Sarah Palin, in a pre-recorded interview to air on Fox Business Network tonight, says Chris Christie made a "rookie mistake" by calling Newt Gingrich an "embarassment" to the party, adding that the New Jersey governor got his "panties in a wad" when his favored candidate, Mitt Romney, lost the South Carolina primary.
“I do care to take him to task -- poor Chris," Palin said in an interview to air tonight at 10 p.m. eastern time on Fox Business. "This was a rookie mistake. He played right into the media’s hands. Here’s a host that asked Chris, ‘Does Newt embarrass the party.’ I think he asked him twice, and there Chris played right into it and spewed that about Newt embarrassing the party. Sometimes if your candidate loses in just one step along this path, as was the case when Romney lost to Newt the other night and of course, Romney is Chris Christie’s guy, you kind of get your panties in a wad and you may say things that you regret later. And I think that that’s what Chris Christie did."
Christie made the comments about Gingrich in an interview on NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday.
More excerpts from the interview below:
On New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie calling Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich an "an embarrassment" to the Republican Party:
“I do care to take him to task -- poor Chris. This was a rookie mistake. He played right into the media’s hands. Here’s a host that asked Chris, ‘Does Newt embarrass the party.’ I think he asked him twice, and there Chris played right into it and spewed that about Newt embarrassing the party. Sometimes if your candidate loses in just one step along this path, as was the case when Romney lost to Newt the other night and of course, Romney is Chris Christie’s guy, you kind of get your panties in a wad and you may say things that you regret later. And I think that that’s what Chris Christie did. His response to what the media was asking him was reflective of a lack of self-discipline. I’ve learned my lessons all along the way, too, and not responding, not playing into the media’s hands when they’re trying to get you to say something like is this candidate an embarrassment to your party?”
On if Christie was tricked into calling Gingrich an “embarrassment”:
“I think if Chris were asked about some of his past actions, taking a state helicopter to his kid’s baseball game, some people may say, well, that sort of embarrassed your party, Chris. And he would then be on the receiving end of a comment that maybe he wished that somebody kept as an inside thought and not blasting that to the rest of the nation. He’s been in office a year or two is all, and he’ll learn that the media goad you. They want you to say things like that in order to boost ratings and make it more of a reality show-type scenario that we’re watching in the GOP primary. And a comment like that just kind of played right on into that narrative.”
On how Democrats will use Christie’s comment against Gingrich:
“He just produced an ad for the Democrats. If Newt is the nominee, he just handed them free this negative PR ad that they’re going to incorporate into their negative scenario against somebody who came out there against HillaryCare back in his day, who came out balancing budgets, working with a Democrat governor, who came out cutting taxes and trying to rein in government growth in order to put the country on the right track back then, and has intentions of doing that today.”
On if she thinks Mitt Romney should release his tax returns:
“I just want an even playing field. I’m kind of perplexed that the media isn’t goading, say, Rick Santorum to release his. I think he may be a millionaire, and yet he trusts himself to do his own taxes, and they’re on his computer at home, and nobody’s asking him to release them, or Ron Paul, you know, he got to dismiss the tax issue the other night. If they’re going to goad Mitt Romney, let’s play fair.”
On if she will jump into the presidential race:
“No. We’ve got candidates in the GOP field that are going to be able to do the job for us. We need to be united. We can’t be spewing things about each one of these candidates just because maybe personally we have a bur under the saddle against one or two of the candidates and feed right into the Democrats’ hands and spew this rhetoric that is so completely negative and completely hurtful to what the cause is. The cause is to contrast the GOP candidates, the entire field at this point, with what it is that Barack Obama and the White House supports and reflects and really stands for. We’re going to make sure that we have the cream of the crop, rise to the top in order to contrast and take on Barack Obama.”