Monday night with Greta Van Susteren "On The Record," Sarah Palin completely exploded the notion, advanced by John Fund and other pundits, that she would endorse Rick Perry for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination. Commenting on the CNN/Tea Party Express debate, Gov. Palin praised Rep. Michelle Bachmann on calling Gov. Perry out for crony capitalism over his executive order mandating the Gardasil vaccine for young girls in Texas. Gov. Palin said that among the tens of thousands of her emails released from her time as Alaska's governor, are her instructions to that state's health department that her administration would not mandate such vaccines be given to teenage girls. She pointed to the situation whereby Perry's former chief of staff went to work for pharmaceutical giant Merck, maker of the Gardasil vaccine, which stood to make millions from the Perry mandate, saying, "That's crony capitalism."
The former GOP vice presidential candidate also gave kudos to Newt Gingrich for making a case for eliminating government waste. She said she was "getting a kick out of" watching the candidates bring up the same issues in debates just days after she had talked about them in her speeches. Overall, however, Gov. Palin's verdict was that the candidates performed well, and she restated her opinion than any of them would be a big improvement over President Obama. The night's big winner, in Sarah Palin's opinion, was the Tea Party, which she said received validation from a major news network by virtue of CNN's partnering with the grassroots movement for the debate.