Politics

Sarah Palin on Christie, GOP: 'No Ronald Reagan on the scene today'

Nov. 11, 2013 at 9:01 AM ET

Video: Former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin tells Matt Lauer about her new book, issues with Obamacare, and what the Republican party needs to do to reach voters.

Sarah Palin had harsh words for Obamacare on Monday — and the GOP's chances in 2016 didn't fare much better in her opinion. 

“I would never put my faith and hope in any one individual politician,’’ Palin said after Matt Lauer asked her about New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a favorite in the field, on TODAY. “Not any of them. There is no Ronald Reagan on the scene today. If he were on the scene, that’s who I would put my faith in. 

"New Jersey, a blue state, has a Republican governor. Right on; it beats the alternative.”

Christie, who was re-elected governor by a large margin last week, got a vote of support for 2016 from former presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Meet the Press, who said that Christie could save the Republican party.

Last week in an interview, Christie called the federal government shutdown engineered by Republican Senator Ted Cruz and members of the Tea Party “a monumental failure.” 

“When you stand in the middle of the road, you’re going to get hit on both sides of the road,’’ Palin said. “We need to take a stand, especially on this Obamacare, and support those who are just fulfilling their campaign promises. So many politicians ran for reelection and for election saying they would do anything in their power to de-fund the state of socialized medicine program called Obamacare. Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, some of these guys were actually fulfilling their campaign promises and they ask for debate. That’s why they stood up. They took the stand, (and) fought for us to debate the issue of Obamacare.”

The former Alaska governor and Republican vice presidential candidate is back in the spotlight with a recent speech in Iowa and a national tour supporting her new book, “Good Tidings and Great Joy: Protecting the heart of Christmas” (read an excerpt here).

Lauer asked Palin about President Barack Obama’s apology at the end of last week after it was discovered that five percent of Americans can't keep their existing policies because they don't meet the standards of the new healthcare law.

“What apology?’’ Palin said. “He kind of acknowledged a bit that there’s a broken website. The broken website is the least of America’s worries. This broken website I think is symbolic of a broken administration. Take over one-sixth of our economy and the socialized medicine that’s being crammed down our throat, that’s what’s broken.

“Where do you get this five percent?’’ she said. “It’s not five percent. It’s most Americans will not be able to keep the healthcare policy and programs that they had desired. The new programs that are being forced down our throat are unaffordable. Some of them are still being told, ‘Well if you like that insurance policy and that coverage, you still will be able to keep it, it’s just going to cost you a little bit more.’ That’s the point. If it’s going to cost you more, then it’s not the same policy.”

Lauer asked Palin about the Tea Party’s alternative. 

“The plan is to allow those things that had been proposed over many years to reform a healthcare system in America that certainly does need more help so that there’s more competition, there’s less tort reform threat, there’s less trajectory of the cost increases,’’ Palin said. “Those plans have been proposed over and over again, and what thwarts those plans is the far left. It’s President Obama and his supporters who will not allow the Republicans to usher in free market, patient-centered, doctor-patient-relationship links to reform healthcare.”

Palin was coy about any of her own future political aspirations, including a possible run for the Senate out of Alaska. In her book, she writes about a saying posted on her kitchen cabinet that reads, “Do today what others won’t, so you can do tomorrow what others want.”

“Sometimes you do have to make sacrifices today in order to progress those around you to create a better environment for all, so making sacrifices today, perhaps doing what you don’t necessarily really, really want to do today, but it pays off in the end,’’ she said. “I don’t know if that necessarily applies to political office though, because people can make a difference without a title, without an office, and we’re proving that.”

In her new book, Palin steers away from politics to write about the Christmas holiday. She believes Christmas is under assault from atheists and secular liberals.

“What I’m saying is, we need to protect the heart of Christmas and not let an angry atheist armed with an attorney, a Scrooge, tell us that we can’t celebrate traditional faith in America,’’ she said. “We have a constitutionally-protected right to celebrate faith, and Christmas is a part of that.” 

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