Reporting from Honolulu
Sarah Palin says she's still "some months" away from a decision about whether to seek the presidency in 2012, and that she won't be deterred by polls showing that she may not be the Republican Party's best candidate to beat President Obama.
The former Alaska governor's comments about a White House run were not new, but the forum in which she discussed them was a departure. She spoke with ABC's Robin Roberts for a piece that aired Friday on "Good Morning America."
The interview covered a range of topics, including the tax debate, her TLC reality series and family life. But her political future was the hottest topic, and Palin told Roberts she continued to give a presidential campaign "prayerful consideration."
"You know, other folks can jump in, and that kind of helps you get that lay of the land. But my decision won't be made for some months still," she said.
In fact, no candidates have formally announced their candidacy, and Palin's plans will ultimately be a paramount consideration for lesser-known Republican hopefuls. She said she looked forward to a competitive primary process, whether or not she does run.
"If I were to participate in that contested primary, I would be in it to win it," she said.
Asked for her top criticism of Obama, the man Republicans ultimately hope to unseat, she said it was a campaign promise he is undertaking to "fundamentally transform" America.
"We don't need a fundamental transformation. We need a renewal and a restoration of what is good about America," she said. "That's strong national defense. That's free-market principles being allowed to be applied so that our private sector grows and prospers."
She accused Obama of "flip flopping" by embracing a compromise plan that would extend the George W. Bush-era tax rates.
"He realized that, oh, yeah, the rich – 70% of the job creators are considered, I guess, the rich in this country -- they will see an extension of the Bush tax cuts," she said.
But she herself opposes the deal because the extension is only temporary and because it includes a revival of the estate tax, which lapsed this year.
"You can term it 'compromise.' I term it 'flip-flop.' I was thankful that he did, but it's still not good enough."
In the last year Palin has limited her exposure to what she often derides as the "lamestream" media -- traditional outlets like ABC -- preferring to interact with the public through Facebook and Twitter, or in her capacity as a paid contributor to Fox News. Friday, she used Facebook to state her opposition to the new START treaty, another priority for Obama in the lame duck session of Congress.
Palin told ABC's Roberts that since her role as the GOP's vice presidential nominee, there has been a temptation to "start hesitating a little bit in calling it like I see it."
"Every word that I speak is scrutinized and ultimately, in some corners of the world, it gets mocked and ridiculed and spun into something that it is not," she said. "There has been the temptation to kind of pull back a little bit and maybe not be as candid."