Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R), who has positioned herself as a voice for the populist wing of the GOP, defended some conservatives’ attacks on Mitt Romney and called on the presidential candidate to provide proof that his former company, Bain Capital, created 100,000 jobs as Romney dubiously claims. Palin told Fox News host Sean Hannity last night that attacks on Romney’s time at Bain from rivals like Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich are entirely fair, because the front-runner must be “held accountable”:
PALIN: I think what governor Perry is getting at is that governor Romney has claimed to have created 100,000 jobs at Bain and people are wanting to know, is there proof of that claim? And was it U.S. jobs created for United States citizens. … You know, own up to the claims that are being made. And that’s fair. That’s not negative campaigning. That’s fair to get a candidate to be held accountable to what’s being claimed. [...]
Nobody should be surprised that things about Bain Capital and maybe tax returns not being released yet and records not being as transparently provided to the public as voters deserve to see right now — don’t be surprised that that’s all coming out today, cause it would come out as an October surprise [by Democrats] had these GOP candidates candidates not brought them out today.
A number of conservatives have come to Romney’s defense on the Bain attacks and accused Gingrich and Perry of employing left-wing attacks — Rush Limbaugh even compared Gingirch Fidel Castro — so Palin’s stance should provide the GOP candidates some cover.