Time‘s Mark Halperin created the latest Sarah Palin-related controversy yesterday when he published a column quoting unnamed Mitt Romney aids blasting Sarah Palin as a lightweight. Now Romney himself has weighed in, defending Palin and attacking the unnamed sources as “Anonymous numbskulls.”
According to Halperin’s report:
One adviser to Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, and, by traditional standards, the putative 2012 frontrunner, says of Palin, “She’s not a serious human being.” Another Romney intimate warns, “If she’s standing up there in a debate and the answers are more than 15 seconds long, she’s in trouble.”
Palin’s team soon fired back in the Politico. Yet this morning, Romney tried to put out the fire on his Twitter feed, writing:
TIME says unnamed advisors disparaged @SarahPalinUSA. Anonymous numbskulls. She’s proven her smarts; they’ve disproven theirs.
Last month, Romney had flattering things to say about Rudy Giuliani in a USA Today op-ed and I noted at the time that it appeared the former Massachusetts governor was trying to avoid a problem he had in 2008, which is that he was the most disliked candidate among his rivals, leading to an “everybody vs. Romney” dynamic by the time primaries rolled around. This is one of the factors that helped John McCain get nominated. Clearly he’s trying to win over — or at least diffuse tensions with — prominent Republicans.