April 9th, 2010
03:01 PM ET
12 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. KCinLV

    Sarah sure gets in Obama's head (rent free). You would think she was running against him as President or something, hmmmm? I love it how the libs call her names but they don't know the real Sarah. As Governor of Alaska, she has been briefed in security much deeper than any other governor because of where Alaska is located. She is an energy expert and we should be screaming at the politicians to drill that oil out whereever we can. We need to be energy independent of those Arabs who hate us. Let's make some big changes in November and maybe take back our country.

    April 9, 2010 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  2. Sgt. Flagg T. McLiberty, Superpatriot

    "Rome burns and they have high profile playground games shoving unqualified candidates down American's throats."

    The true beauty of Libertarianism is that it allows its proponents to forever wallow in theory.

    April 9, 2010 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  3. horse

    of course, sarah palin is the paris hilton of politics...only paris hilton is occasionally funny.

    April 9, 2010 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  4. George

    And the Republicans weren't Embarrassed?

    April 9, 2010 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  5. Beauty

    I felt dizzy just watching her rant on the stage! There is no comma, semi colon or period in her sentences. It is so hard to listen to her voice or make sense of her sentences. I just wish she can have some substance for a change because I really want to like her. I had to switch the channel to get better news.

    April 9, 2010 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  6. Sandy

    I see she lightened up after the Obama slap down. LMAO

    April 9, 2010 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  7. Steve (the real one)

    Vic of New York April 9th, 2010 3:36 pm ET
    I love Sarah Palin! Every time she opens her mouth she reminds our country of the kind of air-head, brain-dead, red-neck, hicks who have taken oever the Republican Party
    Good thing what you wrote is not a typical liberal racist rant! Oh wait!
    Good thing you don't have any such types in the liberal party! Oh wait! Good thing there is no hatred in the liberal party! Oh wait!
    I could go on but there is only 24 hours in a day!

    April 9, 2010 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  8. Mr. Moderate

    Is that more stuff written on her hand?

    April 9, 2010 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  9. A Kansas

    Is that an ink stain I see on her left hand? Oops the notes are smudged.

    April 9, 2010 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  10. No more Democrats

    Remember Barrack Obama signed the Health Bill that no one wants,
    not Sarah Palin, Remember we have the highest deficits under Barack Obama not Sarah Palin, Remember Barack Obama apologized for being Americans, not Sarah Palin. Remember Barack Obama is destroying this Country not Sarah Palin. Vote for Sarah Palin in 2012 and bring back our Country.

    April 9, 2010 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  11. A Kansas

    Hmm remember where those deficits started, the previous administration.

    April 9, 2010 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  12. mrprincipal03

    Sarah is a nice looking lady for her age. Her downfall is that everytime she opens her mouth, she speaks volumes about herself and her ability without knowing it.

    It amazes me that so many people say stuff with no basis in fact whatsoever. In fact they seem to abhor anything that could be likened to valid information within the context of the subject at hand.

    If people who want to lead this country, dismiss factual information and accept "how they feel" about a particular issue even though it is diametrically opposed to what the facts actually are, we will be ripe for many of the unscrupulous financial, bankers, and wall street types to really get into their role as financial vultures.

    April 9, 2010 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  13. Steve (the real one)

    toller01 April 9th, 2010 3:53 pm ET

    Remember Sarah also resigned from the Oil & Gas Conservation Commission (pattern).
    Remember she resigned due to the corruption on the Commision! Your point being?

    April 9, 2010 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  14. Pragmatic

    Ya gotta love the Daily Show: Newt up there sputtering faux outrage at the nuclear treaty – followed by a video of Reagan himself, talking about a world with NO nuclear weapons.

    Then the clip of Palin praising Reagan – followed by a video of Regan proposing a treaty eliminating 1/3 of current weapons: Note to Palin – same 1/3 you are fuming about! Do you ever pay attention to history?

    April 9, 2010 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  15. Roberto

    Palin for me is a test of how many idiots we have in this country. So raise your hand if you are a Palin's follower so i can count you l....LOL

    April 9, 2010 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  16. ross berg- Buffalo NY

    Sarah continues to be the best thing that could have happened for the Dems. They are just praying that she can stay on center stage through the mid-terms as every national poll shows her deeply in negative territory with the overwhelming majority of swing voters!!

    Sarah Palin...the gift that keeps on giving!!

    April 9, 2010 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  17. Jeremy in Albuquerque

    I don't think her son actually has downs syndrome. I think he just inherited his mother's towering intellect.

    April 9, 2010 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  18. normajean

    Since when have policy ideas been strong in Sarah Palen? She still talks in sound bites, still has her speeches written for her and still could not explain one amendment to our Constitution if she had to. She is criticizing our President as if she knows what she's talking about,.which she doesn't. She says "There's no shame in being theParty of No" In reality there wouldn't be if you could come up with something better, or if you didn't say "No' to everything because you can't do better.Frankly, this womans talents belong in Hollywood. She' s a natural, good looking, a gift of gab, a bit funny, laughs a lot and an empty head . I also don't think her heart is even in the right place.

    April 9, 2010 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  19. Ellen

    And there she goes again criticizing the President for being a
    community organizer. Well he organized the community pretty well.


    April 9, 2010 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  20. kennywest

    Palin trying to explain why Obama's Nuclear Treaty is making the US less safe explained it like this

    "It's kinda like getting out in the playground, a bunch of kids ready to fight, and one of the kids saying 'go ahead, punch me in the face, I am not going to retaliate, go ahead and do what you want to with me,'" Palin said.

    It's a good thing she explained in a way her follower's would understand Nuclear Issues HA.

    April 9, 2010 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  21. Anonymous

    rich and getting richer.

    April 9, 2010 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  22. Tesha

    OMG! Will she please stop with the hand notes stunt! I guess she's trying to deflect the stupidity she displayed at the Tea Party Convention earlier this year and turn it into a joke! Hey Palin, that joke is way over! But then again, how can you blame her? The only idiots who understands what she is saying can only fit the little bit of notes you put on your hand into their heads anyway! What an idiot!

    April 9, 2010 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  23. shadysider

    If oil is a limited resource, as long as we have available sources of cheap oil shouldn't we look to just use that? At this point it seems inevitable that we have to work with non-democratically elected leaders whose citizenry become disillusioned when their dictatorial regimes make/keep money off oil deals with America when America is the the 'beacon of democracy.' When the oil runs out around the world, wouldn't it be nice if we still had large reserves and were able to force oil hikes ourselves, if not consume it ourselves?

    April 9, 2010 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  24. Beauty

    What a breath of fresh air to see and listen to President Obama speak this afternoon (even for 3 minutes). Palin looks like someone on caffeine overdose compared to cool, calm, collected, sensible and dignified President Obama. I am so proud of him.

    April 9, 2010 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  25. shadysider

    It's funny that Palin claims that Obama hasn't made peaceful headway with Iran or North Korea when it is people of her political persuasion who would like to blow up Iran or North Korea.

    April 9, 2010 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
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