Sarah Palin has some advice for the GOP candidates regarding Donald Trump's debate: do it. In an interview to air Wednesday at 10pm ET on FOX Business Network, she talked about the upsides of the debate, which Mitt Romney, Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman have decided not to attend:
"I think candidates should not be afraid in front of the nation no matter who the host of the debate is. What is a bit appealing about this idea of Trump hosting a debate is, consider the diverse audience that perhaps he can attract. It's important that independents and those who are not obsessed with inside-baseball partisan politics, which is most of us, we'd like to hear more of the message of each one of these candidates and perhaps Donald Trump will be able to attract a diverse demographic that maybe has not been as interested in this horse race thus far. America needs to wake up to what is going on under Obama's socialist policies and how he will bankrupt the country. I'm looking at the debate as a positive thing because of that fact."
The Dec. 27 debate has only two confirmed attendees, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich, who has criticized his opponents for being 'afraid' of Trump. On Wednesday Trump reacted to Romney's rejection.
"I'm surprised that Mitt Romney said 'no,'" Trump told MSNBC. Later he continued, "Frankly, I'm surprised because he really wants my endorsement. I mean, he wants it very badly."
Palin told FOX that she too thinks Romney is wrong to skip the debate. "I think Romney could and should still change his mind and Huntsman too and jump in there and participate," she said. And if she was running for president, she would absolutely be there.
"I would have because as an independent who is proud to be registered in the Republican party but not so obsessed with partisan power that I would let partisanship get in the way of doing what's right for the people," Palin said. "Coming from that world, the real world, the working class world that is not so engrossed in partisan inside baseball politics every day, I know that a diverse audience and more people being engaged in this process is going to be key to the GOP being able to take back what Obama has done to this country."
Palin's remarks stand in contrast to those of Karl Rove, who has repeatedly condemned Trump's debate as a damaging publicity stunt.
"This is not a newsman, this is not somebody who's gonna sit down and meticulously prepare for this like a Bret Baier would do or some of these other anchors would do," Rove said. "This is a guy who is an active actor in this. He's already indicated he's leaning toward endorsing somebody, you know he could do a lot of damage to somebody and I suspect it's not gonna be to the candidate that he's leaning towards."
HuffPost Politics brings you the top political stories three days a week. Learn more