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. Mark

    Hard for libs to deal with those who believe in individual accountability

    March 16, 2013 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  2. GOPnotforme

    How in the world do people keep forgetting that this women lost the election for McCain?

    This idiotic bravado is the very thing that scared me out of the GOP after 34 years.

    Keep electing the most conservative candidates out of the primary and you'll continue to get creamed by the Dems.

    March 16, 2013 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  3. Jeff Kelly

    Love seeing these scared silly Liberals comments here. Sara has them scared senseless es evidenced by their posts. Keep up the great work Sara. We love you.

    March 16, 2013 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  4. gladr

    Seemed like a bunch of one liners. Who wrote her speech I wonder? Probably joke writers for comedians who can't get a gig anywhere.

    March 16, 2013 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  5. Bke

    Sarah Palin is to politics what Snookie is to celebrity!

    March 16, 2013 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  6. Haa ha

    LUV her crack about starting with a background check on King Barry, the Transparaent!

    March 16, 2013 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  7. dmd

    i wonder if she got there on a 180000 dollar/ hr. jet. let the hate begin.

    March 16, 2013 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  8. Gregory

    Santorum/Palin – 2016. That ought about put CPAC and the GOP into the scrap bin for good.

    I can not wait to hear what the GOP autopsy reveals. My guess is they'll say their tone is too harsh.

    March 16, 2013 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  9. Nissim Levy

    I feel guilty that this woman brings out my strong feelings of dislike. I wish I could stop hating anyone.

    March 16, 2013 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  10. tom

    It's truly wonderful to see liberals put their intellectual prowess on public display, witness the lowbrow comments here. What's the old saying, pride goes before the fall? Gonna be a long fall, people.

    March 16, 2013 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  11. Rob

    Well golly shucks dagnabit, them thar mangy varmints need get over themselves says Calamity Sarah. A true spokesperson for a 1880 American.

    March 16, 2013 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  12. IvotedforObama

    I am sooo glad I voted Democrat last year and plan to do it again in 2014 and 2016.

    March 16, 2013 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  13. Canuck

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

    Come on, you have to like that line....

    March 16, 2013 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  14. Patrish

    No one of any real importance listens to her, but she babbles on.

    March 16, 2013 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  15. Baffled - Ex Republican

    This is why so many of us have left the party. The country is in the midst of a epidemic with diabetes and obesity which is costing us 100s of billions of dollars a year. Is this courting of the: fat vote, a sign of solidarity with the pharmaceutical lobby, or a commitment to continue to drive healthcare costs up in this country?

    I am baffled. Keep Spending!

    March 16, 2013 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  16. Rob

    I wish this woman would just go away already!

    March 16, 2013 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  17. Smeagel4T

    If the GOP keeps sticking Palin at the podium, they really are in trouble.

    March 16, 2013 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  18. Outside

    While I'm no Sarah Palin fan, it's pretty telling that not a single comment on here addressed something wrong with what she said. All insults, ad hominem attacks, etc. That's all the liberals seem to have. Ok, I guess it's now time for the childish attacks on me now...

    March 16, 2013 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  19. glorydays

    It takes so little to entertain the right.

    March 16, 2013 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  20. Rednip

    How much do you want to bet that it was a Diet Coke? Also, the Big Gulp wasn't a target of the law, as 7-11s are considered to be regulated by the State of NY (which is why the law really sucked, I think that he just wanted the publicity).

    March 16, 2013 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  21. gbevers

    Good speech, delivered with great zingers and nearly perfect timing and effect, especially the Big Gulp break. She made a lot of good points, but two of my favorites were these: (1) "Barack Obama promised the most transparent administration ever. Barack Obama, YOU LIE." (2) "Mr.. President, we admit it. You won. Accept it. Now step away from the teleprompter and do your job."

    March 16, 2013 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  22. Mondayschild

    The funniest aspect of all this: As much as she'd love to be in it, she'l never be in the Oval Office, in a position of authority. This is the best thing. It eats her insides out. Stress like this causes sickness and disease. Hopefully it happens soon, with no cure.

    March 16, 2013 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  23. anchorite

    Not a fan of Obama, at all. Didn't vote for him. But Palin's 15 minutes were up years ago. Go away.

    March 16, 2013 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  24. amarjeet

    Most of these brothers, sisters & neighbors are part of 47% which alone have been segregated by Romney, Palin & Ryan Paul as inhuman victims of diseases, disabilities and economic dependence & suppression. Unless GOP and Tea Party get surgery of their economic and budget vision to focus on change rather than constraints to restrict their actionable political field clearly envisioned by Bobby Jindal in last winter session of GOP, grassroots will be smothered over and starved of very existence endangering the entire efforts, operation and special campaign.

    March 16, 2013 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  25. Dick Kimberley

    Now I know why this country has and will continue to decline. Just read these comments. They call Sarah Pailn stupid, yet they have Nancy Pelosi , who makes Palin look like a Rhodes scholar. And Joe is some they can be proud of also. Don't bother to listen to what Sarah Pailn has to say, just mouth off, showing the collective IQ of a carrot. May God save this country from the democrats!

    March 16, 2013 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
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