Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint are two powerful conservative voices in Republican politics, but they seem to be coming at the race for the Republican presidential nomination from totally different angles.
Jim DeMint took to the airwaves on The Laura Ingraham Show to warn former House Speaker Newt Gingrich -- and all of the other presidential candidates -- to tone down their campaign rhetoric in the Palmetto State.
“I would encourage all of the candidates, ‘let’s just be as positive as we can.’ I know they’re frustrated if people run negative ads,” DeMint said. One of the Tea Party’s favorite Senators, DeMint has not endorsed a candidate for President.
In contrast, Governor Palin vigorously cast aside the notion that infighting is harmful to the overriding objective of defeating Barack Obama. Palin, speaking on Fox News’ Sean Hannity Show, said the Republican presidential candidates “need to vet one another.” The former Alaska governor also seemed to take aim at fellow former governor Mitt Romney by saying the candidates should be held accountable for their records and then zeroing in on Romney’s claims to have created 100,000 jobs.
“You hear backup and facts, and information supporting the claims, say, for job creation, that’s been the talk the last couple of days — claims made in these campaigns — and sometimes it gets rough and tumble as you try to hold these candidates accountable for what they’re claiming,” Palin said. Although Sarah Palin’s popular husband Todd has endorsed former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, the former Alaska Governor has yet to make an endorsement.
This is one of the few areas we might be inclined to disagree with Jim DeMint and to agree with Mitt Romney. As Romney said when Newt Gingrich complained about the negative ads run against him in Iowa, "If you can't handle the heat in this little kitchen, the heat that's going to come from Obama's hell's kitchen is going to be a heck of a lot hotter. We have to show that we as a Republican Party and as a candidate, that we can stand up to the barrage that's going to come from the Obama world.” With Gingrich starting to rebound in the polls (now that he has begun to attack Romney), we will soon see if Romney can handle the heat.