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Will Sarah Palin speak at GOP convention?

  • Author: Laurel Andrews
  • Updated: September 27, 2016
  • Published July 17, 2012

Sarah Palin still hasn't received an invitation to speak at the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., and tea partiers aren't happy.

Palin, who in March polled more popular than any GOP presidential candidate, has vexed Mitt Romney since his candidacy began. She stole the media show by appearing in New Hampshire on the same day that Romney formally announced his candidacy for president, brushing it off as "coincidence." Although her on-air rhetoric is supportive of Romney's campaign, there's been no official endorsement.

And the latest Palin-related offense? John McCain told Politico on Tuesday that Palin was a "better candidate" than Romney as a vice presidential pick in the 2008 race.

If Palin has one trait that permeates her politics, it's gusto. Meanwhile, Romney has had trouble invigorating the GOP's populist grassroots. Romney said in February that he didn't want to "light my hair on fire to try to get support" of tea party activists. On Fox News last week, Palin responded, "Well, there are a lot of his base supporters, independents, who are saying 'well light our hair on fire then.'"

Many GOP members agree. Jenny Beth Martin, head of the Tea Party Patriots, told The Daily Beast, "Romney's just not a fighter. That's why it would be good for him to have someone like Palin speaking at the convention. He needs to do something to rile up his base, to make them enthusiastic. And I don't mean just the Tea Party...I live in the second-most-Republican county in the state of Georgia, and the folks around here are not enthusiastic about him."

Could Palin's "rogue" tactics be why she's apparently been snubbed by the GOP convention? The Daily Beast reports she drew her own conclusions on the matter in an email to Newsweek. "I'm sure I'm not the only one accepting consequences for calling out both sides of the aisle for spending too much money, putting us on the road to bankruptcy, and engaging in crony capitalism," she wrote.

Still, she's keeping her calendar open for the Tampa convention dates, just in case Romney has a change of heart.

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