After a long and sharply contested GOP primary battle, many Republicans, conservatives and tea-party types have been left questioning whether they can, in good conscience, vote for Mitt Romney in November.
Romney’s statements as a former advocate of legalized abortion, his hotly contested record on same-sex marriage and his health-care reforms while governor of Massachusetts – sometimes maligned as “Romneycare” – have left conservatives uncertain if the presumptive Republican nominee is really one of their own.
Tea-party darling and former GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, however, is basically dismissing the concerns, telling Fox News Channel’s Shannon Bream that Romney has the Republican Party’s conservative base in the bag.
On “America’s News Headquarters” over the weekend, host Bream asked Palin if Romney’s choice of Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., as running mate would help persuade those “not completely sold” on the name at the top of the GOP ticket.
“A lot of maybe Tea Party patriots have understood, wisely, that they’ve had no choice,” Palin answered. “Of course they’re going to go with anybody but Obama, and now, yes, I believe that there will be a strengthening, more enthusiasm, because [of] this ticket.”
When asked how Romney needs to “coalesce” his message to communicate with voters, Palin doubled down on the notion that the GOP base is secured.
“It’s all about the independents, Shannon,” Palin said. “We don’t have to just keep on preaching to the choir, there, of the hardcore base of fiscal conservatives within the Republican Party – we got ’em; Romney’s got ’em. We’ve got to reach the independents.”
According to the latest polling data from Rasmussen Reports, however, Palin’s claims may be more predictive of voting in November than descriptive of the current divide within the Republican Party.
Rasmussen’s most recent poll on the question of voter enthusiasm found that only 16 percent of Republicans believe Romney and Obama are the best two options to be running for president, only 35 percent will affirm excitement about the match-up and a sobering 46 percent of all voters believe they “will simply be voting for the lesser of two evils this November.”
Nonetheless, according to the most recent Gallup polls, 90 percent of Republicans say they would vote for Romney if the election was today, and 92 percent of those who voted for GOP candidate John McCain in 2008 say they plan to vote for Romney in 2012.
When asked if she would endorse and stump for the presumptive GOP ticket, Palin responded, “Oh, 100 percent in support; I’m all in for Romney and Ryan.”
Bream’s interview with Palin can be seen below: