gingrich overshadowed him.
PALIN: You know what I thought after the whole Newt Gingrich thing in these last 24 hours, Greta, was, Bless his heart and every other good ol' boy's heart that's in that political game there in the Beltway. They don't really know any more than the rest of us.
Greta, it was Newt Gingrich who told me in January of this year, Sarah Palin needs to slow down and really think through what it is that she has to say. Well, you know, he stumbles, too. We all stumble. We all have our strengths and our weaknesses.