Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin said that she was "seriously interested" in running for the White House in 2016. "You can absolutely say that I am seriously interested," Palin said in an interview with The Washington Post when asked to clarify her thinking about a possible presidential bid. Palin, the Republican vice-presidential nominee in 2008, said she stood by comments she made on Thursday in Las Vegas to ABC News, where she first expressed enthusiasm about potentially competing for the presidential nomination. "I am. As I said yesterday, I'm really interested in the opportunity to serve at some point," Palin said on Friday, as former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum, a potential 2016 rival, looked on. Palin's comments came hours before she addressed a group of conservative activists at the Iowa Freedom Summit, a gathering hosted by Iowa Republican Steve King, an immigration hardliner. "It is a significant step, of course, for anyone to publicly announce that they're interested," Palin said. "Who wouldn't be interested? Who wouldn't be interested when they have been blessed with opportunities to speak about what is important to this country and for this country?" Still, Palin said that she was not yet ramping up a national political operation. Instead, Palin said, she was contemplating her political future and did not feel rushed to make a final decision. Palin arrived in Iowa on Friday alongside Senator Mike Lee, one of her closest political allies, and Jason Recher, one of Palin's longtime political advisers. In the lobby of the Marriott hotel, she signed autographs for some guests and mingled with the dozens of Republican figures congregated near the lobby bar, including former House speaker Newt Gingrich. Palin previously mulled a presidential run ahead of the 2012 election cycle, but declined to enter the contest. During the run-up to the primaries, her supporters built an expansive political network in Iowa on her behalf, in case she jumped in. On the campaign trail last year, Palin travelled extensively to bolster her handpicked candidates, including stops in Iowa with Republican Joni Ernst, who won a Senate seat.