Romney Says Palin Would Be "Great" As A 2012 GOP Candidate
"I believe she is an extraordinarily powerful and effective voice in our party, that she has generated a great deal of support and attention, that she'd be great in a primary process," he said on CNN's "Piers Morgan Tonight." "She'd bring attention to the process, and frankly, the more people we have on the stage in those debates talking about different ideas and different approaches, the better."
Romney did not give specifics on his plans for 2012 but said his wife believes he should run.
"[S]he's absolutely committed," he said. "I'm not sure she knows whether I can win or lose, but I know she feels that somebody of my experience is needed in the country at a time like this."
Earlier Tuesday on "The View," Romney skirted the issue of 2012.
When asked by the show's conservative host Elisabeth Hasselbeck how he would do things differently in 2012, he said, "I don't have a strategy at this stage as to what I would do if I get in this again, but I do know that it's really important to make sure that your message is clear and that people understand why you're running and the purpose of your campaign."
He went on to say his answering too many questions was what derailed his 2008 presidential bid.
"The challenge that you have coming from the private sector as I did is when someone asks you a question, you answer it…the challenge I had last time was I answered every question, and sometimes, you need to say: you know, let me quickly answer that question and then get on to what's really important," he said.
On GOP12, The Hill's blog for news on prospective 2012 Republican candidates, Christian Heinze writes, "That line doesn't really pass the smell test for any politician, much less one who's been saddled with the flip-flopper label. It's the political equivalent of an interviewee saying his weakness is that he 'works too hard.'"
Regardless of his own intentions, this is not the first time Romney has voiced support for "Palin 2012."
Just one day before the November 2010 midterm elections, Romney said, "She would be a great thing for the Republican primary process. It'd be a good thing for her to get in."
He dispelled any stories that prominent members of the GOP might be trying to squash Palin's presidential hopes.
"The story is nonsense," Romney said on Laura Ingraham's radio show on Nov. 1. " Because first of all I know Sarah Palin pretty well, and if she wants to run there's not going to be any Washington elites stopping her."
But Palin has her critics among GOP insiders.
Former Bush administration official Peter Wehner said, "Virtually every time Ms. Palin speaks out, she reinforces some of the worst impressions or deepest concerns many of us have about her. If she were to become the voice and representative of the GOP and the modern conservatism movement, both would suffer a massive rejection."
Though she's yet to confirm any future plans, Palin hinted at a 2012 presidential bid Saturday night when speaking at the Safari Club International's annual convention.
The Daily Beast reports:
After some boilerplate comments about how "local government is the most responsive and responsible to the will of the people" she paused for a moment and stared out across the ballroom. And then came this: "that's why I think every president should have a run at gaining experience by being a councilmember, a mayor, a governor, a VP candidate, a commercial fisherman, a hockey mom." As the attendees cheered, Palin made a halfhearted attempt to quiet them down. "No, I'm kidding," she said, beaming. "I try to be funny some times. I'm kidding."
But she may have an uphill battle with the public.
A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Jan. 19 shows 56 percent of all Americans have an unfavorable view of Sarah Palin--up seven points from just before the November midterm elections. This 56 percent is a record high in disapproval ratings for the former Alaska governor and 2008 vice presidential candidate.
There's good news for Democrats in the polling world, though.
The survey showed Obama leading potential rivals Mike Huckabee and Romney by five points each in hypothetical 2012 matchups.
A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Dec. 28 also shows Sarah Palin slipping in the public eye when it comes to the Republican Party's 2012 nomination.
Forty-nine percent of Republicans said they would support Palin--"a huge 18-point drop since December of 2008, when two-thirds of GOPers said they were likely to support Palin," CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said.
So if Romney has plans of his own for 2012, why support Palin?