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. katy Heys

    Sarah Palin is an idiot and anyone who follows her is a bigger idiot. Ronald Reagan was nothing like Sarah Palin and the fact that she tries to compare herself with Reagan is the biggest joke on the planet.

    February 5, 2011 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  2. George Guadiane - Austerlitz, NY

    Ronald Reagan was a great orator. He did not stand for any of the things that I value or believe, BUT:

    Sarah Palin is to Ronald Reagan what the swamp is to the stars.

    She says words she seems to have no ability to either comprehend or own.

    She knows how to do ONE thing – make money.

    February 5, 2011 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  3. db

    Is this a misprint? Clearly in this video, Palin uses correct grammar when she says, "Today there are a lot of people...." The report uses "is" instead of "are."

    February 5, 2011 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  4. chuck

    SP is just plain delusional. along with being narcicisstic-not a good combo..

    February 5, 2011 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  5. chris

    reagan was a puppet , he did what ever the bush family told him . what losers to believe reagan was any good

    February 5, 2011 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  6. Martha in CF

    I bet she can see his ranch from Alaska

    February 5, 2011 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  7. kyle

    No one wants to silience Palin,the more she opens her mouth, the bigger hole she digs.

    February 5, 2011 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  8. Chumlee

    What does Palin know about history, let alone Reagan. Can this idiot even read? Reagan ran the US into the deepest
    deficit in the history of our country. He was an actor, just like failin Palin, and does not deserve all of the attention
    he has received. Iran contra anyone? Tax increases anyone? Budget deficits anyone?

    Reagan was against the poor – how many mentally ill patients were turned out of care during his term as Governor
    of CA? That was one of the most pitiful actions anyone could ever take.

    Pailin: stay in Alaska where you belong. CNN stop giving this nut job print space

    February 5, 2011 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  9. once upon a horse

    last time Sarah Palin didn't even know that Ronald Reagan went to school in Eureka Illinois and NOT Eureka California. Why they would even pick her to honor the late president I have no idea.

    February 5, 2011 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  10. bald eagle

    Yeah, right Sarah, "Today there IS (sic) a lot of people looking around for the next Ronald Reagan...". It sure as hell is not you.

    February 5, 2011 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  11. JP

    Question: What's 100 feet long, has 7 teeth and is dumb as a rock?

    Answer: The line to get in to see this bimbo.

    February 5, 2011 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  12. Why did I even read that?

    OK, I did read it. "There is a lot of people looking around . .." Running for President is going to conflict with her primary goal – to make as much money as possible. Either that, or she's breaking new ground in conflicts of interest.

    February 5, 2011 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  13. Chris

    It is funny, everything the Right adores about Reagan – he's soaring rhetoric, his charisma, and his ability into inspire a passionate and devoted following – are the exact same qualities that they criticize and despise in Obama.

    February 5, 2011 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  14. Mike S.

    I knew Ronald Reagan. Ronald Reagan was a friend of mine. Sarah Palin, you're no Ronald Reagan.

    And you can't quote me because I've trademarked my name.

    February 5, 2011 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  15. JD

    Can she even spell Reagan?

    February 5, 2011 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  16. Paul Willson

    Mrs Palin , President Regan was unique, as is every person who become POTUS.or PM of Canada I believe that is 1 of the truely uniique things about democracy that at an election we can elect men who for the most part are not professional politicans but often career public servants be they members of Congress, of Parliment, doctors, police and so forth. And from these men we elect some great and sometimes less than great men. But are all picked by We the people.

    February 5, 2011 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  17. aelarsen

    sarah palin is out of step with ronald reagan.....
    hate was never part of reagans policies....
    shame on you for using fear and hate to move forward your demented ideas
    shame on long republican do not speak for me...

    February 5, 2011 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  18. Tina

    As an ALASKAN ... I wish this bimbo would crawl back into the muskeg and disappear. What she knows about "real people" wouldn't even fill a thimble.

    February 5, 2011 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  19. itshim

    Always all the Palin haters....

    Her #1 goal is fiscal responsibility and limited government. What is SO bad about her again?

    February 5, 2011 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  20. Jett Lee

    Why is anyone still giving this cow a forum?

    February 5, 2011 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  21. Patrick from Minnesota

    Reagan was one of a kind. As in he was the WORST president this country has ever seen... on second thought, there was George W. Bush and Andrew Johnson...

    February 5, 2011 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  22. Greg

    Reagan was smart enough to realize after making huge tax cuts that the USA was going broke. He then raised taxes several time to attempt to correct his mistake. Sarah, I remember Ronald Reagan and you are no Ronald Reagan.

    February 5, 2011 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  23. diridi

    one of a kind of animal just like sarah palin????

    February 5, 2011 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  24. Bruce

    Reagan should have been impeached for the Beirut fiasco in which 241 Marines were killed by a truck-bomb. And he was asleep at the wheel his entire second term. By the end of Reagan's two terms, 138 officials in his administration had either been convicted, indicted, or had been the subject of official investigations for official misconduct and/or criminal violations.

    But you can't say he quit after two years.

    February 5, 2011 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  25. mary

    The Reagan years were some of the worst times my husband and I went thru. We had to rent out our home and go on the road in a travel trailer to find work as an my husband is an electrician. These were some of the worst years for construction and organized labor-ask anyone!--I wish Ms Palin would not lump us all in together as missing those great Regan years and policies. She was a teenager-need I say more about her ignorance... Speak to the people who actually lived it. Most will tell you he was not a great president and in my opinion -certainly not to be revered. We spent 9 years "on the road" as a result of his anti-labor..big everything policies. For instance does anyone remember how many plane crashes we had after he de-regulated air traffic control--just an example!.... I for one will never celebrate the man.

    February 5, 2011 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
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