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Sarah Palin teases third party formation

Sarah Palin might be able to offer a haven for conservatives with a "libertarian streak" frustrated as the Republican mainstream inches further and further away from tea party "planks," the former Alaska governor-turned-VP nominee-turned talking head indicated Monday night.

During a Fox News appearance, Palin answered a Twitter question from a viewer about whether she'd be open to creating a "Freedom Party" with conservative radio host Mark Levin if the Republican Party "continues to ignore conservatives." Seeming keen on the suggestion, Palin said emphatically: "I love the name of that party, the 'Freedom Party.'"

"If the GOP continues to back away from the planks in our platform, from the principles that built this party of Lincoln and of Reagan, then yeah," she said of the idea. "More and more of us are gonna start saying, 'You know, what's wrong with being an independent?' Kind of, with that libertarian streak much of us have. In other words, we want government to back off and not infringe upon our rights.

"I think there will be a lot of us who start saying, 'GOP, if you abandon us, what-we have nowhere else to go except to become more independent and not enlisted in one or the other of the private majority parties that rule in our nation," Palin continued. "Remember, these are private parties, and no one forces us to be enlisted in either party."

Palin's recently rekindled relationship with Fox News marks a new window from her Wasilla, Alaska, home to the public. Having made a career of her electric, if gaffe-prone, grassroots speaking style, the 2008 vice presidential nominee had retreated largely from public view, spending the first night of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., last fall serving baked beans at an Arizona barbecue dive.

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