ByBrian Montopoli, CBS News
After declining to tell a CNN reporter who she voted for in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, Sarah PalinÂ told Fox Business Network Tuesday eveningthat she had cast a ballot for Newt Gingrich at her caucus site in Wasilla, Alaska.
“I have appreciated what he has stood for, stood boldly for,” she said. “He has been the underdog in many of these primary races and these caucuses and I’ve respected what he has stood for…my preference tonight was for the cheerful one.” (Gingrich chose “cheerful” when asked to describe himself in one word at a recent presidential debate.)
Palin said her husband Todd, who accompanied her to the caucus site, declined to vote because he is an independent.Â Todd Palin has previously endorsed Gingrich.
Gingrich overwhelmingly won his home state of Georgia on Tuesday, but did not win any other state, and appears to have lost out to Rick Santorum in the battle to become the consensus alternative to frontrunner Mitt Romney.
Palin also said in the interview that while she will support Romney if he is the nominee, “To be brutally honest…he’s not garnering a lot of that enthusiasm right now” because Republicans are worried he is only winning because he has more money than his rivals.
Stopped after voting by a CNN reporter earlier in the day, Palin would say only that she wanted “to see the process continue.”
“I do believe that competition makes all of our candidates better,” she told the cable network. “Remember, there are five men running for president, and I think Barack Obama is the worst choice, is the last choice. So the four in front of him, as they duke it out in the arena of ideas and solutions to propose, the more of that, the better.”
The former Alaska governor and 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee also declined to rule out a presidential run in 2016, first telling CNN that “anything in this life, in this world is possible.”
“Anything is possible for an American,” she told CNN. “And I don’t discount any idea or plan that at this point isn’t in my control.”
Pressed on whether she would seriously consider a run, she said she would “seriously consider whatever I can do to help our country to put things back on the right track.”
“Anything that I can do to help, I will be willing to help,” said Palin. Later, when asked if she would enter the 2012 race if there is a contested Republican presidential convention, she replied: “As I say, anything is possible.”
“And I don’t close any doors that perhaps would be open out there,” she said. “So, no, I wouldn’t close that door. And my plan is to be at that convention.”
Asked about the controversy surrounding Rush Limbaugh and his criticism of law student Sandra Fluke for her push for greater access to contraception, Palin said it is “the definition of hypocrisy is for Rush Limbaugh to have been called out, forced to apologize and retract what it is that he said in exercising his First Amendment rights.”
Palin went to argue that the same standard is not applied “to the leftist radicals who say such horrible things about the handicapped, about women, about the defenseless.”
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