ST. PAUL—Republican conservatives will remain enthusiastic supporters of GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin despite her daughter's newly revealed personal problems, according to a prominent conservative activist.
Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, says many segments of the Republican right are energized by Palin's candidacy and that won't change despite Palin's public acknowledgement Monday that her unmarried 17-year-old daughter Bristol is pregnant, will keep the baby, and marry the father.
"It's an example of how pro-life they are—pro-marriage and pro-family," Norquist says. "This stuff happens and they [Palin and her husband] are not hypocrites... This will have the effect of reinforcing her support."
Norquist says Palin, the staunchly conservative governor of Alaska, has quickly become very popular not only among anti-abortion activists but also among other key groups in the conservative movement, including gun enthusiasts, supporters of domestic energy development, those who want government to more aggressively fight corruption, conservatives who like the idea of a Washington outsider doing battle with inside-the Beltway elites, and those who favor smaller government.
And Palin has displayed the toughness, likeability, and savvy to do well in her scheduled debate with Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Biden this fall, Norquist says.