March 16th, 2013
03:05 PM ET
1 year 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. DocHollywood

    This lady really is an embarrassment to the republican party. Here is a former governor who found it too tough to finish out her elected term, and the republican party wants her to be a spokesman for it? A woman who could not even think on her feet so she had to write notes on her hand? This is the leadership the right is looking for? Notice she mocks the attempts to try and address obesity, yet she will be one of the first to tell those overweight people who end up in emergency rooms to "take responsibility" for their selves. Yes, not only an embarrassment for the republican party, but an anchor around their legs.

    March 16, 2013 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  2. Expat American

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

    Sarah Palin is correct. Because as usual, it's all about Sarah Palin!

    March 16, 2013 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  3. ObamaReigns

    Nintex.

    We should all know these so called politicians who are working for America (who are they kidding), ALL use a teleprompter.

    The gall of this ignorant woman who still spews hatred upon progressives and our president.

    March 16, 2013 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  4. ObamaReigns

    If we can all stand it, Palin is coming out with another book. What else...it's all about Christmas.
    Can't understand why the publishing company took this woman on to write another book. Really!

    March 16, 2013 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  5. Aric

    She looks terrible!

    March 16, 2013 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  6. WillB

    Last year SarahPAC took in donation of over $5million for the sole purpose of advancing the conservative agenda. Of that amount Sarah spent all but $300,000 on herself. Obviously that's what she planned to "acvance" from day 1. As Bill Kristol said, the problem with the Tea Party is it has been taken over by con artists.

    March 16, 2013 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  7. Michael

    That they even invited her shows they've got a LONG way to go when it comes to re-branding. Fox News had the right idea (for once) when they gave her a pay cut and thus sent her stomping off in a huff.

    March 16, 2013 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  8. mom

    I thoroughly enjoyed Palin's appearance and remarks. She is electrifying and most definitely refreshing. I would vote for her for president ANY DAY over what is in the Oval Office now. She would do an EXCELLENT job. She would get results QUICKLY in helping the US. The way our major media treats her is a sure sign that they know they are inferior to this exceptionally patriotic and remarkably underrated lady. She's ALL THAT compared to most Americans in the public eye at this point in our history. I absolutely, positively wish her and her family the very best. You go, Mrs. Palin. I thank God we have you.

    March 16, 2013 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  9. bajadelmar

    I see her fame is circling the drain. It's funny that this shameful empty-headed bimbo still thinks the ever dwindling audiences she attracts to listen to another one of hateful meaningless diatribes are going to make her popular again. It's never going to happen. She appeals to a small percentage of "Mericans" as spiteful and bitter minded as she is.

    March 16, 2013 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  10. Eddie

    Funny how so many CNN drones went to the trouble of posting snarky comments, considering "Sarah doesn't matter". She lives rent-free in your heads 24/7, admit it. And for the photo editor at CNN who went through the entire file of shots to find the most unattractive picture you could, congratulations...you are a good little Democrat. Now how about some photos of Obama with the fly on his face?

    March 16, 2013 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  11. Tam

    What happened to the respected Republican Party of decades ago?

    March 16, 2013 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  12. bajadelmar

    I see her fame is circling the drain. It's funny that this shameful empty-headed imbecile still thinks the ever dwindling audiences she attracts to listen to another one of hateful meaningless diatribes are going to make her popular again. It's never going to happen. She appeals to a small percentage of "Mericans" as spiteful and bitter minded as she is.

    March 16, 2013 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  13. bajadelmar

    I see her fame is circling the drain. It's funny that this shameful brain dead imbecile still thinks the ever dwindling audiences she attracts to listen to another one of hateful meaningless diatribes are going to make her popular again. It's never going to happen. She appeals to a small percentage of "Mericans" as spiteful and bitter minded as she is.

    March 16, 2013 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  14. Starrface

    I can't believe our governor even let Sarah Palin in this state. She's gotta be the biggest goof-ball of all times.

    March 16, 2013 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  15. svann

    Wait, what's wrong with background checks? Does she actually have a point, and if so why doesnt she get to it?

    March 16, 2013 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  16. nadinesh

    Such a stupid woman. But not as dumb as the people who think what she says is valid. Is she still claiming the President was born in Africa? How transparently idiotic. Just one of the crowd of hopelessly marooned what hillbillies watching the nation's truck exhaust as it passes them by.

    March 16, 2013 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  17. becky

    Sarah Palin has managed to make a lot of money as a result of her candidacy for VP. She left her position in Alaska. She and FOX parted ways. It is time for her to drum up a new cause. However, we may be unhappy with political parties and politicians but we do not need another grass roots campaign. We are polarized enough. We need a campaign to bring us back together. We have had enough of her brand of politics. We need to respect each other and other opinions and then we need to sit down and communicate and cooperate.

    March 16, 2013 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  18. Tom

    "We're here to restore America and the rest is just theatrics. The rest is sound and fury. It's just making noise."

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

    How in the world did she manage to speak those words out loud and not have her tiny head explode from the irony?

    March 16, 2013 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  19. frank thomas

    I read the llist of people at the cpac meeting of conservatives, everyone a looser, The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over with the same results, All the Republicans can do is talk with the same ole thlilng, no one wants to hear about, a clue to the R,s you have at least three things to change,abortion muct be available to any women,Gay Marriage as long as sancitioned by the government mkkust be eligible to anyone, Immigration reform must include respect for all imimigrants.egal or not.

    March 16, 2013 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  20. RightyLefty

    ...he's got the rifle, I've got the rack," she said.

    Ah, yes. She got that from a current country song. Not an original thought in that air pocket atop her shoulders.

    March 16, 2013 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  21. MIke

    I've been hearing it all these years, but what exactly is "Big Government?" I believe everybody to a certain extent would want government to regulate human activities, right? It's so vague. Then it occurred to me that the GOP want it to be vague because everybody also to a certain extent wants government off limits to certain human activity of their choosing. In other words "big government" is what you call in cognitive linguistics a "frame." GOP voters doesn't have the same interests, each have their own redress and grievances, and so they have to have a rallying cry – "big government."

    March 16, 2013 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  22. jim1004

    Palin and Big Gulp are appropriate in the same sentence! What a freak!

    March 16, 2013 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  23. FM

    What a shrill, obnoxious nothing she is. Wow, she drinks soda, how revolutionary.

    March 16, 2013 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  24. Thomas

    She is such a fool . Anything to act like she is a cool , truly a rebel without a clue !

    March 16, 2013 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  25. Told You So

    this is what happens when you don't pay attention in class...

    March 16, 2013 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
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