NEW YORK – On Monday, former Alaska governor and failed vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin told “Today” co-host Matt Lauer that, in her view, moderate Republicans should join the far-right Tea Party or risk electoral defeat. Palin—who receives the bulk of her support from self-identified Tea Partiers—predicted that “middle of the road” candidates would “get hit from both sides of the road,” a comment that most observers assumed Palin meant metaphorically.
But yesterday, in a video posted to FoxNews.com, Palin made clear that she was speaking literally when she warned that moderate Republicans might be run down and killed by a moving vehicle. “I knew exactly what I was saying, and I meant every word of it to be taken truthful,” Palin explained. “Republicans have two choices: join the Tea Party, or get hit by a bus.”
“More specifically, my tour bus,” Palin continued, “which will be driven by me, Mike Lee and Teddy Cruz.”
Palin—who was recently criticized by Steve Schmidt, a strategist for the 2008 McCain campaign, for supporting what he called the Tea Party “Freak Show”—explained that she, along with senators Lee (R-Utah) and Cruz (R-Texas) will soon begin a coast-to-coast “mission of party purification”—which will involve traveling the country to spread the “Tea Party word”—and said that they will be “eliminating unpatriotic, moderate Republicans along the way.”
“We had the bus outfitted with special shocks specifically for the trip through New Jersey,” Palin said. “It’s going to take a heavy-duty rig to take out Governor Christie.”
Palin said that she “normally doesn’t condone vehicular homicide,” but expressed fear that if Republicans don’t move further to the right before the next presidential election, the GOP may have to wait more than a decade before reclaiming the White House.
“If we nominate a flimsy-flamsy, flippity-floppy pseudo-conservative, the Democrats will win again, and millions will be killed by Big Government,” Palin predicted. “A few dead fake Republicans is more than worth it.”
Palin’s position—that the Republican party must become “more principled” by moving further to the right—has become an increasingly popular one within the conservative movement generally and the Tea Party in particular, even as some worry such a strategy might destroy the GOP. But Palin expressed confidence that only a Tea Party candidate can beat a strong Democratic nominee like Hillary Clinton.
“It’s our duty as patriots to make sure we have a solid candidate,” Palin said. “As far as the weak ones go—I’d advise them to avoid crosswalks from now on.”