Bristol Palin's contention that former boyfriend Levi Johnston "stole" her virginity is no attempt to bash him for their first sexual encounter, she said on "Good Morning America" today.
"I'm not accusing Levi of date rape or rape at all," Palin said on "GMA." "But I'm just looking back with the adult eyes I now have and just thinking, 'That was a foolish decision.'"
"Absolutely. I think she's awesome," Palin, 20, said. "I think she's smart. I think she would be awesome for our country."
Palin, the oldest daughter of former Alaska governor and potential presidential candidate Sarah Palin, would take a lesson from the 2008 campaign, however, in which she describes her family as being "thrown under the campaign bus" by GOP running mate Sen. John McCain of Arizona.
"I think they could have stuck up for our family more," Palin said of the former presidential candidate's campaign team. "Because they never really did."
Palin is revealing much in a new memoir, "Not Afraid of Life: My Journey So Far," writing candidly about everything from the McCain family to her sexual relationship with Johnston, her child's father.
In the book, released Friday, Palin writes that she "had a sneaking suspicion I might need to watch my back," after first meeting the McCain family, and describes Cindy McCain, the senator's wife, as looking "like a queen" and holding "herself like royalty."
Palin writes that she was shocked when the senator's wife offered to be a godmother to her unborn baby: "I had just met her and I wondered why she wanted any type of guardianship over my child," she wrote.
But Palin saves her most biting words in the book for Johnston, the father of that unborn child, her now 2-year-old son Tripp.
Johnston was Palin's high school boyfriend who, she writes in the book, "stole" her virginity on a camping trip while Palin was drunk on wine coolers.
Palin's experience as a young, unwed teen mother led her to become a spokewoman for abstinence, making hundreds of thousands of dollars lecturing to young adults about abstinence, and come under fire from critics questioning whether she was the right person to spread that message to young girls.
"I hate the word 'abstinence,'" Palin told "GMA" in response to critics. "I'm not an abstinence teacher."
Palin might not want to be held up high, but she does hope that, through her book, young girls and women can use the lessons she learned the hard way to protect themselves in their own lives.
"I hope that other women with jerk boyfriends can read the book and be like, 'You know what? I don't have to be with this guy,'" she said.
"And I think parents can read the book and open up a dialogue to their kids."
Palin writes in her memoir she and Johnston soon became intimate again after their first encounter, and she got pregnant with their son shortly after. She writes that she was taking birth control pills at the time to treat menstrual cramps; she went through eight home pregnancy tests before she was convinced of the positive results.
"I talk about in the book how I was on birth control," she said. "Abstinence is the only way that you're going to prevent teenage pregnancy. But, if you're going to have sex, practice safe sex, very safe sex."