Mitt Romney's campaign might soon find that snubbing Sarah Palin by not inviting her to speak at the Republican National Convention could come at a cost. Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) told Fox News on Wednesday night that the Tea Party favorite should have a major speaking slot in Tampa because "no one still in America" is capable of lighting up the conservative base quite like Palin.
"I'd love to see Sarah Palin have a big slot as far as speaking because there's no one still in America that I think excites the base of conservatives and even libertarians as she does," DeMint said in an interview with host Greta van Susteren. "She can draw a crowd more than any other Republican and, I think, has more influence in primaries than any other endorsement right now. So I think she'd be good."
DeMint also said he supports the idea of having new Republican voices who have "changed the face of the Senate" in prime speaking slots at the August convention. Among those he singled out were Sens. Marco Rubio (Fla.), Pat Toomey (Pa.) and Mike Lee (Utah).
DeMint isn't alone in calling for the former Alaska governor's presence at the convention; ex-presidential candidate Newt Gingrich made a similar comment about Palin earlier this week.
On Monday, Palin herself complained to Newsweek that she had not yet received an invitation to speak at or even attend the event and suggested she was facing "the consequences for calling out both sides of the aisle for spending too much money, putting us on the road to bankruptcy, and engaging in crony capitalism.”
“In accepting those consequences, one must remember this isn’t Sadie Hawkins, and you don’t invite yourself and a date to the big dance,” she said.
For Romney, who is already a divisive figure among the Tea Party movement, extending a speaking invitation to Palin could provide a much needed boost among the conservative base. On the other hand, Palin can be unpredictable and veer off script -- and, to date, she hasn't offered the presumptive Republican nominee her full endorsement.