May 4th, 2009
09:11 PM ET
5 years ago

Palin joins GOP rebranding effort, Limbaugh says leaders fear her

Palin is taking part in a new organization to rebrand the GOP
Palin is taking part in a new organization to rebrand the GOP

(CNN) – A few hours after Rush Limbaugh told listeners GOP leaders launching a Republican re-branding effort hated and feared Sarah Palin, House Minority Whip Eric Cantor announced that the Alaska governor had finally accepted an invitation to join the group.

On a conference call last week for the National Council for a New America, former Republican presidential candidate John McCain said he thought his running mate would probably be part of the effort as well - but there had been no immediate confirmation by her office.

The two groups of key Palin aides - those in the governor's office in Alaska, and at her Virginia-based political action committee SarahPAC - have often given very different messages on her participation in various efforts: Congressional leaders and conservative activists have both announced Palin's planned attendance at major events this year after receiving assurances from one set of advisors, only to learn later from other aides that she hadn't yet made a decision.

The governor's decision to join the NCNA's panel of experts was confirmed Monday by spokeswoman Meg Stapleton.

At the group's kickoff event - a town hall-style gathering at an Arlington, Virginia restaurant - Cantor, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney urged the party to re-frame their message. Bush, in particular, expressed admiration for President Obama's political skill, and told the crowd not to get mired in "nostalgia" for past GOP dominance.

He mentioned no names, but Limbaugh interpreted that remark as a knock on Palin and President Ronald Reagan.

"Something else you have to understand is these people hate Palin too," the conservative radio host said Monday. "They despise Sarah Palin, they fear Sarah Palin, they don't like her either. She's, according to them she's embarrassing. McCain said, 'I was there with Ronald Reagan'.... No Reagan voter ever believed McCain was a Reaganite.

"And I think... a lot of this is aimed at Sarah Palin. When you strip all the talk - It's 'the Reagan era is over, stop all this nostalgia and stuff.' Clearly, in last year's campaign, the most prominent, articulate voice for standard, run-of-the-mill, good old-fashioned American conservatism was Sarah Palin. Now, everybody on this [NCNA] Speak to America tour has presidential perspirations [sic]. Mitt Romney there, he wants to be president again. Jeb may someday. Eric Cantor, some of the others, McCain - I don't think he does, but you never know. So this is an early campaign event, 2012 presidential campaign, primary campaign, with everybody there but Sarah Palin."

Limbaugh has not yet responded to the NCNA announcement. Palin joins Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, McCain, Bush and Romney on the NCNA's national panel of experts.


Filed under: Extra • Sarah Palin
soundoff (135 Responses)
  1. Florida Dude

    Hey Republicans...Listen to Rush, he knows what he's talking about. Palin can save your party if you give her a chance ;)

    May 4, 2009 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  2. Mari, Stuck in Moderation

    Did not need to read the article, the headline says it all "..... Limbaugh says leaders fear her"......... really??? SO FUNNY!!!

    No, Limbaugh-the-comedian, NO ONE fears Palin! She will be a small footnote in history. Palin was McCain's gamble! Poor McCain believed that he could win Clinton supporters with Palin, but it backfired!

    We, Democrats, are hoping...... wishing...... praying that Palin WILL BE the GOP candidate for POTUS, in 2012!

    Please......... pretty please......... pick Palin!!

    May 4, 2009 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  3. Carl Justus

    When alligator mouth Limbaugh speaks the republican party sits up and takes notice, it they do not they are in trouble.

    May 4, 2009 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  4. monica von berndt

    Dont the GOP have a clue as to what is wrong with their political mess; down right lies even in the face of black and white truth, they willingly lowered themselves to the lowest common denominator by feeding people fear and hate to the point of people threanting to kill their opponints, the idea that medical care is a priviledge not a right, they have put themselves on a pedistal throwing should and shouldnots at everyone who dont agree with their narrow egotistical ideology and they have caused the American people to be hated by most of the whole world by pushing the weight of the United States that we have built up with our tax dollars all these years to fullfilly monitaryand power goals I think that most of the American people are tired of fighting the whole world

    May 4, 2009 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  5. Mike Mundy, Houston, TX

    AMEN RUSH! and none of the career GOPers have the BALLS to stand out for her! THROW THEM ALL OUT!!!!

    May 4, 2009 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  6. Jonathan Burton

    Sarak Palin left a bad taste in the mouths of the GOP after the election. Her roguish attitude, and the negative comments that seemed to come from her over zealous folllowers on the campaign trail are exactly what the GOP is trying to steer away from.
    They know that a polarizing figure like Palin will only undermine their efforts of reforming the party. Their image has been tarnished by the groups of intolerant people that were attracted and spoke out at the rallies. The media took a field day with this stuff, and they will do it again if Palin sticks her bigotist nose where it isn't welcome.

    May 4, 2009 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  7. Mitch

    The fear of Palin is the fear that the right wing base doesn't see how completely inept this person is at life outside of Alaska. This country needs an educated, broadbased appealing leader....and she is NOT it. Her views are far right, her base is far right and her abilities are far short.

    May 4, 2009 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  8. Conrad Sundol

    Limbaugh, Palin, Coulter, Hannity, O'Reilly, Beck- WOW!! All they want to do is take us back to The Stone Age or as they might call it- the good ol' days. Sorry guys, your days are gone forever.

    May 4, 2009 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  9. George Enis

    Why did GOP don't choose LIMBAUGH??? Let me tell you guys something today and go and keep it under your bed. As far as GOP still thinking or planning to Choose PALIN as their leader or candidate for the next general election, it's all over for GOP. Rush Limbaugh for president and Hannity for VP.

    May 4, 2009 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  10. Sam I Am

    Pain in the rebranding effort? She DOES know that "rebranding" has nothing to do with branding irons, right?

    The Republicans need to rebrand AND get away from people like Palin.
    Palin is one of the main reasons the Republicans took such a beating in November.

    Mr. Steele, show some backbone. Tell Palin and those like her that their services are not appreciated or needed.

    May 4, 2009 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  11. Bryce

    I sincerely doubt the GOP hates Mrs. Palin. Far more likely is they recognize the simple truth that while she appeals to many, she turns off exponentially more.

    That said, I very much appreciate Mr. Limbaugh's continuing efforts to confuse, squander, and divide his own party. Considering the last eight years, they deserve it.

    The only unfortunate part about this whole debacle is that I feel the country would be best served with at least two strong & constructive parties. Until the GOP is willing to admit it's mistakes and clean up it's act...let it reap what it sows.

    May 4, 2009 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  12. BV

    It was the fact that this woman came on board with such a front of gut renching dishonesty. It was all about being this fine Christian woman who spouted off the most vicious lie packed campaign known to man kind. And she did it so well. Then she turns around and never once addresses her lack of Christian moral in doing so but attacks the press. It was the press this and the press that. It was never about why Sarah pushed the most negative adjenda imaginable and all the time tried to make us believe she was such a fine Christian woman. All Sarah cares about is Sarah. She sacrificed her own daughter to further her career. About as discusting as one could possibly get. What scares me about her are the people who call her the smart one and Obama the kool-aide drinking idiot. People who actually fell for her crap. Very very scary to me. Every time i hear Obama speak i cringe thinking she could have been elected if there had been more idiots than smart people in America. Makes me so thankful that smart people rule.

    May 4, 2009 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  13. Ray in Los Angeles

    After a while, you just get tired of hearing the centrist Republicans and the Conservatives yelling at each other. The Republican party used to be a big, inclusive tent. Now it's just a flimsy tent, like the one that blew down in Dallas last week.

    I used to be an unhappy centrist Republican. Now I've found a new, bigger tent. I'm a happy centrist Democrat.

    May 4, 2009 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  14. Sorry Pilan

    Your Betcha! Wink! Wink! Wink!

    May 4, 2009 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  15. Al

    An the world can't stand Rush Limbaugh.

    May 4, 2009 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  16. Tulsa L

    the only fear the GOP has for Palin is that if she continues to run her mouth to the press and show how stupid she really is that she will continue to ruin the Republican party.....

    May 4, 2009 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  17. Casey

    Peas in the "Party of No" pod - Who cares?

    All of those people are all irrelevant - dinosaurs who believe that resources are inexhaustible and if they are, so what, God is on their side.

    This independent voter (and yes, I have voted Republican before) will NEVER vote Republican ever again after the royal screwing we Americans got from the past 8 yrs of Republicans.

    May 4, 2009 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  18. Mike O'Brien

    Rush Limbaugh is a 'despicable creature'. Maybe, Meghan McCain is right.., "Karl Rove, Rush Limbaugh, Dick Cheney, Shawn Hannity and Ann Coulter.., 'just go away' and 'leave us alone'". Lets get rid of the dead wood and start rebuilding the Republican Party. Lets 'not' look back or backwards.., lets look forward to a better Republican Party. Mike in Montana

    May 4, 2009 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  19. BKrause

    One can only hope and pray that Palin's historical, cultural, religious, environmental illiteracy will find it's virulent way into re-framing the GOP. It's the one time I've agreed with Limbaugh, who most embodies this nonsense.

    May 4, 2009 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  20. Tricia E

    Well, she might as well join them, she didn't get anything accomplished here during the legislative session.

    Why would anyone fear or hate the clueless?!?!?!

    May 4, 2009 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  21. william gair

    Oh yeah, now you want us former Republicans back. After what you have done to us? What drugs are you taking?

    May 4, 2009 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  22. David

    The NCNA appears to understand what Limbaugh doesn't (or doesn't want to) - the Reagan Era is over, and the political pendulum has swung the other way as it inevitably does each generation. It's not Palin or Reagan's legacy the NCNA has to beware, it's Limbaugh's rabble-rousing. The fractured GOP won't coalesce again until that division is healed, and Limbuagh keeps poking at the open wound.

    May 4, 2009 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  23. MN gal who voted for Obama

    Rush only got one thing right. Palin IS embarrassing! To the party and more importantly to the nation. I am nowhere near the right in my views (thank whoever!) but anyone can see (except Rush) that the Republicans don't fear her. They just fear the mess they will have to clean up after she gets her hands on it. Can't blame them there but the Repubs have at least 40 years to get their act together. We're not letting go for quite some time.

    May 4, 2009 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  24. don carter

    I voted for Nixon, Reagan, and Bush 1, and I would have voted for McCain had he not picked a religious nut (Palin) to run with him. I didn't vote for Bush or Gore the first time Bush ran and after he said that he thought that God wanted hime to be president, I would have voted for anyone who opposed him. I see little difference between the Taliban and people like Bush and Palin. The Taliban are ignorant, religious, conservative and resistant to change. Sounds like Palin to me.

    May 4, 2009 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  25. M. Haynes

    I agree with NOTHING Rush stands for or blathers about but his statement that Gov. Palin is an embarrassment is right on. There is not one single subject this woman is intelligent enough to speak about to a national (nevermind international) audience, there is not one single political platform she has developed that I would support. I cringe at the thought that we will again have to endure the blather she spouts when the media starts focusing on this new Republican rebranding. Oh please, shut up.

    May 4, 2009 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
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