While discussing the current field of GOP presidential candidates and whether Mitt Romney is going to have to start attacking Rick Perry or not now that Perry is ahead of him in recent polling, Chris Wallace turned the discussion to Sarah Palin's speech at a "tea party" event in Iowa this Saturday and asks if she's going to enter the primary race or not.
Ed Gillespie doesn't pretend to know what she's going to do, but does love the attack she made on "crony capitalism" during her speech, that is as long as those attacks are aimed at President Obama and not Texas Gov. Rick Perry. Chris Wallace points out it's pretty obvious that Perry is the one Palin was referring to during that speech, but praises Gillespie for how "very skillful" he was in managing to turn the conversation "into a screed against Barack Obama."
Naturally Bloody Bill Kristol agreed with Gillespie that the attacks won't stick with Perry because any of his abuses can just be chalked up to trying to be a good governor and create jobs. So par for the course at Fox, no matter what the topic, it's always bad for Democrats and good for the Republican Party.
Here's the article from The Washington Post that they would have preferred not to talk about during this segment -- Rick Perry’s donors fare well, Texas-style.
Transcript via Fox below the fold.
WALLACE: Let me talk about one other person, and that is Sarah Palin, who once again showed up in Iowa this week, Ed, spoke in a Tea Party event. Here's a taste of what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PALIN: This is why we must remember that the challenge is not simply to replace Obama in 2012, but the real challenge is, who and what we will replace him with, because it's not enough --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Any idea what Sarah Palin is up to?
GILLESPIE: I don't know what the former governor is going to decide. She will be a factor, I think, whether she gets in or whether she doesn't, as we just saw.
She's not a candidate right now, but clearly shaping the debate. And I have to say, the message that she talked about in Iowa, this crony capitalism, is, I think, an underutilized discussion point and critique for Republicans. The fact is, Barack Obama is moving our economy away from an economy where what you know matters to who you know matters more. And we look at the --
WALLACE: But wait. That's a criticism that's been leveled at Rick Perry, too, that he did that in Texas. And, in fact, there's a story in one of the papers today shows all of his big contributors and what they got.
GILLESPIE: Well, look, you know, every governor's job is to try to bring jobs into their state. I'm talking with President Obama, when you look at, for example, the health care waivers for the mandates, 1,700 of them have been granted. We have no idea how they were granted or what were the conditions of those grant, but we know that 50 percent of them went to union employees, when they're only seven percent of the private sector workforce.
When you Cylinder story about this solar panel company that went bankrupt --
WALLACE: This is --
GILLESPIE: -- a $535 million loan guarantee we're on the hook for as taxpayers. And one of the biggest beneficiaries of that is one of his biggest donors. The fact that they're still talking about this rule where, if you're going to get a federal contract, you have to tell us who you gave money to, whether it was the National Right to Life Committee or Center for American Progress.
We just would like to know before we give this contract. She is on to something here that I think the party needs to pick up on.
WALLACE: You see, that's why Ed Gillespie is so good, because he turned that into a screed against Barack Obama. That was very well done.
GILLESPIE: My point is her message is resonant in --
WALLACE: I'm not saying you were wrong.
GILLESPIE: -- and will shape the debate.
WALLACE: I just said it was very skillful. OK. We've got about 30 seconds left. Bill Kristol, you're one of the people who got Sarah Palin on the national stage. Any idea what she is up to? I mean, is she running? Does she want to shape the debate? Does she just like attention?
KRISTOL: No idea. But crony capitalism is the right message, I think, for the Republican Party. And frankly, Ed can't (ph) say this. It has to be a criticism of the Obama administration and also a criticism of the Bush administration.
WALLACE: And Rick Perry?
KRISTOL: Well, Rick Perry could be attacked on those grounds, but he could also say, you know what? I was a good governor of Texas, we had job growth, I'm not going to do it the way Bush or Obama did it.
WALLACE: Thank you, panel. See you next week.