In it, but not of it. TPM DC

GOPers Defend Palin After Story Of Plan To Quash Her '12 Run

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Tim Pawlenty bypassed the lamestream media with his message, expressing his support for Palin on Twitter.

"Politico story is way off. Palin deserves great credit for all her work on GOP's behalf," Pawlenty tweeted.

Mitt Romney expressed a similar sentiment in more than 140 characters on Laura Ingraham's radio show today.

"The story is nonsense. Because first of all I know Sarah Palin pretty well, and if she wants to run there's not going to be any Washington elites stopping her," Romney said, according to The Hill.

"She would be a great thing for the Republican primary process," Romney also said. "It'd be a good thing for her to get in."

RNC Chairman Michael Steele went school yard, saying that Palin's anonymous critics should "shut up."

"These Republican leaders who don't put their names in print but make comments in shadows need to shut up," Steele said on American Morning

"If she goes through the process and the Republican primary voters vote for her, absolutely I would be happy," said Steele. "Why wouldn't I be?"

Rudy Giuliani made a plea for party unity.

"I worked for Ronald Reagan, you know the 11th Commandment was don't criticize another Republican," Guiliani said on "Fox and Friends" (h/t HuffPo). "Let's not start this presidential race before this election is over. And let's not go through the negativity we went through in the last one where Republicans attacked the heck out of each other. We've got a bigger mission here. Sarah Palin has every right to make her case to the Republican Party. How about we let the Republicans decide -- not the so-called leaders -- whether she's qualified or not?"

Late Update: Since we published this post, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R) appeared on MSNBC's Hardball and added his voice to those defending Palin's right to run.

"The idea that there is some cabal of some boys' club -- I mean, I would know if the boys' club was out meeting," Barbour said. "The idea that they're trying to keep Sarah Palin from running for governor [sic] is foreign to me. If that's true, I'm not aware of it. Sarah's got a big following in our party and in our country. If she would run there would be a lot of people that would support her. I don't know whether she's going to run, but she ought to decide. And I'm sure over the next year or so she'll decide. But I don't buy this idea that there are a bunch of people, secretly, who are trying to keep her from running."

About The Author

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Eric Lach is a reporter for TPM. From 2010 to 2011, he was a news writer in charge of the website?s front page. He has previously written for The Daily, NewYorker.com, GlobalPost and other publications. He can be reached at ericl@talkingpointsmemo.com