DES MOINES, Iowa — Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin told The Washington Post in an interview Friday that she is “seriously interested” in running for the White House in 2016.

“You can absolutely say that I am seriously interested,” Palin said, when asked to clarify her thinking about a possible presidential bid.

Palin, the Republican Party’s 2008 vice presidential nominee, said she stood by comments she made Thursday in Las Vegas to ABC News, where she first expressed enthusiasm about potentially competing for the Republican presidential nomination.

“I am. As I said yesterday, I’m really interested in the opportunity to serve at some point,” Palin said Friday, as former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum, a potential 2016 rival, looked on.

Palin’s comments, made in an interview in the lobby of the Marriott hotel, came hours before she was scheduled to address a group of conservative activists at the Iowa Freedom Summit, a gathering hosted by Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, an immigration hard-liner.

Palin said, “It is a significant step, of course, for anyone to publicly announce that they’re interested. 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 is not yet ramping up a national political operation.