Governor Sarah Palin appeared at the Iowa State Fair on Friday afternoon and was immediately mobbed by by supporters and media. Walking next to her husband Todd, Ms. Palin signed autographs and posed with her supporters as a swarm fair attendees moved slowly around her. I managed to talk briefly with the former Alaska Governor and Republican vice presidential candidate and asked for her thoughts on the GOP debate.
“The gloves were off. Newt called out the press,” she said, clearly indicating she was talking about the debate moderators. Former Speaker of the House and now Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich challenged Fox News moderators Chris Wallace and Brett Baier for asking what the former Georgia Congressman believed to be “gotcha questions.”: (transcript via Fox News)
NEWT GINGRICH, R-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I’d love to see the rest of tonight’s debate asking us about what we would do to lead an America whose president has failed to lead, instead of playing Mickey Mouse games!
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
CHRIS WALLACE, MODERATOR: Speaker Gingrich, if you think questions about your records are Mickey Mouse, I’m sorry. I think those are questions that a lot of people want to hear answers to, and you’re responsible for your record, sir.
GINGRICH: Well, if I get a rebuttal.
GINGRICH: I think that there’s too much attention paid by the press corps about the campaign minutiae and not enough paid by the press corps to the basic ideas that distinguish us from Barack Obama!
Governor Palin later reiterated her remarks about Mr. Gingrich with Fox News host Sean Hannity on Friday night telling him:
“The press is focusing unfortunately too often on superficial issues. We’re in a time of economic ill and things are happening in our country that don’t need to be happening that are so adversely affecting our small businesses…our farm families—the individual Americans who want the exceptionalism put back into our country and yet the media wants to focus on thing that really are superficial and Newt Gingrich called the press out on it and I was proud of him for doing it.”
Governor Palin also said that former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum did well but “was not given enough time” to get his points across. However, Ms. Palin, who told reporters later she will decide whether she will throw her hat into the 2012 presidential ring told me she was pleased with the performance of all the Republican candidates on the stage in Ames, Iowa.
“They all did great. They all had their strengths that were really shining last night, but there’s a lot more debates to come. I look forward to hearing more ideas expressed and debated,” she said.