(CNN) - Sarah Palin blasted President Barack Obama and gun control advocates Friday, blaming them for "exploiting" recent mass shooting tragedies to promote their political agenda.
Speaking to a welcoming crowd at the National Rifle Association convention in Houston, the folksy former governor from Alaska also used chewing tobacco at one point to draw some laughs.
Follow @politicalticker Follow @KilloughCNN
Palin, wearing a shirt that read "Women hunt," was one of several speakers at the NRA gathering who targeted the Obama administration and some lawmakers for wanting tighter firearm restrictions after the Newtown elementary school massacre.
In the days leading up to the Senate's April 17 vote on gun control proposals, the president invited families of Newtown victims to fly on Air Force One to Washington and lobby Congress.
Newtown families also participated in media interviews and appeared in an ad made by Mayors Against Illegal Guns, the pro-gun control group co-chaired by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
When the upper chamber ultimately fell short of the 60 votes needed to pass a bipartisan compromise to expand the background check system, some of those family members stood behind the president not long after the vote as he chided Capitol Hill for what he described as a "shameful day in Washington."
Palin argued the president was practicing the "politics of emotion" by "flying in grieving parents on Air Force One, making them backdrops in his perpetual campaign-style press events."
Par for the course, the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee faulted the media for being a "reliable, poodle-skirted cheerleader for a president who writes the book on exploiting tragedy."
Politics of emotion, she argued, won't make the country safer. "It's the opposite of leadership. It's the manipulation of the people by the politicians for their own political ends. It's not just self-serving. It's destructive and it must stop."
Charging the president with being disingenuous in the wake of the shooting was a running theme throughout the day at the NRA. Palin added Obama was ignoring another tragedy.
"We could use a bit more emotion by the way of what goes on every single day on the streets of cities like Chicago and New York," Palin said.
Speaking of New York, Palin took the opportunity to take a swipe at Bloomberg, a mayor she has vehemently opposes for what she describes as his nanny state politics. In her last big speech at a major conservative gathering in March, Palin made headlines for sipping a "Big Gulp" on stage, a knock against New York's ban against certain large sugary drinks.
"Now I see that the mayor of New York now wants to ban public displays of legal tobacco products," she said, referring to his recent push to keep tobacco products out of sight at stores in order to de-glamorize the product.
"I tell ya," she said, as she pulling out a pack of chewing tobacco. "Don't make me do it."
With the crowd roaring, she put the pack back in her pocket.
"It's funny because Todd's been looking for this all morning."
The NRA has for a very long time been the single largest threat to responsible gun ownership in the US. The NRA's new man refers to the Civil War as 'The war of Northern Aggression'. The NRA is looking more and more like a consortium of white supremacy groups. It's demise is inevitable. We who are responsible gun owners and hunters need to build an organization that reflects our more moderate position before the NRA scares the rest of the public into really meaningless controls.
Has this woman ever come up with one workable solution to anything? And still there are those who think she is capable to being POTUS. How sad and unpatriotic of you.
I have rocks in my front yard that have more intelligence than this backwoods Barbie.
To all of those who think Sarah Palin is making liberal heads explode as she tries so hard to highlight her lack of intellectual witticisms by using rather crass behavior in a public forum filled with like minded individuals: Think again.
The boiling nastiness on display here in the criticisms of Sarah Palin reveals a great deal about the authors of the comments. They are people that are not capable of recognizing virtue and strength in an American heroine despite being her political opponent.
We should be looking for fine character in a President. Sarah Palin has demonstrated that in abundance.
The Complicit News Network and the censorship of free speech. They want to dumb you democrats down even more, which makes you wonder how low can you sheeple go............
the ONLY and I mean ONLY thing that she's got that could fire up this crowd of degenerates is under her T shirt.
I guess its not all about the kids, huh Sarah? Pitiful, pathetic, wretch of a person with no identifiable human attributes.
I think it might be better if the crowd fired on her. The dim leading the dimwitted.
Hey nose, just what is it exactly that Palin has "won" except the award for stupidest person with name recognition in America? No one even has to defeat her, she will quit in a heartbeat.
This is the same woman who started her speech a few years back with "keeping them in the crosshairs" and some nut then went out shooting killing a couple of people and almost killing a congress woman. What a bunch of hateful low IQers. How how can a group of people bent on stupidity continue to be stupid. How did she and others become Governors and other public officials?
Why do the news media give this overgrown cheerleader any credibility for anything??? Must be because of greed yet again!!!
In contracting at 23, worth over 100 million dollars...got Frank to reverse the statutes of limitations...that got the Catholic Church exposed...I sent MEM an email and Palin resigned 24 hours later...upcoming trials will return a HUGE stock in BP...
Still in contracting, also earning a Masters in Justice Administration...already tapped to be a Magistrate...not done with college yet...be patient...yup my resume is great...
They deserve each other...both like to 'pull the trigger' and watch people and animals die....what a hideous combination..Greed and soulless....
TRANSLATION...We really, *really*, *REALLY* HATE President Obama. His father was Kenyan and his mother was white, but in our eyes, he's B*L*A*C*K. How are he claim to be a Christian. Even though the Bible reveals that Jesus was actually an olive-skinned, liberal Jew who fought the money-changers, only white, authoritarian, conservatives like us can be *true* Christians. Even though the second amendment actually says "A well-regulated militia..." we think *any* sensible regulation supported by 84-90% of the American public is bad.We actually demanded background check for everyone back in 1999, but President Obama supports them, so we're now opposed to them.
President Obama could literally discover the cure for cancer and we would oppose it. We will oppose President Obama to our last breath, evenif it destroys us and takes the country down the crapper with us. If wecan't have our A*M*E*R*I*C*A our way, nobody can.
What's *really* scary to us is Obama was re-elected President despite our best attempts to block, sandbag, and sabotage him at every turn which suggests this "changing" political landscape may be...PERMANENT!
She reminds me of Granny off the Beverly Hill Billys.
If you really didn't care about Governor Palin you would 'never' comment on her but since radical anti-American democrats have no self control they simply are compelled to wage their war on women and the fabric of our culture like children in the sand box.
Governor Palin is experienced, shrewd, wealthy, and beloved by millions of genuine supporters of the Bill of Rights
Darn. I was hoping the headline was a misprint and she fired AT the NRA crowd and, hopefully, they fired back.
Sarah reminds me of the class clown. No one takes them seriously, but everyone loves to hear them make a fool of themselves.
She also makes people feel good about themselves. If Sarah can be close to being elected vice-president then even they could be a leader, even they could be a succes, ... and all it takes is standing up and telling people wht they need to do, even if it doesn't make sense.
Vote for Sarah, America's clown.
Any sane person would back comprehensive backgpund check;, however, no one has ever accused right wing fanatic gun owners as being sane. Most jobs require background checks. Gun owners say background checks would be a burden on people wanting to purchase a gun. OH, BOO-HOO!!!.
You got it right Sarah. They are using tragedies as political capital. We got a bunch of sickos in the WH.
That thing on her shirt looks like the only two synapses in her brain that are firing ...
@Anonymous: "Sarah Palin for President! Time to put patriots back in Washington!"
Bwah hah hah hah ...
The fact that a crowd can get "fired" up over Sarah Palin says everything that needs to be said about their intellect.
Ms. Palin is a bellwether. If she is for it, any thinking person is against it.