Sarah Palin Praises Newt Gingrich, Goes After Rick Perry

In one of Sarah Palin’s first appearances since announcing her decision not to enter the GOP primary, she praised Newt Gingrich, declaring him the winner of Tuesday night’s CNN debate in Las Vegas while also criticizing Texas Gov. Rick Perry. Palin said on Fox News’ “On the Record with Greta van Susteren” that the former Speaker would “clobber Barack Obama in any debate,” but that he probably won’t end up being the nominee although “he’s seen it all” when it comes to politics.

“I think we [Republicans] are more interested in substance and that’s why like tonight Newt Gingrich again I think did the best because he seems to be above a lot of the bickering that goes on,” Palin told Susteren, comparing the fighting rivals to her bickering children. “I don’t know if he’s going to be the one that surfaces as the fortunate candidate who gets to face Barack Obama because unfortunately, in this day and age, sometimes conventional wisdom would dictate that he who has the most money, the campaign dollars, wins. I don’t want to believe that this is going to be the case this go-around.”

She also praised Michele Bachmann for pledging not to stop aid to Israel, but went hard after one time friend Rick Perry saying he is seen as someone who is “incentivizing” illegal immigration.

“By providing in state tuition for those who are not residents of his state, because the illegal immigrants who are there — they are not even obviously — not residents of America legally much less the state of Texas,” Palin said. “It sounds like Rick Perry is having a heck of a time trying to explain his position on illegal immigration when he has incentivized some to be able to really grasp a benefit that the majority of Americans would never be able to take an advantage of: in state tuition in the state of Texas.”

Palin told Susteren she was hoping the candidates would go into more detail about their economic plans, adding that even after the eighth debate “we are still looking for that candidate that will rise to the top and be the frontrunner.”

She also gave some advice to the debate moderators saying she hopes in future debates “they can press [the candidates] a little hard on detail” and “dig a little bit more.”