As Mitt Romney's main Republican rivals back off from challenging the former governor on his record as head of private equity firm Bain Capital, former GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin backed up Gov. Rick Perry, who has doubled down on calling Romney a "vulture capitalist," saying the Texas Republican is just holding his rival accountable.
"Sometimes it gets rough-and-tumble as you try to hold these candidates accountable for what they are claiming," Palin told Fox News' Sean Hannity Wednesday.
Her defense of Perry strikes some as odd, especially given the advice of other conservatives who have warned Romney's rivals against attacking the GOP frontrunner's business record.
"If you were running a campaign, would that be your line against Gov. Romney?," Hannity asked. "Are they attacking the fundamentals of conservatism, which is we support capitalism?"
"I think what Gov. Perry is getting at is that Gov. Romney has claimed to have created 100,000 jobs at Bain and people are wanting to know, 'Is there proof of that claim and was it U.S. jobs created for U.S citizens?'"
"Own up to the claims being made," Palin added. "That's not negative campaigning, that's fair to get a candidate to be held accountable to what's being claimed especially when it comes to job creation."
Romney endured a firestorm of attacks this week concerning his 15-year tenure heading Bain Capital, during which he claims to have created 100,000 jobs. The campaign has yet to produce documentation supporting that number.