On “Hannity” last night, Newt Gingrich responded to the news that Todd Palin had endorsed him for president — and made a point to mention that Sarah Palin has said recently that “Mitt Romney is our weakest candidate.” But did Sarah Palin really say that?
Not exactly. On the Fox News show “Justice with Judge Jeanine” Saturday, Palin said she thinks the mainstream media wants Mitt Romney to be the nominee so as to enhance Barack Obama’s chances at reelection.
Palin said the mainstream media would take a hands-off approach to Romney “in order to bolster Romney’s chances” to “finally face Obama.”
According to Palin, the mainstream media and Obama would then portray Romney as someone who is out of touch with regular Americans in the general election.
“They are already gearing up to portray him, accurately or inaccurately … as being out of touch with the working class,” Palin said, noting that Romney’s wealth and perfect family may make it easy to paint him as someone “being a bit out of touch from working and middle class Americans and from the challenges we all face.”
How did that become Sarah Palin saying Mitt Romney is the weakest candidate? Simple: Rush Limbaugh referenced SP’s comments in connection with remarks from NBC/MSNBC’s Donna Brazile, who did say Democrats think Romney is the GOP’s “weakest candidate.” Here’s the transcript:
RUSH: There is a story on the Drudge Report today from Sarah Palin in which Sarah Palin says that the White House wants Mitt Romney to be the Republican nominee. Now, not only did I tell you that the Broncos were gonna beat the Steelers, for months I have been telling you that the Democrats want Romney — and you all know it. You’ve been listening here and you’ve heard people call me and tell me I don’t know what I’m talking about, that I’m full of it, that they’re scared of Romney. “Romney is the only guy who can win.” And I have said, “No,” and I’ve stood tough, and I’ve said, “They can’t wait for him. What’s Occupy Wall Street all about but running against Romney? He’s the Wall Street guy on our roster — and then Romneycare,” and I’ve laid it all out. So here comes Palin, she says it, and makes news — and Donna Brazile has said it. This is post-debate coverage on ABC Saturday night. George Stephanopoulos, Democrat Party hack disguised as the debate moderator on ABC, had this discussion with Jon Karl and Donna Brazile.
BRAZILE: Mitt Romney won tonight because no one touched him — and for Democrats, you know what? It was good news for us.
KARL: Why is that?
BRAZILE: Because we believe that the weakest candidate is the candidate that the Republicans are not attackin’, and that’s Mitt Romney.
So, it was Rush who connected the dots for Newt. Rush assumes Democrats would want Republicans to nominate their weakest candidate. Sarah Palin has said she thinks Democrats want the GOP to nominate Romney (and, lo and behold, per Brazile, they actually do!). Thus, Sarah Palin must think Romney is the GOP’s weakest candidates.
But that’s not actually airtight logic. Perhaps Sarah doesn’t think Democrats would want Republicans to nominate their weakest candidate. Maybe she just thinks Democrats think Mitt is the weakest, but she herself thinks she’s strong.
So, Newt technically said Sarah said something she didn’t exactly say. At this point, though, he’ll say whatever to weaken Romney. Still, Newt’s comment didn’t come out of nowhere; Palin has given the impression she thinks Romney is a weak enough candidate to be effectively discredited as a presidential potential by the MSM.
All of that aside, the bigger issue is: Are Sarah and Rush right? Was Donna Brazile speaking truth? Do Democrats want Romney because they’re confident Obama would destroy him in the general? And, if so, would any of the other candidates stand a better chance?
Update: This post originally incorrectly identified Donna Brazile as primarily affiliated with ABC, when she is, in fact, an NBC/MSNBC contributor. The post has been corrected above.