-- remember her? -- says she won't make an endorsement in the
race just yet. But it sounds like there's one candidate who could earn her support:
The former Alaska governor, who waited until October to announce she would not be a candidate in the 2012 race, told
that Gingrich has "been a bit more successful" than
in courting party activists.
"He has been engaged in that movement most recently in order for them to hear his solutions and there's been some forgiveness then on the part of
Patriots for some of the things in Gingrich's past," she said, according to an advanced transcript of the interview provided by the network. "Romney and others need to reach out and convince Tea Party Patriots and constitutional conservatives that he truly believes in smaller, smarter government."
Gingrich, she acknowledged, can't sell himself as an outsider. But she said that during his time in Washington "some of the things he's done have been good."
"He helped balance the budget under
. That is what we need today," she said.
Scott Conroy of Real Clear Politics
that Gingrich appeared to be best-positioned to win Palin's support, according to close advisors.
"They speak very favorably of Newt and what they see as his credentials as compared to [
and Romney," one member of her "inner circle" told the website.
As for an endorsement, she said that the Iowa caucuses are just "the beginning of the road" toward the GOP nomination. She also criticized Romney for not agreeing to participate in a Newsmax debate moderated by