Republicans come to Palin's defense

ST. PAUL, Minn.

Palin already has the delegates convinced, Wednesday night she needs to begin to convince the American people.

"Well, she needs to tell them a little bit about her background, she has to introduce herself and then she's got to talk a little bit about her ideas and her vision," Californian Republican strategist Joel Fox said.

John Taylor wants her to talk about energy.

"You know a big part of the economy is energy, getting energy prices down so the economy can grow more rapidly," Taylor said. Taylor is a Stanford University economist and one of Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain's economic advisors.

So far Palin has not been talking, and much of the talk about her has been focused on her teenaged daughter's pregnancy. But there are also questions about her voting record. As governor, Palin cut assistance to pregnant teenagers; as mayor, she raised taxes to pay for a hockey rink and sought pork barrel projects for her city -- in contrast to her reformist image.

Wednesday, the McCain campaign is pushing back, saying she is ready to be president if the need should arise.

"You bet she is (ready to become president) and anybody who says otherwise is dismissive of women," Sen. Orin Hatch said.

Hatch, the ranking Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee, told reporters the news media is smearing Palin.

"You've seen it and I've seen it, you've seen it on CNN, you saw it on Larry King," Hatch said.

Wednesday afternoon, the former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina was among a group of high-powered Republican women denouncing what they called "media sexism."

"The Republican Party will not stand by while Sarah Palin is subjected to sexist attacks," Fiorina said.

Fiorina blamed bloggers and Democratic nominee Sen. Barack Obama.

"Many people have demeaned and belittled her experience and as women, we all know how frequently that happens," Fiorina said.

But Obama said he is disgusted by questions about Palin's daughter. Tuesday, the Democratic Party's war room in St. Paul said they were trying to keep a low profile.

ABC News political analyst Mark Halperin had an idea of what was happening.

"There's nothing that whips Republicans up in a frenzy, nothing that gets them more supportive of their own side than attacking the press, they're doing it and they're doing it effectively," he said.

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