Not Running: Palin Bows Out, GOP Field is Set

After months of speculation, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin​ went on the “Mark Levin Show” on Wednesday and confirmed that she would not be a candidate for President in 2012, setting the Republican presidential field.

Levin read a letter Palin wrote to her closest supporters in which she said, “After much prayer and serious consideration, I have decided that I will not be seeking the 2012 GOP nomination for President of the United States​.”

“As always, my family comes first, and obviously Todd and I put great consideration into family life before making this decision,” Palin wrote.  “When we serve, we devote ourselves to God, family and country.  My decision maintains this order.”

Texas Gov. Rick Perry was the first candidate to praise Palin.

“Sarah Palin is a good friend, a great American and a true patriot,” Perry said.  “I respect her decision and know she will continue to be a strong voice for conservative values and change in Washington.”

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who has praised Palin in the past months, wrote on Twitter that “Gov. Palin would have been a formidable candidate … she will be an important citizen fighting right fights—making a difference.”

Later, on Fox News’ “On The Record,” Palin told host Greta Van Susteren that she and her husband, Todd, had already received calls from presidential candidates asking for her endorsement.  Palin told Van Susteren that Todd had been discussing potential meetings with other candidates.

Palin said she would work to unite the Republican party to beat Obama and help elect conservative candidates to Congress.

“My decision is based upon a review of what common-sense Conservatives and Independents have accomplished, especially over the last year,” Palin wrote.  “I believe that at this time I can be more effective in a decisive role to help elect other true public servants to office—from the nation’s governors to congressional seats and the presidency.”

Palin added:  “We need to continue to actively and aggressively help those who will stop the ‘fundamental transformation’ of our nation, and instead seek the restoration of our greatness, our goodness and our constitutional republic based on the rule of law.”

Because Palin had never gone on record to say that she was not running, her lack of an announcement created a sense of uncertainty for the declared candidates.

That uncertainty is now gone for the GOP field—and for Palin.

“I know beyond a shadow of a doubt, after great confirmation today … I know it’s the right decision,” Palin said on Fox News.