Appearing on Fox News’ “On The Record” with Greta Van Susteren Tuesday night, Gov. Palin refused to gloat about the fact that she endorsed Sarah Steelman — not the embattled Todd Akin — in the Missouri primary race for the U.S. Senate:
Though she said she didn’t want to gloat over it, the GOP’s 2008 vice presidential candidate told Van Susteren that “Sarah Steelman is the right person” to represent the Show Me State in the Senate. “I’m going to continue to support her,” Gov. Palin declared. She pointed out that Claire McCaskill, the Democrat incumbent in the race, “worked hard” to to draw Akin as her general election opponent. “I recognized that,” the former Alaska governor added, explaining why she chose to endorse Steelman instead of Akin.
Akin, Gov. Palin stated, should know “when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em.” Asked by Van Susteren what she was suggesting, Palin answered, “I’m suggesting he get out” of the race. “We will do what we can to have a conservative win in Missouri,” she said, emphasizing that McCaskill’s seat is winnable for the GOP and is the key for Republicans to get control of the Senate.
Palin even said that she could get behind Steelman in a third-party challenge. It’s not clear whether a candidate who has been defeated in a party’s primary is allowed to run third party in a Missouri general election. Such a effort may be prevented by state law. Nevertheless, Gov. Palin left no doubt that she is willing to support a conservative candidate — someone like Steelman, if it is not Steelman — in a third party run for the Senate in Missouri.
Akin, who has until September 25 to petition to withdraw from the race, “has to, in a sense, take one for the team,” Mama Grizzly said. She even used the phrase “bless his heart” when discussing the defiant candidate — her way of saying she is neither amused nor approving.