Palin: Michael Steele 'doing a great job'

During an appearance on conservative commentator Sean Hannity's show on the Fox News Channel, Palin said, "I support Michael Steele.... I think he's doing a great job. Michael Steele is an outsider. The machine, I think, is tough to penetrate... I think it's been good to have an independent outsider trying to create some change in the Republican Party."

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The former Alaska governor's remarks are in sharp contrast to the comments of other leading Republicans, who have criticized Steele in recent months.

Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), a possible 2012 presidential candidate, said Wednesday that Steele needs to address the "disarray" at the RNC.

Republican leaders in Congress have also chastised Steele. House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) told The Hill in an interview last month that he only talks to Steele "every month or two," adding that Steele has no role in the House GOP's 2010 version of the 1994 "Contract with America." House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) in January publicly chided Steele for holding an RNC retreat in Hawaii.

During her interview with Hannity, Palin said she doubts that President Barack Obama will move to the center like President Bill Clinton did 15 years ago: "I don't think [triangulation] is within him. I don't think it's within his DNA."

The 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee spoke at a rally on Wednesday in Minnesota with Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.). Bachmann, appearing with Palin on Hannity's show, predicted that the 2012 Republican presidential candidate will win the left-leaning state of Minnesota. Obama won Minnesota by 10 percentage points in 2008.