March 16th, 2013
03:05 PM ET
5 years ago

Sip of a Big Gulp energizes Palin pep talk

Oxon Hill, Maryland (CNN) - Sarah Palin, igniting a crowd of conservatives, says it's time to stop "preaching to the choir" and instead evangelize a grass-roots, anti-Washington message to all Americans, even those who disagree with the right.

"They're not our enemies. They're our sisters and our brothers. They're our neighbors, they're our friends. It's imperative to reach out and to share that conservative message of liberty and less government and lower taxes," the former Alaska governor said, urging growth of the movement.

Saturday marked Palin's second time to address the annual Conservative Political Action Conference. With the gathering serving as a time for introspection among the Republican Party, Palin bucked party leadership and said only real reform can come from the bottom up.

"We're not here to re-brand a party, we're here to rebuild a country," she said. "We're here to restore America and the rest is just theatrics. The rest is sound and fury. It's just making noise."

Palin's comments come two days before the Republican National Committee is scheduled to unveil its conclusions from a months-long "autopsy" of the party, following its big election losses in November.

Walking out to Shania Twain's "She's Not Just a Pretty Face," the 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee easily got the crowd on their feet. Her speech was rife with her folksy tough talk and snipes at President Obama. And of course, no Palin speech is complete without references to her hunting and outdoors life in Alaska.

Take, for example, an anecdote about her husband buying her a rifle rack for Christmas, while she bought him a gun.

"This go-around, he's got the rifle, I've got the rack," she said.

She spurred another wave of cheers and applause while pausing to take a sip from a Big Gulp, a not-so-veiled swipe at New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's push against large sugary drinks. "We're cool. Shoot, it's just pop with low calorie ice cubes in it. I hope that's OK."

Not known for pulling her punches, Palin also took the opportunity to blast the president and Senate Democrats for failing to get a budget passed in four years.

"Barack Obama promised the most transparent administration ever," she said. "You lied."

The president, she said, has turned from "no drama Obama" to "all drama Obama" in a city that she said operates like a reality television show. She also dinged the president's support for background check legislation.

"And background checks, yeah, I guess to learn more about a person's thinking and associations and intentions? More background checks?" she said. "Dandy idea, Mr. President. Should have started with yours."

But Palin's most forceful criticism was directed against GOP leaders in Washington.

She chided establishment attempts to shape the last election, especially in congressional races. While she didn't say his name, Palin seemed to take aim at Karl Rove, the former top political adviser to George W. Bush who was dubbed the "architect" of the former president's campaigns.

"If these experts who keep losing elections and keep getting rehired and raking in millions, if they feel that strongly about who gets to run in this party, then they should buck up or stay in the truck," she said. "The architects can head on back."

Rove's groups, American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS, spent millions in Senate races but had little success in getting their supported candidates elected. They're now facing push-back from tea party conservatives for starting a new group aimed to help electable candidates sail through Republican primaries.

Critics say the new move is simply a way to push out conservative voices. For her part, Palin was active in backing the more conservative candidate in several Republican primaries last year. Many of her preferred candidates went on to win, including Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Sen. Deb Fischer of Nebraska.

With 20 months until the 2014 mid-terms, Palin said Washington should not be in the game of hand-picking candidate. She urged the audience to change the "top-down political process" and create their own search for the next best crop of contenders.

"Now is the time to furlough the consultants, tune out the pollsters, send the focus groups home, and toss the political scripts, because if we truly know what we believe we don't need professionals to tell us," she said, adding one final message to Washington.

"Get over yourself," she said. "It's not about you."

Filed under: CPAC • Sarah Palin
soundoff (206 Responses)
  1. Gurgyl

    More these guys come on he better for Democrats in 2014.

    March 16, 2013 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  2. jkane sfl the gop national disgrace party will be swept out like the trash they are in2014 ?

    Go home , gop conservatives ,the garbage of America!!!!

    March 16, 2013 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  3. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    The more she pokes her head out of her burrow, the less people like the GOP...Keep up the good work!

    March 16, 2013 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  4. Former Republican

    "We're not here to re-brand a party, we're here to rebuild a country," That's great Sarah, now get out of the way and let President Obama do the job of rebuilding our country that Bush/Cheney tore apart.

    March 16, 2013 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  5. Rusty Krus

    I'll wager that her breath is putrid!

    March 16, 2013 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  6. Teena

    The last line is so perfect- get over yourself it's not about you!

    March 16, 2013 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  7. Rick Patel

    Super Sarah Palin in snug, stylish black ensemble, looked slender, shapely & seductive at CPAC. She is always trim, tight, torrid, & tempestuous.

    March 16, 2013 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  8. ST

    Excuse my language, but those who still bring Sarah Palin to talk are as stupid as she is. She was sipping that coke as if that is what she does everyday. She runs every day more than Australians Kangaroos do. She is not going to touch that coke anywhere more than she has shown, while others who suffer from diabetic or are obesity are drinking them every single day. Though am not a fan of Fox News, but I praise them for giving her a big boot. She is totally a disgrace and harmful to the entire nation.

    March 16, 2013 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  9. jake

    Blah blah blah. The conservatives got whooped in two elections in a row to OBAMA. The American people have decided that the conservatives are wrong on the important issues time and time again. What we are seeing is the demise of the teabaggers and the destruction of the gop from within. Not a day to soon either. The people have spoken lose..again!!

    March 16, 2013 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  10. Eugene9

    When you have to hire a part-time, half-term governor with a big mouth and little to back up the mouth as a lead speaker, you've got problems. "Gov." Palin is more full of you-know-what than an Alaskan outhouse in April. Exactly when will the GOP grow up and decide to welcome the 21st Century and join the human race?

    March 16, 2013 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  11. anna20

    Does she realize no one cares what she thinks anymore, her 15 minutes of fame are over...

    March 16, 2013 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  12. manny manx

    I love these rallies a group of uneducated white people whose next step will be wearing a Klu Klux Klan outfit.

    March 16, 2013 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  13. Orphicdragon

    It's not about you...

    That came out of Palin's face.


    March 16, 2013 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  14. basia

    this woman is annoying~

    March 16, 2013 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  15. Benson

    Mayor Bloomberg will have his sphincter tied in a knot over this one. She broke the 16 oz soft drink rule.

    March 16, 2013 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  16. rmanuto

    Why is anything from one of the most ignorant women in America news? As far as we know she does not read, cannot govern, is subject to conversion hysterics and lacks an understanding of American as well as world history. What is the point? And she has the gall to tell anyone to get over themselves?

    March 16, 2013 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  17. nintex

    Ahhh, good old Sarah. Do you suppose she got through that whole speech without the aid of a teleprompter? Or has she repeated her standard talking points enough times that even she has them memorized by now?

    March 16, 2013 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  18. GOP = Greed Over People

    Missy's fat, round face, would indicate she has been sucking on, uh, the straw,a wee bit too much since '08!

    March 16, 2013 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  19. stars

    This fool dont know she is playing with fire. Sara sound like you have death wish Karl Rove is no one to play with dear.

    March 16, 2013 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  20. HenryB

    And Sarah does this reaching out by insulting people? And to think that this yoyo at one time was almost our Vice President! Unimaginative, uninformed, unintelligent; a true fit for the Republican party.

    March 16, 2013 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  21. Derek

    I don't think anybody who reads CNN will agree that Sarah Palin speaks wisdom... The interesting argument though is that so many GOP'ers think she speaks with elegance and truth. Obama is fixing this country, he is 'building' it and yet all they can do at CPAC is complain about the 'false' progress... I hope these clowns are completely gone by 2016, we need another party to challenge the Democrats, one that has both respect and real proposals for America.

    March 16, 2013 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  22. outside view

    sounds like the me that she still got a piece of RICE stuck in her throat lol

    March 16, 2013 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  23. Ancient Texan

    Sarah can still drives the libs into a feeding frenzy with just a few words. Any conservative , attractive, female is fair game for the hate party to come unglued.

    March 16, 2013 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  24. John

    Why does any body listen to Saran Palin In the First Place, and than this group wonder why most people In America think they are NUTS.

    March 16, 2013 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  25. clarke

    Well if the GOP would move over, we might be able to get something done.

    March 16, 2013 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
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