Exclusive: Sarah Palin on 2012 Plans, Double Standards for Women

PHOTO ABC News Robin Roberts spends a day with Sarah Palin, in Wasilla, Alaska, Dec. 16, 2010.PlayMatt Hage for ABC News
WATCH Part 1: Palin for President?

Sarah Palin is surveying the lay of the land to consider whether to make a presidential run in 2012, she told "Good Morning America" co-anchor Robin Roberts in an exclusive interview, but she added that her decision is still "months down the road."

"It's a prayerful consideration because, obviously, the sacrifices that have to be made in order to put yourself forward in the name of public service is, it's brutal," she said in the interview at her home in Wasilla, Alaska.

"My consideration is for my family," she added, "whether this would be good or not good for the family, whether it would be good or not good for the debate and the discourse in this country, and just trying to get the lay of the land and see who else is out there who would be willing to make those sacrifices."

A recent ABC News/Washington Post poll shows that Palin's chances of winning are slim when pitted against President Obama. Fifty-nine percent of Americans polled flatly ruled out voting for Palin for president, compared to 43 percent who said there's no way they'd vote for Obama.

But Palin argued that it's too early to put too much weight into polling numbers.

"A poll number like that, it's like, 'Oh yeah, that doesn't look really pretty today,' but a primary is months and months in the process, and there are thankfully many debates," she said. "And if I were to participate in that contested primary -- you know, it -- I would be in it to win it."

CLICK HERE for photos of Palin taking Roberts on a snowmachine ride.

Palin took heat from the media as Sen. John McCain's vice presidential candidate in 2008 and she said there remains a double standard when it comes to women.

Incoming House Minority Leader John Boehner's recent crying spree has left many wondering whether a woman in his position would have gotten a pass had she unleashed her emotions in the same way.

"I don't know if a woman would be given a pass necessarily," the former governor said. "I respect John Boehner because he has worn his feelings on his sleeve on things that are so important to him ... and I give him that pass, too.

"But that's one of those things where a double standard certainly is applied," she added. "I'm sure if I got up there and did a speech and I started breaking down and cried about how important it is to me that our children and our grandchildren are provided great opportunities, I'm sure that I would be knocked a little bit for that.

"It makes us work that much harder and be that much tougher and more committed to the message and the mission at hand," she said.

Since the 2008 campaign, Palin said she has become much more guarded about what she says. But the fiery mother of five isn't backing down from the public eye.

She recently finished a whirlwind 10-day, 16-state tour to promote her new book, America by Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith and Flag," which hit bookshelves in November.

The debut episode of her new reality show "Sarah Palin's Alaska," became the most-watched series premiere in TLC history, attracting 5 million viewers.

But controversy continues to follow the former governor. She was blasted by animal rights groups for shooting a caribou on her hit show and, most recently, Hollywood director Aaron Sorkin expressed outrage at the episode, calling her a "phony pioneer girl" who killed a moose for political gain.

Palin said she was appalled by his comments.

"We eat, therefore we hunt -- and I am thankful that I get to feed my kids organic food," she said. "If they don't wear leather shoes and a belt and drive a car with leather seats and they eat no meat, then they have somethin' to say. And I can listen to them when they say, 'How dare you kill an animal to feed a family,' because they don't participate in that. And at least they're sincere about it.

"But I'd say 99 percent of the critics, you know, they're wearin' their leather belts and they're eatin' their hamburgers somewhere -- and they're gonna tell me that it's immoral or not the right thing to do to go out there and actually harvest that resource, that piece of protein myself?" she asked.

Sarah Palin Blasts Tax Cut Deal, Spending Bill

Though she holds no political office, Palin has become a formidable force in American politics. The former governor not only is a critic of the Obama administration, she's taken on Republicans when it comes to certain issues, like tax cuts.

"I think it's a lousy deal and we can do better for the American public," Palin told Roberts.

Palin argued that tax cuts should be extended permanently for all Americans and it's better to let the new Congress handle it than rush it through in the lame-duck session.

The "new Congress is seated the first week of January," she said, "and it is better to wait until they are seated and get a good deal for the American public than to accept what I think is a lousy deal, because it creates a temporary economy with even more uncertainty for businesses and it does increase taxes."

The former Alaska governor, however, praised Obama for "flip flopping" on his original promise not to extend tax cuts for those making more than $250,000 per year.

"I would say that it is a flip-flop in his position on taxes because he was so adamant about not allowing the tax cut extension to take place for job creators, and then all of a sudden one day he was fine with it," Palin told Roberts.

"He, you know, can term it compromise. I term it flip flop," she said. "I was thankful that he did, but it's still not good enough because our economy is ... at a breaking point and we are on a path towards insolvency if we do not start incentivizing businesses to start producing more in our own country."

The tax bill, which would extend Bush-era cuts for two years for all Americans, passed with a bipartisan majority in the Senate on Wednesday and is awaiting a final vote in the House, where it has been met with resistance by liberal Democrats.

Palin also blasted the Senate spending bill that contains nearly $8 billion worth of earmarks, personal pet projects, inserted both by Republicans and Democrats.

"You would think that the politicians in D.C. would have heard what the voters just said when they turned some things around in the midterm elections in November. But instead, they did fill up this bill with more pork," Palin said. "It's quite unfortunate, because we don't have the money. And we are gonna be beholden to foreign countries with this debt that we are incurring. And then we're handing the debt onto our children and our grandchildren, stealing opportunities from them, which I think is immoral."

Sarah Palin on Christmas, Family

Back in Alaska after a whirlwind, 16-state tour to promote her book, the Palin family already has begun Christmas preparations.

"We go over to Mom and Dad's the night before. And we go to a candlelight service at a local church, where literally we're all standing there with candles, which is very, very special," Palin said of her family's Christmas tradition.

"And we sing the hymns and Christmas carols," she added. "And then the next morning, all the siblings, we're all at our own houses 'cause Santa Claus comes at night. He doesn't come Christmas Eve. He comes at night. Have a big boisterous time as individual families. And then we all get together probably at this house, because we'll have the skating rink plowed."

For the mother of five, family and close friends play an important role in a political career that has been filled with ups and downs since she first came on the national stage two years ago, and that's the message in her new memoir that she wants to convey.

"Life's experiences, you know, I don't wanna believe that it's knocked the oomph out of us in some respects. But life's experiences, especially on a political scene, it toughens ya up," she told Roberts. "At the end of the day, realize it is family and it is a close network of friends that you can truly count on. They've got your back. They're the loyalists."