Palin: Reagan 'was one of a kind'
Sarah Palin speaks during the Reagan 100 Opening Reception and Dinner.
February 5th, 2011
11:02 AM ET
12 years ago

Palin: Reagan 'was one of a kind'

(CNN) - Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin called President Ronald Reagan "one of a kind" and trumpeted his leadership and legacy in a speech at the Reagan Ranch Center.

She appeared Friday at event that was part of the celebration of Sunday's centennial of his birth.

"Today there are a lot of people looking around for the next Ronald Reagan, but he was one of a kind and you are not going to find his kind again. And the Gipper wouldn't want us to spend our time on that anyway," she said Friday evening at the Reagan Ranch Center in downtown Santa Barbara, California.

Outlining Reagan's path to the presidency, she said, "In 1964 the conservative movement heard him. ... In 1966 California listened to him. In 1976 finally the GOP rank and file listened to him. In 1980 the nation listened to him and, in 1984, the whole world heard him."

Some might be surprised to hear Palin compare her own journey with that of the 40th president. She remarked, "As an Alaskan I proudly consider myself a western conservative in the spirit of Ronald Reagan, in that tradition, because I know he understood the small-town pioneering spirit and values of hard work and rugged individualism. And love thy neighbor. Those are the values that we grew up with. Those are the values that Ronald Reagan embodied. They are the values of his ranch."

The 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee echoed her own vow, in an interview last month, to refuse to "sit down" and "shut up," saying that Reagan "refused to sit down and be silent as our liberties were eroded by an out-of-control centralized government.

"He saw our nation at a critical turning point. We could choose one direction or the other. Socialism or freedom and free markets. Collectivism or individualism. In his words, we can choose 'the swamp' or 'the stars.'"

Those words came from Reagan's 1964 Republican National Convention address, when he spoke of facing enemies and the consequences of failure.

"We are at war with the most dangerous enemy that has ever faced mankind in his long climb from the swamp to the stars, and it has been said if we lose that war, and in so doing lose this way of freedom of ours, history will record with the greatest astonishment that those who had the most to lose did the least to prevent its happening," Reagan said.

Filed under: Ronald Reagan • Sarah Palin
soundoff (64 Responses)
  1. Andrew

    Too bad Reagan favored socialism, helping pass new legislation for both Social Security and Medicaid. He also instituted a failure of a economic philosophy, trickle down, so bad in fact that it failed twice. I don't understand why the Repubs hang so heavy on Reagan, they should be admiring someone like Abraham Lincoln or even Theodore Roosevelt? Two republican Presidents that actually stood for the betterment of the country rather than help only the rich. The only good thing about Reagan was his personality, there was nothing special or ambitious about his policies.

    February 5, 2011 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  2. SarahSux

    You, Ms. Palin, are no Ronald Reagan.

    February 5, 2011 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  3. rusty155

    Saran Palin Is nothing like Ronald Reagan and never will be. Saran Palin Is nothing but a big Idiot , she doesn't even know want she taking about. Just like all ways she as no idea want she taking About ,ever time she talk the dumber she prove she Is. This woman should just go away and shut up, the American people all ready know how dumb Saran Palin Is and how UNQUALIFIED she Is too run for any Public Office of any kind.

    February 5, 2011 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  4. Leo from East Texas

    When he was in office. I had a real good job at a steel factory..... for 6 months..... Then everybody in are department lost there job......2 weeks later.....I landed a job repposesing furniture.... For Half the pay. There were a lot of long line at the unemployment office...... Stood in line for Government Cheese handouts no joke...........Before i landed repo job......So when i think of Ronald Reagan i think of my struggles during that time frame.. circa 1983- 1986.........

    February 5, 2011 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  5. Me

    The legacy of Ronald Reagan includes Trickle Down economics that unleashed the greed of Wall Street and the bankers that about brought down the U.S. economy. I cannot wait to see all of the jobs that will be created by the tax breaks the GOP just gave to these millionairs and billionaires. I guess it is appropriate to have an idiot honoring this legecy.

    February 5, 2011 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  6. KO

    Will somebody please tell CNN that everything Sarah Palin says and does is not news, and is not very interesting to most people. Her star has faded. I have actually stopped reading the political ticker because so much on here is irrelevant to public affairs. If I want to read about Palin I'll buy People magazine.

    February 5, 2011 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  7. Pretzel Logic

    There were once a group of voters called "Reagan Democrats". Think there will ever be a group of voters called "Palin Democrats"? That's why you'll never be elected to anything ever again Sarah.

    February 5, 2011 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  8. Geoffrey

    A lot of our problems today can be traced to Ronald Reagan. I've always believed he was clinically demented during most of his last term. OK, so you disagree but consider that Ronald Reagan is not a founding father, he is not a prophet, he was at best, a president many people liked. Whoever will be future presidents will be in his or her time, not Ronald Reagans. Palin is a ill informed, intellectually lazy woman who simply wears a conservative cloak to enrich herself. In point of fact, she is nothing but a smooth operator out for herself.

    February 5, 2011 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  9. Cina1

    What is amazing is that people like Palin CLAIM to have this amazing ability to know what Reagan stood for, much as their amazing ability to interpret the Bible in their own special way. Others that do not agree with them then can be demonized and be made into the enemy. I do not think that Palin has any special qualifications to "know" what Reagan stood for, nor have any special qualifications to interpret the Bible more than anyone else.

    February 5, 2011 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  10. Gene Carr

    As non-American I find the extreme anti-Palin comments very strange. For example, I cannot find a shred of evidence of her engaging in so-called 'hate' speech. Like Reagan, she also has a very fine record of bi-partissanship; she sought and secured massive support from democrats in Alaska for her legislative initiatives. Having taken the trouble to examine her actual record it is hard not to be impressed. For example in the 16 month period fro Jan 1 2007 to the end of the Legislative session in April 2008 Governor Palin accomplished more than most Governor accomplish in two terms. Try as I might I can find not record of substantive accomplishment by Barrack Obama or for that matter, Hillary Clinton. Both seem to me to be artificial 'media/marketing constructs'.

    February 5, 2011 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  11. Chuck

    Ronald Reagan wasn't even Ronald Reagan. I am not a republican, but Reagan was a decent president. He did some good for the country. But their has become a great deal of mythology around who he was and what he did. Yes, he was big on decentralizing the government, but he was actually willing to come to terms and compromise (something SP would not know the first thing about). He had the interest of the country in mind. He did not do Reality shows, or book signings, or name bashing, charge ridiculous fees to listen to nonsensical drivel, and he certainly didn't TRADEMARK his name. He was moderate, he was likable. SHE IS ANYTHING BUT.

    February 5, 2011 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  12. BeverlyNC

    Ronald Reagan would have been horrified by the stupidity and hatefulness of Sarah Palin. She is nothing like him and for her to compare herself to him is the ultimate insult to Reagan. Republicans today are not even like Reagan. Today they are lying racists who betray their own country and willing for it to fail just so our first black President is not successful. So far, it has backfired on them for President Obama has accomplished more in 2 years than Reagan ever did. President Obama is a wonderful human being who loves this nation and ALL the People in it. He has done so much for the middle and working classes and has much more he wants to get done. He has an actual plan. The only plan Republicans have is to obstruct all progress, do norhing to create jobs, and are currenly trying to find ways to make it harder for the average person to vote because they know the American people love the President and they are his greatest asset. Only the super rich and the super stupid support the racist Republicans. The best thing we can do is stop giving attention ot morons like Palin, Bachmann, and the hate and conspiracy fools at FOX. They are anti-American and only hurt our nation's movement forward to better times and greater success. With Obama, the economy is rebuilding, jobs are growing, and our Allies around the world respect us again. Regardless how nasty Republicans are they cannot change the greatness and accomplishements President Obama brings to our nation and our People.

    February 5, 2011 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  13. Ron

    Believe me, no one is looking for the next Ronald Reagan. Since GOP/Tea Party types like Palin have no original thoughts they keep looking backwards for ideas but as usual they can't find anything relevant to the current issues in the world. Just a bunch of out of touch people that don't really care about the American people. They give lip service to it but never do anything about it. What phonies!

    February 5, 2011 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  14. Chipster

    Despite the GOP effort to re-write history, Reagan was an economic disaster. Sure, he cut taxes in a big way but he increased spending and finally had to raise taxes. He raised taxes nearly a dozen times and still failed to make up for the hole he made in the budget. Poor H.W. Bush had to increase taxes to make up for it, despite his read-my-lips pledge. It probably cost him the election. The GOP adoration for Reagan is not based in reality. Supply-side economics is just what H.W. Bush once called it: VooDoo Economics! The only thing the GOP does really well is marketing false information.

    February 5, 2011 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
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