(CNN) – Former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin seemed to have the 2008 election – and, specifically, first lady Michelle Obama – on her mind during a speech at a conservative forum Thursday night.
"You know, when I hear people say, or had said during the campaign that they've never been proud of America, haven't they met anybody in uniform yet?" Palin opined during her remarks at a Liberty and Freedom Foundation forum in San Jose, California.
"I get tears in my eyes when I see that young man, that young woman, walking through the airport in uniform – you too – so proud to be American," Palin said to enthusiastic applause.
During her husband's presidential campaign, Michelle Obama sparked outrage among conservatives when she said at a campaign stop that, "For the first time in my adult life, I am really proud of my country, because it feels like hope is making a comeback… not just because Barack has done well, but because I think people are hungry for change."
After a media firestorm ensued, Obama sought to clarify her comments, saying, "What I was clearly talking about is that I am proud in how Americans are engaging in the political process. I mean everyone has said what I said, in that we haven't seen these record numbers of turnouts, people who are paying attention, going to rallies, watching debates."
"For the first time in my lifetime I am seeing people rolling up their sleeves in way that I haven't seen and really trying to figure this out, and that's the source of pride I was talking about," she continued.
The remarks nonetheless became a linchpin for conservative pundits, who accused Obama of being unpatriotic.