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. Martha in CF

    Palin lost long ago.....Enough already!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 16, 2013 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  2. David

    I think it's time for all of the people speaking at CPAC to come clean and tell everyone the real meaning of CPAC – "Can't Please All Citizens (nor do we care to try)". It appears the ultra conservative segment of the republican party agrees with Romney's 47% comments. Yeah, CPAC = Palin = Ryan = Romney's 47% comments = LOOSERS! Thanks to idiot's like all of them for continuing to provide the motivation needed to remove more "Republi-cons" in 2014!!!

    March 16, 2013 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  3. g

    maybe a 45 gallon drum of the stuff next time–palin and me have something in common -niether one of us no,s what she,s talking about

    March 16, 2013 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  4. MaryM

    Yep, Sarah you have earned your title of right wing nut job. Please do continue to speak for your repub party

    March 16, 2013 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  5. Rick H.

    I was reading through these post of vitriol and hatred and can only come up with one conclusion....CNN followers are pretty pathetic and somewhat low in intelligence.

    March 16, 2013 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  6. GrueneJim

    Great speech by a courageous American who has faced unwarranted personal attacks from both the extreme left and the old guard right. Her one liners were right on taarget and she has a real knack for touching the nerves of the misguided defenders of a dismal status quo in Washington DC.

    March 16, 2013 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  7. sciline

    Sarah is still attempting to cross her "Bridge to Nowhere" with her mind to match!

    March 16, 2013 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  8. Marc

    Must be getting low on funds. I wonder what "it" got paid for this show. Please someone get her a one way ticket to the northern tip of Alaska and stay there. America will do just fine without her.

    March 16, 2013 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  9. lsboogy

    she means well

    March 16, 2013 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  10. hendrix2935

    She needs a quater for the clue bus.

    March 16, 2013 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  11. mark

    Its amazing that the cpac only get excited about a coke a cola

    March 16, 2013 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  12. superbcoin

    Do you suppose she got through that whole speech without the aid of a teleprompter?

    I bet she had her notes wrote on the lid of her big gulp 🙂

    March 16, 2013 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  13. todd

    Man, her genius and zingers never get old. Amazing.

    March 16, 2013 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  14. quinLee

    can this woman be any more annoying. What is it about these people that they insist on being as shamelessly wrong and off base as possible.

    March 16, 2013 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  15. freedom

    She rocked it like nobody can !

    March 16, 2013 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  16. Palin is...

    Alice in Chains – Hollow...

    March 16, 2013 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  17. Woman In California

    Running anything Sarah Palin has to say is like wearing my old bell bottom pants, platform shoes and afro. She's sooooo outdated.

    March 16, 2013 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  18. weatherthestorm

    She bailed out on her own state in the middle of her term as governor. Yes, Bloomberg overreached on the soda law. But how much longer must we endure her antics and mindless dribble with no substance? She's a meager entertainer when the GOP needs real, thoughtful leadership. Wishful thinking.

    March 16, 2013 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  19. Roger

    The GOP actually proposed that Sarah Palin should be the Vice President of the most powerful country in the world. If that doesn't tell you how far the GOP has descended into desperation, then you need to honestly reconsider either your intelligence, your values, or both.

    March 16, 2013 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  20. ratherbboating

    Another bias article by CNN. They are getting as bad as MSNBC

    March 16, 2013 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  21. ricke1949

    I betcha she could have find ways of funding tours of the WH. Too bad the guy from Harvard could not figure it out.
    Alas when one has to spend 1,000,000 dollars on flying to golf with your rich buddies, he should have been able to get some advice in how to cut 2% off the budget.

    March 16, 2013 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  22. sc3453

    No one takes her seriously, she's the female Trump.

    March 16, 2013 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  23. gager

    I'm a republican that is embarrassed that she is represents the same party. She does not represent me.n Is this why CNN chooses her.

    March 16, 2013 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  24. Kris L

    Wow. Another Republican repeating the same things we heard BEFORE the election. A birther reference? A stupid jab at someone trying to actually help the obesity problem by demonstrating what "real Americans" supposedly do, get obese? No budget passed by Democrats when half the institution who passes budgets is run by Republicans? And oh boy, another inaccurate history lesson from Mrs. Palin. America wasn't founded on the principle of little or no taxes. The problem was that the colonies had no say in the taxes being levied on them. The America of today has that say. And in November it said, "We don't mind taxes being raised a little."

    March 16, 2013 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  25. Namemicmacman

    well, non relevance aside if the gop is willing to spend money for her to open her mouth there's probably a better use for it. what was in that cup, liquid narssisism

    March 16, 2013 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
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