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. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    In comparison to previous administrations especially the last one, then there is much more than before. For Palin to offer anything, it would require her to have a plan that isn't a high sticking pile of something that is unmentionable.

    March 16, 2013 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  2. Ohreally

    So let me get this straight. Sarah was all worked up about sexist comments about her during the campaign. But she has no problem talking about her rack during a CPAC speech. Crazy

    March 16, 2013 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  3. Seth Hill

    I think Conservatives have articulated their message very well. I think most Americans understand that they stand for individual freedom, less government, lower taxes, unrestricted owning of guns, and a return to traditional religious values. True Conservatives believe in their hearts that this message is right, and all Americans should believe in those values. Perhaps all Americans should.
    However, most American's don't.

    March 16, 2013 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  4. G_Edwards

    "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."

    So much different than the divide and conquer of the Dems.

    Pres Obama: "punish our enemies" – in reference to those who disagree with him.

    Then compare State of the Union speeches between Pres Obama and Pres Bush. Bush NEVER talks about us vs. them. Pres Obama repeatedly points out how he thinks the Repubs are the problem.


    March 16, 2013 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  5. bro

    good idea to restore America after bush destroyed it, but restoring will not happen by the republican way

    March 16, 2013 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  6. Max Powers

    It's funny that they talk about moving forward, but keep bringing out the people that America has rejected over and over.

    March 16, 2013 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  7. SkepticalOne

    Nobody else wants to hear your message Sarah. Go back to swatting mosquitoes on the tundra.

    March 16, 2013 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  8. myway

    Palin found the perfect subject to re-enter a national debate. It's about an oversized drink, with no nutritional value, tons of empty calories, and potentially bad for your health. That about sums her up.

    March 16, 2013 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  9. pattysboi

    She's an idiot, plain and simple. Can you imagine what it would have been like if McCain had won the 2008 election? palin and her trailer trash "family" would be crawling out of the woodwork in the White House.

    March 16, 2013 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  10. joe

    Can she get any sillier or less significant? She has stepped over the line into the realm of self-satrre without even knowing it.

    March 16, 2013 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  11. dnpkim

    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 someone 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 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  12. Biff Omney

    Somehow seeing Palin drinking a Big Gulp while delivering a speech suits her.

    March 16, 2013 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  13. revolting peasant

    The good news is that all of this talk about Big Gulps is raising awareness. I know many overweight people who just in the last year realized that all of this talk about diabetes and metabolic disorder was about them and they started to turn it around. Not all fat people are stupid. Many are just stuck in a rut of sugar addiction and bad habits both of which can be broken. BTW, Sarah Palin is the one mocking the fatties and mocking herself by pretending she drinks that stuff!

    March 16, 2013 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  14. Poster

    I liked her speech.

    March 16, 2013 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  15. texasnotea

    Pardon me Sarah if I don't believe you. Truth is, I just don't trust the GOP on just about everything especially when it comes to telling the truth. You and the others like you only want to profit off of selling doubt and fear. No thanks, I'm not interested and I believe most Americans feel the same way.

    March 16, 2013 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  16. Jodie

    This party just keeps repeating the same mistakes, still bringing out the people (like Palin) Americans don't want in office–they still aren't listening to what voters want, still aren't inclusive; they still can't figure out why voters rejected Romney. This is why I left the party-they just don't get it. Chris Christie has the highest approval rating of any politician right now, and the Republican party ignores him. Jindal was right–they need to quit being "the stupid party".

    March 16, 2013 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  17. WhereIsPalin

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

    March 16, 2013 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  18. Randy, San Francisco

    Vintage Sarah Palin throwing red meat to the rabid conservative crowd. She will distract the moderate Republican establishment from making meaningful changes. This bodes well for Democrats in the next two election cycles.

    March 16, 2013 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  19. Larry L

    @Rick Patel

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

    March 16, 2013 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  20. Gavin Ford

    Oh boy. I used to say she needs to go away. But the more I think about it the more I realize we need this dimwit around for the comedy value.

    March 16, 2013 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  21. ar

    technically, if she is drinking a coke in this photo, then the fructose in her hand is metabolized by her liver into ethanol, a toxic poison that leads to heart disease & the metabolic syndrome: T2DM, CRF, and Hepatic Lipidosis or fatty liver disease. that's not politics, it's bio-chem ...

    March 16, 2013 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  22. Andy

    I used to wish she would just go away, but seeing how much she helps the Democrats, she can stay.

    March 16, 2013 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  23. Larry L

    Her efforts to fight efforts to curb childhood obesity are exactly what I'd expect from Silly Sarah. Still, she's made millions because the RNC was looking for a hot chick to prop-up John McCain and they were too lazy to do good research. In 2012 they tried "Lyin' Ryan" to prop up Romney. Maybe they should just find a rational candidate that doesn't need a poodle in their lap. Just a suggestion...

    March 16, 2013 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  24. paul Crozer

    That silent screech you hear is the world's smallest violin...playing for the demise of the Republican Party.

    March 16, 2013 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  25. jack

    why do all who post on this site haft to talk bad about another person. just because she has a different point of view than you.what should matter is all american people coming together no matter what the race and solving are countries problems..

    March 16, 2013 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
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