TAMPA, August 29, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) –  Sarah Palin has said a third party may emerge if the Republican Party’s leaders abandon conservative principles.

Asked if the GOP’s increasing fractiousness may lead to a new party taking its place, Palin replied, “If history is an indication it is a possibility – if the Republicans don’t remember what the planks in the platform represent.”

“Look what happened in the mid-1800’s. The Whig Party went away and the Republican Party surfaced, because the electorate got sick and tired of the party fighting for power and not doing the will of the people,” Palin said on Fox News.

Palin’s words echo those made by the founder of a conservative third party, Howard Phillips of the Constitution Party

“The Republican Party is going to go the way of the Whigs in the 1850s,” said Phillips, who served as the first presidential candidate of what was then known as the U.S. Taxpayers Party, in his 1992 acceptance speech. “It will die the death of a double-minded man – who talks one way but lives in conflict with that which he professes to believe.”

Phillips, who headed the Office of Economic Opportunity during the Nixon administration, frequently likened the modern GOP’s refusal to take a definitive stand protecting all unborn children to the Whig Party’s refusal to oppose slavery – a dodge that led to its implosion and the birth of the Republican Party.

The Constitution Party platform opposes abortion under all circumstances.

The former Alaska governor has in the past bypassed a liberal Republican in favor of a more conservative, third party challenger. In 2009, Palin endorsed Conservative Party nominee Doug Hoffman over pro-choice Republican Dede Scozzafava for a congressional race in New York.

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Democratic operatives also claimed Palin supported Pat Buchanan‘s third party presidential candidacy in 2000, because she wore a Buchanan button as she welcomed him during a visit to Wasilla. In fact, she served on Steve Forbes’ campaign that year. 

However, in 1995 and 2000 Palin’s husband, Todd, registered as a member of the Alaskan Independence Party, which has endorsed the Constitution Party presidential candidate since 1996

Palin is not alone in her ominous message to the Republican elite. Phyllis Schlafly said House Speaker John Boehner was “making a mistake” when he said “I’ve never read” a party platform, then specifically noted his exceptions to protecting some classes of the unborn. “It’s a very grassroots document that I think the politicians ought to listen to,” she said

A number of other Republicans - including former Congressman Tom Tancredo, Alan Keyes, and U.S. Senator Bob Smith - have cast their lots with the Constitution Party since 2000, only to leave shortly afterwards. The party’s 2012 presidential candidate is former Republican Congressman Virgil Goode of Virginia.

Palin, the Republican party’s 2008 vice presidential nominee, was not publicly invited to speak at the Republican National Convention. John McCain will address the convention tonight.