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. likeaplan

    Love her or hate her [$arah Palin]. She has the talent to fire up a conservative crowd. Other politicians wish they had that talent....Democrat 2016

    March 17, 2013 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  2. mike

    She is running hard for President and she is a major hypocrite. I know darn well she and her family dont drink that dibetes special. She just wants poor people to have the "choice" to put it in the baby's bottle.

    March 17, 2013 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  3. anagram_kid

    Palin said, “Shoot, it's just pop with low calorie ice cubes in it.”

    I am actually picturing her ordering a beverage with 'low calorie ice cubes.' Psssst GOP, she is not getting any smarter.

    March 17, 2013 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  4. Cynthia

    She cracks me up. However, if she adds lobbyists to the list, I might give her a sliver of credibility (like the NRA). I always crack up when she or another far-right winger talks about liberty or less government. Who wants to make it harder for citizens to vote? That would be the Tea Party GOP. Who wants to have the government to make more and more laws outlawing personal choice? That would be the Tea Party GOP (usually based on some Christian fundamentalist dogma that not only means more government, but ignores the First Amendment..leading to LESS liberty). Flake would have won Arizona even if he had been convicted of child assault, murder or is Arizona, afterall (my lovely Tea Party controlled state).

    March 17, 2013 12:22 am at 12:22 am |
  5. Alex

    The big problem with Palin is that she's so "in your face".

    March 17, 2013 12:35 am at 12:35 am |
  6. Jiggs

    Well all I can say is; "there is no FOOL like an OLD FOOL". Sarah is a perfect poster child for the educational example of "no child left behind"!

    March 17, 2013 12:35 am at 12:35 am |
  7. Dan

    Uh, the Big Gulp was never subject to the large size soft drink rule, only restaurants, convenience stores are regulated by the State of New York..

    March 17, 2013 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  8. spudnik56

    What a sad, pitiful excuse for a human...

    March 17, 2013 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
  9. Anonymous

    The Paris Hilton of politics.......Sorry Paris

    March 17, 2013 12:50 am at 12:50 am |
  10. J.C.

    Sarah Palin went to CPAC and saw her shadow, which means 8 more years of Democratic presidencies.

    March 17, 2013 01:05 am at 1:05 am |
  11. CommonSenseSam

    Palin = QUITTER. Her version of smaller government is to get herself hired then quit the job halfway through.

    WHO DOES THAT?!? Seriously!
    No sane person does that. Nobody.

    She's proven she cannot be trusted in government. That's all there is to it. She failed at government. She failed as a TV personality. The only thing she seems to be successful at is generating anger and discord.

    She's the all-American drama-mama who's struggling hard to figure out how to keep milking the rest of you for bills. "Hmmm.. I'm famous, maybe I can get people to give me money so I can pretend like I'm going to run for president then not run for president and use it to pay for a campaign headquarters expansion to my house."

    March 17, 2013 01:20 am at 1:20 am |
  12. Fair Isaac

    Why bother targeting Bloomberg with a Big Gulp-why not just shoot off some rounds with a Bushmaster instead, really go to town. It would be fun to see 1500 Conservatives duck and cover simultaneously.

    March 17, 2013 02:03 am at 2:03 am |
  13. Wilderbeast

    Good old Sarah, all she did was show how misinformed and ignorant she can be – I really didn't support Bloomberg's ban, however you'd think if someone was going to use a 'prop' as a centerpiece to show up the policy of another politician she would know that the 'prop' in question wouldn't have been involved in the ban, such as the 'The big gulp' sold at 7 eleven. Secondly you'd think that she would have realized that the ban, slated to go into effect on March 12 was actually overturned by a judge before that date so it was never even put into effect.

    March 17, 2013 02:28 am at 2:28 am |
  14. KellyF

    Why is this nobody still running her mouth? No one is listening anymore. Did she miss a memo? Or more likely, she was unable to read it.

    March 17, 2013 02:40 am at 2:40 am |
  15. mistamista

    Wow! What a rebel that Palin is, right? She's saying, "To hell with those guys! I want a32 oz coke and a Twinkie with a side of fatness and cancer. I'm surprised that the drink didn't wash of the notes she had in her palm.

    March 17, 2013 02:47 am at 2:47 am |
  16. Rob

    Drinking an over sized cup of soda to Sarah Palin is an act of rebellion? I wonder how many republicans see it the same way? This is ironic in that republicans hark personal responsibility as one of the most important aspects of being a republican but then those same rebellious republicans who drink that garbage and become obese then will come to rely upon government funded health care to take care of their diabetes!

    March 17, 2013 03:10 am at 3:10 am |
  17. Mel Stricker

    Yes, 'Liberty', 'Less Government' and 'Low Taxes'

    The Liberty to ignore anyone anyone or any family less fortunate then a Conservative

    Less Government by cutting any program that does not help rich people

    Lower Taxes for the rich; because people who are poor don't pay taxes, the rich can pay people to find the loop holes so they don't have to pay taxes and the middle class doesn't matter so they can pay all the taxes.

    March 17, 2013 04:11 am at 4:11 am |
  18. a b

    she talks about unity and that we're all brothers and sisters and crap, yet never misses a chance to insult any liberal or left wing person or policy. i'm a Republican and i can't stand that this woman is a representative of my party. she's a loud mouth cheerleader who never has anything of substance to every say.

    March 17, 2013 04:12 am at 4:12 am |
  19. Vasya Bricklyn

    Couldn't keep a job as a governor- and even Fox thought she was too loony to portray an individual of credibility.

    March 17, 2013 04:40 am at 4:40 am |
  20. Abdul

    No sir, no sir, I don't like her.

    March 17, 2013 04:50 am at 4:50 am |
  21. Colman

    Every picture of this (so called) human being, looks more and more like someone in need of help from a shrink. In other words she needs a checkup, from the neck up.

    March 17, 2013 04:55 am at 4:55 am |
  22. ART

    I think she's great. She does a good job annoying the left. Anyone who can get the left that fired up commands my respect. It's fun to see that hate coming from the party of tolerance. Sure she is rough around the edges but she's fun to listen to. Not VP material but she's Senator material. Perfect in my opinion.

    March 17, 2013 05:23 am at 5:23 am |
  23. debbie

    Here she goes again,preaching hate for our president and for American citizens.

    March 17, 2013 05:31 am at 5:31 am |
  24. Paul

    Christie biting the doughnut on Letterman was funny, great timing, great effect. Palin is a poor copy-cal

    March 17, 2013 06:08 am at 6:08 am |
  25. pprty

    Where is your HERO, George Bush?

    March 17, 2013 06:16 am at 6:16 am |
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