Sarah Palin defends Newt against "cannibal" GOP

FILE - In this Feb. 24, 2008 file photo, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin speaks in Washington. The Alaska hair salon made famous for Sarah Palin's up-do is getting the reality show treatment in a two-part series to be aired in September on TLC. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File) Charles Dharapak

Sarah Palin
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin waves during a Tea Party Express rally Sept. 5, 2011, in Manchester, N.H.
Getty Images

Sarah Palin hasn't jumped into the GOP race, but in her latest Facebook post the former running mate of John McCain and Tea Party icon stated that Newt Gingrich is being kneecapped by the Republican establishment.

"We need a fair primary that is not prematurely cut short by the GOP establishment using Alinsky tactics to kneecap Governor Romney's chief rival," she wrote in her post titled "Cannibals in GOP Establishment Employ Tactics of the Left." 

The "Alinksy tactics" refer to Gingrich's the works of Saul Alinsky, a community organizer famous for his 1971 book "Rules for Radicals: A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals." In his victory speech following his win in the South Carolina primary, Gingrich described the centerpiece of his campaign as American exceptionalism versus the radicalism of Saul Alinsky, who is a proxy for President Obama in Gingrich's campaigning.

The Washington Examiner's Philip Klein contends that Gingrich is a practitioner of Alinsky's rules.

"... if any candidate is using Saul Alinsky's playbook in this campaign, it's Gingrich himself."

"In his seminal 1971 work, "Rules for Radicals," left-wing community organizer Alinsky laid out his method for instigating change. Many of the tactics he spoke about -- such as exploiting resentment and pitting oneself against the establishment -- have become a central part of Gingrich's strategy for securing the Republican presidential nomination."

Palin sets up the battle for the Republican party as one between the GOP establishment and the "Tea Party grassroots and independent Americans who are sick of the politics of personal destruction used now by both parties' operatives with a complicit media egging it on."  

Palin recognizes a kindred spirit in Gingrich.

"I am sadly too familiar with these tactics because they were used against the GOP ticket in 2008. The left seeks to single someone out and destroy his or her record and reputation and family using the media as a channel to dump handpicked and half-baked campaign opposition research on the public. The difference in 2008 was that I was largely unknown to the American public, so they had no way of differentiating between the lies and the truth. All of it came at them at once as "facts" about me," she wrote.

In her role as a Fox News commentator, Palin said: "Look at Newt Gingrich, what's going on with him via the establishment's attacks. They're trying to crucify this man and rewrite history and rewrite what it is that he has stood for all these years."

Among the Republican establishment, former Kansas senator and GOP presidential candidate Bob Dole gave blunt critique of Gingrich. In a letter issued by the Romney campaign, the 88-year-old Dole wrote that Gingrich as the nominee would "have an adverse impact on Republican candidates running for county, state and federal offices."

More than 70 House and Senate members have endorsed Romney, but only a handful have sided with Gingrich. Republican New York Rep. Peter King labeled Gingrich "too erratic and "too self-centered." New Jersey Governor and Mitt Romney surrogate Chris Christie has called Gingrich an "embarrassment" to the Republican party.

In a recent campaign stop in Florida, Gingrich said, "I think the Washington establishment is going fight me every steps to the nomination. And I think they are going to say whatever they have to say."

Earlier this month, the former Alaska governor said she would vote for the former House Speaker in the South Carolina primary if she could, though she stopped short of a full endorsement. In the wake of that comment, Gringrich told CNN that he would ask Palin to take a major role in his administration if he is elected president.

"Certainly, she's one of the people I'd call on for advice," Gingrich told CNN's Wolf Blitzer. "I would ask her to consider taking a major role in the next administration if I'm president, but nothing has been discussed of any kind. And it wouldn't be appropriate to discuss it at this time."

  • Dan Farber On Twitter»

    Dan has more than 20 years of journalism experience. He has served as editor in chief of CBSNews.com, CNET News, ZDNet, PC Week, and MacWeek.

Comments

CBSN Live

pop-out
Live Video

Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.