(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.
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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."
Finally found someone who wants to hear your talk.? Go away. Can you still see Russia from your house?
We here in the USA are so fortunate. What if we had ever ended up with this silly/foolish woman as VP ? We would be the laughing stock of the entire world. I feel sympathy for Senator McCain as he ran for President with her as VP. Does anybody with sense and intelligence have anything to do with her? Does she have any friends? I have never heard one good word about her. Can she still see Russia across the bay while she is having a Tea Party?
That's the only crowd that would pay to listen to her. I think the rest of us just want Ms. Palin to go away.
Why does the press give that idiot the time of day?
This woman has no shame. All we want is background checks and mental health screenings for anyone wanting to buy a gun. She is critical of President Obama, but what is she doing at this NRA meeting – pandering to them for a ton of money.
She is a loser, needs to be called out for being a total loser. Her comments show she is immoral with regards to people getting killed by gun violence., Her day is coming and when it does, nobody will care.
Yes Sarah,"politics of emotion" will not make the nation safer....words of advice that you should foloow yourself.
Leave it to Palin to promote herself as the champion of Big Gulps, big guns, and Big Tobacco.
This is interesting. NRA followers idolize Sarah Palin. This says it all.
Sarah Palin is a disgrace and should be asked to leave this country. We need to gather all the freaks and put them on an ark out of here.
Can you IMAGINE this "person" from Alaska dealing with a Vladimir Putin??? He'd send a junior aid to eat her for a snack.
Right. So Bush used 9/11 as an excuse to invade Iraq, so he can show the country a big enough response, and that's leadreship, but when Obama reminds the nation that the extremist ideology of the NRA costs real people their lives, that's emotionalism. What a disgusting hypocrite she is.
She is right where see belongs, with all the other nuts....
She is still just as stupid as she ever was.
What a twit.
Talk about a sore looser, she couldn't even complete one term as governor of Alaska, and she runs Obama in the ground. Real women do not hunt, they can't stand the thought of killing a defenseless animal, any more than a defenseless person.
Michelle Obama is saying that children fear for their lives every day in Chicago public schools, not knowing if they will live to see another. That' Democrat cruelty forcing children into those hell holes.
Ugh. Just plain ugh Sarah.
Palin is walking comedy show. Someone who leaves office midterm has no right to criticize anyone on being an effective or ineffective leader.
An idi0t leading the brainwashed. And they say Obama is the messiah...
after reading this article – I was thinking of what Herman Cain had said once, about "electrifying a fence" – – and make it part of the border. Then I thought : that wouldn't be a bad idea if they placed caribou Barbie in the Alaska wilderness somewhere, and put up the "fence" that herman cain was talking about, so this gal wouldn't escape to the lower 48, with her radical views on everything.
Sarah Palin blasted Obama? Gee, what a headline. This has to be the stupidest, most opportunistic person who ever drew breath – and I'm a Republican! People like her are destroying the party.
God Lord, she's back but she certainly looks the worse for wear. It certainly speaks volumes that the NRA invites the likes of her and bat-crazy Ted Nugent. Proof positive that they are an extremist organization.
Obama never lets a grieving parent go to waste. His Gun-Grab traveling show will be coming to a town near you.
I know that the NRA and Sarah Palin are so much smarter than nearly 90% of population that supported background checks to purchase guns even at gun shows. I know that the NRA wants the nation to deal with the real problem mental illness, however they opposed the recent background check. How then do you keep the guns out of the hands of those with mental issues?.
Sarah Palin is one of the few truth-tellers who will work for
the America Citizens. She is America's Man On Horseback!
this shows how out of touch with reality the nra is. they have a complete loser addressing their audience. someone who did not know that n korea were bad guys.