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Sarah Palin sees elitism behind GOP swipes aimed at her

As speculation over a potential presidential run by Sarah Palin grows more intense, the former vice presidential nominee of the Republican Party lately finds herself dealing with a surprising case of friendly fire.

In the latest example, Palin is spinning a perceived slight by former First Lady Barbara Bush as another example of “elites” taking sides against her.

In an interview with CNN’s Larry King, Bush was asked about her view of the former Alaska governor.

“I sat next to her once, thought she was beautiful, and I think she’s very happy in Alaska. And I hope she’ll stay there,” she said.

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Conservative radio host Laura Ingraham played that sound bite as she welcomed Palin on her show. Ingraham said she feared “elites” were attempting to preemptively disqualify, or “knee-cap,” potential Republican candidates.

Asked for her view, Palin said they “don’t understand competition is good,” and that it was wrong to “shoot internally.”

“I think the majority of Americans don’t want to put up with the bluebloods -- and I say it will all due respect because I love the Bushes – but the bluebloods who want to pick and chose their winners instead of allowing competition,” Palin said, reacting to Bush’s comment specifically. “I don’t know if that kind of stuff is planned out, but it is what it is.”

As the comment surfaced on Twitter, a Palin associate pushed back against the notion she was playing class warfare.

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“She also said, ‘no offense’ to the Bushes. They are in fact the definition of bluebloods,” Rebecca Mansour tweeted.

In her radio interview, Ingraham played a clip from another Republican, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who seemed to scoff at the idea of a Palin presidency.

Asked in an interview with “Late Night” host Jimmy Fallon if Palin could win, Christie laughs as he says, “Who knows, Jimmy. It’s an amazing world.”

“Hopefully what he’s saying is this is an amazing country where anybody’s work ethic and character can be judged appropriately,” Palin said in response.

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Palin is promoting her new book, “America By Heart,” released Tuesday. That has only ratcheted up the already frenzied speculation among political insiders about Palin’s future.

In an interview with Barbara Walters last week, Palin said she felt she could defeat President Obama in 2012 if she were nominated. Walters, in a new interview with Obama, asked him what he thought.

“You know, I don’t speculate on what’s going to happen two years from now,” he said.

“You will not tell me that you think you could beat Sarah Palin?” Walters asked.

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“What I’m saying is, I don’t think about Sarah Palin,” Obama said with a smile.

mmemoli@tribune.com

twitter.com/mikememoli


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