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. Joan

    He is probably rolling over in his grave if he knows how the likes of Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann, Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck, Hannity, O'Reilly, Bush , Cheney and many others have tarnished the image and perception of the Republican party. A once proud party is now associated around the world with their faces. He would never have gone into an illegal war like Iraq who had nothing to do with 911. The killing of thousands of innocent people, injuring hundreds of thousands of people and destruction of the infrastructure of the country is the lasting legacy of Bush and Cheney and the Republican party. Is it any wonder that many in the Middle East don't want any advice from the US about how to deal with corrupt leaders when they feel that both Bush and Cheney should be charged with war crimes? Ronald Reagan had his ups and downs like every president but on the whole he was a very good one and Sarah Palin couldn't even clean his bootstraps. She is dillusional if she thinks she is anything like Ronald Reagan.

    February 5, 2011 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  2. Jim8

    Maybe Sara has made an unfortunate point, maybe she does share something with Reagan. Something the Reagan worshippers don't see.

    February 5, 2011 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  3. Shinea

    America doesn't need Ronald Regan. What we need are politicians with the common sense God gave to just about every other person on earth. DON"T SPEND MONEY YOU DON"T HAVE! This government spends millions, on consumer advertizing, advising to not overextend your credit card spending yet they can't control themselves from doing exactly that.

    February 5, 2011 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  4. chatmandu002

    Glad to hear all the liberal/progressives/socialist democrats crying about Palin. Must be something good and truthful in her comments that are driving the democrats crazy.

    February 5, 2011 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  5. Ben Ben

    Reagan was a racist who messed over black farmers. But then again Palin agrees that Dr Laura should be able to say the "N word" so I guess both of them are alike.

    February 5, 2011 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  6. vic nashville tn

    Huge different between Ronald Reagan and Palin
    Reagan attract democrats and white working class. Palin is dividing her own party painting democrats are the enemy

    February 5, 2011 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  7. Chuck

    Katy Heys, that's "Sarah Palin (TM) is an idiot..." Wouldn't want to get sued for trademark violation.

    We do not need more domestic oil drilling, as Ms. Palin suggests, we just need her to stand in front of a windmill and continue to blow hot air. Energy crisis solved. We risk an increase in global warming, however.

    February 5, 2011 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  8. Rand Smith

    R.R. was a good man, had some great ideas and some boner ideas. In the long run though the Tea Party would never vote for Reagan. The history is clear and he is not what they, or the GOP, want today. They hold him as a hero while understanding nothing of the man. That is the saddest part.

    February 5, 2011 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  9. annie s

    Ronald Reagan was an extremely effective communicator. The Ronald Reagan Legacy Project did a great job of getting Americans to believe he was anything more than that. The truth is that he spent too much, got us into huge debt, waged class warfare against the working classes and armed Iran – illegally of course. Thank goodness there aren't any more Ronald Reagans! Now, if there could just be one less Sarah Palin.

    February 5, 2011 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  10. B

    Yeah, Reagan was the beginning of total deregulation of everything making way for unmitigated greed and lack of over-site on anything. It was also the period of highest national debt. Aside from being senile and having a partner that believed in mythology he was a great leader.....

    Palin is yet another total moron, thanks McCain.

    February 5, 2011 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  11. A female in Wyoming

    I'm not sure where Palin gets this skewed vision of Reagan but she is true to form. Ignorant and uninformed as ever.

    February 5, 2011 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  12. lgny

    Reagan possessed a fundamental "likability" that often allowed him to say some strange things but it still seemed OK since he was a nice man. Sadly, too many of today's conservative leaders emulate Rush Limbaugh's angry hatred instead of Reagan who seemed comfortable with both his followers and his opponents.

    February 5, 2011 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  13. mjw

    She is no Ronald Reagan, not even close! That is her problem, always trying to be who she is not, thinking too highly of herself. Knowing Nancy Reagan, she must cringe when she heard that comparison.:)))

    Since she is such a strong christian...she should remember the words of the bible "he that exalteh himself shall be a base, he that humbleth himself shall be exalted." No one is trying to have her shut up and sit down, but when she speaks, she should use substance and facts and try to be more coherent. I for one cannot take those run on sentences and she sounds like she is running out of breath.

    February 5, 2011 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  14. Deuce

    Sarah Palin comparing herself to Reagan? Is that supposed to be a joke??

    Man I can't wait until this ignoramus is finally gone...

    February 5, 2011 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  15. emma

    The speech was more about her than it was about Reagan. Oh, she was campaigning for the Presidency for which she will never be chosen.

    February 5, 2011 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  16. kcl

    Reagan didn't spew hatred and divisiveness....he didn't show up on a redneck, honky reality show. People want Palin to 'sit down and shut up' ..... because of her methods, her egotistical messages, and no substance to what she says.

    February 5, 2011 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  17. Hoosierdude

    I love it...Sarah really has you folks

    February 5, 2011 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  18. Sofie

    And she quotes: "Love thy neighbour"......this woman ought to be ashamed.....she says some of the most hateful and nasty things about people, She can claim all she wants to about having the same values but, in truth, she just comes across as a vindictive and immature woman.

    February 5, 2011 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  19. Darth Vadik, CA

    The guy who destroyed the unions and the middle class???
    The guys who played a role of a President because he WAS AN ACTOR???
    The man was a traitor who spied on his friends in Hollywood and a Demon sent from the lowest pits of HeII to do the Devils work here on earth.

    February 5, 2011 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  20. Duke

    Here's the difference. Reagan was a successful actor who went on to a successful political career. Palin on the other hand failed and bailed and then went on to star in a show that was cancelled after 8 episodes. Don't even think for a second that you deserve to be in the same sentence as Ronald Reagan. I didn't agree with him politically but he was a genuine person who didn't have to resort to what republicans today have to do to get elected. He got in based on who he was and didn't have Fox News getting the trailer park base of the republcan party to the voting booths. I miss the 80's.

    February 5, 2011 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  21. alleygator

    Sarah PalinĀ© doesn't have the ability to appear sincere the way Ronnie did, but she's every bit as delusional.

    February 5, 2011 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  22. GonzoinHouston

    In terms of temperment, competence, and ethics, Barak Obama is more like Reagan than Sarah Palin(TM)

    February 5, 2011 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  23. Sarah Palin, Fierce Advocate for Childhood Obesity

    This woman is dangerous.

    Don't write her off as "stupid"; she is the Repubs dream media star. She can spew every lie they want their base to believe, but cannot be debated. At the same time, all the real candidates have their hands clean, as they are not the ones who spread the lie.

    Don't dismiss and don't underestimate. Refute each lie and expose the source where possible.

    February 5, 2011 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  24. Gary N

    Who cares what she says? This woman is nothing like Reagan, doesn't have even a smidgen of the class he had, is not even qualified to shine his shoes. The only thing she has in common with Reagan is that she smiles and even that looks fake. If CNN and other news outlets would stop reporting on everything little trivial thing she does we may actually find some actual political news. Wouldn't that be great, actual news???

    February 5, 2011 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  25. ysidero

    When will Palin just shut up and stop making herself look like an even bigger idiot? On the other hand, the entertainment value is priceless!

    February 5, 2011 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
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