March 16th, 2013
03:05 PM ET
2 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. drnight

    "We're here to restore America and the rest is just theatrics. " She said while pausing to take a sip from a Big Gulp.

    March 17, 2013 06:18 am at 6:18 am |
  2. nixliberals

    You people writing such hate for Sarah Palin. I agree with many principles she stands for. I want my country not so far in debt as to be disastrous, controlled by the omni-rich. I want low taxes, less gov't. I want to know why Bill Clinton, whom I loved, won't demand an answer for no budget deal in an entire elective cycle. If America keeps up spending, china will be the only bank left for the U.S.

    March 17, 2013 06:19 am at 6:19 am |
  3. Name dani

    Hasn't anyone let Sarah Palin know yet that the absolute last bus for her village is leaving now?

    March 17, 2013 06:51 am at 6:51 am |
  4. bill

    Let her speak, it's a free country. As the voice of the radical right she does a great job of reminding us of what they stand for. She is more transparent than any of the Democratic or Republican members of Congress who hide behind large well funded secretive organizations supporting them. I don't personally agree with anything she says, but at least I know what her positions and intentions really are.

    March 17, 2013 06:58 am at 6:58 am |
  5. captdcb

    I see the traveling freak show is in town.

    March 17, 2013 07:06 am at 7:06 am |
  6. derrick robbins

    America has rejected the msg that conservatives are spewing. Guess Palin didnt get that memo. By 2020, the Tea Party will go the way of the VCR, the Yugo, and parachute pants!

    March 17, 2013 07:10 am at 7:10 am |
  7. Majav

    Bloomberg is not the only Anti Big Gulper so his Romney and his Mormon ideology against caffeine. Nothing like a misguided housewife, who by her own conservative stances, ought to stay at home, getting maxed out on 300 mg of caffeine in front of a large crowd. That's the equivalent on 5 cups of coffee in 10 minutes.

    Stimulated as her endocrine system became, her words fell short. In addition to her Big Gulp she should have sucked back her words and swallowed them down but quick and good.

    March 17, 2013 07:16 am at 7:16 am |
  8. Les

    The more she talks.......the more she makes it easier for the dems!

    March 17, 2013 07:38 am at 7:38 am |
  9. Brian Butcher

    Thank God for Sarah Palin. If only her ethics, morals and family values were shared by others what a wonderful life we Americans would have.

    March 17, 2013 07:44 am at 7:44 am |
  10. Dave

    "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"

    Head in the sand. Your GOP is doomed to irrelevance.

    March 17, 2013 07:48 am at 7:48 am |
  11. CT_Yank

    And to show how relevant and defiant I am, I will now suck down 32 ounces of chemicals that will trash my body.

    This woman's got nothing that the country wants or needs...at least not the part of it that is serious about dealing with its challenges.

    March 17, 2013 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  12. Joe Bennettt

    I remember when cable news networks started and I thought to myself how wonderful it was all going to be, a well informed electorate revitalizing democracy. Then the partisan hack jobs, both left and right started and news stations became propaganda outlets. Your comments section, replete with, I am sorry, I meant devoid of, insightful, well thought out and civil comments, reflect the sad state of affairs.

    March 17, 2013 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  13. A M Boyd

    I think the symbolism of a "big gulp" spurring the GOP onto greater things rather speaks for itself. Now did Sarah use a straw or just pour the big gulp all over her big head?

    March 17, 2013 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  14. dianne

    What scares me the most is that there are others who think like her. They are so angry still over losing they just stomp their feet and demand blood and don't care whose blood they spill. They just cannot accept the fact that its not All About Them. She and others like her will not be happy until there is another civil war. They want this country broken at all cost. All for a case of spoiled, no-class, bullies, who think, 'How dare you disagree with me?!'

    March 17, 2013 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  15. KG

    What I find interesting from the user comments is that they actually sound a bit frightened of what Palin said. I don't believe she would make any kind of leader, but some of what she said hit home. The Republicans do need to start from the grass roots and boot out the rich consultants. They do need to stop trying to manipulate the electorate into voting for them out of fear and start listening to what the voters want and need. My biggest fear is that this country has so many people with their hands out for government goodies (more than half don't pay income tax!) that Obama's redistribution of wealth will destroy our nation. Socialism DOES NOT WORK. There is no motivation or reward for hard work in that type of society. And that is where the Democrats are leading us.

    March 17, 2013 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  16. Charles Tapp Ottawa Canada

    Palin is one of the reasons the GOP is in trouble – she is so shallow, that one could wade through her deepest thoughs and not get their ankles wet – pathetic and to think that l'il Johnny McCain thought she was good VP material – Yikes!

    March 17, 2013 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  17. KevinJLenard

    As long as the GOP keeps listening to Palin, they will stay weak because she speaks to the minority, the far right, the extremists. The centrists amongst conservatives, the ones who swing the vote, believe (as do all modern democracies) that as a country improves, it gets more services provided by government, not less. That means higher costs paid for by gradually rising taxes and more 'Government'. The majority of SMART Americans realize that less guns owned by the shrinking number of households who own guns in the US is a better idea, despite the fact that the arms manufacturers are pumping 6 million NEW guns into the US every year. The majority of Americans who are now overweight 'get it' that for-profit corporations are leveraging highly addictive food products to get them addicted to food, then are turning to investing in health providers/insurance to squeeze MORE money out of them as they die off due to diabetes and other obesity-related issues. Palin is a huckster who leads the bamboozling of the most vulnerable Americans, those who sadly fall on the left side of the bell curve of general intelligence and therefore cling to what is most familiar and comfortable for them, the simple stories and rules of the 'Religious Right'. I'd encourage the GOP to follow her lead as it will continue to mean that the US has a one party, forward-thinking government that will lead for the next 40 years with the Republicans forming the angry, no-change, lame-duck conservative opposition.

    March 17, 2013 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  18. KevinJLenard

    As long as the GOP keeps listening to Palin, they will stay weak because she speaks to the minority, the far right, the extremists. The centrists amongst conservatives, the ones who swing the vote, believe (as do all modern democracies) that as a country improves, it gets more services provided by government, not less. That means higher costs paid for by gradually rising taxes and more 'Government'. The majority of SMART Americans realize that less guns owned by the shrinking number of households who own guns in the US is a better idea, despite the fact that the arms manufacturers are pumping 6 million NEW guns into the US every year. The majority of Americans who are now overweight 'get it' that for-profit corporations are leveraging highly addictive food products to get them addicted to food, then are turning to investing in health providers/insurance to squeeze MORE money out of them as they die off due to diabetes and other obesity-related issues. Palin is a fame-addicted huckster who leads the bamboozling of the most vulnerable Americans, those who sadly fall on the left side of the bell curve of general intelligence and therefore cling to what is most familiar and comfortable for them, the simple stories and rules of the 'Religious Right'. I'd encourage the GOP to follow her lead as it will continue to mean that the US has a one party, forward-thinking government that will lead for the next 40 years with the Republicans forming the angry, no-change, lame-duck conservative opposition.

    March 17, 2013 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  19. ocfblog

    The Real Truth. Cristal Math is all the education working class GOP get.

    March 17, 2013 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  20. Nate

    Great job, Sarah! Truly stated: if you know what you believe in you don't need someone to tell you!

    "To thine own self be true!"

    Have a great day all you liberals.... ;-)

    March 17, 2013 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  21. eric

    She is only speaking the truth. This country is out of control with giving to the minorities

    March 17, 2013 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  22. albert

    She grow more and more anti-American by the day.

    March 17, 2013 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  23. tayllor1234

    Both freedom and rights are futile without the principle of equality of rights.

    Supreme Court justice George Sutherland stated it eloquently when he said, "The right to life, liberty and property are bound together to be essentially one right. To give a man his life but to deny him his liberty is to take from him all that makes life worth living."

    Thank God your Creator for Sarah.

    March 17, 2013 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  24. albert

    What a fool she is.

    March 17, 2013 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  25. Bebe

    Sarah Palin IS the face of all that is wrong with the GOP... yet this simpleton is given a platform opportunity to spew politics of ignorance and division . Sarah Palin IS why the GOP imploded...one vote after another after another after another....after another. GOP please wake up and along with your morning cup of coffee walk this woman out to the curb.

    March 17, 2013 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
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