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. CTYank

    Careful, Sarah, with all the ankle-biting. What goes around, comes around. As ye sow, so shall ye reap.

    March 16, 2013 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  2. sqeptiq

    The more teapublicans who support Screech Palin, the better for the democrats. Watching Screech and RPaul is like watching a suicide bomber go off in slow motion.

    March 16, 2013 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  3. JM

    Her name should be Screech.

    March 16, 2013 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  4. Biff Omney

    Someone needs to tell this "political celebrity" that Big Gulps are not banned by the new law in NYC.

    March 16, 2013 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  5. Mork

    As usual Palin is on the wrong side of every social issue. I'm so disappointed that this dimwit is back in the news. Actually, that just means that evil (GOP) will be defeated again in 2016.

    March 16, 2013 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  6. Iowa Hawkeye

    This woman is nothing but theatrics.

    March 16, 2013 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  7. Iowa Hawkeye

    She would do well to take a cue from the new Pope and consider a spirit of humility and love for the poor and vulnerable in this nation.

    March 16, 2013 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  8. chris

    as long as the gop doesnt rid itself of people like that moron, they will lose election after election. i cant believe that imbecile is still getting a platform to utter her nonsense.

    March 16, 2013 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  9. bobhamiltonchicago

    Good to finally see posts of Sarah sucking and swallowing some liquid refreshment. She's good. What was she talking about?

    March 16, 2013 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  10. w1nluv

    Who is she again?

    March 16, 2013 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  11. Leroy

    Sarah is so proud of the GOP college kids and their big gulp rum and Coke....

    March 16, 2013 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  12. Galactus93

    Love the extra large drink.

    March 16, 2013 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  13. Belseth

    Yep her big social issue is the right to chug gallons of raw sugar water. Real Presidential material!

    March 16, 2013 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  14. txvoter

    @FormerRepublican Clearly, you are not. Obama is the most far left member of his party so how any republican can support his policies is utterly ridiculous. you may have called yourself a republican, but you didn't understand what it means or what the platform is. you are a tax and spend liberal in a moderate's sheepskin.

    March 16, 2013 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  15. zaphed

    yes correct, reach out after what? after you called every one who is not you lots of names and planned to kill them? Listen , you are the scum of the earth and the scourge of america. Sip that crap as much as you because I do not drink soda any more and I will never vote for any republican even if hitler is the prez of USA. Buzz off.

    March 16, 2013 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  16. Lance Armstrong

    Until the GOP finds some leadership and puts a muzzle on goofs like Sarah they stand absolutely no chance.

    March 16, 2013 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  17. GrogInOhio

    Serious question.... why would CPAC, or anyone else for that matter, care what Sarah Palin says? She lost as VP candidate. She quit as governor. She was dismissed at Faux News. Seriously... who cares what she says or thinks?

    March 16, 2013 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  18. vidal808

    Why is she still in the news? She should fade away in to the sunset and stay there for good. I don't like to see or hear again from her.....gosh....!

    March 16, 2013 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  19. LogIK

    She's starting to look like "Pat' from old SNL....time marches on..

    March 16, 2013 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  20. CARTER

    These people who have so much to say about Sarah just wish they had her brains for a couple minutes and then they could say we have one smart one in the group. obama is the most senseless president we have ever had and his backers are more stupider than he ever thought to be and I say that because they write all this garbage about other people. How much do you get paid for doing it???

    March 16, 2013 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  21. Miked

    Too much sugar fuels the violence and crime in this country. This fuels the cash-flow for courts and law enforcement, thus, the republican party.

    March 16, 2013 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  22. RamboJohnJ

    "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,"

    Speaking of those losing elections...

    To the Republican party: Until you quit allowing idiots like Miss Alaska here to be the faces and one of the voices for your party, say goodbye to anyone thinking of giving your party a second chance.. Wake up already.

    March 16, 2013 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  23. JohnnyInSNJ

    They didn't learn anything in 2012.

    March 16, 2013 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  24. Fred Fredericksen

    Palin is part of the GOP's problem, not the solution.

    March 16, 2013 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  25. jay_hawk

    Palin was a governor of the biggest state of the United States. All you big mouths what have you done except set on a couch watching a ball game, soap operas, play video games, getting fat, and draw unemployment and welfare.

    March 16, 2013 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
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