Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin urged Republicans multiple times on Saturday to vote for Newt Gingrich, but did not offer a formal endorsement.
She told Fox News that the fact that the GOP establishment is opposing Gingrich is proof that he isn't part of it, despite his decades as congressman, tenure as Speaker of the House and subsequent consulting work in Washington. "Well look at the players in the establishment who are fighting so hard against him," she said. "They want to crucify him because he has tapped into that average everyday American Tea Party grassroots movement that has said 'enough is enough of the establishment.'"
"I say, you know, you gotta rage against the machine at this point in order to defend our republic and save what is good and secure and prosperous about our nation," she continued. "We need somebody who is engaged in sudden and relentless reform and isn't afraid to shake it up. Shake up that establishment. So, if for no other reason, to rage against the machine. Vote for Newt, annoy a liberal. Vote Newt. Keep this vetting process going, keep the debate going."
(Video above via YouTube.)
Steve Kornacki of Salon noted that Palin's rallying cry was reminiscent of a bumper sticker favored by George H.W. Bush during his 1992 re-election campaign: "Annoy the Media: Re-elect Bush."
While other members of the conservative media have attacked Gingrich in recent days, Palin has gone to bat for the candidate.
Her husband, Todd Palin, has outright endorsed Gingrich, and Ms. Palin said she respected his decision.
Over the weekend, Ms. Palin also compared Gingrich's critics to Joseph Stalin. "What we saw with this ridiculous opposition dump on Newt was nothing short of Stalin-esque rewriting of history. It was Alinsky tactics at their worse," she wrote on her Facebook page.
Despite Palin's pleas, Gingrich is going into Tuesday's Florida primary for a loss, perhaps a landslide. Six new polls released Sunday and Monday showed Mitt Romney with a lead ranging from six to twenty points.