Sarah Palin Tells GOP ‘Don’t Retreat’, Other Potential 2012 Presidential Candidates Disagree

Apr 8, 2011 7:33pm

ABC News' Michael Falcone reports:

As the deadline to avoid a government shutdown approached Friday night, Sarah Palin pushed Republican Congressional leaders one more time to hold their ground.

"GOP: don't retreat! The country is going broke. We can't AFFORD cowboy poetry & subsidizing abortion," Palin tweeted. "If we can't fight to defund this nonsense now when we have the chance, do you think we'll win the big fight on entitlement reform later on?"

Palin referred to an issue that both sides involved in the ongoing negotiations on Capitol Hill agree has been a major sticking point — the debate over providing federal funding to the family planning group, Planned Parenthood.

The former Alaska governor and potential 2012 presidential candidate also took a thinly-veiled shot at Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., who complained on the Senate floor last month that Republicans were unfairly targeting valuable cultural programs in their quest to trim the federal budget.

"It eliminates the National Endowment of the Humanities, National Endowment of the Arts," said of a GOP-backed spending bill last month. "These programs create jobs. The National Endowment of the Humanities is the reason we have in northern Nevada every January a cowboy poetry festival. Had that program not been around, the tens of thousands of people who come there every year would not exist.”

Earlier today Palin posted a more than 800-word Facebook message, critizing President Obama for threatening to veto a one-week continuing resolution proposal that would have funded the Department of Defense for the rest of the fiscal year.

"Why would the Commander in Chief declare that he will veto this?" Palin wrote. "Why would he play politics at the expense of our troops who are putting everything on the line to protect us?" 

Notably, some of Palin’s fellow possible 2012 presidential contenders appeared to be at odds with her Friday evening tweet, counseling GOP leaders on Capitol Hill that it’s time to cut a deal.

“I am ready for a big fight that will change the arc of history,” Rep. Michelle Bachmann, R-Minn., wrote on Twitter this afternoon. “The current fight in Washington is not that fight.”

In an extended post on the conservative blog Red State, Bachmann wrote:

"Don’t get me wrong, cuts in spending are a move in the right direction. House Republicans have brought about a change from the spending binge of the last two years. But it’s time to face the facts. This is the 'small ball' battle that House leadership has chosen to engage. The current battle has devolved to an agenda that is almost too limited to warrant the kind of fighting that we’re now seeing in Washington. Democrats only want to cut $33 billion of spending, while some reports say Republicans might settle for $40 billion. Either way, it’s not enough. We should be playing 'big ball.' We should be fighting over trillions, not billions. We should be defunding ObamaCare, but we’re not."

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee had this to say in an interview on Fox Business Network:

“Nobody’s more pro-life than me. Nobody. But as much as I want to see Planned Parenthood defunded, as much as I want to see N.P.R lose their funding, the reality is the president and the Senate are never going to go along with that. So win the deal you can win and live to fight another day.”

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who led Republicans during the 1995-1996 government shutdowns, told reporters after a speech at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va on Friday:

"I think there are a lot of people who are tired, and really focused on trying to figure if they can avoid having a shut down. … But they also realize that there are principles involved and they can't — I think on the Republican side it would be very, very hard to accept anything less than significant, very significant cuts in spending.”

"If they can't find some way to work their way through this, they have much bigger problems coming down the road,” Gingrich added.

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