April 9th, 2010
03:01 PM ET
13 years ago

Palin drills down in policy in high-profile speech

ALT TEXT Sarah Palin delivered a speech Friday at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference. (PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images)

New Orleans (CNN) - Her speeches are typically loaded with partisan zingers and Obama-bashing, but for the first time since the 2008 presidential campaign, Sarah Palin delivered a speech that focused as much on policy ideas as it did on political combat.

To be sure, her much-anticipated remarks Friday to the Southern Republican Leadership Conference were laced with a heavy dose of Republican cheerleading that drew cheers from the audience of party activists who had earlier stampeded into the speech venue to snag prime seating for her appearance.

"There is no shame in being the 'Party if No' if the other side is proposing an idea that violates our values, violates our conscience, violates the Constitution," she said, deviating from former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who urged the SRLC crowd on Thursday to pivot to being the "Party of Yes."

But without shying away from heated partisan rhetoric, Palin spent the latter half of her talk expounding on differences between Democratic and Republican energy policies, a comfortable topic for the former Alaska governor and onetime chair of the state's Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.

She called President Obama's decision to expand offshore drilling "smoke and mirrors" - cover for a slate of more liberal energy policies that he and Democrats in Congress plan to enact.

She faulted the Obama administration for not opening up more areas to oil and gas drilling, particularly in her home state of Alaska. It's time to "stop ignoring" the National Petroluem Reserve Alaska and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, she said, even if a caribou has to "take one for the team."

"It's 'Drill, Baby, Drill,' not 'Stall, Baby, Stall,'" she said.

On foreign policy, Palin launched a volley of attacks against the White House that echoed some of the missives she has posted on her Facebook page over the last year. The Obama administration, she claimed, "alienates our friends."

"They treated Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai poorly and acted surprised when he reacted in kind," she said. "And they escalated a minor zoning decision into a major breach with Israel, our closest ally in the Middle East."

And acknowledging Thursday's headlines, Palin couldn't resist a mocking jab at President Obama after he charged in an ABC News interview that she is "not much of an expert" on nuclear weapons.

"And President Obama, with all that vast nuclear expertise he acquired as a community organizer, a part-time senator, and a candidate for president, has accomplished nothing to date with Iran or North Korea," she said.

soundoff (218 Responses)
  1. Linda C

    Sarah Palin can run circles around BO...

    April 9, 2010 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  2. President Obama could walk on water and the Party of NO would still complain that he left footprints!

    The notes on her hand say "drill baby drill", they are from last night when she whispering into Todd's ear.

    April 9, 2010 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    Knowing how much FOX NEWS loves to quote numbers, they should check out the comments on Sarah P. I'd say 98% are negative. Of course, in the Fox World they'd turn those numbers around and give her a 89% approval rating. Go Fox.

    April 9, 2010 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  4. Edward Wild

    Drill Baby Drill.Yes drill her head.

    April 9, 2010 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  5. ruty

    Palin is like a pesky gnat. Just buzz-buzz-buzz. Somebody please swat her and put me out of my misery.

    April 9, 2010 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  6. Jay Kay, Minneapolis

    Is she writing on her hand again ???

    April 9, 2010 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  7. theamericanvoice

    Ha, ha – what a joke... bring it on in 2012. In 2008, i heard her speech at RNC and immediately donated to Obama. I cannot wait for a rematch...

    Bring It ON !!!!

    April 9, 2010 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  8. Bryan

    Palin has got to be the dumbest person in politics...she is destroying her party for personal fortune. How is it that anyone supports this woman? Is this all the republican party has to offer? Really?

    The GOP has absolutely no chance at the White House in 2012. None whatsoever 😀

    April 9, 2010 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  9. Pete

    Even sadder than the fact that Palin is truly inept is that there are so many stupid Americans taken in by her winky ditsy affect.

    April 9, 2010 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  10. Jane

    MAYBE PRESIDENT OBAMA does not know a heck of a lot abt nuclear expertise, but he has advisors who does, who does Palin have , the tea partiers advice. What a joke she is. Jane

    April 9, 2010 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  11. Ralph

    She refers to the issues that prevent Israeli-Palestine peace as a "minor zoning decision"

    Can this woman be any more ignorant. If, by some horrible lapse of sense and judgment, this idiot makes it into the White House, all those things the far Right is pretending is happening now (i.e. the trampling of the Constitution, the disintegration of our alliances with other nations, the overall destruction of our country) will actually happen.

    Conservative, Liberal, Independent, devout Christian...we should all be deathly afraid of the prospect of this woman being in a position of national power.

    April 9, 2010 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  12. Victim of GOP Taliban

    Awww how cute. It's the American Petroleum Industry's spokeswoman in Red. Target , fire , slander , lie...what else has this troll done to poison America with meaningless jiberish. I dunno invent new words that aren't even in the English language?

    April 9, 2010 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  13. Barbara

    I'm a Canadian woman... and this person, straight out of Alice in Wonderland..scares the crap out of me.... to think that there are so many of our southern neighbours who think that this airhead has a clue about world affairs, (or anything higher than the discounted price on her book) makes me wonder what potent hallicinatory drug is in that tea.

    The war cry "take our country back" comes from the same mouth that praised the Alaskan Secessionist movement. So now... the country she wanted her state to leave... is the country she wants to take back? Sounds an awful lot like bipolar disease to me!.

    And to think we share a border with Alaska north.... and to her hot air south.. leaves me with "the vapours".

    April 9, 2010 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  14. JonDie

    Repubs are the party of "no." Period. They have no ideas, nor have they ever had any idea. Instead of pushing on into the future, the GOP is the party of the Stone Age.

    April 9, 2010 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  15. Loder

    I can see a lot of the familiar Organizing for America crowd on here. You have nothing of value to say, just hatred and further dividing of our Country. Stop drinking the kool-aid and have a cup of coffee or Tea. How about discussing the issues and backing up what the President is doing if you believe it is the right path. It frightens me to think that hating a fellow citizen this much does not display the type of tolerance that is supposed to be a pillar of the left. Your party is about to tip over along with Guam!

    April 9, 2010 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  16. sheena - Canada

    I once saw a movie where Native Indians were ashamed of the behaviour of one of their tribe – there was no shouting, no name calling, no violence – they stood with hoods over their face – it left a lasting impression on me. Everytime I hear Sarah Palin speak – I feel like doing the same thing!!
    I am a white, Christian female.

    April 9, 2010 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  17. BCrunner

    And, by the way, I find Sarah entertaining. She does not get under my skin either... I am always curious what will come out of her mouth next.... She is definitely not politically educated and cannot have a serious discussion about complex issues.... She may understand energy, but from one perspective and that's drilling production... In the future we will need to derive egergy from many sources... I doubt she can grasp the complexities of the issue... that's why she will not sit down for serious interviews...

    April 9, 2010 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  18. Joanne

    What is wrong with this picture? Palin bashes the media especially CNN and these fools keep giving her more and more exposure. Stop torturing the rest of the world please!!!!!!!!!!

    April 9, 2010 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
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