Sarah Palin's Vague Debt Threat

If House Republicans don't something she wants, she'll support primary challengers

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This afternoon Sarah Palin issued a vague threat to freshman Republicans just ahead of the House vote on a bill to reduce the deficit and raise the debt ceiling. Does Palin want Republicans to vote it down? She wouldn't say precisely. On her Facebook page, Palin cited quotations from a 2010 letter she issued to Republicans reminding them that they "campaigned on a promise to rein in out-of-control government spending... promises that you must keep." She punctuated her reminder with an ominous post script: "P.S. Everyone I talk to still believes in contested primaries."

So does that mean she's threatening to run hard-right candidates against Republicans who vote for the bill supported by House Speaker Boehner in the next election? A number of conservative Republicans were upset that the GOP's Cut Cap and Balance bill was abandoned. But those left puzzling over her Facebook postings were just as confused as we are.

Sheila Marikar at ABC News writes:

That could be a threat -- suggesting that she won’t support members of Congress who vote to raise the debt ceiling – or a reference to her 2012 aspirations.

CNN's political unit:

Palin, who is considering a bid for the White House in 2012, has said raising the debt ceiling is inevitable, but that Republicans "better get something out of it." She has also been a proponent of the "Cut, Cap, and Balance" pledge passed through the Republican-controlled House and failed in the Senate.

But Jim Geraghty at National Review has it all figured out: "If she were any clearer, they would have woken up with horse’s heads in their beds this morning." For Geraghty, it's clear she's asking them to vote against the Boehner bill. Giving Boehner a little support, he justifies the speaker's position.

Of course, in the eyes of John Boehner and his allies, his plan is the best remaining option to stick to the principles that propelled their campaigns, rein in out-of-control government spending, and so on. And it’s not like Boehner’s plan is generating much pats on the back from “the Left in the media.”

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.