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. once upon a horse

    Sarah Palin "ROCK STAR" good!

    something is really wrong with this picture.

    April 9, 2010 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  2. BlackBarbie

    Why doesTeaBag Barbie always reference the fact that Obama was a community organizer, it eventually led to him be coming President something that she will never be, if they had good community organization in Alaska we would never have heard of her.

    April 9, 2010 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  3. normajean

    To the person that said "No more Democrats and then ranted on like he'd been asleep during the last Republican administration. You must think we are either stupid or have no memory of the Bush era. Wake up son, you seem to be missing something here.

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

    "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."

    I see. So apparently, expressing concern regarding Karzai's complete lack of efficacy, his ties to major heroine drug lords and his undemocratic fixing of an election is "treating him poorly"? Oh, and deciding to boot several hundred Palestinians out of their homes in order to build a new settlement on land that doesn't reallpy belong to you is now a "minor zoning decision"? Warning to GOPers/conservatives: DO NOT THINK CRITICALLY ABOUT THE PREMISES UNDERLYING WHAT SHE SAYS OR YOU WILL SURELY DISAGREE WITH HER. We wouldn't want your pre-determined world views to be shattered, now would we?

    April 9, 2010 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  5. Boston

    Nancy Pelosi and her poison Apple. Since the far left has no legitimate reasoning to justify all this deficit spending and soon to come overwhelming taxation. ( 16,500 IRS Storm troopers ) They have been employing this tactic of calling everyone Racist that attempts to discuss the facts associate with Obama’s Socialist agenda. This race card was played throughout the election of 2008 as well. We elected a man because he was black and we close our eye's as to who that man is. It was a all a terrible trick, playing upon true blue gracious hearts of the American people. Bottom line is, Nancy Pelosi played the American people to enact her far left agenda, and she handed America a poison Apple to do so.

    Look at who this man is America! Look to his past, see who had chosen to surround himself with. President Obama is a 20 year pupil of Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s anti-American racial preaching’s (Fact) All threw his youth and college years we see Socialist's, Communist's, Racists yes even Marxist's! ( More Facts! ) The Philosophy and ideological beliefs of Socialist's, Communist's, Racists, Marxist's have clearly influenced and molded Barack Obama into the person he is today. Furthermore and perhaps most alarming Barack Obama studied closely under the Communist author Saul Alinsky. Teaching our President how to be a mole and act as a chameleon. Infiltrate our government, how to gain power, How to Fundamental Change America! So now we have a President of the people.... these people Socialist's, Communist's, Racists, Marxist's.

    Moderate Democrats can help. "Yes we can", stop the spending! Learn more about what the Tea Party movement is really all about. "All" are welcome. Check the Tea Party schedule and hang out for a while with some good folks. You’ll make some great new friend too. Add W --> ww.teapartyexpress.org/

    Please forward this to you Independent and moderate Democrat friends.... Thanks

    April 9, 2010 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  6. Chase

    CNN, do you have a shot of the audience?

    I didn't hear many Republican laughing at Palin's stale jokes or clapping.

    This wasn't a surprise pulled on the Republicans by the teabaggers,
    was it?

    April 9, 2010 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  7. Kate

    Listening to her voice and ignorance is worse than fingernails scraping across a chalkboard.


    April 9, 2010 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  8. hobart

    "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."

    Are Republicans completely incapable of telling the truth?

    The economic collapse of 2008 is entirely the responsibility of the Bush Administration, who actually inherited a surplus from Clinton and turned it into a record deficit.

    Thanks to the current administration, the market indices are now at 18-month highs. The Dow is up 3000 points from a year ago, and cleared 11,000 today, for the first time since the collapse under President Bush. Thanks to President Obama, your portfolios are doing just fine.

    Why do Republicans so hate Obama that they want the economy to fail?

    Why do Republicans lie about the economy's recovery?

    Why do Republicans so hate Obama that they want acts of terrorism on his watch?

    Why do Republicans, who claim the moral and religious high ground, violate the 9th Commandment (Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness) whenever it suits them? You can't just pick and choose which Commandments you'll obey if you want the slightest ounce of credibility.

    Why do Republicans so hate America?

    April 9, 2010 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  9. Chris in Canada

    There is no once ounce of intelligence in that whole speech Sarah. Drill even if a caribou has to take one for the team? Great attitude and a solid energy policy..drill regardless of the environmental impact.

    Yes, and Obama certainly esclated a "minor zoning dispute"...in fact a major zoning dispute which is the very piller of the whole conflict..ie, the palestinians want it for a future state, its considered occupied land and the site of numerous arabic holy sites.

    The best one by far is her saying Obama has done nothing to resolve the N.Korea and Iran situations..while that might be true, he just signed a major nuclear arms treaty with Russian caling for 30-40% reductions in nuclear arms!! No mention of that fact.

    Sarah Palin is the scariest politician in American poltiics, if she and McCain had won the presidency, the world would be sigficantly worse off.

    April 9, 2010 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  10. Harry Reid

    I am not going to vote for her no matter what Pelosi says.

    April 9, 2010 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  11. hemnebob

    i would like someone who really thinks palin is a viable candidate for the white house to try to explain to me why they believe this. i watched her on oprah and she seems likable but dang, steer her towards politics and she crashes and burns...i mean, she says nothing of any value that resolves or even attemps to solve any problems facing America. so come on, step up and tell me...what exactly did she do on her own to make alaska a better state...

    (resigning counts in my book as a cowardice act to a state that she says she loves dearly...so you can't even go there...)

    April 9, 2010 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  12. Patrick

    You quit your job!
    Your daughter gets pregnant out of wedlock!
    you use your hand as a cheat cheat on simplest of talking points"

    Once upon a time in America, there used to be something called SHAME.
    Anyone remembers when a mother or father would say "what you have done has brought shame on the family," but i guess not as the dumbing down of America continues

    April 9, 2010 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  13. aware

    Martin in Atlanta:

    America is now wide-awake except of course for the obtuse Dem sheep! 🙂

    April 9, 2010 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  14. Sniffit

    "Whatever happened to equal time requirements?"

    Sorry Fake Sniffit. They don't exist. But it's always nice of you to try to make it sound like I'm all for mandating how the media does business. Sorry to disappoint you, but despite my liberal looniness, I actually believe it's our job to change how they do it...and perhaps reincarnate whatever is left of journalistic integrity...not the government's job.

    April 9, 2010 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  15. Michele from CO

    Palin is an idiot and you all that follow her are even more stupid!!!

    Rock on Mr. President!!!

    April 9, 2010 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  16. yonimal

    @No more Democrats
    Wow you are seeing the highest defecits under Obama ???? Did you forget that Bush took the surplus that we had under Clinton and turned it to record defecit that to pouring money into Iraq and ofcourse pockets of his cronies. Atleast Obama is spending it for the people of United States.

    April 9, 2010 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  17. Ken in NC

    "Half Gov Palin" wouldn't know a nuclear policy if it blew up in her face. President Obama may not know everything about nuclear policies but that is why Presidents have advisors. President Obama has two advantages over "Half Gov. Palin". He has a brain and he is the POTUS. The only experience "Half Gov Palin" has is quitting a job. She has done that more times than a gypsy has moved. This woman represents a clear and present danger to herself and FOX NEWS. She complains about President Obama being a Socialist wanting to redistribute the wealth while she was the one that took Oil Company profits and redistributed them to the citizens of Alaska.


    April 9, 2010 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  18. harold

    What the President said is he takes the advice from experts. I doubt if Mrs Palin has conferred with the Joint Chiefs or Sec. of Defense on the subject. Without input from experts, a person's opinion is not well founded. Someone should tell Mrs Palin having won the election, Mr. Obama gets to talk to experts not someone foolish enough to compare possible nuclear war with a playground fight. Only uneducated people listen to that crap.

    April 9, 2010 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  19. Health Care

    Does anybody care whether health care will work or not? It's supposed to be the best thing Congress has done in fifty years. Let's check it out, media. Or was your main interest in just getting it passed, and now you don't care about it anymore? Best legislation...hmm, I would be checking it out, CNN. It's not to late to tweak it and get it right.

    April 9, 2010 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  20. Edgar

    I just love this woman! I rather have her as our President than "the one."

    April 9, 2010 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  21. shucks

    Did you see Sarah Playlands hand? I almost fell off my chair laughing. She is like an amusement park ride. OK for a good laugh, but could make you vomit at any time.

    April 9, 2010 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  22. normajean

    Sorry Austin, but she couldn't hurt President Obama with a sledge hammer. She'd drop in on the foot that isn't in her mouth. FACT

    April 9, 2010 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  23. Health Care

    Health care, folks. It's what's more important. Get your head out of the sand and find out more about it. I am sure you will benefit from the knowledge.

    April 9, 2010 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  24. Kate

    Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann: The Thelma and Louise of the Republicans.

    April 9, 2010 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  25. Bostonian-TheWoodlands,TX

    You want to know the irony of all this is ???

    All the diehard uber, and I mean UBER conservatives ( there are moderates out there, and I enjoy speakin g with them often in engaging, and reasonable debate ) constantly bang on the president on the SAME thing palin is doing..........

    All she does is travel and give good speeches. Except............her speeches aren't close to HALF as good as canidate obama. Her speeches offer no viable or remotely realistic solutions.

    As a matter of fact, UNLIKE canidate obama, she QUIT her public office postion, and is just a wannabe private citizen like you,me and the rest of us yahoo's who post here ( except I'm certain some of us may be much smarter. )

    Granted Obama had no experience regarding political office, compared to others per-say,but he is intelligen. Columbia grad, a Haravard Law grad, worked in a law firm, TAUGHT constitutional law at University of Chicago ( ranked 6th with Berkley in the US ). Your very own John Ashcroft attended the school.

    BUT.....to have the ALL KNOWING righties tell it, this woman can outhink the president, outsmart the president, and is an expert on negotiating, international policy, and domestic policy and issues.

    Keep telling yourselves that tea partiers.

    April 9, 2010 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
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