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Ari Fleischer: ‘Sarah Palin Is Tremendously Popular Within An Element’ Of The GOP

The tea-leaves-reading of Sarah Palin‘s pushback after Tucson continued on CNN’s AC 360 last night, with former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer picking up on comments made by potential 2012 candidate Newt Gingrich–that Palin needs to expand her base if she’s truly got a shot at winning a national campaign.

Critics–including some in the GOP–have said Palin’s video response after the shootings in Arizona, followed by her appearance on Fox’s Hannity, didn’t go far enough in using the controversy over Palin’s crosshairs imagery and “reload” rhetoric to reach out to a broader group of voters–a key test, Fleischer says, for anyone with thoughts of the White House:

“Sarah Palin is tremendously popular within an element of the Republican party, and the trick to making it in American politics you’ve got to start strong in your base and expand over the middle. She’s yet to be able to prove she’s able to take that second step.”

Watch it here, from CNN:

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