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Republican establishment takes on Sarah Palin

Senior officials from former president Bush on down say she's not ready for the presidency, and some are questioning her recent decisions and pronouncements.

By Staff writer / November 6, 2010

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin rallies support for Republican Senate candidate and tea party favorite Joe Miller during a Miller campaign rally in Anchorage.

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Sarah Palin may have notched some political victories this past week, including a pretty good win-loss record among candidates she endorsed. But she’s also under fire for some of her recent decisions and pronouncements – in this case not from liberals, but from senior voices in her own party.

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Starting from the top, GOP critics of Palin reportedly include former president George W. Bush.

“The 43rd President has told friends the ex-Alaska governor isn't qualified to be President and criticizes Arizona Sen. John McCain for putting Palin on the 2008 GOP ticket and handing her a national platform,” New York Daily New Washington bureau chief Thomas DeFrank reported Friday.

"He thinks McCain ran a lousy campaign with an unqualified running mate and destroyed any chance of winning by picking Palin,” a Republican official “familiar with Bush’s thinking” told DeFrank.

Karl Rove, Bush’s political mastermind, had already questioned whether Palin had the “gravitas” to be president – or even the fortitude to withstand the rigors of a long, bruising campaign.

In recent days, two former Republican speechwriters have weighed in unfavorably on Palin as well.

Michael Gerson, a top aide in the Bush White House, says that in some ways Palin has become “a threat to the Republican future.”

Most recently, Gerson writes in his Washington Post column, that’s the result of her endorsement of Constitution Party gubernatorial candidate Tom Tancredo in Colorado. Tancredo, a former Republican congressman, is a divisive figure best known for his virulent, sometimes racist anti-immigrant pronouncements

“Her endorsement raises the question of whether Palin has any standards for her support other than anti-government rhetoric,” Gerson writes. “Either as a power broker or a candidate in the 2012 election, Palin's increasingly erratic political judgment should raise Republican concerns.”

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