Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin has tried as best she can to remain diplomatic when it comes to assessing the state of the 2012 primary race. Her skepticism of Mitt Romney has been evident throughout, but it's always couched with strained excuses as to why voters should back Newt Gingrich -- usually, the excuse being that voters should vote to keep the primary going.
That changed slightly on Sunday morning when the 2008 vice presidential candidate took some legitimate swipes at the GOP frontrunner.
"I trust that his idea of conservatism is evolving and I base this on a pretty moderate past he has had, even in some cases a liberal past," Palin told Fox News Sunday. "He agreed with mandating on a state level what his constituents needed to be provided, needed to purchase in the way of health care and Romneycare, which of course was the precursor to Obamneycare."
Palin then went on to correct herself, calling it "Obamacare" before deciding that she should "coin" the term "Obamneycare," though Tim Pawlenty actually has the rights to that one.
"I am not convinced [of Romney's conservatism] and I don’t think that the majority of GOP and independent voters are convinced, and that is why you don’t see Romney get over that hump," Palin continued. "He is still in the thirty-percentile mark when it comes to approval and primary wins and caucus wins. He still hasn't risen above that yet because we are not convinced... He has spent millions and millions and millions of dollars and hasn't risen yet."
Romney's difficulties with the conservative base are fairly well documented -- and often overstated. And while Palin's comments on Sunday don't help the cause, it would have been a lot more damaging had they come a year or so ago, when more GOP voters took their cues from her.