Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, straining to inject herself into the 2012 Republican primary, accused Newt Gingrich's critics of imitating the former communist dictator of the Soviet Union, Joseph Stalin.
Palin, in a post on her Facebook page that was emailed to reporters by an aide, defended Gingrich against those who said this week that he criticized Ronald Reagan, siding decisively with Gingrich against Romney in the debate this week over who was a Reagan supporter.
"Newt actually came at Reagan’s administration 'from the right' to remind Americans that freer markets and tougher national defense would win our future," Palin wrote, seeking to explain comments by Gingrich in the 1980s that were critical of Reagan's foreign policy, particularly his approach to the Soviet Union.
Gingrich's comments were highlighted in a much-cited article by Elliott Abrams, an assistant secretary of state under Reagan, in the National Review. Gingrich was also hit with critical columns from a number of other conservatives.
Palin took issue with the way Gingrich's relationship with Reagan was characterized.
"This week a few handpicked and selectively edited comments which Newt made during his 40-year career were used to claim that Newt was somehow anti-Reagan and isn’t conservative enough to go against the accepted moderate in the primary race," she wrote. "What we saw with this ridiculous opposition dump on Newt was nothing short of Stalin-esque rewriting of history. It was Alinsky tactics at their worst."
Palin said the episode illustrated a larger dynamic of "the GOP establishment vs. the Tea Party grassroots and independent Americans who are sick of the politics of personal destruction used now by both parties’ operatives with a complicit media egging it on."