Sarah Palin says Republican criticism of Romney's Bain record is fair

FILE - In this July 2, 2010 file photo provided by the Discovery Communications, Sarah Palin waits by her husband Todd's boat in Dillingham, Alaska as part of a documentary for the TLC channel. Alaska officials have dismissed a complaint against Palin alleging an ethics violation with her involvement in ?Sarah Palin?s Alaska? because the TLC docu-series took advantage of a state film production program she signed into law. (AP Photo/Discovery Communications, Gilles Mingasson, file) NO SALES Gilles Mingasson

Sarah Palin
Gilles Mingasson

Fox news analyst Sarah Palin said criticism of Mitt Romney's record as the head of Bain Capital by fellow Republicans is fair and the front-runner should provide proof to his clams that his tenure there helped created 100,000 jobs.

"Sometimes it gets rough and tumble as you try to hold these candidates accountable for what they are claiming," Palin said in an interview with Sean Hannity on Fox News Channel Wednesday.

Asked about attacks from Texas Gov. Rick Perry that Romney is a "vulture capitalist," the former Alaska governor said Perry is just holding his rival accountable.

"This isn't about a politician making huge profits in the private sector," Palin said, adding "I think what Governor Perry is getting at is that Governor Romney has claimed to have created 100,000 jobs at Bain and people are wanting to know is there proof of that claim?"

Romney is under fire from his rivals for his record running the investment firm for 15 years through 1999. Romney has claimed that he has helped to create about 100,000 jobs on net as a result of his time there, but the campaign has not said how they precisely came up with that figure.

Romney's rivals, including a group supporting former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, are running millions of dollars of advertising against Romney in South Carolina, which holds its primary January 21. The ads claim that Romney destroyed communities when Bain invested in companies that later shed workers and some even went bankrupt, a charge which had until recently been most often heard from Democrats, not fellow Republicans.

Palin said it is better for the Republicans to press Romney on these matters now, since President Obama and his re-election team are sure to use these lines of attack against Romney if he becomes the Republican nominee for president.

"They need to vet one another," Palin said of the Republicans hoping to get the nomination.

Gingrich, who has been one of the most vocal critics of Romney, on Wednesday said he is not able to speak rationally about his chief rival on the matter.

Gingrich's comment came after a voter in Spartanburg, South Carolina, told Gingrich that he believed the former House speaker has "missed the target on the way you're addressing Romney's weaknesses."

"I want to beg you to redirect and go after his obvious disingenuosness about his conservatism and lay off the corporatist versus the free market," said the voter.

Gingrich replied: "I agree - I agree with you." His spokesman later said the former speaker is not backing off attacks against Romney.

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    CBSNews.com Deputy Politics Editor Corbett B. Daly is based in Washington. He has worked at Reuters, Thomson Financial News and CBS MarketWatch.

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