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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

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November 12th, 2013
06:00 PM ET

Sarah Palin weighs in on GOP politics, opens up about her path to faith

The Republican Party is going through a debate right now over where its soul is.

"I want the Republican Party, the leadership of the machine of the party, to really stiffen its spine and not be squishy on some of these issues," former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin said in an interview with "The Lead with Jake Tapper."

Read: Palin on ‘sexism’ and Hillary Clinton, Chris Christie's 'extreme' appearance

Far from being squishy, Palin controversially compared the national debt to slavery recently. She refused to back down from her comments.

"There is another definition of slavery and that is being beholden to some kind of master that is not of your choosing. And, yes, the national debt will be like slavery when the note comes due," said Palin.

Asked if she could understand why African-Americans and many other Americans would be offended by the comparison, Palin replied, "I can if they choose to misinterpret things that I'm saying."

"We could open up a dictionary and prove that ... there is a definition of slavery that absolutely fits the bill there when I'm talking about a bankrupt country that will owe somebody something down the line if we don't change things, that we will be shackled, we will be a slave to those we owe," said Palin.

"I'm not one to be politically correct evidently," she said. "I did say the word slavery, because I want to make a point.

"I put my life in God's hands at that moment."

Palin is a person of faith, describing herself as “born again."

"When I was a young girl, I remember looking around the beauty of Alaska ... and knowing even as a kid, wow, there is something greater than self," said Palin.

"I put my life in God's hands at that moment," said Palin, who added she was 12 at the time. "I remember calling out to God and saying, 'I believe you.'"

Palin said she relied on her faith to help her through the moment, more than five years ago, when doctors told her she would give birth to a child with Down syndrome.

"That was a moment of calling out to God saying 'Really? Really God? You promised in your word in the bible that you'll never give us something that we can't handle, and I don't think I'm equipped to handle this,'" said Palin.

"God answered my prayer through that time with that diagnosis with Trig. It took me many months to come around to the idea, yeah He isn't going to give me something that I can't handle," said Palin.

Read: Sarah Palin 'taken aback' by Pope Francis's 'liberal' statements

The former governor of Alaska and 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate is out with a new book, “Good Tidings and Great Joy: Protecting the Heart of Christmas,” which is one part love letter to Christmas, and one part a treatise on what is going wrong with the holiday, with atheists and others declaring war on it.

"You see ACLU letters that get sent around to all the school districts now warning them, 'You better not acknowledge that Jesus is the reason for the season.' And heaven forbid you sing a song about Bethlehem or Silent Night, because somebody may take offense," said Palin.

But about one in five Americans do not identify as Christian, and may feel uncomfortable with religious decorations or demonstrations coming from the government.

"There are things we can do about that to, I guess, lessen that offense. We can do that in our personal lives," said Palin. "In my family, we have the Menorah out through December on our kitchen table. I want to teach my children about the Jewish faith."

Palin attends a non-denominational church in Alaska. She said she is trying to follow Pope Francis, but is wary of what she called the media's interpretation of his message.

"He's had some statements that to me sound kind of liberal, has taken me aback, has kind of surprised me," Palin said. But "unless I really dig deep into what his messaging is, and do my own homework, I’m not going to just trust what I hear in the media."

For more on Sarah Palin's path to faith, click here, or watch the video below.

Filed under: National Lead
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