Huffpost Politics

Sarah Palin Speaks Out On 2012, Birthers & 'Death Panels' Charge

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SARAH PALIN INTERVIEW

Sarah Palin says she is still thinking about running for president in 2012, but has not made up her mind.

In an hour-long interview in front of a New York business group, Palin said the hiring of a chief of staff last week for her political action committee was an attempt to better organize her life.

The former Alaska governor suggested there's "no one" more qualified to handle the demands of the presidency than "a woman, a mom," according to Politico.

She demurred when asked about former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani's comments that he might be inclined to run if she does. She called him awesome but didn't elaborate.

The former vice presidential candidate and potential presidential hopeful appeared before 1,000 business and civic leaders Thursday on New York's Long Island.

Palin forecast an unpredictable presidential election season that will be heavy on social media.

During the appearance in front of the mainstream press, she also took the opportunity to criticize the budget proposal introduced by President Barack Obama last week.

She charged that the plan wouldn't "even make a dent" in the deficit and stressed, "It's not nearly enough."

Jeff Zeleny at the New York Times notes other topics addressed by Palin include "death panels" -- a widely-debunked idea the conservative favorite once warned could result from health care reform -- as well as the conspiracy theory that the president was born outside the United States.

Palin said the landmark health care bill Obama signed into law last year gave her heartburn. She also defended her much-criticized claim that the law would lead to federal "death panels" determining who would receive care.

She said: "My question was, who are these faceless bureaucrats on a panel who will decide? Will it be my baby with Down syndrome, who maybe somebody may judge him as not having that level of productivity somebody else may have. So maybe if rationed care is part of this, maybe he wouldn't receive the care."

Palin also noted the recent increases in the price of food and mocked Michelle Obama to make her point. The first lady is encouraging mothers to breast feed their infants as part of her campaign to reduce childhood obesity - an effort that has drawn scorn from some conservatives.

"No wonder Michelle Obama is telling everybody you better breast feed your babies," Palin said. "I'm looking and say, 'Yeah, you better because the price of milk is so high right now.'"

As for the birther matter, Zeleny wrote in a tweet, "@SarahPalinUSA says questions about Obama citizenship unneeded. 'It's distracting. It gets annoying. Let's stick with what really matters.'"

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