Sarah Palin Critiques GOP Candidates, Stays Vague on 2012 Post Debate

Sarah Palin is still not ready to reveal whether she’ll get into the presidential race, and though she’s said in the past that she’s happy with the current Republican field, following tonight’s debate, she voiced a dissatisfaction with the current crop of GOP contenders.

“They haven’t tackled debt and deficit spending to the degree that they should, so they don’t have a record to stand on,” Palin said of the GOP candidates on Greta Van Susteren’s Fox News show, immediately following the Republican presidential debate in Tampa, Fla., Palin is a paid contributor for Fox News.

Despite her misgivings, Palin stood up for one candidate: Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, who during the debate criticized Texas Gov. Rick Perry for allowing a state law that required HPV vaccinations for adolescent girls. According to Bachmann, Perry supported the legislation because one of his top staffers was a lobbyist for Merck, the drug company that manufactured the vaccine. Merck also donated to Perry’s gubernatorial campaign.

“I knew there was something to it,” Palin said about discovering that Perry had approved the use of the vaccine. “Now we’re finding that now, yeah, something was up with that issue. It was an illustration or bit of evidence of some crony capitalism.”

As for her own plans for 2012, Palin told Susteren she’s “engaged internally” on whether to get in the race. She added that she doesn’t see a “drop dead” timeline to her entry — previously, the former Alaska governor said that she’d announce her 2012 decision by the end of September.