Sarah Palin: 'If I Were a South Carolinian, I Would Vote for Newt'

When Gov. Sarah Palin appeared on Sean Hannity’s television program, Hannity, last night, she discussed the recent GOP debate and the fast approaching South Carolina primary. Concerning the debate she had strong praise for Gov. Rick Perry, whom she described as “on fire” and “a true patriot.” She also spoke of how well she thought Rick Santorum did in taking it to Mitt Romney: of how Santorum “had an opponent up on the ropes,” which is “what you have to do to get to the truth.” But she reserved her highest praise for Speaker Newt Gingrich, whom she believed won the debate in South Carolina.

Said Palin:

Newt came out, just like South Carolina’s own Smokin’ Joe Frazier, he came out swinging, talking about work, talking about jobs and work ethic, and how government needs to get out of the way in order for all Americans to have a sense of opportunity to work, and I think that’s what a lot of voters have been craving.

The clip of Newt that played just before Palin said these things was of him pointing toward of the horizon during the debate and saying:

I believe every American of every background has been endowed by their Creator with the right to pursue happiness, and if that makes liberals unhappy, I’m going to continue to find ways to help poor people learn how to get a job, learn to get a better job and learn some day to own the job.

After Palin had praised Newt in this fashion, Hannity asked her if she was ready to endorse a candidate. And while she didn’t yet give an endorsement for the race in general, she did say, “I can tell you what I would do if I were a South Carolinian….I would vote for Newt.” She went on to say that one of the reasons she’d do this is to be sure the vetting process continues for the candidates, inasmuch as the “mistake made in our country four years ago was having a candidate who was not vetted.”

The mantra the Gingrich campaign should be pumping out to the media is clear: “Palin says she’d vote for Newt in South Carolina.”